Barn Cat Mandolins

I am a hobby builder of flat-top mandolins. Since these mandolins are built in the barn, and we care for cats-in-need who end up in the barn 'helping' me, these are labeled Barn Cat Mandolins.

My designs are inspired by early European flat-top mandolins and have a sweet sound great for many genres, but not Bluegrass. I play both models in my Duo which specializes in Renaissance-era music, American-flavored Celtic music and World music in general.

I currently build two models. My Kitten model is a piccolo mandolin, Cgda-tuned, 10.3" scale length. My Moggy model is a Gdae mandolin with a 13" scale length. In the near future, I will introduce a Tom Cat model which will be a 15" scale length mandola.

Piccolo (Sopranino ) mandolins are one of the more rare members of the Mandolin family and, I believe that with more exposure, increased numbers of Mandolinists will chose to add these to their palette of mandolin voices. My Kitten model can be thought of as a gateway into the world of Piccolo mandolins.

My goal is to tread lightly on our planet with these builds, hence I use no tropical tone woods and as often as possible, I source my wood from a small local mill.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and I will update the album as I complete more mandolins. Thanks for looking! Bob Clark
  1. A Barn Cat 'Moggy' 13" scale length mandolin (center) and two Barn Cat 'Kitten' mandolins.
  2. A Barn Cat 'Moggy' 13" scale length mandolin (left) and two Barn Cat 'Kitten' piccolo mandolins.
  3. Prototype Kitten piccolo mandolin, back closeup. 
Adirondack Spruce top, Red Maple body and neck, Bamboo fretboard. 
Fuji apple wine stain.
  4. Prototype Kitten piccolo mandolin, side. 
Adirondack Spruce top, Red Maple body and neck, Bamboo fretboard.
  5. Prototype Kitten piccolo mandolin, front. 
Adirondack Spruce top, Red Maple body and neck, Bamboo fretboard.
  6. Prototype Kitten piccolo mandolin, back. 
Adirondack Spruce top, Red Maple body and neck, Bamboo fretboard.
  7. Kitten prototype with Phoenix Neoclassical for size comparison.
  8. Upside down here, but right-side up when 'clicked'.
  9. Moggy mandolin prototype front view.
  10. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, back view, Yellow Pine body from a gorgeous floor board.  Fuji apple wine stain.
  11. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, side view, Yellow Pine body from a gorgeous floor board.  Fuji apple wine stain.
  12. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, front view, Yellow Pine body from a gorgeous floor board.  Fuji apple wine stain.
  13. Moggy model 13" scale-length mandolin, front/side view.  Cherry body, Red Maple neck, Adirondack Spruce top, blackened oak fret board.
  14. Moggy model 13" scale-length mandolin, side/back view.  Cherry body, Red Maple neck, Adirondack Spruce top, blackened oak fret board.
  15. Moggy model 13" scale-length mandolin, back view.  Cherry body, Red Maple neck, Adirondack Spruce top, blackened oak fret board.
  16. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, front view.  Red Maple body and neck, Adirondack Spruce top, blackened Oak fret board.  Finished to give an aged but...
  17. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, front/side view.  Red Maple body and neck, Adirondack Spruce top, blackened Oak fret board.  Finished to give an aged...
  18. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, side/front view.  Cherry body, Red Maple neck, Adirondack Spruce top.
  19. Kitten model piccolo mandolin, side/front view.  Black Walnut body, Red Maple neck, Adirondack Spruce top.
  20. Two Kitten piccolo mandolins, Cherry and Black Walnut.
  21. Kitten piccolo mandolin, book-matched Cherry back.  This is locally cut and milled wood.
  22. Kitten piccolo mandolin, book-matched Black Walnut back.  This is locally cut and milled wood.
  23. This overlay on a Cherry Kitten model piccolo mandolin was cut from a scaffold limb crotch in my 35 or so year-old Asian Pear orchard.  I use a...
Showing photos 1 to 23 of 23