Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A-style Mandolins for International Shipping

There are Customs restrictions for products shipped overseas. Certain hardwoods are restricted or banned altogether. And strangely enough, Mother-of-Pearl is considered Fish and Wildlife and requires a license and fees for exporting. When I build an instrument for export I use alternatives to those materials and avoid fees and licenses and restrictions. I have found that "reconstituted stone" which is a composite made from stone and resin, makes a nice alternative to Mother-of Pearl and other shell materials. It comes in all kinds of colors and textures and I design around that rather than try to mimic shell.

Here are the three. I used combinations of several different woods to create some very unique designs.

Three-piece headstock overlays and multiple colors of inlay material

Lots of design detail, all cut by hand.

German-made Rubner tuners with ebony buttons

Curly maple back with "baked" maple binding. The maple is actually cooked to a dark brown, It was an experiment and a beautiful alternative to Rosewood. Plus it smells like maple syrup when you sand it, which is a huge plus over Rosewood.

Curly maple neck with thin laminations and a detail of the baked maple.

Curly maple binding and heel cap

Shopcat making sure the mando is set up properly before we shoot pictures.