I have been browsing around on the cafe for at least 5 years, but this is really one of my first postings. I thought you might be interested to see the mandolins I play.
The first one is made by the Irish luthier Paul Doyle. It is really the same as is pictured in the Eye Candy section on the Cafe. According to Paul, it was made in 1999 but the label says May 2000. On his website (it is pictured there as well), Paul states that "..As a violin maker i look at the construction from the violin making tradition, that is the symmetric carving of the front and back, tap tuning the plates using the Chladny plate technique from the 18th century, tuning of the tone bars, crazy flame back, nice spruce front, french polished, the nicest carved top mandolin i made so far...". I agee.
Further information from an e-mail from him: ..."the wood is european maple and spruce top, the bridge is original and brazilian rosewood, the fingerboard also is brazilian, the extension is resting on the belly but is on the top block so is not loosing tone for that reason, the head veneer, well its solid not really a veneer but is made from a rare ebony called sabah ebony but looks like rosewood, the only other thing is the soundhole was made using a shampoo bottle as it was the only oval i could find to make it so its not a copy of a gibson im sorry, maybe gibson used the same type of bottle he he, the finish is french polish...".
I bought this mandolin used in 2007 and it has been my main mandolin since then. I have changed the tailpiece to an Allen and added an arm rest from Michael Fluegge in Germany (bought on the Cafe). Last fall, it was refretted by my local luthier and the fretboard slightly radioused.
The second mandolin is a bowl-back buildt by the Danish luthier Johannes Möller in Copenhagen in 1921. I do not know much about the materials, but it is a wonderful instrument for classical music. It also has one of the narriwest fretbouards I have ever seen on a mandolin, just 20mm (a tad over 3/4"!) at the nut.