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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I know there are some MandoMakers lurking out there but was wondering how many we have and how much interest there might be toward posting pics and info. Of course, you can't beat the Mandolin Cafe Forum for the best info on the web, but it would also be nice to have our own little room in the OLF house as well.

In the past, we have fostered interest and discussion for other types of guitars and even CNC. Going forward, I'd propose that we just get some threads going and if there is enough interest, then we can appeal to Lance if it makes sense to have a separate sub-forum.

So, I'll start the ball rolling with my effort so far in building my first...an A-style with F-holes. Check out my effort so far at
http://www.donohueguitars.com/recent-ne ... d-progress

I look forward to others signing the Mando roster.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:46 pm 
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I've been wondering how your progress is going on the Mando JJ. Looking great (from my untrained eye).

I really love this picture too. Very cool.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Very timely. I'm just getting ready to start my first (F5) though I'm going with a kit from Siminoff.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Hi JJ -

Here's a simple flat top mando I built roughly following Graham MacDonald's book -
please excuse my poor excuses for photos. It's sapele with a Lutz top, Chechen (I think) peghead veneers and fb. Sounds like a mando, louder than I expected, and has a nice sweet tone, imho. BTW, it was nice to see you in Kalamazoo a couple weeks ago, wish I'd had more time to talk!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Nice mandolins guys!
Yikes. where do I start?
Guess I'll just post some photos...

Coupla' oval F hybrids...
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F4C closeup...
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Friend's 3 point and his Loar...

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Three point peghead with "Handel" tuner buttons...
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Distressed copy of the one and only Loar A5...
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A5C...snakehead copy...
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V4 original design...
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V6 original design...
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A model back with bigleaf quilted back...
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Blond 3 point (mine)...
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Loar F5 copy with my own version of the "flowerpot"...
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Thanks for looking!
Have fun and let's get this subforum going.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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OMG Haans...the mother lode indeed! I was hoping you'd chime in. I also liked seeing some others efforts but you must admit, we have a least one journeyman amongst us!

I don't really know how to get it all started other than just start asking questions.

Does anyone have any tips on connecting the neck to the body? I'm aware of the standard dovetail as well as the modified dovetail that Mario shows on his website http://proulxguitars.com/js_mando/js_11.htm . A tutorial on pulling off this joint would be really helpful.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Wow Johann your mandos rock!!! The V4 is my personal favorite and I love the silverburst too. Incredible mandos and excellent pics too - nice work!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:46 pm 
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I Absolutely love that V4 I will be adding those Pics to My Website as " Other Builders I Like " Under EyeCandy if thats ok with you sir.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Guess this Irish Bouzouki will fall into this Mando family. This is the third one that I have made. Larry
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Koa
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Wow, that is a stunning body of work there Haans!
Now I've gotta go clean all the drool off my keyboard!

Joe


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Koa
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Beautiful stuff guys.
Man, I could look at your work all day long Haans... you set the bar real high!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:46 pm 
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I'm with Joe! Jaw Dropping stuff! Beautiful Mandos, all around. Nice Bouzouki too! [clap] [clap] [clap] [clap]

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Koa
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Not trying to hijack, but with all the mandolin builders, I thought this was a good place to ask. Are there different styles of mandolins for different styles of music? Specifically, the only mandolins I see around here are F style. These are seen at Gospel/Bluegrass sings. When I've talked to the players about this I can never get a straight answer. Usually they just screw their faces up like they've eaten something sour when I mention A style mandolins. Is this just tradition, or is there a reason for the preference?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:28 am 
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I'm enjoying my first attempt at mandolin construction -- it really appeals to the sculptor in me. I'm doing an F5 ala Roger Siminoff. I just tonight pulled the glued-up ribs out of the form, so tonight is the first time I've seen the top and back mated up to the sides, and it looks like a pretty good fit. That's a great feeling!

Anyway, the pics say it all.

Ken


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:58 am 
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I'm making zoukuleles, and, currently, a variation on an Irish Bouzouki for a player from Ireland who'll be coming to get his instrument at the Newport Festival in FL. I have photos of my first zoukulele on my web site (see link below). No photos of the current bouzouki project online yet - too busy building to spend time uploading photos.

Obviously, these aren't traditional mandos, but I consider them related instruments, and I thought some of you looking at this thread might be interested. I think of them as hybrids between mandos/zouks and flattop guitars. So far, I'm extremely pleased with the sounds I'm getting.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:37 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Ken, very clean work!
Larry, very nice looking zook!
Sorry to open up the floodgates, but that's just a smattering of over 240 mandolins and mandolas over a lot of years. Be happy to post some more later, but let's see some others...
JJ, I'll be doing a dovetail in a week or two and I'll photo it. Basically, I use a straight dovetail, it doesn't taper. Do it on a bandsaw, freehand and fit with mini rasps and files. You can make the tail I use tapered also on the bandsaw, but I don't find any advantage over a straight tail, and there is more glueing surface on the back with the straight tail.
Joe, Hesh and Dave, been making mandolins for a long time. Thanks for the kind words!
Mike, sounds like "bluegrass snobbery" to me. The real hoot is that a lot of folks will buy a crappy pac-rim F that sounds like a sled rather than a good A. They go for the scroll and all the bling...got to be like Bill's ya know. Sure, mandolins are made for every kind of music you can think of from Celtic to jazz.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:23 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Haans...thanks in advance for the offer to post dovetail construction pics...I'll be sure to have a few questions along the way.

