Stridente No 2 - Before

It was in a bit of a state when it came in, suffering from a failed neck/body joint & splits in the bowl.
Several pieces of the mother-of-pearl ornamentation were missing & several others were loose. The black filler around the m-o-p was cracked & falling out too.
The whole instrument was covered in thick grime.
Inside there is the makers label plus a repairers label dated Apr 1923.



Stridente No 2 - After

It is now back in a playable condition.
I glued up the neck joint & the splits/cracks in the bowl. It then needed the French polish to be rejuvenated & buffed up.
I had to cut & shape 7 intricate pieces of mother-of-pearl & glue those plus the other loose ones in place. I scraped out any loose filler around them. To replace it, I mix up some cascamite (a powdered adhesive) with ebony dust in a little water. Once it dries I sand it flush with the inlays. It is a very good match to the original.
Some of the frets had popped out & needed re-seating before I could level & dress them all. Frets on these instruments are just thin pieces of brass.
The tuners cleaned up pretty well & a bit of lubrication got them turning smoothly.
The table had to be cleaned up & some scratches smoothed out to get it back to its original colour. The tables were usually left unfinished when these were made which is why they get so grimey. After cleaning them up I just wipe them over with a little lemon-oil conditioner which helps to repel dirt & also gives it a nice golden colour.
Finally I re-strung it with ultra-light strings. The usual modern gauges are too high a tension for these vintage mandolins.