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Thread: Latest build electric mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Latest build electric mandolin

    Finally finished the prototype and have played it so much my fingertips are bruised. Mahogany body, mahogany/maple/mahogany neck with persimmon fretboard and conventional trussrod. Tortoise celluloid pickguard, handmade bridge and pickup. Grover sta-tite open back tuners.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Cool, kind of Danelectro-ish. Tell us about the pickup!

  4. #3

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    The pickup is generally based on a P90. I made the bobbin from the same persimmon that was used for the fretboard. The base is .090” garolite from MasterCarr and it totally destroys saw blades - it’s just super rigid so you don’t get deformation of the bobbin when winding. P90 pole piece screws and the two alnico magnets are from Allparts. There are aluminum spacers and screws holding the bobbin together. The pole piece screws go into threaded holes in the base. 11,000 turns of #42 wire resulting in about 7.7k of dc resistance. I think the pickup is a little too hot and 8,500 turns might yield a sweeter sound. The two magnets are simply attached to the base with CA. I covered the coil with a protective layer ofmasking tape and then cotton string before I potted it in wax. Used shielded cotton insulated wire for the lead. It’s a very simple build.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Nice bridge. It looks like an Alembic bass model.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Busted. I had an alembic bass in for repairs a few years ago. I looked at the bridge and thought, I can make that. You need an X/Y table on a drill press, a dremel a hacksaw, and an internet connection to order stuff from McMasterCarr. I got my cheap Chinese made X/Y table on ebay for $60. Materials including the nonstandard size drill bits and tap cost me another $60 for enough to build five or six of these bridges. That is very economical. I can now build these in any size for any instrument application but some of the process is quite tedious. The key is having the X/Y table or a mini mill. Iím happy to share part#s and specs. It takes me about four hours at my speed to make one.

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  8. #6
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Really cool instrument, and I think it is great that you are willing to share what you have learned. Very generous.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    There’s plenty of luthery work to go around. I share, you share and if you’re better at doing something than I am, I’m happy to refer my clients. But not everyone is into the tedium of doing this kind of stuff or investing the time to learn. Somebody may want a bridge and contact me - or not. If someone feels perky, has the chops, and wants to make a bridge like this, they’re gonna figure it out regardless. I can just save them some time and maybe make a friend and learn something from them in the process. I’m not in this for the money - just sorta to fund more adventures in the craft. I’m retired and having fun doin this stuff. It wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I didn’t have ppl to share this with. Hey! Look what I can do... and then someone else does something new and we both celebrate. Like good friends at a rope swing on a river.

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  11. #8
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Fine instrument and lots of great ideas incorporated. Very generous attitude too in your willingness to share.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  12. #9

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    John, I checked out the vids on your tag line. I really appreciate your playing style. Makes me want to try building acoustic mandolins. I see you’re in Scotland. The singular day in my life when I had the most joyous fun was New Years Eve in Edinburgh as a 23 year-old American airman. I did it all and my date stole a policeman’s hat. I must have snogged (kissed) 50 beautiful women that night. God bless the Scotts, their hospitality and their music.

  13. #10
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Before I retired, 16 years ago, I was a schoolteacher and we had around 100 US children in our school (out of 900+ roll) as we had the huge US Navy Submarine base on the Holy Loch right beclose to where I live. It always amazed us that the base was here, on the Firth of Clyde, less than 20 miles from the most densely populated parts of Scotland, including our biggest city - Glasgow! We were the only location where the Navy did not have its own schools, I believe.
    You are right about Hogmanay, not just in Edinburgh but throughout Scotland. It was traditionally a much more widely celebrated event than Christmas; my father worked on Christmas day, as did many others, but had the New Year period off.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  14. #11

    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    The first sixteen years of my career was related to the unthinkable. Most of the 100 or so children will be better people. I believe that.

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  16. #12
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest build electric mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Cool, kind of Danelectro-ish. Tell us about the pickup!
    Well, he is in Jersey

    He should have got one of those Revlon lipstick tubes for the pickup cover. They were in New Jersey at the time as well.

    Rick Turner would probably appreciate the bridge.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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