19.44 degrees

Here’s a look at the neck block mock-up cut and placed in the rim tooling, and what it took to get it to that point! And, hey, I still have all my fingers!!!

It turns out I needed 19.44 degrees taken off each side to get the necessary angle.

I’ll cut the actual block […]

Neck Block mock-up

The neck block of a mandolin is second in importance only to the top bracing design. This assembly will hold up to 160 pounds of pull against its structure – it HAS to be sound.

Most traditional mandolins use a dovetail joint for this purpose, in the case of “The Thula” I’ll be using an M […]

The basic shape of “The Thula”

The basic outline you see on this template is an iteration off of a 1922/1923 Lloyd Loar Gibson mandolin.

“The Thula” will be a hybrid of this design, especially the area around the neck joint.

From this template I’ll be able to bend my sides to fit this shape and develop my neck and tail block. I’ve […]

Table saw caddy

The design parameters I’m using for “The Thula” mandolin necessitated a table saw caddy.

The issue was that I needed a tool to allow for accurate cuts on my neck block since the nature of this adaptation is to use a M & T neck joint. A typical mandolin uses a dovetail joint at 5.5 […]

D’Addario N6Alloy Beta Test

A while ago the D’Addario company put out a call to action on Facebook for testing a new set of acoustic guitars string, the N6Alloy. D’Addario is to be applauded for this because it gives guitar players (at all levels, by the way) the chance to try a different set of strings with no risk!

I have a 2003 […]

Anatomy of a new design

The next mandolin is underway!

This will be a special project because the name of this instrument will be “The Thula.” Thula was my grandmother’s name on my dad’s side of the family, she was an accomplished violinist and her story is remarkable. As each step is completed on this prototype I’ll post some pictures of her and of my dad’s […]

The right strings!

Mandolin #1 was completed a while ago, so it’s time to experiment with string type. The original strings were D’Addario J67(s) which have nickel wound G and D strings. I used these because they last a bit longer due to perspiration tarnish.  I’m trying a set of D’Addario EJ74(s) which are a standard medium gauge […]