What's here

An on-line string tension calculator which was be used to calculate string tensions for most guitar and mandolin family instruments. 

A pdf of the Music of Harry Schaefer, an old-time dance musician of Forbes NSW who played music in Central-West NSW for the first half of the 20th century. The print version is long out of print.

An essay by the late Peter Ellis on Australian social dancing, originally written in 1995. It will download as a pdf.

 While researching mandolin history for The Mandolin Project, I came across mention of a book entitled Violins and Other Stringed Instruments - How to Make Them, published by Cassell & Co, London in 1904 and edited by Paul N. Hasluck. He was the editor of numerous manuals on how to make things, including various aspects of woodwork, bootmaking, electric dynamos, and my favorite, motor bicycle building, which involves casting your own one-cylinder engine from cast iron. (it is available as a pdf download on the web)

 Violins and Other Musical Instruments covers building the violin family, a Japanese one-string violin. the mandoline, guitar, banjo, zither and dulcimer. As this book is now out of copyright, here is the chapter on 'Mandoline Making'. A fascinating English look at instrument making from a century ago. The link is on the left.

I started playing around with moulded soundboards in the 1980s and worked out some interesting ways to to form, by heat, moisture and pressure, an arched soundboard. These could, with a minimum of carving and graduating, be a very functional soundboard for bouzoukis and citterns or for that matter guitars.  This link takes you to a pdf of an article written for American Lutherie in 1998, slightly modified as a chapter in the original publication of The Bouzouki Book.

Elsewhere on the web

Bush Traditions - promoting Australian Folk Music  with the largest collection of old-time Australian dance music

The Guild of American Luthiers - publishers of American Lutherie

 Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) - publishers of Guitarmaker

 The Mandolin Cafe - mandolin central on the 'net

The Australia/New Zealand Luthiers Forum - discuusions on lutherie from an ANZ perspective

Gerard Gilet Guitars - very fine guitars and guitar building supplies and the co-author of Contemporary Acoustic Guitar

Trevor Gore Guitars - more good guitars and the other author of Contemporary Acoustic Guitar

Darrell Wheeler Custom Lutherie and Guitarwoods - Another fine guitar builder, repairer, teacher of lutherie and material supplier.

Scott Wise, Margaret River WA - a fine builder of ukuleles and anything else with strings. Patron of the Margaret River Guitar Festival.

Peter Coombe Mandolins - A style mandolins using Australian timbers

Terry McGee Flutes - Irish wooden flutes

Luthiers Mercantile - timber, parts and tools

Stewart McDonald - timber parts and tools

Orcas Island Tonewoods - spruce and maple for mandolins and more


Graham McDonald Stringed Instruments

Contact:    Click to  Email

                        Phone: 0402 026 962   +614 02 026 962

                        PO Box 365 Jamison 

                        ACT 2614 Australia