View Full Version : New poe in the works

Chris Biorkman
Apr-11-2008, 6:14pm
Here are a few pics of the new mandolin that Andy is building for me. Needless to say, I am pretty stoked.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-11-2008, 6:20pm
I will continue to update the thread as I get more pictures. Here is the back...

Apr-11-2008, 7:51pm
What model? Grand? colors. i'm on the list too and I'm having a hard time with color choices. What number is this going to be?

Chris Biorkman
Apr-11-2008, 8:03pm
I can't remember if he said it was number 23 or 24. When I placed the order, I originally intended on getting something pretty traditional looking, pretty close to a Gibson MM, but a few months ago I bought an Ellis so I decided I wanted something a little different.

About a month ago, I saw a Harris (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=51174;hl=harris) F-5 that really caught my eye. Mine is going to be pretty similar, but it is going to be top and side bound on the body, have a abbreviated pickguard, and a traditional fern inlay on the headstock. Everything else will be the same. I told him I wanted it to sound like an old Gibson.

Anyways, I'm pretty excited as this is the first instrument I've ever had custom built. Andy has been extremely helpful and very understanding of my constant waffling over the details.

Apr-11-2008, 10:01pm
Congrats! That looks like a ton of potential!


Apr-12-2008, 8:28am
biorkman, looks like a nice one piece back. Can't wait to see it stained. Isn't it fun to watch it take shape? Andy is great to work with. Makes me want an F5 from him.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-12-2008, 8:33am
It is fun. I was actually fine with the wait until he sent me the pics yesterday. Now I can't stop thinking about it.

Steve Cantrell
Apr-12-2008, 8:38am
You're going to love it. My mandolin gets better on a daily basis.

Apr-13-2008, 4:01pm
Lookin good man! Yeah those in progress pictures are cool to get but make the waitin' hard. Look at some of his older Driftwood models, he has some very interesting color combos with some of those.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-13-2008, 8:18pm

Just went to the Driftwood website and it seems to have been shut down. My wife doesn't really like the color scheme I'm going for, but I guess it's really more important what I want, right? She has an unexplainable bias against all things orange and yellow anyways. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Apr-13-2008, 8:47pm
It appears you are correct. I couldn't get it to come up either. I'm sure Andy will add tose to his current web site later. Yeah, get what you want or you will not be happy. Why have something that looks like everyone elses? Mine has a traditional look with just enough differences to make it "different".

Chris Biorkman
Apr-13-2008, 9:13pm
I really like the burst and back on yours. I was tempted to get a quilted back like yours, but when I told Andy the tone I was going for, he told me I should use the back that I ended up choosing.

Ivan Kelsall
Apr-14-2008, 3:52am
Chris - That Mandolin ''in the white'' looks so beautiful,personally if it were mine i'd go for as light a finish on it as i could - it looks positively edible. I can understand why you like the lighter colour of the Harris Mandolin in your link as well,why cover up
beautiful wood ?,

man dough nollij
Apr-14-2008, 5:49am
It looks quite beautiful in the white. Is there a functional reason for the (non-traditional) way there is a thicker band of remaining material (as opposed to being sanded thin) at the rim? I really like the aesthetic, but I'm wondering if there is a tonal reason for doing the top and back that way.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-14-2008, 6:25am
The rim ends up looking traditional.

Apr-14-2008, 12:26pm
Andy's work is just so awesome.

Apr-15-2008, 1:48am
maybe this ellis is the color you're after ?? whatever you choose i'm sure you will enjoy the process of sharing a vision with mr. Poe..

Apr-15-2008, 1:51am
you betcha !!

Apr-15-2008, 1:53am

Apr-15-2008, 2:10am
You gonna try the SS frets? I had them installed on mine and they are well worth the extra 100 bucks. After a year and a half of use, I barely have a mark on one fret. And they stay nice and shiney as well. On my standard fret mando after 2 years of play they need dressed or replaced.

Apr-15-2008, 7:58am
I sort of like those thick rims around the top and back. Is he going to leave them that way? Maybe he should.

By the way, I haven't heard an update on Andy's fingers in a long time. How's he doing?

Steve Cantrell
Apr-15-2008, 8:52am
The tailpiece on that Ellis is great. The whole mandolin is great, for that matter. The last I heard Andy's fingers were much better. The last time he mentioned them to me he didn't think they would impair his abilities, and judging by his last few mandolins I would think that's the case. A scary experience, I'm sure.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-15-2008, 1:33pm
That's an interesting looking Ellis. I've seen some slight variations in his mandolins (redder bursts and such), but never anything that different from him before. I'm assuming that's one of his older ones from way back when.

