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  1. Replies
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    Re: Why carve a plates outside first?

    I chose violin family instrument as an example as carved soundboards on them go back to at least the 16th century, rather than the carved archtop mandolin and guitar which were the invention of...
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    Re: Why carve a plates outside first?

    In a factory environment with machined blocks of wood of regular size where the plates are carved mechanically by a duplicating router or CNC router it would make sense to carve the inside first, by...
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    Re: Curious Mandolin

    And that looks like more tortoise shell around the soundboard and the rosette. Instant confiscation at almost any customs inspection in the world! The structural implication of that edge decoration...
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    Re: italian spruce

    There is lots of spruce growing in Northern Italy and several suppliers who cut and sell it. As far as I know all spruce in Europe is the same species, but growing in different climatic conditions...
  5. Re: Scale length for an octave mandolin build

    I suggest 22" as a good length for an octave mandolin. It is a good compromise between string gauge and playability, in that strings from .012"-.046" suit a GDAE tuning and the frets are close enough...
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    Re: String spacing

    This might help, it seems to work quite well.

    181299
  7. Re: Remembering Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni

    Evelyn very generously contributed to the Kickstarter campaign a few years back, putting her hand up for a bent-top flat back classical mandolin which she said she enjoyed playing. She was a great...
  8. Re: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

    I spent a couple of days in the old warehouse that the Stearns collection was housed in back in 2012 or2013 and photographed and measured pretty well all the mandolin family instruments there. From...
  9. Re: Brescian/Cremonese mandolin body dimensions

    Stephen Morey mentions 6 Cremonese mandolins for his book with the body lengths 245mm,226mm, 243mm, 225mm, 235mm, 229mm though he notes most of those measurements were from the various museums'...
  10. Re: Octave Mandolin in Australia - struggling to find up to date

    There are several of us who make such things to order in Australia, but in a higher price bracket :)
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    A new book on ukulele building

    An off topic moment, but I would crave your indulgence.The first copies of my new book on building ukuleles have arrived from the printers, but it is really only relevant for folks in Australia (and...
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    Re: New five course mandocello

    Hello Bernie

    Nut is 48mm / 1 7/8" wide (I think). That is the width of the headstock shape at the nut. I didn't make up a template as I figured this was a one-off, so I layed it out based on my...
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    Re: Octave Mandolin History

    The rise in popularity of mandolin orchestras in the 1890s led to the introduction of various mandolin family instruments, initially following the pattern of the bowed string instruments: mandolin,...
  14. Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Itis also structural. The uninterrupted longitudinal arch is a stronger structure than an arch with a hole cut on the centreline of the arch. They can be carved thinner for the same strength and...
  15. Re: Seeking information on great-grandfather's mandolin

    It looks like a higher grade Italian mandolin in the Neapolitan style, perhaps from Catania in Sicily with all the pearl around the edges. At the same time it could be of Greek manufacture if you...
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    Re: Radiotone Double Chamber Mandolin

    The double soundboard mandolin model was the Radiotone 855r and pretty much the top of the range. They were mostly built for the British market by a co-operative of stringed instrument builders in...
  17. Re: Satin NC lacquer how to advice needed

    I have done satin finishes using 10% gloss lacquer. Three double coats, let sit overnight, then a scuff back with 400grit paper to get rid of any bits and then a couple of coats with straight...
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    Re: New five course mandocello

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Maybe a mandolin family book, looking at mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins, bouzoukis and mandocellos. Just an idea at the moment, pulling in elements of the...
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    Re: New five course mandocello

    I built it here in Canberra for a customer in Victoria and being delivered next week. His wife is a cellist as well while the buyer is graduating up from a mandolin. I will see if I can get someone...
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    New five course mandocello

    A five course mandocello (with added high e string). Carved sitka soundboard, Australian blackwood body and mahogany neck. 25" scale, 14" wide body, 3" deep and slightly deeper at the tail. CF...
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    Re: Becoming a Luthier-How?

    Do as much repair work as possible to start out. If nothing else, it will show how instruments should not be built and build up a customer base. If possible find a more experienced person to work...
  22. Re: Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

    The fundamental difference is that the thickness and graduations of an F4 style is quite different to that of an F5. A search through the archives here will find diagrams of thicknesses.

    If you...
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    Re: Bridge sizes vs tone

    I think most experienced builders would agree that the length and width of a mandolin bridge will effect the tone, but I suspect that no-one has done enough, if any, experimental work to have any...
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    Re: The Mandolin Project Book

    I didn't either until some friends asked me to build one for their niece and I found there was very little written information available. I discovered they are rather fun to build so another book on...
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    Re: The Mandolin Project Book

    Thank yo for the kind words. It is always good to hear the books have been useful. There is a book on ukulele building just about ready to go and that should be available later this year. Written in...
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