Crystal Forest Mandoline
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Welcome to Crystal Forest Mandolins!

Finely crafted mandolins and lap steel guitars
built in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains

I currently specialize in building "flat top", Army-Navy (A-N) style mandolins and lap steel guitars.

About my mandolins

The style of mandolin I build was made popular in the late 1920's when manufactured by the Gibson company of Kalamazoo, Michigan. This style of mandolin was introduced to appeal to service men and were sold in military PX's. The A-Ns were durable instruments made to withstand the rough conditions found on the battle field or base camp. Aside from being built well, they produced a very pleasing sound suitable for all genres of music. Later versions of the "flattop " were built by the Flatiron Mandolin Company in Belgrade, Montana. The Crystal Forest mandolin is very close to the Flatiron in construction and sound.

About my lap steel guitars

My lap steel guitars are all hand built using quality hardwood and components. Woods are generally maple, cherry, walnut or mahongany. I prefer to make real fretboards of ebony or rosewood with real nickel plated steel frets. Inlays for fret markers and peghead logos are cut form mother of pearl. I use quality Kent Armstrong pickups, 500k volume and tone controls. I use Grover 18:1 Sta-tite tuners. The lap steel guitars are unique one-of-a-kind instruments with a great sound. If you are a Dobro or guitar player looking for something different you will find these instruments a great investment.

I finish my mandolins and lap steels in natural wood colors using water-based dyes. The finish is protected by several coats of nitrocellulose lacquer with wet sanding between each layer. The instrument then receives a wax and polishing.

Contact me for current prices, options and availability.
Check the For Sale page for what is available now or will be soon.

  CLICK HERE to view recently sold instruments!

Crystal Forest Mandonlin image
Crystal Forest F5 Mandolin Crystal Forest Army Navy Mandolin Crystal Forest Mandolin
Mandolin Specification:
  • Overall length 24 1/2"
  • Body width 9 1/2"
  • Body Depth 1 1/2"
  • neck width 1 1/8" @ nut
  • radius top and back (120")
  • standard mandolin 13 7/8" scale length
  • adjustable steel truss rod
  • Grover 309, 18:1 tuning machine (nickel plated)
  • scalloped nickel plated tailpiece
  • M.O.P. inlay on peghead
  • 1 1/8" bone nut
  • Cumberland Acoustics bridge
Lap Steel Specification:
  • Overall length ~ 32"
  • Max body width ~ 8"
  • Body Depth 1 1/2"
  • 2" wide bode or ebony nut
  • standard lap steel 22 1/2" scale length
  • Grover Sta-tite 18:1 tuning machine (nickel plated)
  • M.O.P. inlay on fretboard and peghead
  • Kent Armstrong pickups
  • 500k volume and tone controls
  • Fully adjustable Telecaster style bridge
Crystal Forest peghead overlay M.O.P.

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