I have been building musical instruments for 35 years, mostly mandolin family instruments of one sort or another. In the last 15 years or so I have been writing about how to make instruments and on their history. Clicking on the links below will take you to pages with more information.
Mandolins are available in a variety of styles, with flat, canted or carved soundboards and built with either Australian timbers or traditional European and American timbers.
Irish bouzoukis and citterns are available in three body styles. They can be built with either flat soundboards and pin bridges or carved soundboard with a floating bridge.
MusicBooks Press publishes books about music and musical instruments. The most recent publication is The Mandolin - a history, a comprehensively illustrated history of mandolin family instruments. Also available are The Bouzouki Book and The Mandolin Project, workshop manuals for building bouzoukis & citterns and four different styles of mandolin. Click on the tiles for more information and how to get a copy.
Currently in preparation is a book on building ukuleles. It will cover building soprano, concert, tenor and baritone sized ukuleles as well as a bonus chapter on making an early Hawaiian style ukulele in the traditional style.
There is also a useful on-line calculator which will allow the acurate calculation of string tension on instruments with non-standard scale lengths and tunings.
The collection of Australian dance music which used to be on this site is now part of the much larger and more comprehensive Australian Traditional Music Archive, although an informative essay on Australian social dance by the late Peter Ellis as well as information about Forbes, NSW musician Harry Schaefer is still here.