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Monthly Update 
July 2008
In This Issue
Product Highlights
Luthier's Tip
Quick Links
More About Us
Dear Luthiers,
Web site is up!
Back in December I asked you if an on-line shopping-cart ordering system would be helpful for you to order parts from us. An overwhelming majority wrote back and said "yes," and some added that it would be helpful when they needed to order something late at night or on the weekends. So, I made the commitment to move forward.
Our marketing manager, Kali Nowakowski, embarked on a program to find a web master who not only knew how to put a shopping-cart system together, but someone who was also sensitive to our business and knew how to present our products and our historical data on Lloyd Loar and Orville Gibson in the right way. Kali teamed up with Russ Bunge, a San Luis Obispo web specialist, and they began what was to be a seven month process of re-cataloging, re-photographing, re-designing, and completely reorganizing our web site. And, I'm really thrilled with what they have come up with.

Russ and Kali

Our new site just launched yesterday (please see our new look at, and it provides many features we didn't have before. The on-line ordering system is powerful and features PayPal and encrypted security measures so you can process credit card information with peace of mind. And, the new pop-up photos let you see our products larger and better than before.
As with any new project of this magnitude, there will be a few "glitches" here and there, and we'll keep refining it until it's perfect.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on our site, and if you like what Kali has done, you might want to send a "good job!" note to
Thanks for building with us...
Roger Siminoff
Mandola kits?
Well, the word has leaked out; we're soon to announce our H5 mandola kits.
For the past year, we have been working on tooling up for H5 kits, and it is notMandola Soundboard a simple task. Using all the design features of our original custom-made three-dimensional carver we use for F5, A5, and F4 plates, we now have prepared a second-generation pattern carver dedicated to carving soundboards and backboards for the H5. The new patterns are complete and we're now in testing mode. This calls for several dozen test runs and subsequent adjustments, and we need about a month or so to fine tune everything with the objective of bringing you the same incredible carving results that you've seen on our F5, A5, and F4 boards.
As you know, we already have mandola necks, fretboards, bridges, and block sets. Within a month or so, we'll be producing mandola ribs, and our soundboard and backboard carving tests should be finalized by then.
So watch for a note about our H5 kits - you'll be the first ones to know!
Product Highlights
MODULATOR BRIDGE - If you are just finishing a new instrument and want toModulator Bridge warm up the tone until the instrument breaks in a bit, we make a Modulator Bridge with an ebony/maple saddle. The softer tone of this bridge modulates the "hard" sound of brand new instruments, and when the instrument breaks in, you can change up to the included ebony saddle. Part #309-G (gold) is $40.00, and Part #309-N (nickel) is $38.00. P&H for bridges is $7.50.
EBONY END PINS - Ready to strap on your mandolin? We have ebony and Ebony Endpinrosewood end pins, polished and tapered. They require a 5/16" starting hole that is then hand tapered to match the taper of the pin. (By the way, they don't get glued in place; just tapped in gently.) Part #600 (ebony) is $5.50 and part #601 (rosewood) is $6.50. P&H is $7.50.
 FINGERREST MATERIAL - We offer our custom-made tortoise-shell acrylic plastic material in sheets so you can make your own elevated fingerrest. 1/8" x 4" x 6".  Part #615 is $10.25 and the P&H is $7.50.
NOTE: Orders combined with other parts or tools will have lower total P&H cost. Please consult the Shipping & Returns page on our website for a P&H table.
Luthier's Tip: Positioning Tone Bars 
I like to attach the tone bars after the soundboard is attached to the rib for two reasons: 1) the tone bars might interfere with the body assembly fixture if they are glued on first; and 2) there is a possibility that gluing the tone bars onto the soundboard before it is attached to the rim might alter the un-attached soundboard's shape, especially if the f-holes were already cut in the soundboard. To reduce the chance of any problems, I glue in the tone bars after the soundboard and rim come out of the assembly fixture.                                                 

Tone Bars

You can choose to mark the location of the tone bars before you attach the soundboard to the rim or you can make a simple plastic template like I did that fits inside the kerfed lining and lays against the soundboard. My template has holes in it to locate the ends of the tone bars, so I simply transfer those holes to the soundboard with a pencil.
It's easy and fast, and it ensures that the tone bars get in the right place every time. Next month, I'll show you some easy-to-make wood clamps I use to get around the rim and glue the tone bars in place.

Product of the Month: Kali's $5.00 off Special

Our marketing person has offered a special this month if you use our new on-line ordering system. For any on-line orders of $50.00 or more (not including tax or postage) that you place in the month of July using our new shopping-cart system, you can deduct $5.00! To take advantage of this offer, enter promotional code kalifive when prompted during check out!

Save $5.00
Kali's $5.00 off Special
July's Product of the Month: Save $5.00 on your online purchase of $50.00 or more (not including tax or postage). This discount may not be used with any other offers or discounts. Limit one (1) per customer. Enter kalifive when prompted during check out.
Offer Valid: June 27, 2008 through July 31, 2008