Based on how Andy's latest mandolins have looked, I would say that the injury hasn't really affected his work. When I talked to him, he said that as long as his thumbs and index fingers were intact, he would be just fine.

The outer rim will look traditional when it is finished.

Darrin, I did decide to go with the SS frets.

Apr-15-2008, 5:24pm
the ellis is an older one. i just came across these pics on the net. i hope whoever shot them doesn't mind me posting them. i love the color in fact i find the recent ellis's to be all a bit samey.. still doesn't make the wait any easier.. look forward to seeing your mando come together..

Dean Henderson
Apr-17-2008, 9:39am
You're going to love it. My mandolin gets better on a daily basis.
<span style='font-family:comic sans ms'><span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:navy'>#15 gets better every day, as well.

biorkman, you're gonna love it.

When is Andy saying it will be ready?


Apr-17-2008, 11:48am
I like the look of the rim squared off in the photos at the top. I wonder how it would affect the tone? Nice looking nonetheless.

Chris Biorkman
Apr-17-2008, 8:21pm
Andy told me a month ago that it would be two to three months until it was done so I would say between a month and a half and two months.

Chris Biorkman
May-08-2008, 11:28am
Two more...

Chris Biorkman
May-08-2008, 11:29am

Out in the Woods
May-08-2008, 11:52am
Andy does such awesome work. Beautiful! Love the black/white binding.

My order must be right behind yours. I believe once he starts the finish process on yours - the carving begins on mine.

May-09-2008, 6:23am
Very nice! I see he is doing his points a little different than before. Can't wait to see it with a finish on it.

Chris Biorkman
May-31-2008, 3:55pm
A few new ones. I can hardly wait...

Chris Biorkman
May-31-2008, 3:56pm

Jun-01-2008, 12:37pm
Nice biorkman. Is that strung up in the white, or is it a blond? When do you expect delivery? Keep the pics coming...

Jun-04-2008, 4:02am
Beautiful, you should only be a couple months away now. I love the sandwiched neck, kinda like the line running up the back of stockings! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Chris Biorkman
Jun-21-2008, 11:02am
Some new ones...

Chris Biorkman
Jun-21-2008, 11:03am

Chris Biorkman
Jun-21-2008, 11:04am

Chris Biorkman
Jun-21-2008, 11:04am

Chris Biorkman
Jun-21-2008, 11:05am
Last one. I can't wait to get my hands on this thing.

Jun-21-2008, 1:42pm
Very nice, MAS is kickin' in! How would you guys describe his necks more of a v-shape or rounded? I'm guessing he will make them however you like.

Eric F.
Jun-21-2008, 3:54pm
Oh, yum!

Skip Kelley
Jun-21-2008, 4:36pm
That is as nice as any mandolin I have ever seen! A real work of art!! Andy is a master craftsman!!

Jun-21-2008, 5:31pm
&lt;inapppropriate comments removed by Moderator&gt;

Jun-21-2008, 5:48pm
&lt;inapppropriate comments removed by Moderator&gt;

Stephanie Reiser
Jun-21-2008, 6:01pm
Beautiful mandolin coming along, there.
VERY beautiful child, too.
Congratulations, Chris, on both!

Out in the Woods
Jun-21-2008, 6:18pm
Wow! The fern inlay just pops in the headstock photo. *drooling like a baby*

Steve Cantrell
Jun-21-2008, 7:23pm
Andy Poe makes a mean mandolin...and that baby is crazy cute.

Brad Weiss
Jun-21-2008, 8:02pm
i never joke about ignorance or lack of integrity
Them's droolin' words!

Love the babies and the mandolins. #Who can I get to make me a good baby for under $1200? Should I get the Female model or the Male? Mine's already 12 years old, so I might need to upgrade.

Ted Eschliman
Jun-21-2008, 11:05pm
Folks, if we can't limit our comments to the topic at hand, we're going to lock down the thread and start revoking discussion privileges.

Chris Biorkman
Jun-22-2008, 1:04am
Thanks, Ted. Also, thanks everyone for the kind words. This whole process has been so exciting, as well as being an exercise in patience. My experience with Andy has been great. Now if I could just hibernate for a month or so until it gets here so that I could maintain my sanity I would be great.

Jun-22-2008, 3:28am
Looks wonderful! Beautiful color choices, you will be a happy man!

Jun-22-2008, 12:11pm
that is one amazing looking instrument! wow....just wow.

