I unfortunately broke a piece of the tailpiece off on my mandolin the other day. I was restringing it and was putting on some old strings (they hadn’t been used) I purchased a few years ago. I don’t know if that was the problem or not, but one the little pegs in the tailpiece that the eye of the string holds onto snapped off.
I didn’t know what to do, so I phoned around to a number of places in Calgary and no one wanted to deal with it. Replacement tailpieces were selling upwards of $100 on eBay so that didn’t look very good either.
I ended up phoning Long & McQuade here in Calgary (Calgary Long & McQuade) and they said to bring it by and they would take a look. Anyhow, I walked in and they have a replacement tailpiece of the exact same shape and size for $20. I couldn’t believe my luck. It was the same size as my original so I could use my Kentucky tailpiece cover on it as well. It wasn’t even stored in the back. It was a plastic wrapped item on a display shelf.
I own a Kentucky KM200S teardrop style mandolin. I purchased it back around 1995 or so. It is a pretty nice little instrument so I want to keep it in good repair.
Replacing A Mandolin Tailpiece
Replacing it is really simple:
- Remove the cover of the tailpiece.
- Remove any strings connected to the tailpiece. Either remove them from the Mandolin completely or loosen them enough that you can slip the string eyelets off of the tailpiece pins.
- Remove the screw for the knob you connect your strap to.
- Remove the 3 screws holding the tailpiece onto the bottom of the mandolin.
- Hold the new tailpiece in place where the old one was. The angle of the mandolin tailpiece might not quite be right, so bend it a little so that it is touching flat on the bottom side of the mandolin and the on the top.
- My old tailpiece had a piece of felt along the edge that the strings dug into, but the new one didn’t have this. I removed the felt and superglued it onto the new tailpiece.
- Replace the 3 screws to hold the taipiece on.
- Replace the strap knob and screw.
- String up your guitar and put your tailpiece cover back on.
Overall, it was super simple, only cost me $20, took half and hour of work including the restringing, and I was able to keep on my original tailpiece cover.