Armrest for Mike’s Black Tie Mandolin

Here’s the custom inlaid armrest to match Mike’s #30 ziricote Black Tie Special.


#30 almost done


Cool curly maple pedalboard


November update


Geoff Burghardt iii #19 mandolin for sale

$1950 shipped to the lower 48 states, including a nice rectangular Access Stage Three case. Geoff playing #19 in the white: And just before shipping to the original owner:







More October pics


Trumpet vine headstock


More October pics


October update


Koi fretboard


New style of Headstock Script Inlay


South Bend Lathe Restoration

Recent restoration of the BME South Bend from 1967. Thanks to Ruwan and Marcel for their help.


September update


2014 instruments boxed up


2014 batch closing in…


New GOM concept

Prompted by an inquiry from a customer, here’s a new GOM concept. This is a much smaller instrument than the Leviathan, which is about two inches taller and two inches wider.


2014 batch tops are voiced…

Above, you’ll be able to hear the tap tones from #29 through #43, which is kind of fun. Tap tones are kind of like baby pictures- you don’t know exactly how the final instrument will turn out from the tap tones, but you can get a glimpse of the what the character will be like. […]


Crazy leaf script soundport…. for no reason.


Back inlay – Nouveau Koi purfling

Another take on the idea of “living purfling”…


Pics from 2014 GAL convention talks

Some great talks by Stephen Marchione, Charles Rufino, James Condino, and Andrew Mowry.


GAL side trip – Mt. Ranier

Thanks for driving me up there, Bill, even though I was in a semi-comotose post-convention state!


Nautilus #33 – “Celtic River” back inlay w/ abalone fish


New top rosettes

OK, here’s new style of “stacked” rosette inlay I came up with. First, two rosette inlay rings are precisely cut to match their intended grooves and the contour of the top. Then the first inlay is installed. Then the second inlay is cut into the first, ensuring a nice tight fit. Then gluing of the […]


Top machining summer 2014


More backs…

..and the first op on a redwood top.


4th of July Back Carving


Sweet Engraved Black Nickel Rubner tuning machines with rosewood buttons for mandolin and cittern

From Kent George at


First back plates for Spring 2014 batch

OK, Lee had a good idea, so I’m hosting the pictures for these posts on my Web site again. So you can find updates here or at the MandolinCafe Spring 2014 build log, plus a lot of discussion from other folks. Done with necks, finally. Now it’s on to boxes, and to focus on the […]


Necks for Spring 2014 batch


Headstocks for Pagan Mandolins (Pete Jenner) of NSW, Australia

See more of Pete’s work here:


First arm rests for Nautilus mandolins….

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Jacobson #19 Video


Time-Lapse Video of Headstock Inlay for #23


Cello fixin’

Here’s a Chinese cello I got off Craig’s List for a song. It had been de-strung before a cross-country move. The soundpost shifted, and then an impact split the cheesy, but solid and hand-carved spruce top in a few places. Looked like a straightforward repair, and I’ve been wanting a cello, so I picked it […]

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Summer 2013 Jacobson Nautilus batch is coming together!


Time-Lapse Video – Refining Tone Bars on Nautilus Mandolin #19


Just for fun… chladni patterns from Summer batch of Nautilus mandolins

Mode 4 on #22… Mode 3 on #23… Mode 3 on #19.. ?….


Nautilus Mandolins – Tone Bar Fitting Jig


c1915 Weymann Keystone State Mandolute – Restored

Here’s a Weymann I just finished cleaning up. It had a major top seam separation, several top and back plate seam separations. It got a new nut, fret work, the usual. This was my first real vintage restoration on a real instrument. I haven’t done a lot of repair or restoration, but I received this […]


c1915 Weymann Keystone State Mandolute – Repair Process

Before restoration: The process:


Cutting sound ports for the summer batch…

Laminating sides for Jacobson Nautilus Mandolins - YouTube - Google Chrome_2013-07-14_12-09-05

Laying Up Nautilus Mandolin Side Laminations


Turquoise Rosette for Michael’s #23

Here are some photos of my new rosette machining process. Michael’s turquoise-laced #23 is the first to receive this treatment.


The Sander Dance

Sanding laminae for my laminated mandolin sides.


Time-lapse video of machining a mandolin back


Revisiting the 5-string electric mandolin / mandola…

That extra C string is getting a lot of interest lately. And this post from last year is getting a lot of visits from people looking for 5-string electric instruments. So I thought it might be time to dust off the ideas for a 5-string electric. Here’s where they are headed… with a splittable Alumitones […]


New neck machining process

So I’ve spent most of this week developing an improved neck machining process, refining the design of the necks to correct a couple little things which have bothered me about them, and developing a new “long neck” neck variant that results in bridge position more like the “Ms. Griffith” Loar A-5. I don’t know if […]


Summer 2013 Batch underway, and sold out

The summer 2013 batch is well underway. All the instruments are also spoken for. No pressure! Laminated necks — #22 on the left/upper, the other one is probably going to be used on a personal instrument due to the inconsistency in the coloring.     Highly figured Makore for block inlays and headstocks on #24 […]