Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Standard Mandolins?

I’ve had a few emails from people wanting to know what’s happening with the Standard mandolins, well… here’s an update for you.
First, the Standard Plus: the body has now been fully French polished and whilst that is hardening off, I’m applying a few coats of Tru-oil to the neck as I want to go for that “speed” neck feel. In all truthfulness, the raw wenge neck has such a wonderfully smooth and hard texture that you could get away with no finish. The wenge with a coat of oil on looks like dark chocolate- good enough to eat! Although, the photo doesn’t do it justice!
 Anyway, my intention was to offer this one up for sale once it had been completed, but it’s already been snapped up and will be off to James in the West Country in a few weeks’ time.
 As far as the standard “Standards” are concerned, number IV has been pre-order by Tristan; this gave him the opportunity to choose the tonewood for the back and sides.  With the current interest in my mandolins, I thought that I’d build three at the same time and so I have been preparing the wood whilst waiting for the glue to dry on John’s and the polish to dry on Sean’s twin-points!
 So what we have here are the three backs; English walnut for the next Standard Plus, figured maple for Tristan’s Standard and Brazilian mahogany for Standard V.
All the soundboards are from some very nice, stiff European spruce. The two Standards have the sound holes bound whilst the Plus has a rosette- this one using walnut in the centre.
Prepping three soundboards together brought home to me how much extra time is consumed making a rosette. As you probably know, with the Standard mandolin, I try to save time in order to reduce the cost to the customer; believe it or not this rosette took around three to four hours to do, so whatever your rate of pay, hopefully you can appreciate my rationale.
And as you can see I’ve also been prepping wood for the necks. As always laminated for extra stability, the Standard plus has green and walnut laminations to match the rosette, Tristan’s maple and rosewood to match the body’s tonewoods, and simple black lines for Standard V. By-the-way, the heads haven’t been glued on here.
 Here’s the spliced head going on Tristan’s.
If you’d like one of my standard mandolins you can pre-order by contacting me, via my website. 

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