The Process

Most of my mandolins are distressed models. I’ve been building distressed models since 1981 when I first started building on Bucks Branch in Eastern Kentucky. The old masters of violin making did the same centuries ago, since many people preferred the old look with more character than new looking shiny ones. I find it much more interesting and exciting to put character and personality into my work. They aren’t for everybody, so take a look before you order. You may prefer to distress your own over a period of 80 years, or you can enjoy it now, while you are still alive! I find that redwood consistently gives a better sound, and the redwood I use is from the 1850′s, cut from salvaged stumps left from logging in the redwood forests of California. This is very rare wood, which will be impossible to get in a very short period of time.

As you probably notice from my pictures, I don’t copy anyone. My mandolins are unique in design. I occasionally put oil paintings of any subject on the backs of my mandolins as well as relief carving, which I think adds a special touch. Also, I can add fingerboards with special inlays and special bindings.

I have tried for many years with many trials and errors to get the sound that I believe should be there in a mandolin, and with this redwood, I believe I have achieved a consistent deep and woody sound that many people have come to appreciate. Without deep clear low end sound, along with the mids and highs,  it would be very disappointing  to play. These mandolins aren’t tinny and shrill, but mellow and deep, and that along with ease of playing, makes for a very nice playing experience.