The Great Mandolin Repair

The other day, I discovered that my mandolin was cracked near the tailpiece.  I hadn’t played it in a while because the nut had come off and I hadn’t had a chance to fix it.  It has honestly just kind of been in the closet, so Mrs. Glass suggested that I fix it and share the process with you, Dear Reader.

This is what a broken mandolin looks like.

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I got my mandolin on eBay in 2012.  It was a customized/cannibalized amalgamation of parts from other mandolins and features a biscuit resonator for a unique, tinny sound.  I really like it a lot, but I have noticed some things about it over time that the ambitious creator of this instrument might not have had more heart than knowledge in this project.

My #mandolin repair project 'Before' picture

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To get it up to Glass Standards, I started by takings the strings and tailpiece off.  Then I took off the repurposed grill-top (a feature I also really enjoy) and removed the resonator.  Then I cleaned and polished every inch of it.  Some of the pins on the tailpiece were bend so I straightened them out as well and made sure the tuners were cleaned up and in working order.

The mandolin has been disassembled.

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When I checked the crack on the tail end, it seemed like a pretty straightforward fix.  The veneer had separated from the actual body so I just needed to re-attach it.  I got some Loctite epoxy and an Irwin Quick-Grip C-clamp and got the whole thing set up

I also use epoxy and the clamp to attach the nut.

I also epoxied the nut back on and clamped it to ensure proper adhesion

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That’s where I am right now, because the epoxy needs to cure.  Also, I need to research whether or not I should secure the resonator to the frame because right now the strings just hold it into place.  I will post again with the finished project.  Wish me luck !


D. Glass


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