Friday, September 06, 2019


I guess all luthiers search for the Holy-Grail of wood finishes; something that’s a doddle to apply, looks great, doesn’t affect the sound, doesn’t affect your health etc. etc. But having, over the years, used acid-catalysed melamine, two-pack polyurethane, nitro-cellulose, water-based acrylic, the one lesson that I’ve learnt is that there’s no substitute for hard work! Like many of my colleagues, these days I tend towards shellac-based finishes or various oils.
The current archtop mandolin is being French Polished and is looking quite lovely! I put together this video to give you a taste of the polishing process; it's not intended as a "how-to" guide. Hope that you find it interesting.

Thursday, September 05, 2019


I can’t believe it, this is my 500th blog post. Hate to get sentimental about these things, so let’s push on.
 I just got this batch of wonderful Sitka Spruce in from the USA. They will,of course, be used for archtop mandolins. Although they are nice and dry and ready to use, it will be a few months before the next archtop gets started!