View Full Version : My newly built Octave Mandolin

Mike Black
Jan-02-2009, 2:43pm
I fell in love with Jim Hilburn's octave mandolin at the 2007 Winfield festival, and he talked me into making my own. I just finished and here are some pictures of it. One piece Sitka top. One piece Maple back and Morado fingerboard and trim. French Polish finish. The only thing I wish was better was the stain on the top. Next time I'll use an airbrush to stain the top. Should have asked the list sooner. :grin:

Thanks for letting me boast a little. I'm loving the sound of it. :mandosmiley:


Jan-02-2009, 3:09pm
Looks wonderful. Congrats on it.


Bob Wiegers
Jan-02-2009, 3:33pm
wow. you should be very proud.

Jonathan Ward
Jan-02-2009, 3:38pm
Beautiful work. It looks too pretty to play!

John Hill
Jan-02-2009, 3:39pm
Beautiful. Well done.

Jan-02-2009, 5:33pm
Beautiful work. Hard to tell from the picture, but I like the look of the top. I am curious how a guitar shaped f hole OM sounds in comparison to a tear drop shape with an oval hole that many OMs seem to favor?

Mike Black
Jan-02-2009, 6:29pm
The f-hole guitar shape is nice. It's good to play with other instruments (like a guitar) without geting lost in the mix. Plus with the f-holes, it has the punch and projection you'd expect with an f-hole instrument.

Jake Wildwood
Jan-02-2009, 9:30pm
Looks awesome! I think you're too worried about your stain on the top: it reminds me of a good dark ambery ale... rich and varied in taste. I like!

Cheryl Watson
Jan-02-2009, 10:01pm
Wow!!! That sure is purdy :grin:

The top has that nice old world handstained look to it; I like it a lot.

That back wood looks like it is fluid--like flowing lava.

What is the scale length?

A friend of mine, just bought a guitar-shaped F-hole octave from Bill Bussman and it is what you said, very punchy (and VERY loud) and sounds nice with a guitar. The Old Wave is also very light in weight; much lighter than a guitar. I know that I now prefer the f-hole octaves to the oval-holes but ,of course, it is a personal choice.

I know you'll build another, MB :mandosmiley:


Tim F Thornton
Jan-02-2009, 10:16pm

Mike Black
Jan-02-2009, 11:41pm
I think that the scale lenght is the same as the Old Wave's. It's 21.5" It's the scale lenght that Jim used on his Octave Mandolin. Thanks for everyone's kind words. :redface:

Gates Richards
Jan-02-2009, 11:46pm
Gorgeous! Let me know if you ever build another...

Scott Tichenor
Jan-18-2009, 9:03pm
Mike brought this over to the house yesterday and it's an impressive instrument. Gorgeous wood, deep resonant sound, great workmanship, wonderful radius fingerboard and easy to play. Outstanding work, Mike!

T Little
Jan-19-2009, 1:01am
That is a great looking octave Mike. I really like the stain the way it is. Where did the wood come from?

Jan-19-2009, 1:27am
oh my gosh. i mean seriously, holy ####(!!), thats cool.

i think that a lot of folks dont realize how amazing it is that the spruce and maple are one piece!!! it looks great and thank you so much for sharing!!

Jan-19-2009, 5:50am
Beautiful work, Mike. I love the top stain (and the back). It's very rich looking.

Jan-19-2009, 10:17am
Nice work!

Jan-19-2009, 1:41pm
Yes, definately nice work, I love the color.

How about a sound clip?