View Full Version : Recently completed

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 10:10am

Some recently completed instruments. This mandolin has a western red cedar top, claro walnut back/sides/neck, ebony trim. Binding is curly maple and bocote. 13.88" scale length. Now with its' new owner.

Jim Garber
Feb-14-2018, 10:22am
Nice, Dave. Cedar and claro walnut sounds like my dream combination. Very nice looking and I liked the understated design. I would love to hear it sometime.

I am trying to remember: do you have your own particular bracing system?

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 10:26am

This mandolin was built on spec, a by-product of last year's GAL convention. I went to dinner w/ Guitar luthier Steve Kinnaird, his wife, and his shop co-worker. I snatched up the bill and got to pay. Steve was not entirely comfortable w/ that. He asked me what woods I built mandolins from. I replied w/ my most usual choices. He asked; "What about cherry?" I couldn't see anything wrong w/ cherry, since it has about the same density & Young's moduli as maple. So, he countered with "Well, if you are going to pick up the tab, how about I send you a cherry mandolin set that I have sitting in my shop?" I couldn't argue with that. I'd be surprised if some builders here haven't already used cherry, but this was a first for me. Based on this first anecdote, I can posit that cherry is a perfectly good mandolin wood. This instrument sounds fine, i.e., it sounds like a mandolin of its' type. I think I'll keep it. Top is Engelmann spruce, trim is macassar ebony. Finish is French polish, new for me.

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 10:40am

Here is another one similar to the first one above, except for a standard (i.e., post-through) headstock. This one has an Engelmann spruce top, curly maple back/sides/neck, macassar ebony trim. Binding is bocote and maple, w/ bocote outermost. The bocote can be attractive; it bends well, and gradually darkens over time, similar to cocobolo. You get the most variegation in that stuff if you flat-saw it, aka horizontal growth ring orientation. This one is finished w/ nitro lacquer, w/ dark golden brown transtint dye on the back, sides, & neck.

Feb-14-2018, 10:51am
Beautiful work.
I really like the shape and style.
Cool bridge design too.

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 10:52am

Here is a mandocello in Engelmann spruce and curly maple. Curly maple and bocote binding, w/ curly maple outermost. Trim is W/African ebony. Finish is NC lacquer, w. a subtle all-honey amber transtint dye burst, per the customer's request. The lily headstock inlay is from DePaule, so I can't claim to have originated it. It was still a chore to keep that many small pieces in order. Scale length is 25". This one is awaiting shipment.

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 11:00am

Looks like I bungled the attachments on the first post, and posted the mandolin in the third post twice. Here are the (correct) photos of the mandolin described in the first post, walnut b/s/n, wr cedar top, slotted headstock, clear NC lacquer finish.

Denman John
Feb-14-2018, 10:12pm
I really like the looks of your 2 point mandolins ~ especially the one with the slotted headstock ~ very classy!

I tried going to your website and it looks like it's down ...

Do you have any recordings of the 2 point mandolins? I'd love to hear them, as I'm sure others would.

Thanks for sharing

Dave Cohen
Feb-14-2018, 10:35pm
John, I took my website down last summer. It was a lousy website, with mediocre photos and some text that just sounded too shamelessly self-promoting for my taste. I am working w/ a photographer friend to take some good photos, a tall order! Taking good photos of shiny curvy things without getting the dreaded glare spots is surprisingly difficult. I am planning on moving to Northern California sometime this spring or summer, and will probably wait 'til I am settled there to put up a new website. Never have invested in any recording equipment - sorry about that. I have one guitar to finish, and once I get that done, I will take a short hiatus from lutherie until I am resettled.

Graham McDonald
Feb-15-2018, 1:57am
As usual, lovely work.

John Kelly
Feb-15-2018, 5:30am
Stunning work, Dave. Tasteful and never overstated. ;)

Feb-15-2018, 10:23am
Wonderful work Dave, youíve been busy...!

Love the photographs, I know thatís been a thorn in your side ... glad you found someone to capture and more accurately represent your amazing work. Would love to have a go on the cherry A-model with the Cohen C-holes. I did not know you as a guitar builder, hum.... I might need to talk to you about a tenor if you are game.

Moving to California...? If you are driving from East to West, please know that you have a place to stay in Iowa City- right off I-80.
You have my contact info, donít hesitate to call. We have a safe place for you and whatever stringed creations you might have with you at the time ...:)...

Still loving my March 2016 Cohen redwood A..!

Take care.


Pete Jenner
Mar-04-2018, 10:44am
Nice work Butch.

Jim Garber
Mar-04-2018, 11:29am
Wow, Peter Jenner. I don’t recall you posting here in awhile. How are you doing?

As for Dr. Dave’s mention of cherry. Correct me if I am wrong but you don’t find as spectacularly flamed cherry as you do other woods. I know cherry is often used for dulcimers for some reason.

Jim Garber
Mar-04-2018, 2:55pm
I played a good handful of Dr. Dave's mandolins back in 2011 at CMSA and he is on my short list for both tone an playability. I love the tone and look of Lyon & Healy mandolins so it is right in my zone: a modernized L&H. Ah, some day.

Claro walnut and cedar sound like an amazing combination to me, too.

Jim Garber
Mar-04-2018, 4:26pm
Nice work Butch.

Who is Butch?

Mar-05-2018, 8:34am
What great instruments, Dave!


Drew Egerton
Mar-05-2018, 10:10am
I really like that binding! very nice look