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Monthly Update 
February 2009
In This Issue
Product Highlights
Luthier's Tip
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Dear Luthiers,

Progress update...

Thanks to all of you who have sent emails and letters  asking about the progress of moving and setting up our shop. We're in and settled, and while we still have a few boxes to unpack, we are basically "up and running" and back on schedule. During the move, our regular orders went out same day (as usual) with only one or two hiccups. Some kit, mandolin-assembly, and tap-tuning orders got delayed a little but that was about it. I'm really impressed with what the team did on this end - and thanks to all of you for your patience. It's been a hectic move but the new space is exciting to work in and offers many new efficiencies for us, and in the long run, many benefits for you.

For the past several years, I've been trying locate a case manufacturer who could provide us with two unique types of mandolin cases: 1) a square plush-lined case that emulates the design and style of the original cases Gibson used for the F5 mandolin; and 2) a durable, shaped, molded fiberglass case that could withstand the rigors of the road for those of you who travel from gig to gig. I'm happy to announce that both of these dreams have come true. At the moment, we are putting two cases through some rigorous tests to ensure that the latches, hinges, and linings will withstand some abuse. It is my goal to announce these two wonderful cases next month, and I'm looking forward to making them available to you a very affordable price.

Thanks for building with us...


Every year, the music industry comes together for an industry trade show known as NAMM. "NAMM" stands for the National Association of Music Merchants - an organization that has been serving the industry for more than 100 years.
Each year there is a "winter show" - considered to be the association's primary event and a "summer show." The winter show is held in Anaheim, California (and sometimes has been held in Los Angeles) and the summer show currently is held in Nashville (although in the past it was held in either Chicago or Atlanta).

I've been attending NAMM shows since the early 1970s when I was getting Pickin' Magazine underway (I think I've only missed about 4 or 5 shows since!).

Unfortunately, NAMM is not open to the public; only to regular members. It is a place where music store owners go to meet the manufacturers and buy their new goodies for the coming year. We go to meet with our publisher (Hal Leonard) as well as with several of our suppliers of wood, bindings, hardware, and more. This year, Kali, Ken, Rosemary, and I went and walked the aisles together as well as separately. As always, there is too much to see and never enough time to meet with everyone.

It is hard to image the size and scope of this event. The Anaheim Convention Center is four huge buildings connected together, and there is a lower floor in building 4. Imagine this space packed wall-to-wall with exhibitors who are visited by about 80,000 attendees over the 4-day event.

While we caught up with all of our raw materials vendors and saw a lot of new things from an overall industry perspective, nothing new caught our fancy regarding what would fit our product line except for the two new cases. It was good to see a robust attendance at a time when other markets are talking about a recession.

Since I know you couldn't attend, I wanted to give you an inside view on how this association plays into your music needs.
Product Highlights
W/B/W Binding· White/Black/White (Side-Stripe) Binding - I am happy to announce that we now are making available grained celluloid binding with an inset black side stripe. This binding variation was used around the bodies on some of the early F5 mandolins. This same binding was also used around Gibson's early banjo resonators and as binding for the side of fretboards. Our #409-B binding measures .060" thick and is 1/4" tall and 54" long, and is $19.10 per strip plus P&H.

· White/Black/White Fretboard Binding - We are particularly excited that we include real celluloid binding in our mandolin kits. Our F5, H5, and A5 kits include traditional w/b/w celluloid binding for the body. And, as of about eight or ten months ago, those kits also include our #409 binding that is grained white celluloid with a black inset strip from the side, which we include for the fretboards. It is also available separately from our on-line store. The binding measures .040" x 3/16" x 27" and is $9.75 per length plus P&H.

Drill Set· Position Dot Drill Set - Putting position dots in the side of the fretboard can be a bit of a hassle if you don't have the right tools. We produce a position dot set that includes an aluminum pin vise, four 2" lengths of black side position dot stock (enough for about six to eight mandolins) and a properly sized HS twist drill. The part number is #855 and the set sells for $11.95 plus P&H.

NOTE: Please consult the Shipping & Returns page on our website for a P&H table.
Luthier's Tip: Pulling a Soundboard or Backboard 

Pulling a soundboard or backboard from a mandolin is never a fun chore, but it is sometimes necessary. There are several ways to do this and much of it depends on the type of glue used.

If the instrument was assembled with hot hide glue or Titebond®, the seam can be opened with a hot, thin spatula. But, if the seam is stubborn or if you have trouble determining exactly what kind of adhesive was used, you can use a wide industrial blade and slowly tap it into the seam with a small hammer. (There are several on the market that fit into a handle and are used for cleaning paint or debris from glass, etc.) Wide blades work better than single edge razors because you can more easily keep the blade parallel to the seam over a larger area. (It is a good idea to have an assistant hold the mandolin, and you can use thin wedges or single edge razor blades to help keep force the seam open as you work.)
It is also a good idea to use a pair of pliers when you draw the blade out of the work, and by all means be careful when you pull the blades out so that you are always in control of where the sharp edge is as well as where it exits.

Product of the Month: Marketing Director's Special

Our February offer comes from our Marketing Director, Kali Nowakowski. She is going to offer a $5.00 saving on any order $50.00 or more. (Approximately 10% depending on your exact purchase.) So, for the month of February, you can save $5.00 by using fiveoff50 when you order anything on-line. Limit one discount code per customer.
Save $5.00
Marketing Director's Special
February's Product of the Month: Save $5.00 on your order $50.00 or more. Limit one discount offer per customer. This discount may not be used with any other offer or discount. Enter fiveoff50 at checkout to receive discount.
Offer Valid: February 5, 2009 through February 28, 2009