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 […]

Hanging out with David, Tom, and #16 – Cold Rain and Snow

David Mold, Tom Haywood, and I onĀ Cold Rain and Snow.

#17 mark II… Now tell me that ain’t cool.

#17 mark II is finally delivered! Mark did a nice write-up of the process in this MandolinCafe thread. Thanks to Mark for his patience as I built him one instrument (#17 mark I), then scrapped that one, and built another (#17 mark II), encountering numerous delays along the way. I made four fretboards, carved four […]

British Isles tunes on #21 from David Mold (OldSausage)

Some awesome renditions of Irish and Scottish tunes courtesy of David Mold and the MandolinCafe Song of the Week group. David’s playing Jacobson Nautilus #21, one of the two Black Tie mandolins, and making it sound great!

Bach Prelude Comparison Video

Here’s a comparison of the spring batch (less #17 mark II). Bach Prelude (BWV1007) from the first Cello Suite.

David rocks out on Nautilus Mandolins

Thanks to David Mold for this video.

Hanging out with David Mold – Jerusalem Ridge

Comparison of Spring 2013 Nautilus Mandolins

Comparison of Nautilus mandolins recently completed. In order: #15 – parallel braced, tone bars, spruce top, J74’s #16 – transverse braced, yellow cedar top, Thomastik Mittels #18 – parallel braced, curly redwood top, JS74’s #20 – transverse braced, spruce top, J74’s #21 – parallel braced, spruce top, FW74’s

A Nautilus Mandolin for Classical Music- #16

Atlanta MandolinCafe Mando Tasting at the shop

Partly to show off some recently completed instruments, I invited several mandolin enthusiasts and MandolinCafe members from the Atlanta area. The gents generously brought several of their mandolins, some of them very valuable, some of them very rare, but all of them very interesting – and put them out for everyone to experience. I believe […]

Toy nylon-string mandolin for my kids

So… this is a toy mandolin / ukelele thing I made for my kids. It’s got a solid cherry top, solid cherry back and sides, and a curly maple neck. Shaped like an archtop Telecaster, obviously. The frets are machined right into the fretboard. It sounds like a shoe box with some rubber bands on […]

Finishing #17mkII and #18

Spraying nitrocellulose lacquer on #17mkII and #18. #17mkII will also have a french polished top. The depth of the bubinga, maple, and mahogany are really starting to sparkle.

Video of #18 in the white….

And here’s #17, for comparison…

#18 takes shape…

Headstock for #18

Maccassar ebony. Dig it!

Machining nut slots…

Thomson Mountain Bike Stem and Seatpost Instructions

Multilingual version of the Thomson mountain bike stem, seatpost, and handlebar instructions. A collaboration with Mark McJunkin of Product M. Insane information density.

Teaching SolidWorks..

Just teaching SolidWorks to my students… always a fun part of the semester.

#20 and #17… oval hole transverse-braced siblings

Inlays for #20 and #21

Family portrait — Spring 2013 Batch

Pictured are #19, #17, #18, #21, #20. Can’t wait to string them up!

#18 coming along quickly…

#17 ready to box up… again

Spring 2013 Batch

Nautilus #17 in the white

Test Fitting Redwood and Bubinga Nautilus Mandolin #17

Nautilus Mandolin side bending fixture, Version 13

This fixture is the 13th version I have built over the past year. In this case, thirteen is a very lucky number! It is repeatable, controllable, easy to use, quick, and does not consume air or power in order to operate. I can finally move on to gearing up for my octave mandolin and mandola […]

More redwood Nautilus progress

Latent projects: GBOM

A friend reminded me of this project, a Guitar Bodied Octave Mandolin (could also be an Irish Bouzouki or Mandocello). Started it last year, got distracted building my CNC machine, and then I realized I would do a lot of things differently now that I have the CNC machine. So I may, or may not […]

Redwood tops and Bubinga backs

Batch of tops and backs for December 2012 instruments. #17, #18, #20. Bruce Harvie’s handwriting still on this one:

Nautilus #15 – In the driver’s seat where she belongs

Just got some color on #15. Needs some french polishing and finish leveling, but it’s shaping up nicely.

Nautilus #15 Progress

Nautilus #15 & #16 – Fretboards & inlay

Inlay progress & CNC headstock drilling for #15 and #16.

Nautilus #18 – Back Vine Purfling

Back vine purfling for #18. Sweet!

Cartoony Dodge Challenger Drawing

Just a drawing I did for my sons’ bedroom. Did this a year or so ago and just found it again.

5-String Electric Mandolin/Mandola Idea

Just an idea…

Nautilus Mandolin Project

Sound samples:

Nautilus Mandolin Mockups & Fixturing

Here are some mockups and fixtures for my ongoing Nautilus mandolin project. It is an affordable instrument intended to bring exceptional tone and playability to a lower price point, through the use of modern automation and traditional instrument voicing techniques.

Sushi Restaurant Environment

Aubergine Courtyard Microbus

Anachron Aero v4

These illustrations were done mostly to get back up to speed on the latest version of SolidWorks after using Alibre Design Pro (another parametric CAD package) for the last year. I had been studying air-cooled engines and started drawing a lot of radial engines, which lead to the prominent engine features of this aircraft. The […]

CHI Trade Show Banner

Collaborated with Darwin Muljono on a trade show banner project. For best impact, the photos needed to be lit well enough to be legible when pixelated (from the appropriate reading distance – 30ft or so). The concept expresses the interaction between humans and computers, which is integral to the mission of the client organization.

A Simple Web Radio

Most Web audio appliances are targeted to the gadget crowd. They are overloaded with features such as RSS readers, picture viewers, and Google Calenders syncing. But what if you just want to listen to music? This concept is an exploration of establishing the simplest, most analog way of interacting with the device, more closely replicating […]


This is a study in environmental design and illustration. It began with the furniture in 2006 and became a more complete modernist-inspired living space. The linear arrangement and color scheme intrigued me, along with the concept of making a living space which is more in line with living patterns than the average off-the-shelf contemporary dwelling. […]

Christmas Card

This is an illustration for a Christmas card, depicting a ceramic “wreath” with glowing custom-fabricated Christmas-themed light bulbs.

DreamFit Quilted Linens Photography

Flowerspot Dynamic Image Content Creation

A collaboration with Jennifer Lau and Andrew Zucker.

Georgia Tech Architecture Centennial

View interactive panoramas here and here. [qt: 800 600] Interactive Panorama – click to change the view, use CTRL and SHIFT to change perspective angle. [qt: 800 600] Interactive Panorama – click to change the view, use CTRL and SHIFT to change perspective angle.