How to Build a Carved-Top Mandolin

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Our 2-disc DVD set is a course in craftsmanship with master mandolin maker Don MacRostie.

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How to Build a Carved-Top Mandolin

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Our 2-disc DVD set is a course in craftsmanship with master mandolin maker Don MacRostie.

A detailed course from a master mandolin craftsman.
Don MacRostie heads our R&D team, and his Red Diamond mandolins have earned a reputation as among the finest available. You'll benefit from Don's expertise in this 2-disc set, as he shares the techniques that produce a fine quality instrument you can be proud of. Start with one of our F-style or A-style kits, or build from scratch. Three hours of step-by-step demonstrations help you get your instrument assembled and ready for finishing.

These DVDs are a course in craftsmanship. Don wastes no time, his presentation style is clear and helpful, and there are plenty of closeups showing you each tool and technique. The DVD format includes easy menu selections for quickly reviewing and finding the information you need.

Contents, Disc 1
Introduction: Don MacRostie
Gluing the linings to the sides
Leveling the linings with a sanding stick
Tips for bending your own sides
Making body blocks
Gluing the sides
Graduating the top: outside
Carving the scroll
Sharpening gouges and chisels
Graduating the top: inside
Carving the curly maple back
Fitting the tone bars
Cutting the ƒ-holes
Gluing the tone bars
Gluing the top to the sides
The Go-bar deck
Carving a top or back from scratch
Fitting the neck to the body
Gluing the back onto the body
Cutting a dovetail in the body
Making a neck from scratch
Contents, Disc 2
Routing for binding: router table
Routing for binding: Dremel tool
Hand-cutting the binding routs
Binding the body
Installing the truss rod
Installing the peghead overlay
Routing and binding the peghead
Celluloid binding cautions
Making a fingerboard
Installing the frets
Flush-sanding the peghead binding
Final detailing on the body binding
Installing the neck and fingerboard
Installing the nut
Installing tuners, tailpiece and bridge

The classic shape and size of an F-style or A-style mandolin make them popular projects for the advanced builder. Our A5 and F5 kits feature high quality machined woods, and are a great way to start. They save a lot of time spent roughing-in the instrument, but leave the fine work up to you.

DVD: These DVDs are not "region-specific," and are intended for worldwide use.

Product Instructions

About Don MacRostie

A brief introduction to Don MacRostie of Red Diamond mandolins.

Ratings & Reviews

How to Build a Carved-Top Mandolin

  • Based on 4 Reviews
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Good Job Don

(Customer's Reviews)

I admit the DVD is a little pricey but Don does a great job of sharing his techniques and taking a lot of the mystery out of building a mandolin.If your considering building a mandolin this video will pay for itself over time.



(Customer's Reviews)

Very interesting DVD very well made with alot of info . l am really enjoying it .


The Mando tapes..

(Customer's Reviews)

I was a bit apprehensive paying $125 for a video. In this day and age of $29 BluRay, etc. But I did and am glad of it. The DVDs are copied over from the the VHS tapes. It is not HD by any means. What you are paying for and getting is the years of experience of Don MacRostie. He works through building the Stew Mac F5 kit. But Don takes time to show what he does when building from scratch. The single most important part of the DVD is when Don shows the jigs and tools he uses to build his instruments. Recommended.


The best tool I own.

(Customer's Reviews)

I have built one F-5 kit without this video and it was a major challenge, to say the least. Now halfway through number 2 with the video I'm amazed at how many secrets I know now. Don explains the process in a way that makes things so much easier. This is a must-have for the novice builder.

Shown on page 94 of our latest catalog.