Nov 23 2009

Mandola Assembly

Published by under Mandola Build

Have been working hard on completing the mandola. I’ve attached the top to the sides, binded the top, attached the neck to the body, fretted the fingerboard, scalloped the fingerboard, made and installed a fretboard extender, attached the fingerboard to the neck, and tonight have attached the back to the body. Almost done!

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Sep 25 2009

Mandola Build Update

Published by under Mandola Build

Haven’t posted for a while, but have been working feverishly on the mandola to finish it by mid-late October.

I’ve got the top carved, the sides done with the headblock and tailblock glued on, and the neck rough carved and cut. Here are some picts:

Mandola Top 4

Side Assembly 3

Neck 2

Mandola Preassembly

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Jul 13 2009

Cigar Box Guitar #1

Published by under Cigar Box Guitars

This was a custom build using a bolt-on neck reinforced with a turn buckle to counteract the string tension. Used a Cristoli cigar box.

Cigar Box Guitar #1

Cigar Box Guitar #1

Cigar Box Guitar #1

Cigar Box Guitar #1

Cigar Box Guitar #1

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Mar 19 2009

Smokin’ Mandolin #2

Published by under Cigar Box Mandolins

Mandolin using a Bolivar cigar box.  Walnut neck with maple stripe.  Walnut bridge.  With pickup.  Through and through neck, so little bit on the tinny side.

Smokin' Mandolin #2 - Front

Smokin' Mandolin #2 - Back

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Mar 19 2009

Mandola Build

Published by under Mandola Build

Starting to build a mandola – its going to be an A-style with f-holes instead of oval hole.  I just got the wood from Old Standard – fantastic wood, as usual!

Continue Reading »

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Aug 19 2008

YouTube Videos – Smokin’ Mandola

Published by under Cigar Box Mandolins

I made a couple of videos of me playing the mandola – I’m a better builder than player. But you can hear what these instruments sound like. This mandola is louder than I expect and has good sustain. I need to make the nut width a bit wider, though. But I can always switch out the neck… :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RldQwA_7sHA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9XKZ2rhBdw

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Aug 06 2008

Smokin’ Mandola #1

Published by under Cigar Box Mandolins

I decided to make a cigar box Mandola out of the very nice solid wood Cohiba cigar box.  It has a 16 inch scale with 16 frets, x-bracing on the top, and of course, a built in piezo pickup.  I really like the sound of this one – much louder than Smokin’ Mandolin #1 (Partagas).   Nice thing about it, is if you take the strings off and tailpiece off, you can still open it up and adjust the sound by shaving off the spruce bracing.   The next thing I will try is building one with the top upside down for REALLY easy access to the interior – several of the boxes have beveled tops which would make nicer and more confortable backs anyway.

Smokin Mandola #1

Smokin' Mandola #1

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Aug 06 2008

Smokin’ Mandolin #1

Published by under Cigar Box Mandolins

This was the first cigar box mandolin that I built using a Partagas cigar box. I used this as a prototype and also to make the jigs necessary to build additional cigar box mandolins. The box itself is paper covered wood veneer approximate 3/8 inch thick. I initially put a maple Red Henry style bridge on it, but like the sound better with a walnut Red Henry style bridge – also looked better. I’m very pleased with the sound. The only thing that I would change would be the sound hole placement – I noticed that when another mando player played it, one of the holes is about where he wanted to plant his pinky on the top as mando players are apt to do.

For more pictures, look at the gallery page of the website.

Smokin Mandolin #1

Smokin Mandolin #1

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Jul 23 2008

Welcome to Smokin’ Mandolins!

Published by under Cigar Box Mandolins

While at a local jam at an art gallery/coffee shop, my girl friend Linda pointed out a stack of cigar boxes in the backroom. A couple of years back, I had seen and heard a cigar box guitar and cigar box banjo at the Florida Folk Festival. I bought a few of the boxes and decided to build a cigar box mandolin. It only took me a couple of weeks (compared to 6 months for a carved top mandolin) and I was surprised by the sound. Now I know it’ll never compare with a carved top mandolin, but for a cigar box, I was pleased with the sound. I also added an internal pickup so it can be electrified.

One response so far