Foreword by Prof. em. Marga Wilden-Hüsgen
Part I: Historical development
1. The origin of the mandolin
2. Mandolin making in Italy around 1900
3. The Mandolin in Germany
4. The origins of the Seiffert mandolin
5. Steps to your own model
Part II: Building a modern mandolin
6. Plans, forms and choosing wood
7. Making the soundboard
8. Constructing the bowl
9. Attaching the soundboard
10. Making the neck
11. Fingerboard and neck profile
13. Bridge, tuning machines and setup
14. Care and maintenance
15. How the author came to mandolin making
Ordering is available directly from the author for $84 plus $18 shipping (ordering link follows below). Payment can be made via PayPal or bank transfer. The book will be available from Elderly Instruments in August.
Alfred Woll is one of the most distinguished makers of mandolins in the Neapolitan style and a standard-bearer for his craft. Here, he shares the immense body of knowledge he has acquired over many years as a professional luthier.
In a historical discourse, he recounts the lives and work of famous master luthiers such as Luigi Embergher, Raffaele Calace and Reinhold Seiffert, illustrated with many previously unpublished photos and true-to-scale construction drawings of their instruments. He follows this with detailed instructions for building a modern mandolin in the classical style, from the choice of wood right through to the finish.
The first part of this book deals with the historical development of the mandolin. Special emphasis is placed on the life and production of the three leading Italian workshops at the beginning of the 20th century, namely those of the Vinaccia family, Luigi Embergher and Raffaele Calace. Images of their most famous and beautiful instruments appear on double-sided plates, and particulars of their construction are discussed on the basis of many detailed photographs and scaled building plans. In addition, special attention is paid to the development of mandolin building in Germany from the end of the 19th century up to the present day. A whole chapter is devoted to the career of Reinhold Seiffert. This chapter describes how his new mandolin model came into being. Alfred Woll complements this discussion by explaining particularities of his own modern mandolins.
The second part of the book is devoted to the practicalities of mandolin construction. Based on his forty-year experience as a mandolin builder, Alfred Woll makes available all the considerations and practical information necessary to construct a high-quality modern classical soloist model mandolin. Starting with the criteria for selecting good timber and concluding with complete blueprints, he uses many informative photographs to explain every single step. This gives the interested mandolinist insight into how the instrument comes into being, and also the ambitious luthier valuable information and practical advice for ensuring the survival of an ancient and venerable craft.
An appendix contains advice and instructions for the player on how to look after the instrument, next a chapter about the career of the author, and also extensive notes and a bibliography.