The approach is…

Mandolin – 003

Ash top with a Koa wood center, Black Walnut back and sides.  Black Walnut neck with a ‘bone’ laminated piece of figured Maple, Rosewood fretboard, Amboyna burl headstock veneer.  The string pins on the bottom are piano brass from a 100+ year old piano.

The first two mandolins I built had arched tops.  One was carved, one was bent, both had similar sound characteristics.  I then decided to build a mandolin using a tenor ukulele body and the result was surprising.  The clunk of the mandolin had nearly completely dissolved and the sustain became massively improved.  Improved simply means more in this context and only better based on what the player prefers.  The beautiful parts of the mandolin remained.  The body is loud and marches smoothly across that plain because it is unnecessary to drive the play action to extremes in order to create volume, so the smooth sounds that are known possible in the mandolin remain pure and steady.