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Guitars and Mandolins by Dave Thormahlen:
Even though I have a full-time harp making business, I seem to find the time to build a few guitars and mandolins each year. I am intrigued by a variety of historical guitar designs. Rather than collecting vintage guitars and mandolins, I try to make copies of interesting guitars and mandolins I have seen and played. Since I can't keep them all, (they do tend to pile up), we ocassionally offer them for sale.

Updated July 4, 2017

Our instruments start at about $3000

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These Tenor Ukuleles are Dave's newest project. These 3 Ukes were all made at the same time.

From left to right: Koa, Persimmon and Yew. ("Yewkulele")

They are strung a 5th away from the 4 highest pitched strings on a guitar which means you can play it with the same chord positions that you play on a guitar. A D chord on the guitar would be a G chord on the Ukelele; a C chord would be an F chord and so forth. Like having a capo on the 5th fret. Lots of fun!

$500 each

From a happy new Uke owner:

"Thank you, a thousand times. The feeling I got when I first played it comes back every time I pick it up...including losing track of time. I'm ecstatic!" Buckminster Barret

I don't need a therapist, I have a Ukulele! Patty, Comptche, CA

L-1 Guitar Koa and Spruce SOLD
   

L1 Guitar maple/spruce

   
L1 Guitar Yewwood/spruce
   
Octave Mandolin maple and spruce
   

Parlor Guitar Koa/spruce with fret board and headstock abalone inlay.

   

Parlor Guitar Koa/spruce with fret board, headstock and pick guard abalone inlay.
I built this guitar for my daughter

I built this guitar for my daughter

 

 

 

Grande Bouche Maple/spruce, Django style guitar .

 

 

Selmer guitar Mahognay/spruce. $2500
Inspired by the great Gypsy Jazz Guitarist Django Reinhart, this is a Selmer style Jazz guitar much like the one Django played but with a 25 1/2" scale length.

   

J-185 Bubinga/spruce with ebony pick guard and headstock with abalone inlay. This guitar is based on the popular "small jumbo" developed by Gibson in the 1950s and used by the Everly Brothers.

J-185 Koa Guitar, inlaid peghead.  

 

 

OM Koa/spruce with ebony pick guard head stock with abalone Tree of Life and fret board inlays.

 

 

OM Maple/spruce with Macasser ebony pick guard and head stock with gold leaf Heron.

I'm 26 and have been playing guitar my whole life. I'm studying music more seriously now than I have in the recent past so the guitar is coming in handy. There is something special about this guitar and I am grateful to be able to play it. I think it will help me get back to my acoustic roots. I'll take good care of it. Tommy

   

OM Cypress with cut-a-way

I just wanted to express my thanks in creating such a glorious instrument. 
This OM guitar is my first 'real' guitar, as I have been playing on a little Applause for a long time. It is absolutely exquisite and I feel totally humbled when playing it. I know already it will bring me thousands of hours (and many years) of joy and inspiration. I have shown it to a few friends who play and everyone is just blown away.  I just hope I can do the instrument justice!!! Amoris Walker


 

 

 

   

Archtop guitar, Maple/spruce with abalone T inlay on the headstock and sailboat inlay on the pickguard.

SOLD

   

Archtop Maple/spruce, Macasser Ebony headstock.

   

Dreadnaught Vietnamese Rosewood. SOLD

Concert Ukelele Koa.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm loving this new ukulele. It will be played everyday!

Anne

   

F style Octave Mandolin Maple Archtop with scroll. Sunburst stain, ebony head stock with inlay.
This instrument is tuned one octave lower than a standard mandolin. 

