Six munths aggo I koundn't speel profissional-now I am won
by, Jul-03-2010 at 7:02pm (1684 Views)
I started building mandolins in July of 2007 without any experience in wood working but with a 30 year old dream of building.
I purchased an F5 copy from a local luthier in 1981 and was able to watch the process as he completed the instrument and from that time on I have, in the back of my mind, wanted to build.
I spent 29 years in the National Guard and of course like most of us worked full time all my life so time was not available to pursue a new hobby. I also played in a local bluegrass group for 25 years. My full time job was sales related and in the final years I was doing international work so I was fully occupied so to speak.
I retired in 2007 and so time became available and lo, I found Mandolin Cafe......
I completed my first "mandolin" in August of 2007. It was my own design built from scratch and it was terrible in appearance but did sound like a mandolin. I was hooked.
Now 3 years or so later I am on my #10, all built from scratch. The body of work consisting of F5, A, H5 and other mandolin and mandola designs. Thanks to much help from the wonderful community on Mandolin Cafe I have learned many things and I have had some very important learning from making mistakes entirely on my own. Just recently began to learn tap tuning.
Now to the professional aspect: The definition of a professional when I worked in sales was "someone more than 50 miles from home and carrying a brief case".
Obviously that definition does not fit instrument building or repair. I have to admit that I have been leary of asking someone to let me work on their instrument but recently I agreed to repair a Kentucky F5 style mandolin which was in bad shape. The neck had broken at the body dovetail joint and the mandolin was not playable. So, how much damage could I do?
After much prayer and searching the forum I removed the neck, repaired the joint, reset the neck angle (it was very low from the factory) and put everything back together. I had to splice a piece into the back in order to replace the extension of the back which glues to the butt of the neck as the original had broken and was not repairable. Wonder of wonders, when I restrung the mandolin it played well and sounded very good. I returned it to the owner today.
There is a very special feeling when you accomplish a chore like this and I have to say that I have gained confidence in my abilities. Still a lot to learn but I made the first step.
The moral of this is do not let your worries and insecurity keep you from trying whatever it is you have wanted to do. Just go for it.