OK, so now we have some details into the history of this mandolin. I am friends with a couple people who have had access to the instrument, so as new info comes in, I’ll be sure to update the history page.
The next thing we are going to do is go through drawing up the plans for a “copy” of the instrument. I chose to start with the peghead overlay. Reason being, my friend Bruce Harvey from Orcas Island Tonewoods was able to obtain a direct tracing of the peghead outline from Bill Halsey, a bow maker out of Michigan. Here is a photo of the template that Bruce mailed to me:
The first thing I need to do is import this picture into my drafting program (I use Rhino) and trace it.
An interesting point on the overlay is that it is not symmetrical and we will be replicating that in the final product. Here is a shot of the peghead folded in half so you can see the difference. Subtle, but definitely there.
Here is a picture of the overlay traced and cleaned up in Rhino………
Bruce had this really good idea, to inlay “The Griffith” into the peghead of these copies. I had him send me a picture of the inlay that he had made for his project. Again, I traced that in Rhino then sized and placed it on the overlay.
Here is a whole peghead shot with tuners drawn in. We will be using Gotoh tuners as they are the closest looking to the original. They are not perfect, but close. I also drew in the classic Fleur-de-lis
Here is a picture of the original peghead…………………….
Next, we will work on the fret board drawing……….
Earlier this month, we brought a stunning Girouard A5 Concert to The Music Emporium in Lexington Massachusetts. The instrument featured a red spruce and sugar maple. Lauri has been doing a lot of the busts sprayed on, and for this one I asked her to do it old school rubbing it in by hand. Came out amazing!!! When we first started out she was doing most of the bursts by hand, but after we invested in a spray booth, she wanted to experiment with the sprayed look. Let us know what you like, the perfect shading of a sprayed burst or the authentic old school look of a hand rubbed burst. The mandolin has already sold, but check out the link for more photos:
Photo’s courtesy of The Music Emporium
We finished up the four guitar body octaves for 2017. The first one featured a solid carved European spruce top and a highly figured red maple back, neck and side set. This tone wood combo gave the instrument a nice clean and punchy sound. Scale length on these octaves were 21.5 inches. This one was sent to The Music Emporium and found a home immediately. Pictures courtesy of The Music Emporium. Check out the link to view additional pictures and video clips. Pictures and video
The second instrument featured a reclaimed “bog” western red cedar top that we obtained from Bruce over at Orcas Island Tonewoods. We’ve used a lot of this cedar and absolutely love it. Back, side and neck were red maple. The combination gave it a nice deep tone without loosing the high end clarity. This instrument found a home in NY.
The third instrument is our “Studio” model octave. It featured a European spruce top paired with a Sapele back and side set. This combo gave the instrument a nice mellow voice perfect for accompaniment, but with still enough power to cut through and take a solo. This one is at The Music Emporium and is available at the time of this writing. Photos courtesy of The Music Emporium. Follow this link to see additional pictures: Additional pictures
The fourth and final instrument in this batch featured a red spruce top and a one piece red maple back. Plenty of volume from this box. Nice dry woody sound with excellent note definition and clarity. This one went to a gentleman that lives in our town, which makes Glocester RI the highest concentration of Girouard Guitar Body Octaves in the country, as there is another individual in town who owns one!!
We are starting a new batch of GBOM’s in the next few weeks so stay tuned……………..
We use several different ways to apply color on our instruments. Watch Lauri apply a water based stain by doing a traditional hand rubbed sunburst. The top is cedar and does well with a hand rubbed stain as the stain takes evenly on all parts of the wood. Hand rubbed stains have a more vintage look with a subtle blending that works nice when you want a hint of a sunburst. (Sorry about the poor placement of the camera and the arm blocking some parts of the view). Check out the video here:
Four guitar body octave mandolins that just had their binding put on. These bodies are ready for final shaping and sanding prior to neck fit. The first one pictured is a European spruce top and red maple back and that one will be at The Music Emporium in Lexington, Ma. The second one is western red cedar and red maple and will be heading to New York. The third one is European spruce and sapele (our studio model) and will be headed to The Acoustic Music Company in Brighton, England. The last one is red spruce and an amazing one piece red maple back going to a local customer. We are now accepting orders for guitar body octaves, Studio models starting at $4000 and Ensemble models at $4500. Both models include hand graduated fully carved solid tops and backs, a 21.5″ scale, body fully bound single color, ebony fret board, bridge and fret board overlay, evo gold fret wire, trapeze style tailpiece, golden age tuners with black buttons and comes with an Ameritage custom case.