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phishyfee
Mar-02-2004, 12:55am
Alright, I am starting to draw out my specs for a custom built mando.

I found some awesome looking woods. I want to know if any of these are good to use for building a mando. If you could let me know, it would help a ton.


Bloodwood
http://yumahardwoods.homestead.com/bloodwood.html

Redheart
http://yumahardwoods.homestead.com/redheart.html

Honduras Mahogany
http://yumahardwoods.homestead.com/mahogany.html

Argentine Sandalwood
http://yumahardwoods.homestead.com/sandalo.html

Brazilian Cherry
http://yumahardwoods.homestead.com/jatoba.html

jugband
Mar-02-2004, 3:52am
I found some awesome looking woods. #I want to know if any of these are good to use for building a mando. #If you could let me know, it would help a ton.

You don't say how you want it to sound.

For Bluegrass, spruce top on maple is the standard, because of the way it makes a mando sound.

Everything else is a step down (for Bluegrass, anyway), until you get to mahogany, which is as un-suitable as it gets for Bluegrass.

For Folk and Celtic, however, mahogany with a flat top and soundhole instead of maple, arched-top & F-holes is really more desirable.

It gives the mando less projection and a more mellow sound, which can be more desirable if you're mostly doing ensemble rhythm playing.

You don't usually want a mandolin to "cut through the mix" in those styles.

douglas2cats
Mar-02-2004, 7:24am
I don't have an opinion as to their effect on sound but Bloodwood & Redheart, while certainly 'awesome looking woods' wont remain the same color as what you're seeing. I'm sure those pics were taken right after cutting (and/or sanding). That's when they have the most dramatic color. Both will lose redness over time & go towards a browner tone. This may not be what you had in mind.

phishyfee
Mar-02-2004, 2:02pm
Well, I want the sound to be bluegrass for sure. But the point I was trying to get at is that I want something unique. A unique look to my custom made.

Any suggestions?

jcs271
Mar-02-2004, 5:10pm
Well, I want the sound to be bluegrass for sure. #But the point I was trying to get at is that I want something unique. #A unique look to my custom made. #

Any suggestions?
The problem I see with unusual woods is that you may get a "unique" sound to go along with that "unique look".

And you will be stuck with it!

Gail Hester
Mar-02-2004, 11:49pm
Of the woods youíve listed it seems the only one suitable for a bluegrass mandolin is Jatoba. Itís extremely hard and resonant, usually used for African slit drums but Iíve heard of people using for the back and sides. Iíve also heard of folks using Walnut for back and sides. It might be interesting to try Macassar Ebony, Iíve seen it used on guitars although itís getting rare and expensive, about $60 LBF, I have some and it's very resonant. I know a builder that gets good result with ukuleles using Myrtle wood. Maybe someone else has tried something else that worked well. The safest way to go if you want something unique might be to work with a wood guy/supplier and find a unique Maple figure and have it stained a non-traditional color. Iíd definitely stay with Spruce or Cedar/Redwood for the top wood or all bets are off.