Custom F5 Mandolin #26 57

Completed April, 2008

(click any of the thumbnails for a higher-resolution photo)


This F5 mandolin has a red spruce top and blistered maple back, sides, and neck. The gold cast Allen tailpiece and Schaller tuners offset the ebony fretboard and headstock overlay. This was custom built for an excellent picker from the Baltimore area. Through music, we've become good friends; I never fail to visit and pick with him when he's staying at a nearby hunting camp.

Here's what the customer has to say about his instrument: "I can honestly say to anyone interested, as long as Roger Skipper is making custom musical instruments, I know I would buy from him before anyone else because of his excellent products, skills, knowledge, pride and his eagerness to make his cutomers happy. I am very pleased with my mandolin and get many good compliments."

For more of his comments, and for those of other customers, visit our Testimonials page.

Construction Photos


The plates are joined and the neck is roughed out. The sides are bent over a hot pipe and placed in forms to dry and cool. The rib assembly is constructed.


Ivoroid point protectors and kerfed lining are installed. The top is roughed out, then completed with planes, chisels, and scrapers.


The tone bars are glued in, and the top is glued to the ribs. The truss rod is installed in the neck and it's fitted to the body with a dovetail joint.


The top is tuned by both deflection and tap tuning. The headstock overlay is cut, binding is applied, and my logo is inlet into the ebony.


The overlay is glued to the headstock, and the neck is shaped. The back and neck are glued on, and the binding is installed. The fretboard extender is fabricated and strengthened with carbon fiber.


The bridge and hardware are fitted, the pickguard is created, and the instrument is stained and finished.

Thanks for watching this project

All content and graphics © Skipper Custom Instruments