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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 December 14, 2020

Our instruments start at about $3000.

back to Dave.

These Tenor Ukuleles are Dave's newest projects. 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!

There are always new ukes coming out of the shop so if you're interested, email us for pictures of the new ones. All of the ones to the right are now with happy owners.

$600 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

Laureen taking her first uke lesson
L-1 Guitar koa and spruce SOLD

L-1 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.




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 Guitar koa, inlaid peghead  



OM Guitar koa/spruce with ebony pick guard head stock with abalone Tree of Life and fret board inlay.



OM Guitar 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 Guitar 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


Archtop Guitar maple/spruce, macasser ebony headstock


Dreadnaught Guitar Vietnamese rosewood.

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 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


Archtop Mandolin maple with sunburst stain and macasser ebony head stock


Archtop Mandolin sunburst stain, ebony headstock with abalone heron inlay

My personal mandolin.


A Style Archtop Mandolin 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 Archtop Mandolin sunburst stain, abalone inlaid headstock
A Style Archtop Octave Mandolin sunburst stain, abalone inlaid headstock and fret board
A Style Octave Mandolin blond flat top, macasser ebony headstock
"My name is Tom Kammerer, and I live in Yachats. I wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your mandolin #1261 (2012) which I purchased recently at Fingerboard Extension, in Corvallis. It has a bell like tone that is truly amazing! It is also a beautiful instrument. I have been playing a Breedlove American OF VTG (2013), with similar configuration, and this is a very nice upgrade." No picture available at this time.
Banjo sunburst stain and abalone inlay on the ebony headstock and fretboard  

"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'd be low profile. Thought you might be interested in hearing from one of your instruments." 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