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Thread: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

  1. #1
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    I have wanted a piccolo mandolin for a few years now. Since my PMAS has persisted that long, I PM'd with a couple of Cafe members who own piccolos a few months back to get some advice (thanks, friends, I appreciate the advice). I was especially happy to learn that they really enjoy their smaller member of the mandolin family, and that they encouraged me to take the plunge. I put down a deposit with Mike Black in July, and now the build has commenced.

    For those not familiar with piccolo mandolins (also called sopranino mandolins), they have shorter scale lengths and smaller bodies and are tuned cgda, up a fourth from a mandolin (an octave above a mandola). Mike Black builds beautiful piccolo mandolins in either A4 or A5 models. Here's the link to his piccolo mandolin page: http://www.blackmandolins.com/piccolo-mandolins.html

    He's just started building an A4 with a Virzi for me. Here's the wood (Englemann) for the top, glued up.

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    I'm really excited about this build. I'll post pictures here as Mike sends them to me. I hope you enjoy following along.

    Best wishes,

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Yesterday evening, Mike sent me the next installment of pictures on my piccolo mandolin build. Here they are. Nice flaming on that maple, don't you think? I love seeing the small plane in the shot of the back. It really adds context to the carved wood we see in the pictures. I'll keep the photos coming as Mike sends them along. I think he's doing beautiful work and it's going to be a wonderful instrument!
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    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Very Nice indeed, and a virzi, that should be good bit of fun. Nice woods.

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  7. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    Yesterday evening, Mike sent me the next installment of pictures on my piccolo mandolin build. Here they are. Nice flaming on that maple, don't you think? I love seeing the small plane in the shot of the back. It really adds context to the carved wood we see in the pictures. I'll keep the photos coming as Mike sends them along. I think he's doing beautiful work and it's going to be a wonderful instrument!
    Please join us in the Mike Black social group! https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/g...hp?groupid=301
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  9. #5
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Please join us in the Mike Black social group! https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/g...hp?groupid=301
    Thanks for the invitation. I just joined. It looks like an active group and I look forward to participating!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  11. #6
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    And here are the latest pictures. Mike sent them this evening. Exciting!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Purr more, hiss less.

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  13. #7
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    And here's the latest from Mike. Virzi looks cool, huh? I hope this uploads OK, because I'm trying to do it from an IPad. I didn't want to make those of you who are following along wait to see the progress!

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    Purr more, hiss less.

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  15. #8

    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    pheffernan's Black mandolin and my Black mandolin both anxiously await the arrival of a younger brother or sister!
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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  17. #9
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    And here's the latest on my piccolo build! Mike just sent this headstock photo. He created exactly what I had envisioned in this unique inlay. I hope you like it as much as I do.
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    Purr more, hiss less.

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  19. #10
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    That's cool! It looks purrr-fect. Haha!

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  21. #11
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    And here is the latest progress report. Artists often express their creativity in details others would overlook. Mike demonstated that type of artistry in the heel button at the base of the neck. This was a real surprise for me and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I hope you enjoy it as well.
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  22. #12
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    For completeness, here's a picture of my piccolo that appeared in a thread today about the mandocello Mike is building. Quite the size contrast, huh?

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  24. #13
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    And here are the latest pictures. Mike has now stained and shellac-sealed the instrument. We were trying for a color between red and brown; sort of a burgundy color. I think he hit it spot on. Can't wait to see the finish completed!
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    Purr more, hiss less.

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  26. #14
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Meow, that is a fantastic little kitten!
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  27. #15
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Meow, that is a fantastic little kitten!
    Right you are, Matt! I am thinking of it as a 'kitten' mandolin due to it's inlays and its diminutive size. As Zach pointed out above, I can't wait to hear it purr! I think it will make great 'meowsic.'
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  29. #16
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mike Black Piccolo Mandolin Build

    Very nice. Great color choice, looks owwld!

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