Campfire Mandolin Kit

  • 19 Reviews
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Easy to build and fun to play! Building the Campfire mandolin requires only basic hand tools, so it's perfect for beginners.

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Campfire Mandolin Kit

Item # 5160
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Easy to build and fun to play! Building the Campfire mandolin requires only basic hand tools, so it's perfect for beginners.

Veteran instrument makers will enjoy it too, because it's a quality instrument in the vintage Army-Navy style. The parts are made to fit together correctly, to save you time and work.

Great sound, great price, fun to build and fun to play!

The Campfire mandolin kit features a traditional flat solid Sitka spruce top, bent sides and flat back of mahogany, machined mahogany bolt-on neck with steel reinforcement bar and slotted rosewood fingerboard, spruce braces, mahogany body blocks, and an ebony bridge. Fretwire, fingerboard inlays and side dot material, nut blank, and strap buttons are included. Order the A-style tuners and tailpiece of your choice separately.

Patterns and complete photo-illustrated instructions help make assembly easy.

Easy finishing options
Builders love to get creative with Campfire mandolin finishes! ColorTone Aerosol Guitar Lacquer is an economical way to apply a finish without elaborate setup or equipment. Only a few cans are needed to completely finish your mandolin. Or try brush-on application with ColorTone Brushing Varnish.

Product Instructions

Campfire Mandolin Kit Instructions

Downloadable assembly instructions for the Campfire Mandolin Kit.

Ratings & Reviews

Campfire Mandolin Kit

  • Based on 19 Reviews
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Update (photo) on earlier review

By Carey from Philadelphia
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, September 07, 2014

As I stated on the earlier review, I was quite happy with the kit and resultant mandolin. I am going to try to attach a picture of the completed mandolin, showing how it looks if you cut the end of the fretboard to match the sound hole.

Sorry they discontinued this kit

By Carey from Philadelphia
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm sorry to hear that they discontinued this kit. As some of the others mentioned, there were some discrepancies between the supplied caul and the neck block, but I was able to figure out how to sand the caul down to get them to match - which later was a helpful skill to have when I wanted to adjust the neck set to get a better action - I definitely learned a lot with this kit and it really is a great sounding mandolin - granted, not nearly as cool looking as the A5 and F5, but for a quarter of the cost. . . Again, it was a great learning experience - I hope they are just making adjustments and will bring it back - I've had several people interested in this kit after they heard mine at the local song circle.

Still no fix for neck block/ neck caul mismatch

By Ron G from Hotchkiss, CO
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, May 05, 2014

This is really disappointing. I just started in on my kit and ran into the same problem other reviewers have complained about and still no fix from StewMac. The neck block and caul do not match, making it impossible to glue the neck block as instructed. I would not purchase this kit unless stewmac acknowledges they have fixed this problem permanently. As you can see in the photo, the neck block does not fit into the caul with sides in place, making it impossible to get a good glue joint on the neck block with the ribs! You'd think they'd have someone check every kit before it goes out the door to be sure this doesn't keep happening. Glueing the neck to the ribs without the caul is a bear and you better have lots of clamps. The tail block/tail caul match is excellent. Hope the rest goes well after the lousy start.

Generally good but one problem

By Jeff Jay from Three Rivers, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, April 05, 2014

I don't usually buy kits but I needed to build some small instruments quickly for a local arts and crafts fair that my business sponsors. The campfire mandolin kit was generally very good but there was one significant issue - the top brace wood was cut with the grain running in the wrong way - horizontal instead of vertical! It did not cause me a problem as I always have lots of bracewood in my shop, but would have caused a serious problem to someone without a guitar shop. I did not use your method of sanding the braces. I used a simple adjustable sanding jig that I made for use when undertaking guitar repairs. Much more positive especially when sanding the rim.

Not Bad, Not great

(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, November 12, 2013

this kit is really cool. Some of the parts don't fit together, like the caul for the neck block or the location of the hole where the neck bolt goes is misaligned. Granted I should have called Stew-Mac and their awesome customer support would have fixed it. I was away for a few months working and couldnt get back to send it back in time so Im stuck with what I got, now as I glue it together Im learning my first mistake...dry fit everything. but its a great bargain. And stew mac has great stuff. I would still buy it all over again I would just wait before I glue it all together. good luck with your build.

Campfire Mandolin

By Javier J. Rincones from Texas
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What a great product/project to have available for someone like me who has little to no wood working skills. I purchased this mandolin a few weeks ago and have had the most wonderful time putting it together. It comes with all the parts you need to assemble except the hardware and strings. The list of tools listed on the instructions to assemble was very helpful. Read the instructions and then decide on your plan of action for assembly. You will end up with a beautiful very nice sounding mandolin. This will not be my last one, I have plans for another string instrument in the very near future. This one was way too much fun and a great kit for any beginner to get his feet wet at instrument building. Get you one you'll be glad you did.


By Chris Graham from Columbus, Ohio
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Made a pretty nice mandolin, but it took Stew Mac 3 different shipments of parts before I finally had enough good parts to build one. Very frustrating. Had to completely rebuild the neck from new parts. If you're up for drudging through the frustration that I had to eventually get good parts, you'll get a great sounding mandolin.

Can't wait to build another one

By Jeremie Dunlap from Spokane WA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I really enjoyed building this. It is an excellent introduction into building an instrument. The Campfire Mandolin has given me the confidence to step up to more complex builds. My goal to build a Gibson F4 style, and I think this was a great first step.

Great Intro to Mando Building

By Hilmar Hansson from Rhode Island
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, April 15, 2013

This kit is a great introduction to mandolin building. The quality of the wood is very nice and the instructions are easy to follow. Here are a couple of hints for building this kit: (1) dry fit, dry fit, dry fit; dry fit everything before assembly, in particular the neck block. (2) This is a small instrument and the overlapping bracing pattern might make the top too stiff. Don't overlap the bracing and move the two braces running along side the sound hole from the front to the back more into the middle so that they don't touch the kerfing. (3) Install the back with a small tab that overlaps the heel of the neck (see picture inset). This is known as the button in the violin world and helps to stabilize the neck. The resulting mandolin has a mellow sound and is surprisingly loud for such a small instrument.

Nice wood, great learning tool

By Paul Hoogeveen from Hudson, MA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, April 14, 2013

I've been doing guitar repair work for many years but this kit was my first foray into mandolin construction. For the most part it's an excellent kit and a great introduction to much of the basics of mandolin construction (much of which can be applied to other stringed instruments). The quality of my kit was very good overall -- very nice wood in particular. Instructions were clear and allowed room for some variation in approach where I was more used to doing things my own way. My only criticism is I would have liked to have been able adjust the neck heel a bit, but the preset mounting screw (which I did not want to remove) made that difficult. But overall it was a pleasure to build and left me with an attractive, fully playable instrument with great tone and projection.

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