Description and Number


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

This F-5 mandolin has a red spruce top, sugar maple back, sides and neck, gold hardware, cast Allen tailpiece, custom inlay, and a varnish finish. It goes to a customer on Vashon Island, WA. Above, right, my greatest of friends and band mate Scott McMillion gives the mandolin a "test run" before it's shipped away. To hear Scott play a Skipper mandolin, visit our Audio Video page.

Shortly after shipping, I received this from the new owner: "I recently received an F-5 Skipper mandolin, and I am ecstatic!!! The tone, volume, and playability are impeccable, and the customer service is incredible. The 'gourd' is a work of art!!! Get on the wagon early!!! I heartily endorse Roger's instruments!"

For more of his review, and for others, visit our Testimonials page.

Construction Photos

I begin with joining the plates with hot hide glue. The ribs are bent and assembled to the blocks, and the top and back are roughly carved.

The top is graduated and the tone bars are fitted and glued in. The top is glued to the rib assembly. The neck is roughly shaped, and fitted with a dovetail to the body. The top is tap tuned, using both deflection tuning and tap tuning. The top is evaluated for stiffness, tone, thickness, and weight.

The headstock scroll is strengthhened with a cross-grain patch. The back is shaped, graduated, tuned and glued to the body.

The bindings are cut, and the custom inlay is fitted into the headstock. Bindings are applied to the peghead overlay, and it's glued to the headstock.

The fretboard is shaped, and binding and position markers are installed. The fretboard extender is shaped and reinforced with carbon fiber bars. The pickguard is shaped, and the fretboard is glued to the neck. Staining and finishing gets underway.

The bindings are scraped, and the varnishing proceeds. The varnish is cured in a UV booth. When it's fully cured, the instrument is French polished and the hardware is attached.

Thanks for watching this project

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