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Thread: if you could build your own madolin.

  1. #1

    Default if you could build your own madolin.

    well what I am asking is what type & kind of wood would you use & what style of body type would you like. me I would like some of that 500 year old maple wood from Japan that is use in Sumi mandolins & were I would take it from there I have no clue. well maybe I would use some Cuban mahogany if I could fine some. plus it would have to be an A style oval.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Wow!!! Where to begin? Why would you invest a small fortune in acquiring exotic woods for your very first imaginary build? Perhaps, not always, first builds usually will be less than perfect. The learning curve for acquiring the skills to successfully build a quality instrument means false starts, dead ends, mistakes, This being said---please post the occasional photo to show us your progress.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    So Oregon

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    I prefer A styles, double pointer models as well.
    "F" hole preferred, oval ok were I to select an American currently favored instrument

    However, I have been exploring the Seiffert flat top models for 30 years. Those were extraordinary.
    Seiffert used both maple and rosewood for backs and sides, I preferred the maple, having owned both.

    As I do not play Blue Grass... "F" styles being the accepted model, I have owned them and they have no special interest for me.

    Cuban mahogany, I have some planks. Good stuff, but there are other mahoganies that are fine.

    Be aware that much of the so called aged maple used in Japan and China may have come from Tibetan National Forests harvested by poachers.

  4. #4
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States
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    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    I kind of did that with my Spira flat top (cant top actually) with Engleman top and Western Australian Sheoak back (density like rosewood). It's my favorite mandolin.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Redwood for the top and wenge for the back and sides is a strong possibility.

    Sitka with curly walnut is also a strong possibility.

    Or redwood over koa.

    Bubinga, sapele, or curly maple for back and sides with any top wood are also strong possibilities. :-)

    I've built all these combinations and loved them all. Hard to choose.

    Of course I don't actually own any of my own instruments....

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  7. #6

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    And (imbibes in own gratuitous preference) beautiful instruments those are Marty; they look exquisite and I'd love to own one.

    Speaking of mahogany - recently there was a Bob Cunningham wire guzheng on _bay...nearly bought it. I had a Cunningham harp that was the schnitz. Just had to mention - you prbly know him...and that was some beautiful mahogany.

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  9. #7
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Forest Grove, Oregon

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Long scale, hollow body electric. A 4 & 5 string. Humbucker high on the neck. Maybe walnut, cherry or maple. Guitar body, single cutaway.

    Then an acoustic, same design, maybe standard scale.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  10. #8

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Redwood over curly maple, F style. Want a strong lower end while still having good projection.

  11. #9

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Red spruce over a one piece maple back F style, f hole with natural top and light amber back and sides so as to show off multiple build flaws to good effect.

    Oh, but I've already done this. Highly recommended. Got to hear a friend play it in performance. Sounds even better out in front.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  12. #10
    Registered User Ken's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    In Illinois, halfway between here and there.

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    I play three Mandolins that I've built. My preference is to use local woods for the back, sides and necks. In these instruments figured cherry, curly birch, and figured hard maple. Over the years I've used different top woods including European spruce and engelmann but have pretty much settled on Sitka spruce. Styles include oval and f holes on A models and my F style interpretation. There are a lot of woods and combinations of woods that can make a good sounding mandolin, and wood is only one of the probably several thousand things that contribute to the sound of the mandolin, probably the most important of which is the skill of the builder in shaping and assembling all the components.

  13. #11
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Saint Augustine Beach FL

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    I built this flat topped Lyon and Healy style mandolin a few years ago. Totally out of the mainstream. Back and sides are Australian Blackwood.
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    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  15. #12
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    DFW, America

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    I built my own mandolin once and it turned out to be the most beautiful piece of unusable junk I’d ever beheld. It was a fun project though, but my takeaway was that the good ones cost what they do for very legitimate reasons.

  16. #13

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    One thing people don't realize is that maple varies a lot, from extremely hard to extremely soft and pliable.
    These two mandolins have spruce tops from the same batch and ziricote back and sides from the same board, so the only real major variable that's different is that one has a rock birdseye sugar maple back and the other has a quartersawn bigleaf western maple back.

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    They sound pretty different.

  17. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    S.W. Wisconsin

    Default Re: if you could build your own madolin.

    Nice Marty, your mandolins always look great, sound the same too, great that is.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions. I say build several at once, out of different woods and pick the one you like best.

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