View Full Version : JM-75 Mandola

Sep-19-2005, 5:28am
I was going for that vintage look. I built every part of this mandolin several times before I was satisfied. This was the first time that I used Abalone for inlays. This was also my fist archtop. It was inspired by Kay and D'Angelico.It is solid cedar with Aspen and pearl paint trim. I made the one foot bridge out of a balsa wood yard stick which produced a loud rich and warm tone with an excelent midrange. The string action is as low as it gets with no buzzing or dead spots. I am excited about this because it is the first instrument that I have built that plays and sounds great. I hope that one day I will be as good at this as some of you vetern luithers.
The cats name is stimpy, he played too hard and had to take a nap.

Sep-19-2005, 5:39am
My name is Van but I put Dave on all of my instruments to honor the memory of my brother who was an excelent musician.

Sep-19-2005, 5:47am

Sep-19-2005, 5:49am

Skip Kelley
Sep-19-2005, 6:37am
Nice work Van! It's style looks vintage. Keep up the good work! Now time to build another! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Sep-19-2005, 8:31am
Now just do one in blue and Ted will have to buy one http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif.

Sep-20-2005, 5:09am
Thanks for the words of encouragement Skip, I never stop working, I am building two at the same time now. Hey Paul, Who is Ted?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Sep-29-2005, 6:11pm
Looking at all of these fantastic instruments on this site shure is an inspiration. I am just a novice and have only a small amount of handtools that were wore out when I bought them secondhand. My main tool is sandpaper on a stick, sounds pitiful but I manage to get the job done. I am about to invest in some quality tools and hopefully that will take care of enough manual labor to give me some strength left for the fine details. Well its time to go get dusty!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Sep-29-2005, 8:28pm
This is an insanely handsome instrument, and it looks like something Flash Gordon would play. Great job!

Sep-30-2005, 1:48am
The peghead "Dave" is really interesting (as well as everything else about it) What did you do for that border around the letters?


Bill Snyder
Sep-30-2005, 6:20am
I made the one foot bridge out of a balsa wood yard stick which produced a loud rich and warm tone with an excelent midrange.
I have never seen a balsa wood ruler. All of the yard sticks I have around the house are made from conifers. Balsa breaks very easily, cuts easily and weighs next to nothing. I don't know how it would work as a bridge. The strings when brought to tension would either break it or cut it.

Sep-30-2005, 11:54am
Thanks for the nice complement glauber! I agree, I never thought about it before but it does look like a Flash Gorden instrument.:D

Sep-30-2005, 11:56am
Thanks Ron, I used pearl paint to outline the Dave logo as well as the binding around the F-holes and sides.

Sep-30-2005, 12:05pm
Bill, I bought that yard stick at the unclaimed baggage store, I had never seen a balsa wood yard stick before and you are right, it is a very fragile wood but I laminated two pieces together with TightBond wood glue and that made it strong, However the light strings did dig into it but it still tunes properly. It was just an experimental thing anyway. I am planing on building another caped off with bone to prevent the strings from cutting it.

Oct-02-2005, 9:56pm
Let us know where you find a case that will fit that mandola. It looks real nice -- keep up the good work. What does it cost to buy one of your instruments?

Oct-03-2005, 12:46am
Thanks for the compliment OTW!
I have only been building for a year and I am just now starting to get my mojo working. I havent sold anything yet because I dont want to rip anybody off. If I decide to sell one, it will have to be perfect, so the buyer will be pleased and not have any gripes. I have only made original concepts and never tried to follow plans so in otherwords I messed up several times during the course of experimenting. When I get ready to sell, I will not be as high as a seasoned builder untill I get as good as they are. I am building a case for this one, you just about have to build your own with somthing like this.

Gail Hester
Oct-03-2005, 12:56am
Van, definitely a fine vintage instrument vibe. Kudos for doing your own thing and doing it well.

I’m having a custom mandola case built by Ameritage (part of GWW) and they’ve been great to work with, reasonable price too.

Oct-03-2005, 6:00pm
Thanks Gail!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif