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New Mandolin
I have built my own mandolin from scratch
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 

June 28, 2015 - 5:27 pm
Member Since: October 2, 2012
Forum Posts: 128
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Good afternoon folks. I am happy to introduce my new, by me, handcrafted mandolin. Working from plans and instructions found in John Troughton's book "The Mandolin Manual" I began in February 2015 to build this mandolin from scratch. The saga is documented and may be seen at     https://www.facebook.com/group.....      The Top is Engleman Spruce finished with a stain enhancer and a white stain and a light coat of satin varethane. Back, Sides and Neck are Maple and the Fretboard is Bird's Eye Maple. Maple has been treated with a stain enhancer and then a light pecan stain to highlight the grain. Position dots were made by drilling shallow 3mm holes and filling them with sanding dust from red cocobola wood. Liquid CA glue was dropped onto the sandings and the mixture solidified into a hard red dot that only needed a light sanding to smooth out the fret space. Took a few days to get the setup correct. I like the sound and am pleased with the resonance and particularly the responce of the low end.

The second tune is Neil Gow's Lament that some of you will know I have been working a long while.

Lots of learning was accomplished on this mandolin and will be incorporated into the mandola that has begun. Hope you like the post.


June 28, 2015 - 6:27 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1760
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Congrats on completion of your project, Ray! Looking and sounding good!

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Michigan, USA

June 28, 2015 - 8:37 pm
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2647
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Nice job, Ray. Sounds terrific, just like it did the other night when you posted the vid in the chat room.

Congrats on staying with the project.




June 29, 2015 - 12:15 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1725
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Nice Mandolin!  Grats on build, sounds good.



Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

California, the place of my heart
June 29, 2015 - 12:20 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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Oh @Raywells ... I love both tunes!!

i love your Mondolin!!!! I want to play so bad... Keeping my eye on my violin tunes and skill...

You tempt me so!!!!   I love what you made!!! Love your sounds... Thank you thank you for sharing!!

you and Mando look great and it's great to see you!!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


June 29, 2015 - 8:24 am
Member Since: June 30, 2011
Forum Posts: 2680
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great instrument, great tunes !!

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart


June 29, 2015 - 9:11 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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Sounds good, Ray!  Clear and strong.  Looks excellent.  Congrats!


"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Fort Lauderdale
June 29, 2015 - 11:04 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062

Congrats Ray.

Great job. How many hours would you guess you've put into making it. It must be so cool to play on an instrument that you've crafted yourself over 4 months of time. :)

It sounds great. Thanks for posting.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."


June 29, 2015 - 4:00 pm
Member Since: October 2, 2012
Forum Posts: 128
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Hello Pierre and Thanks.

I suppose I could build the mandolin in 2 weeks of concerted effort. I live in a one bedroom senior's apartment. We have probably a 12' x 12' patio area that is covered by the sunroom  (balcony) of the apartment above. It is an open patio that I have setup as a workshop. Before warm weather I did some preliminary work in our garbage room but by the end of March the outside workshop was setup. Great on nice days on others I think Mediterranian thoughts and I ignite a mosquito coil to keep them at bay. I have table and radial arm saws and thickness planer at my sons garage. My local hardwood store has a large selections of Maple thins from 4mm to 20mm in thickness and a great selection of figured maple, that is in more difficult dimensions to manipulate. The also carry book-matched sets of Engleman Spruce and Sitka Spruce, sized for Guitar tops at $32 set. So until my process becomes refined enough to warrant the expense of fancier woods I am good. Stew Mack  or All Parts is my source for hardware. Stewmac involves international mail but I can order from All Parts through my local music store. The most time was spent inventing jigs and molds and the bending iron while being as frugal as a senior on a fixed income needs to be. I believe I can build a better instrument than I can get by saving to buy any of the $400 -- $1400 instruments available in my neighbourhood. There is also huge satisfaction in the creative process.


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