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 Post subject: Mandolin kit..
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:10 pm 
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I just got a catalog from Grizzly industrial, and one of the interesting things is their mandolin kit. This looks like a really nice instrument, and a good way to get into mando without spending a lot. I've heard very good things about their electric guitar kits. The instructions are VERYcomplete and clear. Check it out:

http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2005/main/333.cfm?

Sort of odd offerings for a company that mainly deals in industrial machinery, but the owner is a talented luthier, and he sells some stuff related to that too.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:19 pm 
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If I decide I need another banjo for clawhammer, I might be tempted by the banjo kit.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:26 pm 
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That is really a good deal and doesn't look like too much work to put together.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:33 am 
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Unseen122 wrote:
That is really a good deal and doesn't look like too much work to put together.


You can view the entire instructions in .PDF format. There's a fair amount of work, but nothing difficult, or requiring extensive woodworking tools or skills. Mainly fitting, gluing, sanding and applying finish. This would prove to be a very rewarding project.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:42 am 
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i'm thinking it's a laminated top -- i couldn't find the word "solid" in the description, and the soundbox is closed so you can't tweak the carving -- also i wonder how strong the neck joint is with the three dowels as opposed to a bolt-on or dove-tail joint.

if the above is true, i'm not seeing how this is more economical than buying a $75 Johnson off ebay, unless you're curious about getting started building instruments.

Stew-mac's kits are supposed to be pretty good, some people on MC have apparently made some nice-sounding instruments out of them. At one time i thought about getting this one, but don't really have much spare time to work with right now:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Kits/Mandol ... n_Kit.html

they've got carved tops too:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Kits/Mandol ... _Kits.html
and
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Kits/Mandol ... _Kits.html
if you're really ambitious.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:15 am 
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brewerpaul wrote:
Unseen122 wrote:
That is really a good deal and doesn't look like too much work to put together.


You can view the entire instructions in .PDF format. There's a fair amount of work, but nothing difficult, or requiring extensive woodworking tools or skills. Mainly fitting, gluing, sanding and applying finish. This would prove to be a very rewarding project.


Not much work compared to the StewMac ones that rh mentioned that is what I was thinking when I said that.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:12 pm 
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International Violin Co. sells a kit that several people on the Mandolin Cafe forum have built. From all reports, it's a great instrument that goes together very quickly. The top is attached to the rims already, but not the back. You graduate the top, fit the tone bars, fit the neck, and put the back on. When I have world enough and time, I'm going to get going on one of these myself.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:23 pm 
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I've been toying with the idea of learning mandolin, and these kits seem a great idea. I've been looking at beginner-grade models (e.g., Kentucky, Goldtone, Oscar Schmidt, Epiphone) and have read some of the stuff posted on C&F (what used to be Off-Topic). I'd be happy with something that would be easy to play, and play in tune. I get that I should at least get something with a solid top,and probably an oval hole for ITM. Can I expect these cheaper brands to play according to these criteria? I play flute and whistle, and this would be my first foray into stringed instruments. I've been spoiled on playable $10 whistles and a great flute made entirely by hand for a reasonable price. Does such an animal exist at the cheap end of the mandolin world? I'd ask at Mandolin Cafe, but folks here are more likely of a "strings as a second language" persuasion.
Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:28 am 
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Lightheaded Mike wrote:
I've been toying with the idea of learning mandolin, and these kits seem a great idea. I've been looking at beginner-grade models (e.g., Kentucky, Goldtone, Oscar Schmidt, Epiphone) and have read some of the stuff posted on C&F (what used to be Off-Topic). I'd be happy with something that would be easy to play, and play in tune. I get that I should at least get something with a solid top,and probably an oval hole for ITM. Can I expect these cheaper brands to play according to these criteria? I play flute and whistle, and this would be my first foray into stringed instruments. I've been spoiled on playable $10 whistles and a great flute made entirely by hand for a reasonable price. Does such an animal exist at the cheap end of the mandolin world? I'd ask at Mandolin Cafe, but folks here are more likely of a "strings as a second language" persuasion.
Mike


My experience with mando is limited to one VERY cheap instrument. Basically, a good set-up can turn a cheap mando into a very playable one. In the same way a bad set-up can make an expensive instrument feel and play like a piece of junk (as I know from guitars I had in the past).

Oval hole seems most popular among those who play just ITM, but personally I'd make a higher priority of checking basic build quality: straightness of neck, fretting, internal reinforcement etc. Solid wood is nice - even if it's just the top - but that's no guarantee of a good sound. Again, this is based on guitar experience, but some cheap solid tops made from inferior cuts are actually worse than a good laminated top. I've had a supposedly 'solid tonewood' topped guitar that sounded as dead as a dodo. On the other hand I've had at least one laminate-topped acoustic that was bright, responsive and full of character.

Where possible certainly look for reviews from people who have played the actual instrument you're considering. Better yet check it out in a store. At very least, buy from somewhere that has a good returns/exchange policy.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:27 am 
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Ro3b wrote:
International Violin Co. sells a kit that several people on the Mandolin Cafe forum have built. From all reports, it's a great instrument that goes together very quickly. .


That one does look very nice. Hard to beat at that price!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:50 am 
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brewerpaul wrote:
Ro3b wrote:
International Violin Co. sells a kit that several people on the Mandolin Cafe forum have built. From all reports, it's a great instrument that goes together very quickly. .


That one does look very nice. Hard to beat at that price!


I've done a Stew-mac and a IV mando...they're nearly identical in quality, all you need is a little woodworking knowhow...go with the IV if you go with a kit...$300 versus $99....it's a no brainer.

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