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 Post subject: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Finally got around to taking a few photos of the finished July 9 F5C. I missed the first one (kept for 7 years) so much that I decided to distress this one too.

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Closeup of the red spruce top...the crack on the rear point is fake, but was a common crack on the originals.

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Little bit of scuffing and tarnish on the James' tailpiece.

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Back of instrument with 2 pc red maple flat sawn back...heavy wear on neck facilitates playing.

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Close up of the back. Note the flat sawn grain.

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Stew Mac tuners are shiny nickel that have been tarnished with PC etchant. Siminoff MOP buttons hand fit to the tuners and some of the screws' slots "abused". Back of peg head point dinged, common occurrence.

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Front face of peg head. Note the shiny nickel tuners and compare to below.

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Treble side of peg head showing the "side bound" binding.

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Bass side of peg head and inlay. Again, note the variation in color of the binding.

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Bass side of neck, tortoise dots, MOP nut and more wear on binding.

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Front point. Loar points were made from bone instead of ivoroid, and note how they were "dovetailed" into the top and back binding.
They are a real SOB to fashion.

Image

Rear point.

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Last one, horizontal view.

Image

Thanks for looking folks.

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Last edited by Haans on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:43 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:47 pm 
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Koa
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Thanks for posting it. It is truly a work of art.



These users thanked the author Glen H for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:55 pm 
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Wowser, that's beautiful Haans!

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These users thanked the author Jim Watts for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:10 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Very. very cool mando Hans! She looks fantastic!!!!



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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:18 am 
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Haans,

If ever anyone went out with a bang, you've done it with this one.

Pat

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These users thanked the author Pat Foster for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:27 am 
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You da man Haans!

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These users thanked the author Doug Balzer for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:04 pm 
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That's beautiful Hans - looks like a 60 year old classic!

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:03 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:24 pm 
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Sublimely exquisite!

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:02 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Koa
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As usual absolutely stunning. Tiny quibble, I wish you hadn't artificially aged it. It looks great, it's more of a philosophy than a complaint on this particular instrument. It's just that I feel things age quickly enough, I don't want to add an artificial layer of age.


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post (total 2): Shaw (Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:01 pm) • Haans (Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:02 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks everyone!
If ever there was an instrument to test your sanity, the F5 is it. This particular one had a CNC carved top and back, but the CNC guy backed out the inside 3mm extra on the top and back so I had a full 6mm on the top and 5mm on the back. That left enough for me to use my own graduations and saved an old man from having to dig into the oxycodone...
Here is a very close up of the top a couple inches from the tailpiece where you can see a little of the varnish checking carefully applied. Old Gibsons used to check around the recurve and other "shallow" areas where varnish tended to be a little heavier. This checking is artificially done. You can also see a little shirtsleeve wear next to the binding in the proper place...

Image

I tried to find an old case for it but Loar cases are through the roof. I ended up settling for the Saga as the interior is a good replication, the outside has crappy modern clasps, a label (which I ripped off), and a horrid looking handle. The Tolex was loose all the way around the bottom edge, but I kept it anyway as that should deteriorate fast as the case gets distressed.

Image

Yes, yes, I know most every one on this board wants the flawless, glass perfect finish and look at this as a tragedy. Many of you would have spread the epoxy over the maple to fill the pores. The point is that good mandolin players look for a thin finish and a few dings and dents don't bother them at all. It's all tone...some know this.
Here is a link to the July 9 Loar that has been my inspiration all these years.

http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/73992

Consider that those Loars with all their "flaws" are worth upwards of $150,000 each. Distressing done properly does not detract from the value of an instrument. You also have the freedom of knowing the instrument is your pal and you can hand it to anyone without worry. As you can probably tell, it wasn't dragged behind a car...
Also consider that once the Master Model was distressed and ran some thousands above the regular MM. My own #1 F5C-distressed sold for $15K cash after the guy flew out and stayed at our house for 3 days playing it...and that was 7 years ago. He still emails me every so often to say that everyone that plays it says "Never sell it."

For those that absolutely must have perfection I usually said talk to another builder, but I do offer this photo...it's about as close as I can do it on an F5.

