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He builds very nice new instruments (look at for example the extraordinary Mandriola, with 4x3 strings !), but he also restores old mandolins.
Dave decided to share his experience, publishing in his website all his technical know-how of repair-man,for these so particular instruments that are bowl-back mandolins.
His site (in english) is very rich, with lots of photos and examples illustrated by practical cases.
The site also features a rich and illustrated section on the mandolin history, as well as a classified list of italien, french, german and even japanees old makers.
Thanks a lot to Dave for all this work, and his great kindness, always giving the good advice.
This site features an incomparable documentation about the ancient Luthiers in Mirecourt, the comercial brand they used, and even their genealogical line.
There is on this site an integral digitalization of a great number of catalogs of these ancient Luthiers of Mirecourt.
Thanks to the authors of that site for the excellent job !
A very nice ensemble gathering passionate and et erudite persons on the mandolin.
We can read on the site an history of the mandolin, from the medieval era until nowadays.
A video explains the work of this society and we can listen to musical extract from the repertoire of the ensemble. It is so beautiful !
Long life to them
Bob defines himself as: "Bob is a TOOLMAKER, gardener, artist, philosopher and technician."
This definition, I think, sums up pretty well his lifestyle. Bob lives in Texas, he has the opportunity to work outside, and everything he does is approached with philosophy and poetry. He is always inspired by the work of ancient craftsmen and his knowledge on the subject is very wide.
We have a lot in common, in addition to tools, Bob is interested in mandolins, flutes, programming, garden, kitchen ... and I just found out that even we have the same birthday.
I strongly urge you to visit Bob's site : http://toolmakingart.com.
You can also visit his tool shelf at Homemadetools.net.
Its title, WoodGears.ca, makes reference to the wooden made gears that he uses extensively, and for which he has developped an extremely efficient software for drawing and cutting these gears into plywood.
I have by the way experimented this on my thickness sander (see the article Instrument making/workshop).
Mathias is basicaly a software designer, and he publishes several softwares, free or for reasonable charge, of the highest interest for woodworkers.
You can notice the amazing Bigprint (see my article in the Softwares section) that allows to print any image (a plan or simply a picture) at any scale on several A4 sheets of paper, using any home inkjet printer. It features a very efficient system that allows to align printed sheets to stick them back together and make the full size plan.
The bonus of this software is that it is made by a woodworker for woodworkers. As whatever does Mathias Wandel, it is full of good ideas, like the ink saver, or the quotation feature.
Mathias is not devoid of a sens of humour, have a look for instance at his video of his system for stubborn pencils.
What I like the most in Mathias, is that he remained a big kid, have a look for instance at his projects like the marble machine, the Jenga pistol, not talking about his all wooden organ.
Mathias also owns a Youtube channel, I encourage you to subscribe :
The site Gravure et Couteaux de Jean Santos, it's a mine of ressources, very educative, about metal engraving.
It's written in French, you can use Google translation to get a translation of the entire pages.
And you can admire all the wonderful works. I recommend the fly fishing rod and its sheath....