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Hi, I bought a couple weeks a junk mandolin off from eBay a couple of weeks ago. my question is this since my luthier buddy says the instrument is not sturdy enough to handle regular mandolin  steel strings, I was thinking of treating it like one of my ukuleles, and putting gut nylon strings on it from Aquila, change the tuning pegs, and replace the end piece to that of one from bowl back mandolin. and find a bridge that works better on it as well. So what would you suggest instead wasting more money on another mandolin right now, I would just like to learn how to play before I invest in a solid body manolin. 

Kirk

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If I read your post correctly, you’re essentially considering changing it out to a standard uke. Why not install a set of Aquila nylon mandolin strings? They certainly have a different sound than steel, but that shouldn’t be an impediment if your goal is simply to learn how to play the mandolin. Maybe have your luthier buddy string it up with nylon the first time, bringing it up to pitch slowly while keeping an eye/ear out for signs of structural failure?

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