View Full Version : three of my mandolins

John Kelly
Oct-21-2009, 1:37pm
Hi all,
Newly signed up to this site and just putting a couple of pix of some of my hand-built instruments. I am based in Argyll, Scotland, and have been building for the past five years, since retiring from a career as a teacher of English. The building is a whole new direction for me and so far I have been relly enjoying it. :mandosmiley:
John K

Oct-21-2009, 1:54pm
Nice looking work, John! Welcome to the Cafe--


Oct-21-2009, 1:55pm
Those are stylish mando's! Welcome.
I guess it was the king's english you taught?

Oct-21-2009, 2:18pm
Ohh, Don't get a good Scottsman going on about the Crown...

Those instruments look very nice. Good job and Welcome to the Café.

Do you plan on selling these or are you strictly a hobby builder? If you're going to building and selling you should get listed in our Builder Database (http://www.mandolincafe.com/builders.html). There are instructions there for getting your info added there.


Oct-21-2009, 4:03pm
Welcome to the Cafe, John! Nice looking instruments - hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more from you in the future :)


John Kelly
Oct-21-2009, 4:15pm
Hi all,
Thanks for all three responses. Very friendly and welcoming introduction to the group, and I feel I will enjoy being a part of this site.
My teaching of English was in fact using that known as the King's (or at present Queen's) but as was pointed out I am a Scot and so think of it as Standard English, though lately we did try to encourage the use of our Scots tongue too. So many fine writers from our culture. Interestingly, the prevalence of television from the USA and the influence on our young folks has a big impact on contemporary language usage. The school I taught in, in Dunoon in Argyll, was also used by the US Navy while the submarine base existed in The Holy Loch. We had a contingent of around 100 young American pupils in an over-all school population of around 1000 students. Cross-cultural influences abounded!
As for whether I wish to build commercially or just as a hobby, I am more of a hobby builder, though I have managed to sell instruments to players who have heard them locally or have had them recommended by others. I do not wish to become a full-time builder as this would defeat the purpose of being retired, as I have been for the past six years. My main aim is to continue developing skills and to swap ideas with other builders and players.
Thanks again for welcoming comments, guys. :grin:

Earl Gamage
Oct-21-2009, 4:33pm
Nice mandolins. I admire that you build them for fun. It can be such a temptation to do fun hobbies for pay and there goes the fun.

Oct-21-2009, 5:35pm
Welcome! from another hobby builder. Maybe someday we can give each other an instrument.
Enjoy the Cafe.

Jill McAuley
Oct-21-2009, 9:32pm
Welcome John! Lovely looking instruments indeed!


Ivan Kelsall
Oct-22-2009, 2:19am
Hi John & greetings from Manchester UK. Your instruments look lovely,clean lines & very professional indeed. At first glance they seem to be a longer scale length that standard - are they,or is it just my ageing eyesight ?. They certainly look to be eminently playable,

John Kelly
Oct-22-2009, 4:40am
Hello, Ivan,
Nothing wrong with your eyesight, indeed. I build generally with a scale length of 375mm and a nut width of 34mm, so longer scale and wider nut than usual mandos. This arose from my being a guitar player and feeling that the fingerboard of the standard mandolin was a bit cramped - a view supported by many of my friends and fellow players who also play guitar. The longer scale length increases string tension too, which may or may not have an effect on the tone.
In the photo there is one mandolin and two octaves. I make my octave scale 540mm but have used 520mm when reqested by a player with smaller hands who also has not the flexibility to stretch. This is an advantage of building one-off instruments - you can suit an individual's requirements and have more fun doing something abit different each time!
Thanks for your and all the other comments so far; this is a very welcoming site.:mandosmiley: