I didn’t even know mandocellos existed prior to building this! But I offered Grant Turley an instrument in exchange for his mixing my album and this is what happened.

Mandocellos are, as their name implies, part cello, part mandolin. They are guitar sized instruments, and the strings are tuned the same way a cello is, but instead of having four strings like a cello, the strings are doubled, similar to mandolins. Essentially mandocello is to mandolin what cello is to violin.

This one was build from a beat-up old guitar body I found at a flea market–I loved the wear-and-tear look of it. It already had quite a few holes and badly attempted repair jobs, which only added to the aesthetic.

The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard, salvaged off a guitar that my current roommate had intended to leave behind at his old apartment before he moved in with me, but I had other plans for it. I added two extra tuners and swapped out the nut to allow for 8 strings as opposed to 6.

The pickguard was handcrafted from basswood, and includes a lipstick style pickup and a single volume knob (I like my electronics streamlined and straightforward). The volume knob I actually salvaged from a guitar my dad had been borrowing for over two decades (when it went in to get some work done, they put new nobs on it, and I held onto the old ones).

To be honest, I’m a little jealous that I had to give this one up, but I made myself a surrogate, and the work Grant did was well worth it.