Previously I posted about a 1906 Gibson A4 that I'm renovating.
The mandolin is now back in one piece and I've fitted medium strings. I bent the standard Gibson tailpiece up so when fitted there was about 1/4 inch clearance between the soundboard and the front of the tailpiece. When the strings are brought up to full tension the front of the tailpiece is pulled down and comes into contact with the soundboard.
Would someone who has worked, owned or has experience of the early Gibsons tell me if they found this happened with their instrument?. Should felt or something be placed under the tailpiece to protect the French polish/wood.
I've managed to temporarily sort out the problem, by following advice I got on a mandolin cafe thread.
I removed the tailpin and raised the position of the tailpiece by about 1/8th inch. At full tension the front of the tailpiece just missed the soundboard.
I say a temporary solution as this was a complete renovation rebuild and I've deliberately left the action high. It's a lovely sounding mando, so I'll play it for a couple of months to give it time to "settle". Then do the fine tuning.
Ideally I'd like it to look original, but may go for another tailpiece if I have to.
Thats very interesting.
I've replaced the original tailpiece with a modern Gibson tailpiece. The modern one is slightly shorter.
I've attached a couple of pictures. The sideview is after I've removed the tailpin and moved the tailpiece up by about 1/8th of an inch. It looks as if it has bulged a bit.
This mandolin is the one I posted in about November last year. The neck had been snapped off and the glue was brittle so I have stripped it down and reglued every joint and did a refret.
The wood is luckily in good shape, and it sounds great - loud but a very sensitive full and well balanced. Also it's lovely to play.
I take some decent pictures and post them on the website.
Did the orginal tailpiece have the strings passing under the front section and up throught the slot before anchoring.
This may have an affect on how high the front of the tailpiece sits.
Can't tell for sure because ther is no perspective in the photos
The mandolin arrived in bits without strings, with the neck snapped off. The story was it was found a few years ago in the New York garbage. It had dirt and wall plaster decorating it - Inside and out!!!!
I think Franks reply (above) has put my mind at rest.
Actually,this may be a good time to ask if the ht.of the tailpiece is raised, won't this decrease the amount of tension coming of the back of the bridge allowing the top tp relax? I use this concept thinking it also "softens" string action but have no knowledge why I think this way!Please clear this up for me...........
In view of what you've said I'll put the tailpiece back to it original position when I next change the strings.
Jeffs point is also interesting. If the original tailpiece was used and the strings past through the slot they might miss the top.