Image

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Last edited by Haans on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:31 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Hesh wrote:
Very. very cool mando Hans! She looks fantastic!!!!


BTW, Hesh, guys that own one (this was #12 of the F5C's) just call 'em "Lloyd". :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:39 am 
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Mahogany
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Haans; Beautiful.....you qualify as a 'master luthier' in my eyes.....



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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:17 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks, Doug, but I used prefer just to be a "builder"...as most folks here know, it's just a bunch of learned tricks, practiced over and over.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:47 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Awesome work Haans I feel bad that you can't continue. :(

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These users thanked the author Bobc for the post: Haans (Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:01 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:37 am 
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Hans, I'm a big fan of your work, this one looks really terrific. I build the occasional F5 mandolin, so I know the amount of work and trouble that goes into a "regular" one, never mind going to the lengths you do to keep it close to Loar specs, and all the extra work with the distressing on this one. This is truly a masterpiece, I wish I could see it in person.

I think mandolin people are more like violin people with regards to appearance and finish of their instruments; the well worn look is expected, and usually seen a healthy sign of a good instrument that has been played for years, probably because it sounds good. It has to play well of course, and feel right to the player (the appearance is part of that I guess), but the main focus is always the tone.

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These users thanked the author Arnt Rian for the post: Haans (Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:01 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:26 pm 
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Koa
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That's a gorgeous mandolin. That's a pretty light version of distressing



These users thanked the author Quine for the post: Haans (Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:02 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:50 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Well, Bob, life is what you end up with, and then it's over. We all know the end will come, some choose to ignore it till it smacks them in the face. It is product of your early family life and everything that happens is influenced from there on. Frankly, I'd just as soon leave before it gets much worse in this sad world. Next Universe please...
Thanks Arnt! We both know what is expected of mandolins, and yes, they are more like violins, except for the Pac Rims...they are nice and shiny for beginners.
Quine, thanks. Yes, distressing is best when kept to a minimum. You really have to think about each little thing you do. Shiny nickel tuners look terrible ( and so do the Stew Mac "aged" tuners). Wear on the neck only makes it easier to play as your hand doesn't drag on the varnish. Many players sand the finish off their necks. You can put less finish on which just makes it sound better, and a few light scratches here and there (thoughtfully applied) are not offensive.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:35 pm 
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I love the distressing!
Ken Mckay does a similar finish on his electrics, I love his look as well.
The crackled varnish is a really nice touch.
Thanks very much for sharing.
Dan

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These users thanked the author dzsmith for the post: Ken McKay (Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:52 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:59 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks, Dan!
Not really "crackled" as far as I know, crackling sticks up from the finish and crazing or checking sits below the level of the finish.

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: dzsmith (Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:31 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:16 pm 
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Koa
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fantastic!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:20 pm 
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I was never a fan of pre distressed instruments since I like to distress them myself naturally. But I'll admit that's one nice mandolin.

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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 am 
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makes me want to build a Mandolin. Very nice. How did you go about achieving the checking in the lacquer? I've been want to try this.


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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Oh, dear, I'm sorry David, I never saw this till just now... oops_sign
While I check in several times a week, I must have missed it.
Since it is a pretty good question, I'll answer it; just a "little" late. I hope you are still around and interested. Or anyone else!
First of all, this only works with a alcohol varnish or French polishing. Twenty-four hours after buffing, an application of egg whites over areas you want to distress. Spray a coat (think I thinned it out a bit and jacked up the pressure). Allow to completely dry
Wipe off the dried egg white with a lightly wet, soft cotton cloth and you are done! Don't overdo it, a little bit goes a long way in distressing.
You really don't have to thin it out much, and the heavier coat you apply, the wider and deeper the checking.
Hope that helps anyone wishing to try it...

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Clinchriver (Sun May 21, 2017 5:47 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:46 am 
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Haans, you are a true artist!

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These users thanked the author sdsollod for the post: Haans (Mon May 22, 2017 7:29 am)
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 Post subject: Re: The Last F5C
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Koa
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The intersection of craft and art. Sublime finish work - love your perfect colors - and lots of tasty structural details. Thanks for sharing Haans!

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