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Shutt Mandolin Restoration

Here is an interesting one.  It's an Albert Shutt mandolin.  For those of you who are interested in learning more about Albert Shutt, check out this link for more information.   http://www.harpguitars.net/history/shutt/shutt.htm

Albert Shutt mandolin before restoration As you can see, this mandolin is in rough shape, but we're definitely going to fix that.
First I'm going to address the broken headstock. First, I'm going to address the broken headstock.
broken head stock Here is another view of the damage with the tuners removed.
gluing the headstock I'll start by gluing up the broken headstock. The glue alone is not strong enough to keep this permanently together, so I decided to use a carbon fiber spline as a reinforcement.
Here you can see me building a jig to cut the slot for the spine. Here you can see me building a jig to cut the slot for the spline.
The slotting jig in action The slotting jig from the photo above in action.
I made sure the slot went well beyond the damaged area, but will still be hidden behind the tuner plate. I made sure the slot went well beyond the damaged area.  This will still be hidden behind the tuner plate.
Next the carbon fiber spine is glued in.  This adds  an extraordinary amount of strength and stiffness to this otherwise weak headstock design. Next, the carbon fiber spline is glued in. This spline adds an extraordinary amount of strength and stiffness to this otherwise weak headstock design.
Because carbon fiber is ugly, I capped the repair with mahogany. Carbon fiber is UGLY!  I capped the repair with mahogany for a more pleasing aesthetic.
When the peghead snapped the screws that held the back plate on were torn out leaving these nasty holes. When the peghead snapped, the screws that held the back plate on were torn out, leaving these nasty holes.
I drilled them out and plugged them with new mahogany. I drilled them out and plugged them with new mahogany.
After a little clean-up I chemically oxidized the wood to match age of the old surrounding wood. After a little clean-up, I chemically oxidized the wood to match age of the old surrounding wood.
I put a little finish on to help hide the repair. Just a little finish on to help hide the repair.
This is what the back of the headstock looks like after the repair with the plate reinstalled. This is what the back of the headstock looks like after the repair with the plate reinstalled.
On the flip side, the head plate is completely smashed.  The owner and I have decided to replace it completely. On the flip side, the head plate is completely smashed. The owner and I have decided to replace it completely.
Just beneath the surface I found old body filler that was used by an earlier repair person.  Now I know why it had been painted back. Just beneath the surface, I found old body filler that was used by an earlier repair person. Now I know why it had been painted black. Save the bondo for fixing jalopies. Ugh.
I picked out a beautiful piece of  macassar ebony for the new head plate. I picked out a beautiful piece of macassar ebony for the new head plate.
The new head plate being glued on.  You can't have too many clamps. The new head plate being glued on. You can never have too many clamps!
Here it is after it's been sanded and drilled Here is the new head plate after it's been sanded and drilled
And here it is once more after it's been french polished. And here it is once more after it's been french polished.
The original finger board was completely mangled by a careless refret many moons ago.  The original fret slots were cut rather haphazardly as well and the intonation was quite bad, so we decided to replace it with a new one.  In this photo you can see me removing the old board. The original finger board was completely mangled by a careless refret many moons ago. The original fret slots were cut rather haphazardly as well and the intonation was quite bad, so we decided to replace it with a new one. In this photo you can see me removing the old board.
Laying out the new fingerboard on a beautiful piece of jet black African ebony. I'm tracing the lay out of the new fingerboard on a beautiful piece of jet black African ebony.
The new board cut and slotted. The new board, cut and slotted.
The new fingerboard was bound in white like the original. This new fingerboard is now bound in white, just like the original.
The fingerboard is done.  It was radiused, sanded, attached, and fretted. This fingerboard is done! Radiused, sanded, attached, and fretted.
Now I just need to set it up.  A new bridge is fitted to the top. Now I just need to set it up. A new bridge is fitted to the top.
The saddle height has been set and it has been fully compensated. The saddle height has been set and it has been fully compensated.
The original nut has been shimmed with bone and refitted. The original nut has been shimmed with bone and refitted.
There you have it.  This old mandolin has been brought back life. There you have it. This old mandolin has been brought back life.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read the post and as always feel free to share it with all your friends.

Andrew Pursell

 

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