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A Look Into the Workshop

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= Mandonator™ Serial #19 ===

This resonator mandolin was commissioned by Brad H.


The options he chose are:

  • 4 string mandolin with 13.875" scale
  • Khaya mahogany body with ebony binding
  • Cutaway
  • F-shape soundhole
  • Khaya mahogany neck
  • Abalone inlays
  • Snakehead shaped headstock with ebony veneer
  • Allen tailpiece


Standard features include:

  • Spherically arched back
  • Nickel plated hardware
  • Radiused fingerboard
  • Spider bridge and resonator cone
  • Gloss nitrocellulose finish by Addam Stark of Santa Cruz


Photo of the wood for Mandonator 19 gathered on a storage drawer

Most of the wood for Mandonator™ 19 has been gathered together in its dedicated shelf drawer.

Photo of the sides of Mandonator 19 being joined

The sides are being joined with end blocks. The sides are held in a form and the end blocks are clamped in place while the glue dries.

Photo of rim of Mandonator 19 with linings, end blocks, and wedge

After the linings and end blocks were installed in the rim, I inlayed a contrasting decorative wood wedge in the tail. In this picture, the wedge still needs to be trimmed flush to the rim.

Joined top and back pieces for Mandonator 19

The freshly joined top and back. The join line will disappear when the residual glue is cleaned up. I use chalk to draw the outline of how they will join the instrument rim, carefully orienting it around the centerline of the pieces.

Photo of the body of Mandonator 19 before installing binding

I joined the top to the rim, then cut the openings for the resonator cone and sound hole. Then I attached the back and trimmed the top and back flush to the rim. Here the body still needs to have binding installed.

Photo of the body of Mandonator 19 with binding

The ebony binding makes a wonderful difference in the appearance of the body.

Photo of neck and fingerboard prior to joining them

Neck and fingerboard, ready to be glued together. You can see the graphite truss rod in the center of the neck. I'll finish shaping and cleaning them after they're joined.

Photo of fingerboard being glued to the neck

This is how the fingerboard is glued to the neck; it's clamped to the neck until the glue dries.

Photo of Mandonator 19 in the white

Here's Mandonator™ 19 in the white after passing its "road test." I'll remove the hardware and neck again for some final detailing, then take it to Addam Stark for a gloss lacquer finish


Mandonator™ 19 has been completed! You can see photos of the finished instrument on its Gallery page.

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