Introduction

Eight mandolins were needed for the Kanata Theatre production of The Dragonslayers. This picture shows three of the mandolins in use.

Photo by Slava Gershtein

The mandolins did not have to be functional, but three of them had to have spinners: that is, they needed handles so that the whole mandolin could be rotated. None of the mandolins should have a glossy finish: there should be no risk of specular reflection of stage lights shining into the eyes of audience members.

As usual, cost was a factor, and also the mandolins had to be robust, so that slight accidents and falls would not damage them too much. Of the eight to be built, seven were for use and one was a spare, just in case one got destroyed during rehearsal or performance.

The principal materials that I chose for the construction were

  • 1" x 2" pine (my favourite material)
  • scraps of 3mm Luan plywood left over or recycled from making scenery.

I found two websites to be very useful in this project: