Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You can’t have enough clamps!

Here you can see the fretboard being glued on to Phil’s twin-point. You need a variety of clamps in this game and it’s not all about enormous amounts of pressure, rather spreading the load over a large area.
Once the fretboard has been prepared and fretted, I then carve the neck.
And here’s a nice shot of the tailpiece- although I’ve made a fair few of these tailpieces they still take me quite a long time to make. But of course, the joy is in the making.
If you like handmade stuff, you might enjoy this website that I stumbled across for the Handbuilt Motorcycles Show;
As a craftsman, I particularly like this bit of  their introduction-
“As our collective existence slips further into digital abstraction, we at the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show believe something has been lost and it is time to revive the culture of physical craftsmanship. Although in today’s modern mass-produced world few young people are taught how to do physical work or are encouraged to embrace a trade, there remains a universal attraction to the beauty that can only be formed by human hands.”

Labels: , ,

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!

Labels: , , , ,

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!

Labels: , , , ,