View Full Version : My first mandolin.

Feb-06-2006, 1:59pm
I'm almost done building my first mandolin, was going to do a kit mandolin then I decided I'll try it from scratch. I wish I would have taken a few more pictures of the process, I wasn't sure if I could do a very good job so I didn't get a lot of beginning stage pics. Here's a few.




I'll post a few more later.

Chip Booth
Feb-06-2006, 4:17pm
Looking good. And yet another new member with a great screen name you would think would have been snatched up long ago.


Feb-06-2006, 4:19pm
Looking good. Have you strung it up yet?

Feb-06-2006, 4:35pm
Yep I have it strung up. I have to put on a few more coats of laquer. Here's a couple more photos. I couldn't believe this screen name hasn't been gotten yet also. Tailpiece was my next choice.





Feb-06-2006, 4:56pm
Those are some pretty colors.

Did you play it for a couple of days before you took it to the spray booth? One of John Hutto's secrets was that he would take his works in progress out and Jam with them. I have heard lots of stories about him sneaking off into corners and sanding on them a little and making adjustments. He would also send the un-finished mandolins to the owners for a test drive. I have seen a lot of naked Huttos in jam sessions over the years. Its a shame John is no longer with us.

One small builder I know, he is retired and builds at his own pace, was telling me he had an A model that just might be his best yet. He didn't want to show it off to me until he put the finish on it. He said he has been playing it for the last 6 weeks... he said he is not ready to put the finish on it yet, he is too busy enjoying the raw sound of the naked mandolin. I can't wait to see it.

Feb-06-2006, 5:34pm
Yeah I played it some ( I don't know how to play a mandolin yet ). I know a few licks and have started to learn a few songs. It really sounds great, my dad and brother both have production mandolins and there is no comparison. I used Siminoffs book to build this one, all the components are tuned and everything. Now I have to build 2 more, LOL.

Here's another photo, I'll get one of it with the strings, and maybe a couple when I get done finishing it and buffing it. I have to say it was really fun to build and it was a learning experience to say the least. My next one should be a lot nicer, I went very basic on the binding and and stuff, very glad I did now.




Feb-06-2006, 5:58pm
Are you related to Tom and Scott Morgan?

They have been known to build some mighty nice instruments... Scott has built several guitars under the "Morgan" name.

Feb-07-2006, 9:23am
I don't know anyone in my immediate family that builds instruments. I've worked on instruments for several years now and just decided to build something. Plus I didn't have a mandolin.

Feb-07-2006, 10:11am
peghead, that is a stunning looking mandolin there. The back looks just awesome. I am sure it will sound great too.

You know it's a shame you have to learn how to play mandolin on such a beginner mandolin! Maybe you should send it to me and I'll send you an old Kentucky A style mandolin so you can leanr the ropes. haha http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Fantastic first mandolin there!

Feb-09-2006, 8:56am
Thanks for the compliments, I'm proud of how it turned out. It isn't perfect, some of the guys on here make some beautiful mandolins. I did learn a lot and I'm starting # 2 which should turn out better.

I also have to give some props to a lot of guys in the builders forum, I struggled mightily with bending the sides and a few other things. I wasn't registered member so I didn't post but I used info already available and it really helped.

Right now I'm kinda waiting on the weather to get better before I put on the rest of the finish, and buff it all out, but I'll get a photo or two of it posted when I do. I guess I'll just have to practice playing in the meantime. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I sure need it.

Skip Kelley
Feb-09-2006, 11:48am
Donald, It looks great! Awesome job! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Feb-09-2006, 12:32pm
That does look great. Keep up the good work. It amazes me how some of these people just build an excellent first mandolin. NICE!

Mark Walker
Feb-09-2006, 7:21pm
Wow... that's one awesome-looking first mandolin. #I thought about trying to build one once - for about 15 seconds. #My daughter said I should; my wife reminded her that I only do 'square' things - like building shelves and cutting 2x4's and firewood and so on. # She (my wife) is right though. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Feb-10-2006, 11:03am
Donald, nice work...report back with the sound...Man, I wish I had the skill to do something like...