This is a beautiful instrument! The craftsmanship is equal to or exceeds that of my Weber mandolin, and I think he is about the best in the business! It also is VERY easy for a mandolin player to play because of the 19.5 in. scale and the very slender neck. I dont know of anybody in the buisness that makes a slender neck like that on an Octave mandolin! And it sounds wonderful, most octaves sound muddled and and confused down low, but yours projects well and is crisp and clear! Dave Robinson, Bellingham, WA

 

 

   

A style Archtop Mandolin Osage Orange and spruce, f sound holes

"For your archives, here are photos of mando #35, with Osage Orange back and sides. I got it on consignment at Cripple Creek Music in Ashland OR in July 1995, and have played it a lot ever since. You'll note a few modifications: Allen tailpiece, Fishman pickup, McClung armrest (plus I use a Tone-Gard that is removed for the photos). While I have various other instruments, this instrument is often the first one I reach for, due to its playability and great sound. It's also traveled to performances in France, Finland, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, not to mention places closer to home (Berkeley)... Thanks!" Tony Phillips, California

   

A style Archtop Mandolin Maple and spruce, f sound holes, Macasser Ebony peghead.

I am very pleased with this beautiful mandolin, actually that is putting it mildly, I "LOVE"!!!! this mandolin. It chimes like little silver bells in a cathedral, or crystal bangles in a soft breeze. Though I am a novice player, everything I attempt to play is cleaner. The intonation is perfect, the tuning stays true for hours, the radiused and wider fretboard fits my style, the natural beauty of the medially lines in the top right behind the bridge where they come to a crown and around the edge where they swirl into each other is always a pleasure to look at, the flame of the maple is exquisite, the stain and slight burst is so comforting and humble, the abalone dots complement the theme of this instrument perfectly, the purling is simple and honest, the peg head veneer is waves of all the colors on the rest of the instrument, I have looked at it very closely and I am SOOOOO! glad you chose to keep the macasar with the separation, it increases my affection for the concept of a one and only unique to me handmade instrument immensely.
Regret not contacting you sooner, these are busy times and any spare minute, I find myself playing your piece of art. I think about it through my day and it makes me quite happy. Fred Coates, Oregon Bluegrass Association

   

A style Archtop Mandolin Maple/spruce, oval sound hole with peghead inlay.

Sold to recording Artist Craig Einhorn

   

A style Archtop Mandolin Maple/spruce archtop with sunburst stain and ebony head stock with salmon inlay.

"This mando got 4 thumbs up from Tom Bekeny, mandolin player for the Kathy Kallick band. Tom Rozum (Laurie Lewis band) wanted a chance to play it, too, but he was swamped with work. Tom isn't easily impressed, and all he could say were really great things about it. So, thanks again for the mandolin, it's found a good home." 
Jeanne-California

   

Mandolin Maple Archtop with sunburst stain and Macasser ebony head stock SOLD

   

Mandolin Archtop, sunburst stain, ebony headstock with abalone Heron inlay.

My personal mandolin.

   

A Style Mandolin Archtop, sunburst stain, Macaser ebony headstock.

 

"What a beautiful instrument. This is a stunning creation. I just finished playing it and it's so easy to play. I'm already a better mandolinist. I just marvel at the instrument. Thank you so much."

Roger Andrews-Portland, Oregon

   
A Style Mandolin Archtop, sunburst stain, abalone inlaid headstock. SOLD
   
A Style Octave Mandolin Archtop, sunburst stain, abalone inlaid headstock and fret board. SOLD
   
A Style Octave Mandolin Blond flat top, Macasser ebony headstock
   
Banjo sunburst stain and abalone inlay on the ebony headstock and fretboard. SOLD  

Just thought I'd let you know that the octave mandolin I got from you twenty years ago is still the pick of the litter. I'm in the mandola section of the Classical Mandolin Society En Masse Orchestra. It's a pick up band with about 120 members. As it happens, I'm exactly in the center of the front row. Which is surprising as I had choosen to play in the mandola section so I be low profile. Thought you might be interested in hearing from one of your instruments. Take care,
Bob Puckette

 
   
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Here is where we order strings for our fretted instruments: Guitar Strings and Beyond

Thormahlen Harps | 1876 SW Brooklane Corvallis, Oregon 97333 | (541) 753-4334 | harps@thorharp.com