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TAILPIECE CRACK ON PRE WAR DOBRO, LOOKING FOR ADVICE PLEASE.

Nov 25, 2020 - 2:48:39 PM
3 posts since 7/8/2019

Hello,
I have a 1933 round neck Dobro that I found about 40 years ago.
It’s been unused for a very long time and I’ve started to give it a very light clean and some new strings before I start using it..
I’ve just noticed that the tailpiece has a metal fatigue crack inside the right angle bend.
I’ve seen similar problems on old Presto banjo tailpieces
I’m asking for advice on this.
Do I buy a replacement? if so, any suggestions for a suitable replacement and supplier.
Or do I think about a repair? Or both?
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Many thanks.
Alan

https://www.resohangout.com/forum/attachment_manager/a_mngr_added.asp?addType=1&fileID=38785

https://www.resohangout.com/forum/attachment_manager/a_mngr_added.asp?addType=1&fileID=38786

https://www.resohangout.com/forum/attachment_manager/a_mngr_added.asp?addType=1&fileID=38787


Edited by - alanjg1 on 11/25/2020 15:19:25

Nov 25, 2020 - 3:24:45 PM

3391 posts since 7/27/2008

Assuming the crack will only get worse,  I'm not sure how successful a repair would be. Attempting to fix it doesn't come up very often. Though this break is uncommon, it's not all that rare either. 

Most folks go for a replacement. I'm 90% sure that the Beard tailpiece below will work on your prewar Dobro, but I would check with them prior to placing an order.  I would avoid any cheap Asian-built tailpieces that might be available to you in the UK.

http://www.resophonicoutfitters.com/product/BTP-6.html


 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 11/25/2020 15:26:51

Nov 25, 2020 - 3:26:07 PM

docslyd

USA

275 posts since 11/27/2014

Replace with a new one...pretty much any brand will do. This is nickel plated brass. There is no repair I would trust. You can't weld it and by the time you braze and re-plate, you could probably find a vintage one on ebay for less trouble. I may even have one at home that you can have, if you want the vintage look. Be careful when looking at vintage tailpieces, though, some have a different hole pattern. I'll check my parts bin this evening.....

Nov 25, 2020 - 3:59:30 PM

2071 posts since 8/3/2008

Beard has a couple of options. They no longer offer a nickel plated tail. Here are the options:

1. Beard made chrome plate tail. The finish will look "whitish".
2. National made nickel plate. Slightly different design.
3. Raw (unplated) tail that you can get nickel plated locally.

All available at beardguitars.com

good luck.

h

Nov 25, 2020 - 6:55:52 PM

docslyd

USA

275 posts since 11/27/2014

Alan...gone...I think that piece went to Bobby Wright. Probably shipping to UK would be unreasonable anyway, but keep on eye on ebay. They usually show up now and then. Just make sure it doesn't have the three holes in the screw end.

Nov 25, 2020 - 10:41:16 PM

104 posts since 11/24/2019

You might check with Hobgoblin Music.

Nov 26, 2020 - 1:04:11 AM

3 posts since 7/8/2019

Thanks for the all replies so far, I’m following up on them.
Eric, thanks for looking anyway. Yes, I’ll keep an eye on eBay for an original one even if I do buy a repro one.
Willard, Hobgoblin have a couple to choose from so I may go there.
Trouble is, the cracked one has nearly 90 years of patina, which I like.
New ones are bright chrome. Maybe I could age it somehow.
I’ll look into that.
The Chinese ones are quite cheap so I might buy a couple just to experiment with some kind of aging process.
I recall that there was an archived article by GregRich on the Banjo Hangout about aging nickel plating, I’ll have a look at that.
Thanks again guys.

Nov 26, 2020 - 6:54:51 AM
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1087 posts since 9/29/2009

One reso builder commented that he now uses Chinese import tailpieces exclusively, not because of the price, but because they are made of steel, which is far less likely to crack than the brass used in the originals.

Edited by - SamCy on 11/26/2020 06:55:50

Nov 26, 2020 - 7:39:17 AM
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MC5C

Canada

256 posts since 4/22/2015

I'd repair it. I have a 1946 Epiphone with a similar crack in the bend of the tailpiece, repaired decades ago by a jeweler. Easy for a skilled guy to silver-solder or braze, and finish so that you can barely see it. As you point out, many decades of patina is worth saving.

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:11:44 AM

104 posts since 11/24/2019

quote:
Originally posted by alanjg1

Thanks for the all replies so far, I’m following up on them.
Eric, thanks for looking anyway. Yes, I’ll keep an eye on eBay for an original one even if I do buy a repro one.
Willard, Hobgoblin have a couple to choose from so I may go there.
Trouble is, the cracked one has nearly 90 years of patina, which I like.
New ones are bright chrome. Maybe I could age it somehow.
I’ll look into that.
The Chinese ones are quite cheap so I might buy a couple just to experiment with some kind of aging process.
I recall that there was an archived article by GregRich on the Banjo Hangout about aging nickel plating, I’ll have a look at that.
Thanks again guys.


Hobgoblin has a nickel-plated one on eBay.co.uk right now.

Nov 27, 2020 - 6:49:36 AM

Colin Irvine

Canada

73 posts since 10/17/2017

I second what Brian Evans said. I’d get it repaired. If the crack isn’t all the way through, it could be carefully ground out from the back side, and filled while still leaving the top finish intact. I would probably consider not using any heating process in the repair as it could change the appearance of the top side. (Could change the colour, etc)

Dec 1, 2020 - 2:19:05 PM

8 posts since 5/18/2015

Hi. As previously mentioned, look into having someone solder it. Also as an option, if you have access to someone with a laser welding tool

Dec 1, 2020 - 3:13:32 PM

3 posts since 7/8/2019

Thanks Willard,
I’ve bought one from Hobgoblin.
I’ve managed to dull the blueish shine on the chrome plating with extremely fine sandpaper and brasso metal polish.
Not ideal but It certainly looks better than when it arrived.
Like I mentioned, I’ve ordered a couple of cheap ones from China. When they have arrived I’ll try a couple of other methods I been reading about.
Colin and Fred, I’m going to look for a specialist to discuss a solder repair.
At least I can get it
re-strung and playable now. 

Edited by - alanjg1 on 12/01/2020 15:14:27

Dec 1, 2020 - 6:29:53 PM

Colin Irvine

Canada

73 posts since 10/17/2017

You should just ask scratchmo from this site to fix it for you! I watched his pick building video and he is literally a magician with metal.

Whoops sorry, I didn't look at where you're from until after I posted...

Edited by - Colin Irvine on 12/01/2020 18:31:14

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