View Full Version : Red Line Traveler Mandolin with Mystery Wood

Feb-01-2009, 5:59pm
Hi All,

This is my first post on the Mandolin Cafe. I've taken guitar lessons for years and one day a few weeks back my wife says to me "I really would like to get you a mandolin as a combination Christmas, Valentine's day and birthday gift". I've always loved mandolin but never had one before. Of course I said yes and I bought a Weber Buffalo from a forum member. Well I travel for work on ocassion so I wanted an instrument I could take along. Lo and behold I came across a thread about Ken Olstead's experiences with ordering a Traveler Mandolin (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45261&highlight=traveler) and I was very impressed by your comments and what I saw. So before I continue I wanted to say a big thanks to all of you. The Mandolincafe seems like a wonderful resource. Now on to the story.

Friday I called up Steve at Red Line Resophonics and he is just the nicest guy to talk to and shared information very easily. We talked for quite some time on the phone about his business, mandolins and what I was looking to purchase. Steve sent me pictures of his mandolins in progress within an hour and I picked the one with the "mystery wood" (you can see this thread here from Steve http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47322&highlight=traveler about the search to the origins of this wood). Here are the results:

First a picture of the wood slightly wet so you can see approximately what the finish will resemble:


Next a picture of the Carpathian Spruce top being glued:


Here is a picture of the sides attached to the back with a view of the braces:


Lastly here is a picture of the back attached to the sides (Sweet! :grin:):


Steve is cruising through the work. I'm amazed how fast he is going. I ordered a radiused fretboard, gloss finish, binding top and bottom (We'll be talking about the choices) and gold hardware. Yeah! Steve is still wondering exactly what the wood is but he thinks it might be some type of Brazilian Cherry, at least that is what we are calling it. I hope you like it.



Jill McAuley
Feb-01-2009, 6:12pm
Congratulations - looks like it's going to be a beauty! I'm planning on ordering a Redline Traveler when I get my tax refund back, I can't wait! Do post photos of the finished product for us, really interested to see what that back is going to look like!


Feb-01-2009, 6:16pm
This is my first post on the Mandolin Cafe. I've taken guitar lessons for years and one day a few weeks back my wife says to me "I really would like to get you a mandolin as a combination Christmas, Valentine's day and birthday gift".
Where can I find one like this? (nice mando by the way;) )

Ken Olmstead
Feb-01-2009, 6:36pm
Its like getting an iPhone, you never look at things quite the same again! Congradulations, that is going to be a sweetheart!! I love mine!! (as if you couldn't tell!) :))

Now take your wife out to dinner and buy her flowers!!

Feb-02-2009, 1:46pm

I am very fortunate that my wife is so understanding. Good advice.

Thanks Grandmainger and Jill,

I'll gladly post more pictures as they come my way.


Feb-04-2009, 3:08pm
Steve sent me a few more pics. One shot is my top being glued and the other is a shot of my back and a number of backs being glued at once.

So for me my top is glued and the body done. The binding goes in next. I left it up to Steve to decide what looks best but he is thinking using a tortoise outer binding, with .02" white / .02" black inside of it or possibly a Ivoroid-Black-Ivoroid binding. He is leaning towards the tortoise. Next comes the neck pocket. Installing the neck and the frets and then the long process of finishing.

On a related note I'm interested in a hard or more sturdy than a soft case for this Traveler. I posted some information on a TKL Zero Gravity case here http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47003 to see if it might fit. If anyone has this case and can see if the measurements might work I and others would appreciate it.



Oliver R
Feb-04-2009, 4:54pm
Bl**dy hell!
It's clampfest!
That will certainly not go pop.
Looks absolutely great so far.

Ivan Kelsall
Feb-06-2009, 3:49am
Gorgeous wood - it does look a bit like Rosewood. Kenneth's Walnut (my favourite wood) version is a beauty as well,but Rosewood or whatever it is,is going to look stunning. As for Steve's Mandolins,looks like his fame is spreading - deservedly so,

Feb-09-2009, 3:56pm
Steve sent me some new pictures. He really is doing an incredible job. Attached are views of cutting the neck pocket, the rough neck, the neck sanded and and setting the neck. Notice the binding added (Ivoroid-Black-Ivoroid). Yeah!

Thanks for looking,


Jake Wildwood
Feb-09-2009, 6:27pm
Lookin' hot to trot!

That's gonna be a knockout!

Feb-11-2009, 9:48am
Update. I've attached front and back pictures as it heads to the finish room. Additionally there are two more front and back outside pictures after a few coats.