Custom Guitar-bodied Octave Mandolin #1 117

Completed March, 2013

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


This neat little instrument was designed and built for Mike Broderick of Aurora Celtic, and features a Lutz spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides. This is a truly custom instrument, conceived in the mind of the customer and brought to life in our shop.

Construction Photos


The first steps in construction are the joining of the plates with hot hide glue and the bending of the sides. The sides are placed in an external form. The abalone rosette is installed, and the kerfed linings are glued in.


The bracing is glued in and tap tuned by shaving, then the rib assembly is arched to receive the plates. The top and back are glued to the ribs, and the end graft is installed.


The binding is installed. The neck is roughly shaped and the carbon fiber reinforcing bars and attachment hardware are installed. Slots are extended into the head block to receive the reinforcing bars. Custom mother of pearl inlay is recessed into the fretboard and headstock.


The bridge is shaped from ebony and bone. A temporary tailpiece is attached, and the instrument is strung up while the intonation is precisely built into the bone saddle. The neck is stained to match the back and sides, and sealer and pore filler is applied.


Nitrocellulose lacquer is applied. When it's fully cured, the instrument is wet sanded, buffed to a beautiful sheen, and set up ready to play.

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