View Full Version : New Mandola

Mar-24-2005, 9:23pm
Just finished this mandola. Sitka top (thanks to Bruce Harvie), cherry back, sides and neck. 400mm scale. Top bound only in black. X-braced thanks to input from Rob Grant and Bill Bussmann, I kinda combined both their suggestions. Great tone, very big and rich, also very clear, not muddy at all. The tone is especially nice up the neck in the 7th to 12th fret area. A few minor cosmetic issues including how blotchy the top went when I stained, but nothing I can't live with for now. Pictures may be a little rough, I had trouble shrinking them to fit the board.

Mar-24-2005, 9:24pm
and the back. non-book matched, slab cut cherry complete with pin knots.

Mar-24-2005, 9:25pm
and finally the head with inlay.

Keith Miller
Mar-24-2005, 9:29pm
very nice Ken,doesn't look blotchy to me. one of these days I'll pluck up the courage to try building, unusual tail piece what type is that

Mar-24-2005, 9:48pm
Thanks Keith, the tailpiece is homemade. Sheet brass, soldered double for the top and single thickness (1/16th)at the back. I may replace it with a standard tailpiece though because I think the traditional style would look better.

Daniel Nestlerode
Mar-25-2005, 2:50pm
Hey Ken,
What are the measurements on this little gem? Did you use the Gibson 15" or did you go longer?


Mar-25-2005, 6:45pm
Daniel, the scale is 400mm which is very close to 15 3/4 inches, which is what I think the Gibsons were. Body width is 11 inches, length is 14 3/8. Overall length is 29 1/2. Sides are 1 3/4 with the finished dimension with top and back on at about 2 inches. Some of my guidelines were Gibson mandola dimensions published years ago in the old Frets magazines and also from a post on the board here a year (?) or more ago listing mandola dimensions.

Mar-25-2005, 8:56pm
Cool. I love the color on the top.

Mar-26-2005, 10:30am
Thanks Ellie, coming from you especially I consider that a real compliment, I think Jessica and Snake are wonderful, love seeing new creative ideas.

Mar-26-2005, 11:43am
I love it- you took the wisdom of the ages in scale and dimensions, and added personal interpretation to make it distinctly your own. It looks great, and sounds great too- a winner.


Mar-26-2005, 12:07pm
That is a great looking instrument.
Is this your 1st effort at building?
Great job, love to hear it.
Richard http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-26-2005, 2:05pm
Thanks JGWoods and Richard. I do tend to like "old" stuff so a lot of my building certainly has that feel, on this mandola it's the simple shape and paddle peghead. But I also can't leave well enough alone and have to add a personal touch too. This is actually #11 of acoustic mando family instruments. I've also done some solid body electrics as well as a few banjos, and before that quite a few dulcimers. I don't have the chops or temperment to be a pro, but on the other hand I think I build a pretty decent downhome instrument.