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Neoclinus
Sep-26-2016, 5:21pm
I recently finished up my first instrument, and thought I'd post some pictures. It is a mandola with a 16" scale length, built to plans drawn by my friend James Curtis and with his assistance to keep it all from going horribly awry...

Top is Engelmann spruce; back, sides, and neck are maple. Western bigleaf I believe for the sides and middle of the back, and white or sugar maple for the rest. It's triple bound on the body with ebony binding (fun times...), and I laminated the same veneers I used for the pufling under the fingerboard and peghead for visual continuity. (I included a close up of the side to show the binding scheme). The finish is water-based acrylic lacquer, except for the back of the neck which is French polished shellac.

Starting with a one-piece bridge, so far so good. Allen tailpiece and Rubner tuners, which by the way work beautifully. I have Waverly tuners on my main mandolin, and comparing them has been interesting. Pretty comparable quality, at least in the smoothness and complete lack of slop or play in the worm gears. Beautifully machined, and considering their price I'm very pleased with them. Much higher quality than the Schallers that I initially put on the mandola.

Anyway, thoughts and feedback are most welcome. Thanks for looking!

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Steve Sorensen
Sep-26-2016, 5:30pm
Very attractive. Would love to hear it.

Steve

billhay4
Sep-26-2016, 5:39pm
Ditto.
Bill

Graham McDonald
Sep-26-2016, 8:25pm
Looks great. Was that one of the ones I saw back in May?

Neoclinus
Sep-26-2016, 11:48pm
Looks great. Was that one of the ones I saw back in May?

Yes, indeed it was! Thank you, it was a pleasure to meet you and see your excellent book in person. I very much hope to cross paths again.

And thanks all for the kind words, I'll try to get a video of it in the next few days.

foldedpath
Sep-27-2016, 12:41am
Neoclinus up there is a friend here in town. I've heard and played this instrument a few weeks ago, when he was over for dinner and tunes.

Super impressive for a first build. Great fit and finish, and very playable with a strong tone.

We jammed for a while with his playing the minty fresh mandola on OldTime and Irish tunes with me backing on guitar (he's a very good musician as well as builder). The mandola fits well in that space. Then I played it for a bit. I'm no expert on mandola, but I found a few of the slower Scottish tunes like Haughs of Cromdale and The Braes Of Locheil that sounded very good on this instrument, using the greater sustain compared to mandolin.

This is a great example of someone who already owns a nice luthier built mandolin, who plays it well, and wants to explore mandola in a way that few of us can manage... just going out and building one.

Skip Kelley
Sep-28-2016, 5:41am
That is an amazing first instrument! With that kind of talent you should be starting number 2!

Neoclinus
Sep-28-2016, 5:41pm
Thanks for the compliment Skip! I'm sure #2 won't be too far off, it's a slippery slope once you start... You get all those pesky ideas about what would be fun to try, or what you could do differently or a bit better and there's no turning back!

Skip Kelley
Sep-28-2016, 7:30pm
Thanks for the compliment Skip! I'm sure #2 won't be too far off, it's a slippery slope once you start... You get all those pesky ideas about what would be fun to try, or what you could do differently or a bit better and there's no turning back!

You are so right; there is no turning back! It is fun to try new ideas!

Neoclinus
Oct-01-2016, 6:17pm
I finally overcame my extreme disinclination to be in front of a camera and made a quick and dirty clip of me playing the new mandola. Forgive my playing, I'm still getting used to the longer scale. The sound quality isn't great either, but at least it gives an idea...


https://youtu.be/1jo_5ToEDRs