This sides on this Gibson mandolin had become distended over time to the point that they could not be pushed back into place. Pushing one area in just caused it to bulge in another area. I decided that a small amount of wood needed to be removed from the tail end, reducing the circumference of the sides. To do so I removed the back, the kerfed lining, and the tail block, and then used folded sand paper to slowly remove wood from the seam at the tail end. It was critical to know exactly how the sides were matching up at all times. I tried making a standard for the match the back but I really needed to be able to adjust the pressure on the sides evenly all the way around the body so I took the time to make a set of 20 clamps that insert into 1/4″ holes around the perimeter of the mold that push against the ribs.
These little clamps work extremely well and I am happy to have them for future repairs.
I had to replace some of the kerfed lining, remove a small sliver of maple to reduce the folding pressure on the top, and add a small piece of maple to the opposite side to fill the gap. There are a few areas where a small misalignment can be felt but overall I am happy with the results. This is an amazing sounding Mandolin back in playable condition.