ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS

“…some of the most creative designs I have ever seen” — emando.com

“…just a quick note to let you know that the wonderful instrument you built some 12 years back is still going strong after being carted around the world … A great testament to your workmanship.” — Stuart Cox

 

                    The Pizza Fiddle

The Pizza Fiddle

                            The Puppeteerin’

The Puppeteerin’

                      The Electric Bandurria

The Electric Bandurria

 Leo Raley seated left with Cliff Bruner's band with the remarkable Bob Dunn on lap steel seated to the right

Leo Raley seated left with Cliff Bruner's band with the remarkable Bob Dunn on lap steel seated to the right

 

I began making electric mandolins in 1991, out of necessity, in order to compete with an extremely loud five string banjo player I was in cahoots with. In those days (before the internet and ebay), finding instruments such as electric mandolins proved somewhat difficult. So I decided to build my own and started down the road of producing the instruments on display here. They can be split into two definite groups, custom and seriously custom. Usually starting life as a cartoon or rough sketch on the back of an envelope, after much head scratching, hacking and hewing in the shed these plans usually ended up as a finished instrument.  As well as design considerations, three other criteria were equally important, these being playability, tune-ability and tone. Features such as low, fast actions, custom-built Kent Armstrong pickups and top quality hardware help to achieve this end, producing an extremely playable and versatile instrument, hand made and hand finished.

 The original concept sketch for the “Mandanglin’”

The original concept sketch for the “Mandanglin’”

 Jim Hall on banjo, the reason all this started, during filming for the BBC series “Travelling Tales”

Jim Hall on banjo, the reason all this started, during filming for the BBC series “Travelling Tales”

 Sketch for an as yet unrealised project……..The Global Warming guitar

Sketch for an as yet unrealised project……..The Global Warming guitar

              The Mandanglin’

The Mandanglin’

               The Ladyshowerin’

The Ladyshowerin’

        The Freestandin’ range

The Freestandin’ range

 Long Gone Lonesome variants

Long Gone Lonesome variants

         Working sketch for The Stained Glass Mandolin

Working sketch for The Stained Glass Mandolin