Saturday, January 31, 2015

Making Progress

This week the neck and fretboard went on to Mark’s Standard Plus mandolin; it’s all coming together nicely.  And here you can see the first outward signs of its left-handedness. I normally start my dots at the 5th fret, but this is just a small custom feature for Mark.
I’ve bent the Indian rosewood sides for Jonathan’s mandocello and in the sequence of photos below you can see a very simple method of holding the sides into the mould………..
............Using rubber bands and strips of wood, keeps your clamps free for other jobs and also keeps the whole assembly light. Half-a-dozen clamps and a chipboard mould can get quite heavy and you really don’t want to drop it!
 And here’s another size comparison for you.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

On the bench; Jan 2015

Currently, I’m working on Mark’s Standard Plus mandolin, I've just cleaned up the maple bindings and you can see the results below.
One thing that you can’t see at the moment is that this one, is a left handed mandolin. Nothing on the outside to give that away, but my bracing is asymmetrical so, internally it’s a lefty! Evidently, about 10% of the population is left handed, so it’s logical that one in ten of my instruments should be left handed, but this is the first left handed mandolin that I’ve ever made and I have only made one left handed guitar back in 2009. I find this quite surprising; you would think that being a custom builder of fretted instruments, players who can’t find a decent left handed guitar/mandolin would be seeking guys like me out???
I’ve also just started preparing for Jonathan’s……? Well, what to call it; it’s a five course instrument, tuned CGDAE. I’ve seen them called a liuto cantabile, but I think that would be a tad pretentious, so let’s call it a 10-string mandocello. The extra course gives it a top E, so it has the range of both a mandocello and octave mandolin.
Jonathan had one of my guitars a few years back and we’ve been talking about this project for a while.
You can get an idea of the size of the ‘cello, here’s Mark’s mandolin in its mould.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

A Good Day

It’s always good to get feedback from “Nava players” and to see/hear how the instruments are getting on in their new homes. So, we were delighted to get a couple of emails today. One from Paul in Australia about his emando;
 It is a great instrument to play; the action is perfect, it stays in tune better than any mando I have owned and it is really great using the two pick-ups. It feels good, the weight is just right and has a nice balance.
When I get gigging or busking I will send you some pics....but I am a very happy customer!
 And another one from Chris with a link to some great videos of him playing his “Standard Plus” on YouTube.
It’s great to see the mandolin being played as it should be! Check out Chris's YouTube channel for more videos.
Cheers Guys!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year to you all! The first job of 2015 was to ship out the last two instruments that I completed in 2014. Paul’s emando to Australia (which you’ll have seen in the previous post) and Ewart’s up to Lancashire.
Here are a few photos of Ewart’s completed Standard Plus mandolin. You'll have to forgive the reflections; the polish was very shiny!

So what does 2015 hold? If you keep following my blog you’ll see quite a few mandolins being built. There will also be 5 course carved top instrument (more on this very soon), a mandola and two nylon strung guitars……I’d better get cracking!

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