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Thread: Exotic wood f-5 mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    Just curious about what everyone out there thinks about the idea of using exotic woods to build F-5 mandolins. This is my latest build using Mango wood from Hawaii, it sounds incredible.
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  3. #2
    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    Here's a shot of the back
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    http://www.elkhornmandolins.com

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  4. #3
    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    And one more
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    http://www.elkhornmandolins.com

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    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    Here's one more of the Sitka top. This particular mandolin will be for sale at Fiddlers Green Music Shop in Austin, Tx. or you can contact me at elkhornmandolins@bresnan.net.
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    can we get some sound clips??? It looks really pretty!
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    I've built a lot of mandolins using non-traditional woods over the years; you can see a few on my website. If you look around a bit in the archives, you'll find mandolins made out of almost any material you can think of. Mango also makes nice back and sides for guitars. Your F5 looks great!

    j.
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  8. #7
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Looks really nice!
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    I love it! Perfect scroll. I want to do a rosewood F5 but I guess thats not too exotic.

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    Wow. I love mangoes, but the thought of building a mando out of the wood never crossed my mind.
    How would you compare this wood with more traditional wood, as far as how it is to work with?

    Can I be the first to say it? ... Tasty!!

  11. #10

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    I live in Hawaii and have seen a lot of mango Ukuleles, and other things made out of mango... bowls and such. I don't find mango very attractive. I'm primarily a guitar player but have recently started playing mandolin. I have a Weber big sky. It's a good box. One of the things I love about Mandolins is that beautiful curly maple wood. I never liked the sound of maple guitars so I never owned one, not I have a maple mandolin and love it.

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    Visually, I think it's stunning. I really like non-sunburst finish on that wood. Looks perfect to me. Can you describe the tone as compared to maple?

  13. #12
    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    The sound of this instrument is really nice and bright, not really that much different than maple. I think that the Sitka top really brings out the warm sweet tones of the Mango.
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    Registered User Gutbucket's Avatar
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    I was wondering when some one would build a mando from this wood. I posted a few weeks ago about a uke builder in Hawaii who makes custom ukes from Mango wood. Looks sweet, really.
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    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    I found a board of very curly mango on the Big Island 20 or so years ago...

    Someone had built a tree house in the mango tree the board was milled from, so there were nail holes every 20 inches or so in the board...

    Nice mandos between the stair treads, though.....

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Mango F-5? I thought it was a signature model for this guy:
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    Registered User John Hill's Avatar
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    That looks great. I love a dark blonde/amber tone mandolin & would love to hear it.
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    So, is it "Sweeter" than maple? Sorry, couldn't resist.
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    It has a very unique look in the back especially. I like it a lot. Wish I could hear it.
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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    That is a beautiful mandolin! The Mango is interesting but that top is just immaculate. I think am starting to believe that a plain blonde top is better than a sunburst!
    Bernie
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  21. #20

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    I wanted to add another comment. After I read my post I realized that I sounded insulting. I am currently building my first stringed instrument, a half finished uke kit. It could be Koa, I'm not sure. You are light years ahead of me in the scheme of things. And I really love the front view, awesome. The dark binding is striking. If and when I get through my current project I would like to try an A style kit build.

    Another poster mentioned a hawaii luthier who builds great ukes.... might be John Kitakis (sp?). I visited his factory the other day. He had some mango ukes there, also some mahogany and of course his koa ones. His son owns a near by music store called Hawaii Music Supply. Many of his fathers mandos can be seen there on his website.

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    "Many of his fathers mandos can be seen there on his website". Meant to say ukuleles.

  23. #22
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    sweet mangos and mandolins... these are just two of my favorite things!

  24. #23
    Registered User Elkhorn1's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for your comments, that's why I asked the question about what others thought about the use of exotic woods for mandolins. I was wanting to know if it was worth my while to pursue building out of these kind of woods or not.
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  25. #24
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    structural stability and sound quality being the big considerations here...

  26. #25
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "I was wanting to know if it was worth my while to pursue building out of these kind of woods or not."

    Mandos--unlike a lot of instruments--are not really limited when it comes to a choice of materials for the back and sides...

    Violin makers, for instance, try to keep the weight on the light side, thus eliminating a lot of maple (and spruce) species, not to mention other hardwood choices...

    But mando makers have built with heavy wood (Loars), lightweight wood, tropicals, fruitwood, hell, just about anything, and have had great success with various woods.....

    I'm hard-pressed to think of a hardwood that wouldn't work for an F5...

    So-ooo, go for it....




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