Jun-24-2008, 11:42am
Biorkman - Oh man, I knew that would look delicious with stain on it. #Andy's creating another fine work of art. I hope you can assuage your impatience with that Ellis of yours. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Jun-25-2008, 10:46pm
That "Ellis" Mandolin is actully Becky Smiths mandolin that Becky built herself. She had Ellis graduate the plates for her, and put his name on top as a kind of a thank you. Becky did the rest herself back in 1976 (I think) Anyway that mandolin is a "HOSS" and Becky can make it sing! In regard to the tailpiece Becky made that too, as she knows a bit about jewlery making, so she foundered her own tailpiece to boot! I love that mandolin, plays like butter.

Jun-25-2008, 10:56pm
I guess you'll be selling your Ellis cheap once you get this one, if so shoot me an email http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Seriously though, very nice looking mandolin, congrats. I wasn't sure about the two different bindings but it looks great. Awesome color too.

Chris Biorkman
Jun-25-2008, 11:01pm
Thanks, PJ. I was seriously second guessing some of the decisions I had made, but now that I have seen what he's done, I'm really happy with the way things are turning out. Oh, and I'll be selling my Ellis just as soon as pigs fly. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jun-25-2008, 11:39pm
Well, nice job on your decisions they certainly came together. I'm too lazy to read everything, what top did you go with and what type of sound did you shoot for? Never say never with mandolins, you never know when you'll come down with a bad case of MAS http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Chris Biorkman
Jun-25-2008, 11:46pm
I went with red spruce and told him I was looking for a classic, Gibsonesque tone. My marital status prohibits any MAS related indulgences for the foreseeable future, so I think it's pretty safe to say that the Ellis isn't going anywhere for at least a while, but I guess you never know.

Jun-26-2008, 12:12am
Sounds cool, let us know how it sounds. I was teasing about the Ellis, you seem to be a little less insane than some of us.

Chris Biorkman
Jun-26-2008, 10:28am
Sounds cool, let us know how it sounds. I was teasing about the Ellis, you seem to be a little less insane than some of us.
Well, I was planning on being buried with it. That's normal, right? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jun-26-2008, 10:59am
Now your acting a little insane. How about being cremated with you favorite pet?

Chris Biorkman
Jul-28-2008, 9:44pm
Two more. Only a little more french polishing to do. Should be here in about two weeks.



Jul-28-2008, 10:17pm
This guys mandolins are beautiful. Do they sound as good as they look? What happened to his fingers. I would hate to see such a talented builder have to stop. He is still young and has many good years left. I would love one of his mandolins. But by the time I could get one they will be ten grand. When this kid is fifty he will one of the best if not the best. Great clean work. Love it.

Chris Biorkman
Jul-28-2008, 10:27pm
I was concerned when I heard about his injury (selfish i know) but I'm pretty sure it hasn't affected the quality of his work. He's getting cleaner with each one.

Jul-28-2008, 11:23pm
What happened to him?

Chris Biorkman
Jul-28-2008, 11:36pm
He lost the tips of a few fingers in a shop accident a while back. He's completely recovered and told me that it affected his playing more than his building.

Jul-28-2008, 11:44pm
That is a tough one.I wish him a complete and speedy recovery.

Jul-28-2008, 11:47pm
Oh by the way. Your mando looks great. I hope you two fall in love and have a long and lasting relationship. She's beautiful.
Best of luck to you two.

Jul-29-2008, 3:09pm
Yeah he took the ends off of his pinky, ring and middle fingers at the first joint with a jointer. Seems to not have effected his building. I have pictures if you would like to see them, of his fingers that is.

Mark Seale
Jul-29-2008, 4:18pm
Which is precisely why my jointer is in the corner gathering dust and Summertime Santa dropped off a low angle #7. #That is the only tool in the shop that goes beyond respect to genuine anxiety.


Jul-29-2008, 5:25pm
Two more. Only a little more french polishing to do. Should be here in about two weeks.
Thanks for the eye candy, biorkman. I thought it was getting close. I can't wait to see the final product!

Brandon Flynn
Jul-29-2008, 5:29pm
That back is excellent!

Mikey G
Jul-30-2008, 12:45am
Man, Oh Man...These mandolins I see on the Cafe are inspiring me to want to become a luthier when I retire in a few years. There are some absolutely gorgeous mandolins on these threads, from all different styles, buiders, and owners who play all types of music. Mabye this is an epiphany! Now... where do I start?

Jul-30-2008, 2:42am
lookin' good.. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-09-2008, 2:06am
Gorgeoous mando! I was at the shop the other day, and it seems to be coming along well! Congrats!

Chris Biorkman
Aug-17-2008, 9:29pm
Here are some completed pics. I couldn't be happier with the execution. The sound clips he sent me sound great too.

Chris Biorkman
Aug-17-2008, 9:30pm

Chris Biorkman
Aug-17-2008, 9:32pm
Full frontal.

