Mandolin Brace Repair
Loose braces can cause top deformity, sinking and other structural damage such as cracks and warping.
Top brace on Gibson A-style mandolin
Some players may even hear a rattle or vibration when playing or handling the instrument. Because many mandolins have only one brace it's important to realize the role it plays and it's importance to the structural integrity of the instrument.
Loose Top Brace
The top may begin to dip or sag when not properly supported.
It is a well known fact that some vintage Gibson mandolins had rather thin tops and as a result they have begun to cave in. I have seen them in all stages of collapse.
I am frequently asked "how long does she have?" And I'm afraid I can't easily answer that. Being that many of my customers have reported the fact that the sinking that is currently present has not changed in 10 or 20 years. Assuming that the brace is in tact and securely in place we are left with the dilemma of how to repair them. I know of several who have attempted a variety of solutions but to date I am unaware of anyone who has repaired them without destroying the sound.
I have seen some use sound post in an attempt to "prop" the top up, additional braces, and I have even heard of a coating to thicken the top, but I can't fill you in on that one.
All the methods I have seen attempted proved to be tone killers. Personally I can offer no solution to the problem, other than top replacement, which is not a service I currently offer.