View Full Version : My very first build

Jan-13-2008, 2:15am
I have been wanting to get into playing 5 string electric mandolin for a while but was never really satisfied with the choices in my price range. I had also been wanting to build m y own instrument and found I had the time at my mothers house this winter break. I went with a 3 piece maple-bloodwood-maple neck through design with a 13 7/8" scale ebony fretboard. The body wings are maple burl. I got the bridge from Andrew Jerman and the rest of the hardware from stewmac. It has an EMG select strat in the bridge position and a select humbucker at the bridge. I plan to swap out the neck position pickup for a lace sensor. It is still unfinished, I might stain the body wings red or amber before I finish it, any suggestions? It still needs to be cleaned up a bit in places but it plays and sounds like I wanted it to and I am pretty proud of it, even though its not quite complete. http://photos-076.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sctm/v184/122/35/17704076/n17704076_30824725_4452.jpg

Jan-13-2008, 12:23pm
A man after my own heart! I made a similar instrument in similar circumstances a few years back. Mines a little more "caveman" than yours, which looks stellar, and doesn't get played much since I went acoustic. If I were you I'd keep the varnish color light so as to not lose the visual contrast at the center strip. Maybe a honey-gold sort of shade? Nice work!

Jan-13-2008, 2:44pm
Thanks, unless I stain the body wings red I will keep the color light. I dig the natural look of your mando, what sort of pickup is that?

Jan-13-2008, 3:43pm
Neat profile. Did you do anything to reenforce the "horns"?


Jan-13-2008, 9:45pm
It's a cheapo strat pickup; I cut the end off and rewound the coils.

Jan-14-2008, 12:05am
cool idea with the pickup, I wouldn't have thought of that. In response to Antlurz I didn't think it was necessary to reinforce the cutaways, they feel solid.

Jan-14-2008, 12:27am
Isn't there a lot of short grain in there (esp. the scroll and esp. if it's burl)? I like the design a lot, though - kind of reminiscent of Shutt, or Gibson Style O guitars... or... Prince. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

How does your pickup switching work?

Jan-14-2008, 3:17am
There's a bit of short grain, the way the wood is sawn most of the short grain is near the very end of the scroll. No pressure should be applied to any weaker spots but I'll just have to be careful. The switching is set up with independent tone and volume for each pickup with a 3 way selector switch so I can blend each pickups's volume in the middle position. If you were asking about how it works performance wise, right now the neck and bridge pickups sound a little too similar for me, probably because the pickups are so close together. That is why I plan to swap out the neck pickup for a lace or maybe a carvin.

Feb-10-2008, 4:08pm
Here's a photo if it finished, its a little rough around the edges but I know what to watch out for next time. Now I just have to get my band to practice more.

Feb-10-2008, 6:30pm