There are currently two styles of mandolin available—oval and double sound hole. Both styles are built using carbon fibre laminate bracing on the soundboard and back of the instrument. Soundboards are made from Adirondack spruce, Western Redcedar, King ‘Billy’ pine and occasionally Blackwood. With a very high stiffness to weight ratio, Adirondack Spruce is said to combine all the best qualities of the various spruces. Western Redcedar is very light, and ‘plays in’ quickly. King ‘Billy’ pine produces a mellow sound, and Blackwood, a bright, full sound.

The back and sides of the instruments can be made from Tasmanian Blackwood or Eucalypt. Blackwood is the more suitable timber, as it is more stable than Eucalypt.

The mandolin pictured above has ‘raindrop’ Blackwood back and sides. Raindrop Blackwood and other timbers may be available upon request.


The current price for mandolins is AUD$1250 which includes a good quality Epiphone case. Occasionally prototype and "cosmetically imperfect" instruments are sold at a reduced price. I can supply and fit a K & K under-saddle pickup for AUD$120.

For other instruments and prices, please contact me.



Mandolin scale

342 mm/13.6"


Western Redcedar/Blackwood/Red Spruce/King 'Billy' Pine—oval or ‘paisley drop’ soundholes.

Back, sides, veneers

Fiddleback Eucalypt, or Raindrop/Fiddleback Blackwood.


Rosewood or Ebony


Various timbers including European Beech, Blackwood and Eucalypt;  3/16" stainless steel truss rod.


Tuners-Gotoh MA40 with ivoroid buttons, Gibson style tailpiece (nickel-plated brass). Others available on request.

Neck shape

Rounded V-shape.

Neck/body join

Spanish heel at 12th fret

Width @ 12th fret

38 mm

Width @ nut

28 mm




Tasmanian Sassafras and Myrtle


Shellac undercoat/Nitrocellulose lacquer


GHS A250 light (10, 15, 24, 36)

All material, images and text © Tom Chippindall 2007