The Octofone 2.0

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Allen Ughoc
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Allen Ughoc »

Beautiful in sound and appearance!!!

Jim Hepler
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Jim Hepler »

Mark,
That's a really lovely instrument. Those are some pretty tight bends on the shoulders. The picture from the ad makes it look like the shoulders on the 1.0 come to a point, so I assume that's a joint rather than a bend like on yours. Is that right? Did you have to do anything special to get that tight a bend?

On another note, I'm glad to see that other folks experimenting with wood bakery. Incidentally, I did cook some other wood (masaranduba salvaged from a floor) it did some serious checking. Like the wise man says, "Test on scrap!"
-jim

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Bryan Bear
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Bryan Bear »

I finally got a chance to check out the sound clip. Very cool!
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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

Jim, you are correct, the original has points there, and so there are joints. If folks are interested, I can post some photos of the original as well and go over how it was made. I chose to do bends for mine, I used a 1/2" pipe and went very slowly! It was a bit difficult too. I think I'll get better at that tight bend as I build more of these.
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Hans Bezemer
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Hans Bezemer »

I would love to see some pictures / comparison of the 1.0 and 2.0.

Bill Raymond
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Bill Raymond »

Very nice indeed, Mark. I rather like those tight bends as opposed to a point. Great work!!

Patrick Hanna
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Patrick Hanna »

Hey, Mark,
Very cool instrument there. I like it. I also like the Octophone ad you posted. Okay, the ad asserts you can tune it and play it like any of eight different instruments. It doesn't really matter to me which one you will choose, but I really AM curious...what's your first choice?
Patrick

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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

I play mandolins, so I just tune it as a mandolin, but one octave lower.
Ok, so I took some quick pictures of the original Octofone. These first ones show the full front shot. I made the body of the 2.0 one inch wider at the lower bout, the top where the points are is the same. The scale on the original one is 21", while the 2.0 is 22".
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front.jpg
fullsize.jpg
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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

These photos are not great, Sorry! I am in a hurry.
The strangest thing about this instruments' construction is that the sides are all one piece, with no join at the tailpiece. The sides start at one point, and go all the way to the other! The neck block goes from point to point, and there isn't any side pieces on the outside of the neck block- the surface on each side of the neck, from one point to the other is actually the neck block itself!
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tailpiece.jpg
cutaways.jpg
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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

Here's the peghead...and the rosette with the label inside.
I've seen a few of these in photos on the web, but none of them seem to be in the good condition that this one is! At some point it must have had a pickguard screwed to the top, there are holes there. I've never seen one in a photo with a pickguard.
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label.jpg
peghead.jpg
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Jason Rodgers
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Jason Rodgers »

So, are you making money, just like the ad says? Getting hired for parties? If you make plans for this thing, you might need to include some fine print at the bottom.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Robert Freemond
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Robert Freemond »

Hi Mark, I know I'm a little late for the party, but I wanted to say that I like your V 2.0 it's very cool. I just finished my 1st Mandolin & am think about an Octave Mandolin w/ a Guitar shape. Would you mind telling me what string gages you used & are O M's tuned G,D,A,E ?

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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

Hi Robert...without looking, I don't know the exact gauges I used, but I can tell you that I use the D'Addario Octave Mandolin set. It's easy to get, and very good quality strings. You can find the numbers on their website I am sure. And yes, I tune it one octave lower than a standard mandolin, so, GDAE from low to high.
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Dan Smith
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Dan Smith »

Love the sound Mark!
It reminds me of a mountain dulcimer.
Beautiful instrument.
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Bob Francis
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Bob Francis »

That looks great Mark!

Stephen Neal Saqui
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Stephen Neal Saqui »

Mark,
Congratulations! It's perfect, it's down right lovely, and the bent shoulders are aesthetically divine. I wouldn't have thought it would sound that good...but it does and more!
What a thrill!

Would the shoulder bends be easier if you made them thin and double up on the sides? Just curious.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

Thank you Stephen! That's good of you to say. The bends probably would be easier to make if thinner. Double sides are a neat thing, my friend Bryan Galloup does it and he uses a heat-activated adhesive between. He bends them in the bender together and the heat activates the layer placed between and they come out really well. I'll soon be visiting his shop to see this first hand. Until then, I am going to build a special bending form just for the upper horns and then I'll do the rest of the bend by hand.
As I said earlier in this discussion, the original one used one long piece from point to point!
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Matthew Lau
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Matthew Lau »

Dear Mark,

That's really lovely work.

Can you send me a link to the "baking the Osage" thread?
I just got a split billet, and feel it may be a promising source of bridge wood.
It's just....too yellow.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Mark Swanson »

Well, I think that thread is long gone. As far as I remember, I baked it at 250-300 degrees for an hour or so. I don't think it's that critical, just keep an eye on it.
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Peter Wilcox
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Re: The Octofone 2.0

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Maybe this is the thread: http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php ... nge#p31936

And a recipe from there:
Jim Hepler wrote:Here's the recipe: Wrap the board in aluminum foil (shiny side in) and cook in an ordinary oven at 350 F until you like the colour. This could take several hours. You don't actually need the foil. I think that it slows the overall process, but drives the colour deeper into the wood. That is when you shape parts, the wood will be a little lighter underneath, and this is a bit more pronounced if you don't use the foil.

There is a little tung oil on it, which did darken it a little.
I've made several fret boards from osage orange. It's yellow when I cut and radius it, but quickly (a few days) loses the yellow and darkens to a medium tan. My bass has several hundred hours on it, and the wood has darkened even more behind the most played frets, probably from finger oil.
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