Building an Electric Mandolin

My electric mandolin project started out as a much more complicated travel/ silent electric mandolin with a built in preamp and a compact speaker/ amplifier combo to act as a built in on the go mini amp. Along with a small body it was originally meant to allow for easy travel.

AddI was also thinking about possibly using the mandolin for a show or at least to jam with a friend before summer ended. Needless to say this was all a bit ambitious for me to complete in a limited time frame. Still, I stopped work on my second acoustic mandolin to devote all my free time to work on this mandolin. This tactic led to a slightly rushed process and some compromises. Since I couldnít find the exact types of wood I was interested in within the time frame, I also had to change design to suit materials or else wait until new stock came into my local lumbar yard. I also didnít include the more complex electronics set-up. Besides being very ambitious for a first attempt at an electric mandolin, adding the other electronics would have also taken a lot more research and development to be effective.

Having played the mandolin for a while now, Iíve decided the pre-amp and other electronics probably wouldnít have been as useful as I thought. As it is the mandolin still works well for travel, practice and electric playing. While it could still be improved, the mandolin I ended up making works well and is fun to play.

Electric Mandolin Plans

These are the plans I worked off of to build this mandolin: electric_mandolin.dxf. The plans are free to download and copy for reference or as a guide to build your own mandolin. If you would like to use these plans to make your own mandolin, please read the lessons learned page first for some improvements and modifications that you may want to consider. If you don't have a CAD program, there are free CAD viewers available that will let you view and print the plans.

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