Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Good start to the year’s work.

With most of the construction on the e-mando now complete, it’s time to concentrate on the tailpiece and bridge and getting the mandolin set-up. And that’s exactly what I look at in this video!

And just in case you’ve been wondering……..here’s the latest Standard. It’s rosewood body has been fully bound in cocobolo and the next step is fit the neck.


Thursday, January 04, 2024

Phil Hare

Amanda and I have just heard the sad news that Phil Hare passed away last night.

He was so thoughtful and kind and we always enjoyed his visits to our home/workshop, not only to hear him play but also listen to his anecdotes. He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him and enjoyed his virtuoso playing.

If you don't know of  Phil you should

RIP Phil, we’ll miss you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Chambered Body E-mando: part 5

Here’s the latest e-mando video. In this one, I demonstrate how I shape/carve a neck. Although I’m working on an electric mandolin which has a relatively short neck, the process is the same for any of my instruments.

Also below are some choice photos.

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Friday, December 15, 2023

Recent Acquisition


I’ve just been lucky enough to get my hands on this lovely vintage bass guitar. Although it’s lost its head badge/logo, I do know it’s a “Top Twenty” made in 1968/9. These were made in Japan by Teisco at a time when they were being taken over by Kawai. This brand was sold via Woolworths in the UK, and I can distinctly remember seeing Top Twenty Guitars along with Audition amplifiers in my local branch.
Whilst researching, I came across this interesting catalogue page.
It seems the bass originally costs around £29, which according to the Bank of England inflation calculator equates to £400 today (2023): so, not exactly a cheapo!

First impressions?
The build quality is generally very good, with nice details such as the use of faux tortoise shell for the pickguard and the chrome “Jazz” bass control plate. The body is around 6mm thicker than the Kay bass I had recently, and that extra mass makes this one feel a more substantial guitar. It has a nice, real rosewood fretboard and the thumb rest is also solid rosewood. All this helps to give the impression of quality.
The bass is generally in good condition for its age with its original finish albeit with a few dings! However, it’s in dire need of a re-fret; the frets have clearly been levelled many times over the years and are now so, so low!
In spite of the frets, I’ve had a go at playing it and I’m really happy with the tone of the single coil pickup.
Unfortunately, as with the majority of used bass guitars, the tailpiece cover is missing: where do they all go?
I’m sure I’ll discover a few more issues once I dig and delve. But that will have to wait until the New Year and my current projects are complete!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Chambered Body E-mando: part 4

Well, it’s all getting rather exciting! In this video, the neck gets glued to the body, the fretboard goes on and is fretted! It’s all coming together nicely.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Chambered Body E-mando: part 3


All the work on the chambered body is now complete. It’s quite a complicated build and in the latest video you can get an idea of the amount work that’s involved. Of course, you don’t have to go to these extremes! But hey, I guess that’s the way I am!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Chambered E-mando: pt 2 (and a bit more)


I’ve been working on the Adirondack top for the new chambered e-mando and here’s a video to show how it was made.

Also I’ve just started preparing the wood for the next Standard: this one is a commission for a player who has one of my e-mandos. I was very happy with this request as I’ve always felt that someone coming back for another instrument is one of the highest compliments that can be made.