Guitarmaker Issue 47

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The Mandolin Issue

Hans Brentrup

Cover photo: Hans Brentrup mandolin.


ASIA Workbench

Rick Davis

Sylvan and Sally Wells take on membership, planning, and budgeting duties. Membership dues and back issue prices raised, and membership changed to calendar year. ASIA online forum announced. With 1 photo.


The Black & Tan Mandolin

John Monteleone

A romantic piece on the magic of building a unique mandolin with a curly mahogany back. With 8 photos.


Lloyd Loar: Virtuoso & Visionary

Maxwell McCullogh

History of the man who designed Gibson's legendary F5 Mandolin, and his contributions to Gibson's success. With 6 photos.

mandolin; Gibson; biography

An Interview with Bruce Weber

John Lowell, Rob Wilke

Question and answer session with the founder of Weber Mandolins. With 8 photos.

mandolin; interview

A Visit with Rigel

Margot Rome, Pete Langdell, Rick Davis

Brief tour of 5-employee Rigel Mandolins, whose designs stand out in an industry bound by tradition. With 14 photos.


In Search of the Perfect Tailpiece

John Hamlett

Why it takes years to bring something new to market. The author discuss his jouney from idea to the first small batch of custom mandolin tailpieces.

mandolin; design

Building a Stewart-MacDonald F-Style Mandolin Kit

Elle Erickson

The author builds a mandolin from a Stewart MacDonald kit and video. Along the way,she customizes the scroll, the f-holes, and inlays Jessica Rabbit on the headstock. Binding is of an unusual plastic.

mandolin; kit; inlay; video

The Mando-Guitar Story

Rick Turner

The author builds a unique six-course mandola-sized mando-guitar. Along the way he shares his uncommon thoughts such as "fingerboards should not touch guitar tops" and "bolt on necks are inherently superior." With 1 photo.

mandolin; design

CNC and the Mandolin

Rolfe Gerhardt

The author moves from a custom duplicating carver to genuine CNC. The duplicator's problems were strictly hardware whereas the CNC's problems are mostly software. He suggests you make friends with your machine's software person. With 6 photos.

mandolin; tools, power; CNC

Apprenticeships, Part 3

Ervin Somogyi

This installment wrestles with selecting aprentice candidates including planning, tests and interviews. With 3 photos

business; apprentice

The Concealed Dowel Repair

Frank Ford

Inveterate repairman fixes a split headstock and reinforces is with a hidden dowel. With 13 photos.


The Bandsaw Rosette Cutter

Judy Threet

A shop-built rosette cutter that uses a drill press and bits of bandsaw blades for the cutters. With 5 photos.

tools, shop-built; rosette

Truss Rod Replacement

Frank Ford

Using a shop-made aluminum heating caul to remove a mandolin fingerboard. The author then replaces the truss rod and makes a new fretboard. With 33 photos

mandolin, repair; truss rod; tools, shop-built

“ASIA is an organization where you not only grow your skills, but grow your extended family. I have met so many wonderful, knowledgeable people through this organization.” ~Michael Dickinson, Martin Guitar