Wednesday, May 22, 2024


The rosewood Standard that I’m currently building is a commission and the client wished for one of my dot and diamond rosettes. Here's a brief descripion of how it's done.

The recess for the rosette is cut and two strips of fine purfling glued into place.

Whilst the glue is drying, I get on with cutting the diamonds using a very simple jig and razor saw.

After some super careful marking out the inlays are glued in place with CA adhesive.

And then the spaces around them are filled in black: this is what I refer to as the ugly duckling stage.

24 hours later after some careful sanding, the beautiful swan emerges!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Two Mandolins: the movie

For your viewing pleasure!

Cheers Gary

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Two Mandolins

 The next step with the e-mando is to bend the lovely English walnut sides and laminate them to the main core of the body.

Once the sides are in place, solid pieces of walnut are fitted and glued in place to protect the potentially fragile points also the end graft is fitted.

The body them gets a really good clean up and . . . . .  . .


In parallel with the e-mando and I’m also making a rosewood Standard (with a few extras!). So it make sense to work on both of the necks at the same time. The spliced head joint is something that I do on all my instruments.

You can see both necks have had the slots routed for the carbon-fibre inserts.

I’ve cut out pearl logos for both of them, although the method of inlaying is  different. This because of the nature of the head overlays. The e-mando’s overlay is made up from layers of veneer and is quite fragile until it’s glued to the head. So that’s done first.

The Standard has a thick single layer of rosewood and it’s easier to cut right through this overlay, before gluing to the head!

The Standard has some lovely Indian rosewood for tis back and sides. When I buy tonewood I always write the date on it when it arrives in the workshop and it often surprises me how long I keep it before using it: as you can see in the photo below, I’ve had this for almost 14 years! Yes, it is well seasoned!

The sides are bent, neck and end blocks fitted and my double thickness solid linings glued in.