Chris Biorkman
Aug-17-2008, 9:33pm

Chris Biorkman
Aug-17-2008, 9:35pm

Aug-17-2008, 9:53pm
nice !!

Steve Cantrell
Aug-17-2008, 9:55pm
What a beauty. Very nice.

Aug-18-2008, 12:28am
darn it. youre a lucky man, bud. enjoy the heck out of it!!

Joel Spaulding
Aug-18-2008, 12:35am
BEAUTIFUL! That headstock and inlay are gorgeous and dare I say, perfect.

I think a few folks#here are anticipating its delivery almost as much as you, Biorkman. Let us know when she comes home.

Aug-18-2008, 4:36am
WOW! What a beauty! Love the inlay! The 14th of this month was my two year anniversary with mine!

man dough nollij
Aug-18-2008, 4:52am
Biorkman, what do you call the colors? The top looks a little pumpkinish in the pics, and the back a little more red. Looks great-- please describe how you worked with Poe to get the colors spec'ed. I like the subtle burst on the back, with more even tint on the front. Yep!

Chris Biorkman
Aug-18-2008, 6:35am
Thanks, guys. Lee, I already have a traditional looking F-5 in my Ellis so I wanted to do something a little different. I was about to go with a violin style finish until I saw a Harris mandolin about six months ago on this site that caught my eye. There is a link to it on the first page of this thread. Anyways, I told Andy that I wanted something similar, but that he could do as he saw fit with any changes he wanted to do. He suggested the fern inlay and the abbreviated pickguard instead of the full size one. Although this probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, I really love it and couldn't be happier with the results.

Michael Wolf
Aug-18-2008, 8:10am

wonderful mandolin, very tasteful. Would you share these sound clips?

Chris Biorkman
Aug-18-2008, 8:24am
I'm not sure how to post a sound clip.

Aug-18-2008, 11:58am
Looks fabulous biorkman. Congrats. I love that back, but the headstock is simply gorgeous. Andy does such nice inlay work. That's sure a keeper. Give us some comments on the tone...

Aug-18-2008, 12:03pm
Beautiful. Andy does some very nice work. Enjoy!

Tim Pike
Aug-18-2008, 12:11pm
What a beaut! Would love to hear it. Maybe someone with more computer skills than I could direct you to add a sound bite, we all would love to hear it!! Enjoy it anyway!!

Chris Biorkman
Aug-18-2008, 12:20pm
One more detail shot...

Aug-18-2008, 12:29pm
I hope I get to play one of these some day. His work just keeps getting better and better. Where did the idea for two binding colors come from? I don't think I've seen that before...

Chris Biorkman
Aug-18-2008, 12:40pm

I saw a pic of the Harris below and I liked it, so that's where I got the idea.

Aug-18-2008, 1:13pm
Biorkman - very elegant. Beautiful in every respect.


Chris Biorkman
Aug-19-2008, 9:00pm
Well, it arrived this afternoon. First off let me say that I have very high standards when it comes to workmanship. The last two mandolins I have owned (Collings MF-5 and Ellis F-5) have both been exceptional in this department. Call me obsessive, but the first thing I did when it arrived was to inspect it from top to bottom. The workmanship is fantastic and as close to perfect as you can hope to achieve in something that is handmade.

The neck is a little beefier than my Ellis, but is still very comfortable. The mandolin is very responsive and resonant and is very even across the strings. It's very loud and is a little brighter than my Ellis, which I think is a pretty dark sounding mandolin. Anyways, that's all for now. I couldn't be happier. Andy was a pleasure to work with and he nailed the look and tone that I wanted.

Aug-20-2008, 4:07am
Congrats! The wait is finally over, now let the fun begin! Welcome to the Poe owners club! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-20-2008, 6:37am
Congrats! #The wait is finally over, now let the fun begin! #Welcome to the Poe owners club!
Yes, welcome biorkman. Glad to hear it arrived okay and that you are very pleased. Did Darin tell you we get together and swap our Poe's once a month? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Aug-20-2008, 2:01pm
Looks beautiful. Mine (#20) gets sweeter and mellower all the time. Enjoy!

Aug-21-2008, 7:40am
Did Darin tell you we get together and swap our Poe's once a month? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
Poe swapping!? Now your getting a little kinky there aren't you? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Chris Biorkman
Aug-25-2008, 7:02pm
Some new pics are up on his site. Here are a few of a more traditional one, although the back is pretty wild.

Chris Biorkman
Aug-25-2008, 7:03pm

Steve Cantrell
Aug-25-2008, 9:02pm
Whew, Mercy. Looks like a cousin to my own.

Aug-25-2008, 9:33pm
That is a beautiful mandolin. He's really nailing custom and traditional looks!