-The Loar Mandolin Fingerboard Scoop-

June 29, 2013

A customer brought in this mandolin in to me to have a modification done. It's really a pretty nice mid grade instrument that has great tone, but one small problem. Atleast for this player and a lot of players alike.

This fingerboard extension, or the last fret area is right in the "sweet" spot for picking and can sometimes get in the way. Those last few frets really are not used anyway, so I'm going to remove the frets and "scoop" out the area for more room to pick.

As you can see, the frets are really close to the strings, and can certainly get in the way when you're strumming away.

With the strings and bridge removed, it's time to take out the frets..

First step is to heat the frets. When heat is applied, it really helps to loosen the frets from the slot.

Once the frets have been heated, I then get under them with some modified nippers. These nippers are ground and shaped in such a way that they will get under the fret and gently coax them out.

Here it is after all the frets have been removed and just before I start dishing out the area.

I started taking off most of the material with my dremel and a downcut bit. After I take most of the material of this way, I then will change to sanding by hand for the final finishing steps.

Here it is mostly sanded and shaped. The blue tape is there for extra protection while working, so an accident doesn't happen and we ding the finish.

And this is the final result. After getting the fingerboard all oiled it turned out great.

Now there's plenty of room to pick and it looks like it was suppose to be there. I should add a little disclaimer here. This was done on an instrument that has no historical value or is not a very high end collectible mandolin. This is NOT something that should be done on valuable instrument. It's also not something that should be done by an amateur. If something were to go wrong it would be a very expensive fix. So I do not intend this to be a guide for anyone to use..... On to the next one!!!