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prowla

I'm making me a mandotar

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Posted (edited)

I've got a half-size guitar and am converting it to 4 pairs of strings D,G,B,E.

GRsQYWc.jpg

Edited by prowla
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If you tune the 1st D and G strings an octave higher it'll be the same tuning as an 8 string Baritone Ukulele - really nice full chords. I'd be tempted to try an octave lower just to see what that sounds like, though the might sound a bit muddy.

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7 hours ago, dave moffat said:

If you tune the 1st D and G strings an octave higher it'll be the same tuning as an 8 string Baritone Ukulele - really nice full chords. I'd be tempted to try an octave lower just to see what that sounds like, though the might sound a bit muddy.

I’m thinking of the top 4 strings of a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret.

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Posted (edited)

This sounds like a great project. I've recently changed my tenor guitar to 'Chicago' tuning - equivalent to the top 4 of a guitar (or baritone uke).

As the scale length is shorter I used heavier strings than I would for a normal six string .

You can get a good idea of which strings should work well with the tool at http://chordgen.rattree.co.uk/tensiontool.php

eg for a balanced eight string with a 15" scale length (like a tenor uke) using steel strings:

screenshot-418.png

Edited by Jean-Luc Pickguard
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Posted (edited)

@prowla have you managed to get any further on this? i have been debating doing something similar myself if i can find a suitable donor instrument. i was thinking of 4ths/guitar tuning and maybe 5 pairs of strings if the neck is wide enough, what are your plans for the bridge/tailpiece? i was thinking maybe a simple wooden floating type bridge (possibly pinned down) and a wooden tailpiece with pins for the string ends (loop end strings?) and a decorative cover to neaten it up.

this might happen if i win the guitar i'm watching on ebay right now.

 

Matt

 

Edit - just had a better look at the picture, can see that you are using a bass bridge,  and that it's pretty much ready to go, how is it sounding?

Edited by Matt P
didn't look at the picture well enough!

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1 hour ago, Matt P said:

@prowla have you managed to get any further on this? i have been debating doing something similar myself if i can find a suitable donor instrument. i was thinking of 4ths/guitar tuning and maybe 5 pairs of strings if the neck is wide enough, what are your plans for the bridge/tailpiece? i was thinking maybe a simple wooden floating type bridge (possibly pinned down) and a wooden tailpiece with pins for the string ends (loop end strings?) and a decorative cover to neaten it up.

this might happen if i win the guitar i'm watching on ebay right now.

 

Matt

 

Edit - just had a better look at the picture, can see that you are using a bass bridge,  and that it's pretty much ready to go, how is it sounding?

Hi, @Matt P

Yes - I looked around for guitar bridges anything really stood out, but the threaded bass one is quite flexible. However, the string holes are too big and guitar strings pop through, so I need to make a plate with holes in it to fit.

I've got to drill holes for and fit the extra pair of tuners.

I may also need to put a new nut on it, as I've just added extra slots to the existing 6-string one for the moment, but the string spacing may be too wide.

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Great lockdown project, and I do love the mandolin anyway (Tim O'Brien is a favourite). This lockdown has me scouring eBay and the like for odd stuff - banjoleles, whatever. Probably buy a tenor Uke on Monday... getting desperate for notes!

Let us know how the mandotar gets along👍

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So, I added the couple of extra tuners.

y8351TA.jpg

There's one more thing I need to sort before I can put strings on it - the string holes in the bass bridge I'm using are too wide, so I need a stopbar or something to catch the ball-ends.

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Right - I think it's built!

502149731_mandotar-front-200516.thumb.jpg.27688f7e723f4b38f2fe3cc7c6fbf1bd.jpg

2081903628_mandotar-bodyfront-200516.thumb.jpg.e1e9ab6ed1e0e3b4d86ca1cca5d91b95.jpg

934123997_mandotar-headstockfront-200516.thumb.jpg.0f71dcb3306b99a099e14f862586a95c.jpg

I have to tune it, plug it in, and do a set-up before it's fully finished.

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