Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Cutting neat mitres is a ridiculously time consuming activity, but very satisfying when they come out right!


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Family Group Photo

In the last post, I mentioned that the 'zouk was now residing with its two siblings. Well, here is a great family group photo that Adrian sent me.  From left to right; tenor mandola, octave mandolin and the bouzouki. Really pleased to see them altogether, cheers Adrian!

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Navazouki Completed

Adrian’s bouzouki is now finished and residing with its two siblings. Below is the last video in my bouzouki mini-series, which includes a great demo by Adrian.

And here are few photos of the completed ‘zouk for you.
Bouzouki Versatility
I’ve made a variety of instruments from the "extended" mandolin family and it occurs to me, how flexible the Irish Bouzouki format could be(is!).  This one is custom built and therefore tuned to Adrian's preference;  GDAD with 3rd and 4th courses strung in octave pairs. But by changing the nut and saddle, you could use unison strings, tune it GDAE and you’ve got yourself a long-scale Octave mandolin. The neck has 17 frets clear of the body and 660mm scale, so a capo at the 5th fret gives you mandola tuning, a scale of just under 500mm and 12 frets clear of the body. Capo at the 12th and you’re in to mandolin country with 5 frets clear and scale of 330mm.  Interesting eh? I’m sure regular ‘zouk players have already realised that!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Abalone Highway

Here is a rare photo of the Abalone Highway which runs through Indian Rosewood………..
Actually it’s the back stripe of Ewart’s mandolin!
And here’s his rosette.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

A wet Bank Holiday Monday

With today being an even wetter than usual Bank Holiday Monday, I thought my time might be better spent in the workshop. So, I cleaned up the body of Phil’s twin-point; it’s now ready to have the rebates cut around the edges to take the purflings and bindings. 
And I thought that it would also be a good opportunity to start cutting the abalone for Ewart’s rosette, which I started on last week.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Phil's back

Just glued the back on to the rim of Phil's twin-point mandolin;quite liked this photo!


Friday, August 08, 2014

42 Holes!

42 holes, drilled as accurately as humanly possible! Beginning the next batch of mandolin tailpieces.