View Full Version : "sleek black beauty"

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 7:53pm
I built this mandolin from some cosmetically challenged woods. The redwood top plate had two black streaks near the center seam, though it tapped well and had a nice audio spectrum. The four-piece Euro-maple back has some serious discoloration spots from a visitor when the tree was alive, and so on. I decided that the only route for these value-added parts was to make a black mandolin with them. I sprayed a clear coat, then mixed black Trans-tint dye with some lacquer and sprayed the color coat. After scraping the color off of the binding, etc., I sprayed the remaining clear coats. After buffing, I decided to name the mandolin the "Sleek Black Beauty", not in the spirit of pretense, but in the spirit of whimsy. Tom Magliozzi, of NPR's "Car Talk", lost a bet to his brother Raymond, and as penance, could never again utter the words "Sleek Black Beauty" (referring to some old sled from his past) on the air again. So here is my version of the "Sleek Black Beauty".

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 7:58pm
The bindings are rosewood, maple, bloodwood, and curly maple. The fingerboard is bound with curly maple, with ebony side dots. The headplate, bridge, pickguard, and tailpiece cover are ebony. A closer image of the top plate:

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 7:59pm
And the back plate:

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 8:02pm
The headplate:

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 8:05pm
An image of the treble side ribs, etc.

Dave Cohen
Apr-01-2008, 8:09pm
And finally, a heel view showing my typical treatment of the "scroll" binding.


Bob A
Apr-01-2008, 8:16pm

I really admire wooden binding too.

Apr-01-2008, 8:16pm
I dig it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif

Eric Hanson
Apr-01-2008, 8:17pm
I thought I knew that quotated reference. Too bad it doesn't have a convertable top.:D
Looks good even w/o any rust.
Nice to see the use of woods on the binding.


El Greco
Apr-01-2008, 8:21pm
Awesome job. Pretty in black. Excellent contrasting wood binding.

Apr-01-2008, 9:11pm
O.K. I'm stopping by! Cool-looking mandolin, I bet is sounds GREAT!


Skip Kelley
Apr-01-2008, 9:18pm
Dave, That is a beautiful mandolin! It looks great!!

Michael Lewis
Apr-02-2008, 2:29am
It looks Sci-Fi sinister bad, in a great way! Nice work Dave. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Bertram Henze
Apr-02-2008, 5:06am
It looks Sci-Fi sinister bad, in a great way! Nice work Dave. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
Yes, reminds me of H. R. Giger's designs, like this (http://www.hrgiger.com/ibanez.htm).


Apr-02-2008, 5:16am
I love the black finish with the maple binding. Very nice!!

Austin Clark
Apr-02-2008, 7:03am
nice Dave, very sleek! I like the bluish artifact of reflection in that picture of the back, too. Makes me think.... :cool:

Mario Proulx
Apr-02-2008, 8:25am
Très différent!

Jim MacDaniel
Apr-02-2008, 10:07am

Mark Walker
Apr-02-2008, 10:13am
Dave - VERY nice. Just call it 'black camouflage!' (Hiding all the naturally-occuring 'sins!')

I like it.

Apr-02-2008, 11:41am
I love the black finish with the maple binding. #Very nice!!
I second that! Nice contrast. Dave's bindings are about the most aesthetically pleasing I've seen. And the sonic quality of his instruments is killer.

Ivan Kelsall
Apr-04-2008, 3:04am
Oh boy! - That's an incredible looking Mandolin. I'll bet that'll make people take a second (& third) look wherever it goes - i just love the 'open' scroll & the binding,

Apr-05-2008, 10:53am
This is a beautiful instrument!