Hand Crafted Mandolins
By Johnny Adams
I started building mandolins in 1994. I wanted a louder instrument to be heard in a jam. I was playing a 1959 Martin A-Model F hole, which I still have. Shopping around revealed the better instruments were very expensive. In mid 1994 I was introduced to Roger Siminoff's book on constructing a bluegrass mandolin. My first mandolin was louder than the Martin and each one seems to get better. I now have the sound and volume that I was looking for that I can deliver at a reasonable price. It takes about 180-200 hours to complete one because everything is done by hand. There are no kits involved. Mixing this work with bluegrass festival trips I can build 3 per year. I can deliver one in 90 days if all goes well. I can't make any money at it but it is fun to do. Many of the mandolins I make can be seen on youtube - search for "Ocoee Jam".