On the issue of Bluegrass snobbery, I like to think of it as rigid adherence to tradition and an effort to protect the Bluegrass brand. When you consider that those standards also include a total dedication to acoustic only instruments (no instrument amplification) it actually protects the high standards to which we, as builders should be aspiring. Whether its Tony Rice's pre-war Martin Dred or Bill Monroe's Loar mando, we should be aware of the image and historical significance and have respect for the genre.

On the issue of F5's vs A-styles...it's obvious that there's far more acceptance for creative license in the latter. Mario once mentioned that if you make an F5, you'd better be prepared to be highly scrutinized by the Mando Scroll Police. Traditionally self-imposed law just seems to dictate far more rigid adherence to all of the pomp and bling. I'm reserving my entry into that pool for sometime after I feel more accomplished with the A-style. I'm sure that Haans could speak with more authority on this issue.

I am an absolute rookie not only in the construction of mandolins but also in my knowledge of the history and lore (Loar) of the instrument. So as far as I'm concerned, if anyone can share their knowledge in that regard, I'll bet that others would also appreciate getting schooled in the history and evolution of the instrument.

I'm actually quite excited about the prospect of this sub-forum taking off. I hope that by lighting the fuse, we can lure some of the more experienced (you know who you are) as well as the wannabes out into the light to not only form a forum but to also establish some new friendships and extend the fun beyond just guitars.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:23 am 
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Great thread, JJ.
I`m starting to do some research in areas other than 6-string guitars.
It would be really nice to find most of the needed info right here at home.
I`ll have to check out the Mandolin Cafe now. I remember seeing mention of it a long time ago. Unfortunately, I`ve slept since then.
I`m interested. [:Y:]
Coe Franklin

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Its no fun to be posting pictures of my mandolins after Hans, but what can you do? idunno I have made some mandolins and 8 string oddities ('zouks, guitar bouzouki, tin can mandos) over the years, and some proper mandos as well.

Here's one I made just last month, some of you have seen my build thread of it over on MIMF. About to get varnished now. Costing less than $100 materials (including tuners), made of only local woods, I give you the "Norwegian Wood mandola".

Image






Here's a F5 from a few years back

Image





F5 head

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An even older one I made with local woods, an A5'ish mandolin

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Mahogany
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As Arnt said, Hans is the man, those F4's are to die for! Arnt, your work isnt to sloppy either mate.

I have a Mando thing going. I prefer playing in fifths and there is a range of tone colour that plain old appeals to me. I have an OM and a Mandola on the bench but will need to wait for the weather to settle here before I can make a lot of progress. Here are a couple of Mandos I did last year. No great skill Im afraid, but plenty of enthusiasm, mostly local timbers and mostly bent tops.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Arnt...thanks for entering the discussion...I was hoping you would. I remember when you first built that F5 a few years ago... it is as spectacular now as it was then, Sir!

Nice array of instruments, Sebastian.

Does anyone have sound clips of the different styles? It would be interesting to hear the differences that can be achieved from different models as well as different tonewoods and treatment.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:50 pm 
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JJ Donohue wrote:
I'm aware of the standard dovetail as well as the modified dovetail that Mario shows on his website. A tutorial on pulling off this joint would be really helpful.


JJ, here's how I make them: I use a straight tapered joint (as described by Siminoff in his “Bluegrass Mandolin” book, and I believe this is how Mario does it too). That means this end of the neck needs to get its final shape before it is glued in, which t is easy to do with a band saw and an edge sander; you can use hand tools too, of course. It is important that the neck matches the width of the fingerboard in this area, which must be slightly tapered (in section) to match the angle of the heel, or this part will not come out right. Have your fingerboard ready and make sure you know how these parts come together before you do this.

Image





I saw out the mortise in the body and chisel out the waste. Here’s how it looks, freshly sawn. After this, I use chisels and sanding sticks to get make the joint as nice and tight as possible.

Image






The neck and body are glued up on a simple fixture that aligns them sideways, and it has a “cradle” that elevates the body the right distance for a proper bridge height.

Image






The heel part of the neck is trimmed level with the rim, and the neck is secured with a couple of plugs (in holes that are drilled straight down, to accommodate possible future removal), which are glued in. The plugs are sawn off before the back is glued on. Easy cheese! As you know, the traditional neck joint for these instruments is a dovetail. On the outside, this joint and the dovetail are difficult to tell apart if done well, except for the straight sides on the tapered joint; the dovetailed necks are often have an elegant concave shape on the side of the heel.

Image






Here's why the neck and FB must macth; if not, a tiny part of the neck will be part of those little whatchamacallits that I'm rasping in the picture (what are they called, anyways?), and the glue line be visible both there and down along the side of heel.

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:35 pm 
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Koa
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Here's a Blackwood/Sitka Mando built last year.
Attachment:
mando2.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:56 pm 
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Koa
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Thanks, Haans and JJ. I appreciate the responses.
BTW, all of the mandos look great. Beautiful work, everyone. Wonderful to see.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Arnt...thanks for the pics...it's becoming clearer. I'm still looking forward to Hans showing how he does his dovetail and then I'll decide on which method to adopt.

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