View Full Version : Campfire Mandolin Kit Complete!

Baron Collins-Hill
May-09-2005, 8:37pm
well, i strung up my stew-mac campfire mando kit today, after 4 months of procrastination, and its being broken in as i type this. its quite loud, and the tone is pretty sweet, ive got an A9 and it like comparing llamas and grilled cheese... i think http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif .

ill post some pictures soon enough, apparently we are digital camera-less at the moment. its in the white at the moment, but ive got some blonde shellac im gonna brush on it. ill post some pictures then as well. if you want to see a few pictures of it in progress, go to my "luthier website" that i made for a web design course. please dont try to order anything, unless you really want to buy a campfire kit for $800. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif its under the construction link.

Baron Mandolins (http://www.kimfish.com/baronmandolins)

pictures soon!


Jeffrey Lewis
May-10-2005, 4:58pm
I'll come on over on Saturday to buy it, or break it. I mean break it in. Can't wait to se the photos. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sleepy.gif

Baron Collins-Hill
May-11-2005, 2:57pm
here are some hastily taken pictures i took this morning which arent all that focused. the neck has good flame and theres a hint of it in the back, who knows what it will do after i shellac it...


Baron Collins-Hill
May-11-2005, 2:59pm

Baron Collins-Hill
May-11-2005, 3:02pm
by the way, my far-from-tuned-ear says that this mandolin sounds tubby and loud. the first e sounded completely dead but woke up with some persuasion...


Baron Collins-Hill
May-11-2005, 3:04pm
back close

Baron Collins-Hill
May-11-2005, 3:06pm
strange veiw:

May-12-2005, 10:55am
Looks great, Phish! congrats... post more pics when it's finished.

J. Mark Lane
May-12-2005, 9:12pm
Nice. How many hours would you say you put into it? And what was the hardest part about it?

It looks great. Very nice work.


Bill Snyder
May-12-2005, 10:13pm
Where is your makers label? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Oh, and I suspect that with a little coaxing the flame in that back will be a bit more noticable.

May-15-2005, 12:35pm
Nice work, Lloyd. I mean Baron!

Seriously though, it looks great. Congratulations and enjoy.


May-15-2005, 4:24pm
You are a multi-talented young man there Phish,,, and busy too.
Good looking mandolin. I am impressed.

Baron Collins-Hill
May-15-2005, 7:55pm
thanks folks. i have no idea how many hours this thing took. id say that the hardest part was diving right in mentally and knowing that i may mess up, but that if i dont work on it, it wont get any more done.

i am thinking about building another one with some wood from around my house. ive got some cedar and some redwood, and some maple too. all i need to do is join it up and get it to thickness. i was also thinking about trying to carve an a stytle carved-plate from some junk wood. any suggestions?


May-16-2005, 10:41am
Excellant work!! The flame on your back looks great. The back on my campfire was very plain, but my top had some bearclaw.

The directions that come with the kit on finishing can be deceiving. PM me if you would like to talk.

Jim Garber
May-16-2005, 10:52am
The directions that come with the kit on finishing can be deceiving.
Please, more details on the glitches you have come across and the places in the instructions that are deceiving. I am about to embark on this journey and could use as much help as possible.


May-16-2005, 11:20am
Great job PhishPhan!

Looks very clean and well made. I agree, you need a maker's label. And maybe 'PhishPhan' in abalone on the headstock!


May-17-2005, 1:25pm
A brushing varnish was recommended in the directions. I stained and sealed first, finished per directions on the can (do not thin). I could not get the topcoat to flow. It was so thick that it was running AFTER it had flashed off and couldn't be worked out without making a bigger mess. After repeatedly applying the coats and sanding as directed it looked like ####, runs and sags everywhere.

Now I know how to finish, I used to run a 25 spray head finish line in a furniture factory. This was a real blow to my ego. After all, I followed the directions. I was so P****ed off I couldn't look at the mando for over 2 weeks.

When I calmed down, I decided to toss the directions and do what my instinct told me. I thinned the brushing varnish 1:4 (25%) with denatured alcohol, let dry completly between coats and wiped down with alcohol (to help it flow)before recoating. I applied 4 coats this way. No runs drips or errors and after a light sanding with micromesh and a final rub down with alcohol and automotive polish, it looked great.

Jim Garber
May-17-2005, 2:15pm
Thank you, toddjoles:

Finally someone answered my question on this brushing varnish. I was going to order some from Stew-Mac. You prob saved me some of the aggravation that you went thru. Of course, I have yet to even start the kit, but I will file your comments away.

BTW did you use any stain on the mandolin first? I was going to use their ColorTone Concentrated Liquid Stain (medium brown) to approximate that Sheraton brown look of the vintage Gibsons. Any ideas?


May-17-2005, 3:11pm
I used the stew-macs amber stain on the body with nothing on the neck. If I were to do it over again, I would use a mahogony stain on the neck as mine came out very light. It has darkened a little over the last year, but it will never get that beautiful dark red mahogony color that you expect from a mahogony neck.

Jim Garber
May-17-2005, 4:06pm
Have you posted pics of this anywhere? Can we see how it turned out?


May-17-2005, 4:16pm
I did,but here it is again. Sorry about the quality.

Baron Collins-Hill
May-17-2005, 4:27pm
have they recently changed to a maple neck? my instructions talked about a mahogany neck, but its not...

thanks for the finishing info
ive got some water based shellac that im going to test out on some scap first...

Baron Collins-Hill
May-17-2005, 4:28pm
btw, does anyone have a solution for a case? it kinda fits in an a style tkl

Jim Garber
May-17-2005, 5:16pm
I use this case (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/fg=101/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/544411/) from Musician's Friend for a few of my A models. I bought three last year for $20 each but the regular price it $30. Still pretty good deal for a decent case. TKL is arched and better quality but more $$$.


May-17-2005, 6:52pm
At the local music store all they had that would work for me was a $35 softcase. It works great for what I need as I only take it out of the house a couple times a month.

At home I keep it out all the time. I learned early on that if its out of sight it's out of mind. If I put it away it never gets played, but if I leave it on the stand it looks so lonely sitting there that I have to pick it up. As you can guess I am kid and animal free.

Jun-08-2005, 7:53pm
Hey bqaron, you should get that thing finished, btw i got the octave today, lets jam...