Cocobolo Irish Bouzouki

Cocobolo Irish Bouzouki
Cocobolo teardrop back

This Irish bouzouki was one of my favorite kind of builds. Made for George up in beautiful Scotland to match his cocobolo mandolin. Its always a privilege to work with quite such beautiful wood. Cocobolo is up there with some of the finest tonewoods, it has a tap tone which needs to be heard to be believed. Pared with a AAA set of Moon spruce from Switzerland this is a loud punchy instrument.

Moon wood itself is fascinating for anyone like me who enjoys nerdy topics. Its felled in the winter at very specific parts of the lunar cycle. There has been a great study by Prof. Dr. Ernst Zürcher on the topic for anyone who fancies a read.

High gloss back

I'm not usually a fan of high gloss finishes. For most applications I find them a little over the top. However for some timbers like the Cocobolo on this Irish bouzouki, it would be rude not to. It really does bring out the grain and the wonderful depth of colour.

Thought i'd leave this picture in to prove i'm handier with the hand tools then I dare say I ever will be with a camera!

Tenor Guitars

Small tenor guitar

Very pleased to have been asked to build these two tenor guitars for two incredible Scottish musicians. One smaller body for CGDA tuning and one larger for GDAE. The bigger body has a richer sound and is great for accompanying singers. While the smaller of the two has a more focused sound and is well suited to holding its own in larger groups.

Large Tenor guitar

This 00 inspired tenor guitar (now in the very capable hands of Anna Massie) Is built on an Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce body. An absolute classic combo for a rich warm tone. I often like to play around with lesser used tonewoods. And particularly like to use native species where possible. But sometimes its lovely to go back to the old faithfuls.

The smaller of these two is in European walnut and western red cedar. Now with Alasdair Paul from the mighty Pons Aelius. It was great to work with Alasdair, he shares my love of vintage tones and more obscure instruments. This instrument has a cylindrical back rather than the more common domed. It really helps focus the sound, particularly in the higher registers. Keen to build more tenor guitars in the not too distant future. Give me a shout if you have some ideas you'd like to explore.

Octave Mandolin


Octave mandolin

This is one of my smaller bodied octave mandolins. I make them in a variety of scale lengths to suit the customer. But these largely fall into either 20.75" or 22.75". Depending on your style of play the shorter octave mandolins can be easier on the fingers for melody playing. For a lot of players moving over from a standard mandolin you wont even have to change your fingering.

But its horses for courses. If you were after something a little louder and more strident I would suggest the longer scale and larger body.


Yew Rosette
Yew back and sides

This instrument was built with some lovely Yew from the lads over at David Dykes. I was particularly happy being able to get the sapwood to run the full length of the sides. Not something that would be easily achievable on a larger instrument. I was lovely to be able to incorporate some of this into the rosette also. It really pops on the very white moon spruce top.


Octave mandolin
Old English Yew back

Electric Tenor Guitar


I’ve have long wanted to build an electric. Having not made any since my days back at the Galloup school. Not wanting to get involved in anything too mainstream. I jumped at the chance to build this electric tenor guitar when asked to buy a customer.

The concept was simple, build a small tenor which is easy on the hands for a customer struggling with double courses. The rest was up to me.

Heading down the route of a drop top, I saw this piece of Walnut from Conway tonewoods and was sold! The tenor guitar body itself has some large cavities internally to help cut down weight. As well as a slight arch to the top. This is largely for comfort and to stop it feeling like a big lump. Something which as a predominantly acoustic player, I often find of electrics.

The rest of the body was built around these Seymore Duncan vintage mini humbuckers. The best fit for a small electric tenor guitar. They sound incredible! There is something really unusual and lovely about suddenly having all the sustain in he world for a tenor guitar. An instrument usually reserved for choppy chords and quicker melodies.

This was so much fun to play, I confess I had a hard time giving it up to the customer.

seymore duncan mini vintage
Guitar f-hole
Electric tenor guitar