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Jim Hilburn
Mar-03-2004, 5:45pm
Too bad I'm so slow I couldn't get it done for Wintergrass.Oh,well,give me a couple of more days.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-03-2004, 5:46pm
Here's one in the setting sun.

Mar-03-2004, 5:55pm
Here's one in the setting sun.

Jim, correction....that mandolin IS the setting sun!

Absolutely beauiful.

Mar-03-2004, 5:56pm

Mar-03-2004, 6:11pm
You're scaring me man!

RI Jim
Mar-03-2004, 6:30pm
Jim , that is one beautiful instrument......... Great colors on great wood.... I have to ask, is this the one you had posted pictures of a few weeks back http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif With the ' RR' in the fretboard and blue masking tape ?? If so , how on earth did you get the finish done so fast ? My laquer jobs take at least a month + from start to finish. That is truly a beautiful instrument, and being a luthier i know what to look for ! < G >


Jim Hilburn
Mar-03-2004, 6:42pm
Hey, Jim, I'm trying to do this for a living. That seems painfully slow to me.
I'm sure I got the color on the day I posted and had it scraped and first coated the next day. Then I would have level sanded it the next day ,and did the final coats the day after that. Then you have 2 weeks to final sand,make a pickguard ,fit the bridge, make a nut, and in my case,take a trip to Tucson.

Mar-03-2004, 7:02pm
Tucson? What fer? I would have gladly said howdy had I known such a cafe notable was coming around to my neck of the woods.

That's one absolutely gorgeous looking piece there. It would be hard to decide whether to frame it or play it... well, maybe not, I'd play it. Great job!

Mar-03-2004, 8:21pm
Great looking mando Jim http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Skip Kelley
Mar-03-2004, 8:35pm
Awesome!!!! As always!!

Mar-03-2004, 8:40pm
Jim...you are definitely "closing the gap". That is just exceptional work. I'm thinking people are lining up right about now. Congrats Jim. Well done. I saved it in my great looking mandolins folder.

Kevin K
Mar-03-2004, 10:01pm

Mar-03-2004, 10:25pm
Very nice finish; ahhhhhh. And nice photo work.

Mar-03-2004, 10:31pm
Very nice finish; ahhhhhh. And nice photo work.

Jim Roberts
Mar-03-2004, 10:32pm
Bee-you-tee-ful, Jim! #Hope to see you at Mandofest in a couple months.

Mar-03-2004, 10:55pm
Wowsers. That is amazing finish!

Mar-03-2004, 11:57pm
It is beautiful Jim, keep up the great work so you hang with the big boys (you already do from what I SEE but I must play one first).

Mar-04-2004, 12:28am

Mar-04-2004, 12:32am

Mar-04-2004, 12:49am
As long as we're practicing our vowels..."OooooAaaaahhhhEeeee"
Very nice.

Mar-04-2004, 1:00am
For the record, nice wet sanding Jim. That is they key because there is only one spray gun manufacturer that can produce those results with minimal sanding...Sata!

Jim Hilburn
Mar-05-2004, 3:59pm
I got strings on it today, so here's what the rest looks like.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-05-2004, 4:02pm
For those who didn't see it in the "progress" thread, The RR is the initials of the buyer.(Hope he doesn't change his mind.)

Jim Hilburn
Mar-05-2004, 4:03pm
Here's the peghead.

Mar-05-2004, 4:22pm
Thats damn fine work Jim. At least i can say...."that guy kicked me out of his house before he became a celebrity". How much are you charging now...how much deposit? thanks!

Mar-05-2004, 5:31pm
Wonderful job on that mando and I bet it will sounds as good as it looks.
I am the guy who posted pics of my new Heiden a few days ago and I was very disappointed in the quality of my pictures. Yours look sharp and crisp and you used a similar background to what I did any hints of what you do would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-05-2004, 5:59pm
Jay, I have a 3.3 Olympus with a manual zoom, and there's a nice close-up setting. I load the pics to Adobe Photodeluxe, which came with my first scanner. It's their giveaway program, but it does enough stuff that I don't feel like I'm missing out without Photoshop. I never do things like put one persons head on anothers body.
The real trick is to use the contrast and saturation controls. That's what really makes them stand out. Then I reduce them in size so the biggest pixel # is 600.

Mar-05-2004, 9:57pm
Hi Jay -

I have been watching this thread in case Jim loaded more images of his beautiful creations.

I saw your posted Heiden shots the other day. Some looked ok, some just looked out of focus. Like Jim, I also usually greatly reduce the size of images I post. Unlike Jim, I've been known to digitally remove dust. My Sony also has a close-up macro zoom, so I can get right down on an instrument.

Typically my "full frame" shots are way too big, so I'll use Paintshop Pro to reduce them by some percentage. Doing that can often make a fuzzy image sharpen up some, but sometimes my shots aren't crisp either - depends on the lighting and how steady I was holding the camera. I also generally shot in "auto-focus" mode and again, depending on the lighting, I may take a couple of shots: 1 where I "trust" the auto-focus and one or more where after it has focused, I'll move a little closer or a little further away.

Mar-09-2004, 12:29am
Jim, she's a beaut....I dig that inlay on the 12th fret:)

Steven Stone
Mar-09-2004, 9:54am
I played #29 yesterday. It's a wonderful sounding mandolin. Very even, with fine balance in G, A, and B full chops.

Considering it had been strung up for only two days, I predict it will be a remarkable instrument in a year or so. Already it beats my Hilburn #21 in terms of overall balance, and it is even better made than mine in terms of binding work and fine details. Overall I'd have to say its his best yet.

Jim is among a handful of builders whose work rivals the big dogs at prices that are still within the range of most serious players. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Skip Kelley
Mar-09-2004, 7:16pm
Jim, beautiful work as always.

Mar-10-2004, 6:33pm
That's a great looking mandolin! I'd say RR wont be dissapointed. Did I miss a post about wood species?
Are you happy with the sound so far and how would you characterise it?

Jim Hilburn
Mar-10-2004, 7:48pm
Sunburst, This one is the first I've done with a shipment of Red spruce and red maple from Old Standard. The neck is eastern maple I've had for some time.
The sound has changed dramatically in the 5 days since I strung it up. The bass is really getting strong, I think even more than when Steven was here 2 days ago. I'm very happy with it.

Mar-19-2004, 6:55pm
For those who didn't see it in the "progress" thread, The RR is the initials of the buyer.(Hope he doesn't change his mind.)
If RR does change his mind let me know.

Ryan Russell


Skip Kelley
Mar-19-2004, 9:03pm
If I can ever make one that PERFECT I will feel I have made it! Nice job!!

Mar-19-2004, 11:19pm
That is about as perfect as they get! Great job Jim. I am sure that I will watch you move into the status of "Great Ones" very soon! I would love to hear the sound though.

Michael Lewis
Mar-20-2004, 1:27am
Crisp and clean work! Very nice.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-20-2004, 9:35am
Thanks again, everyone. Just to let you know, I plan to be at Mandofest in May, and I'll see what I can get together as a representation of my work. I feel the one I'm building now will be a couple of weeks shy of being done in time, but I'll give it all I can to see if I can get it done.

Apr-06-2004, 9:32pm
Well I hate to make y'all jealous... but I've played #29 and it's a hoss. Hey Jim I'll be talkin' to you soon. I haven't seen too many better than that one.