Macica Workshop-Springtime

P1110015 (2) (Custom) Well, Spring is slowly showing itself here in upstate.  We are able to start some of our outside projects for the season.  My son, Ian and I began breaking up an old concrete foundation on top of our hill to ready the area for his training pen for his horse Adi and a new colt.

P1110023 (2) (Custom)P1110038 (2) (Custom) In the shop, I finished putting the binding on the mandolins.  Next, I will be gluing on the fingerboard so that I can start shaping it.  Right now it is like a diamond in the rough.

P1110188 (2) (Custom) I am also doing my best to keep up with my students in the violin class. We spent last class focusing in on the purfling and roughing out the scroll.  I hope to soon have my scroll close to finished so that I can start fitting in the neck.

P1110194 (2) (Custom)P1110196 (2) (Custom)

Instruments in their present state….

P1110190 (2) (Custom) I will keep you posted on some of the upcoming classes I will be teaching in the fall when all the details are worked out….Stay tuned!

Take Care,



Woodworking Show 2015

P1100977 (2) (Custom)  Well, It was a fun weekend at the Northeast Woodworkers Show in Saratoga Springs.  Here is a picture of the Maplewood Center for Common Craft booth .  I worked on showing some woodworking demos as well as displaying a couple of my instruments and talking about some of the upcoming classes.  Please click on the link above to see some of the other classes that will be offered in their beautiful, timber framed wood shop. They will be having an Open House on April 25th from 10-12.  A good time to visit the facility and learn about some of their classes.

I also spent some time at the NWA booth talking about and displaying some of the work from the Violin class.

P1100971 (2) (Custom)  I am finding that there is a lot of people who are interested in learning the process of how things are made.  I think this helps them to appreciate the value of things more.  Plus, I think those that do decide to take a class are discovering what a joy it is to work with your hands with hand tools.

In shop, I am working on a violin right along with the students in my class.

P1100982 (2) (Custom)  We are all getting close to closing up the box of the violin.  I think some of the students already have.  We had three weeks to finish graduating the top and back, cut the f holes, and glue the bass bar in.  Next, we will glue the top on and get ready for the purfling.  Who knows?  Perhaps we will even get as far as cutting out the scroll in our next class….to be determined.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the Northeast Woodworkers Association, here is a link to their website.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I enjoyed talking with those that stopped by the booths.  Thanks.

As a side note…..

p1070294 custom  I will be setting up a mandolin making course for the fall.  I already have a few interested in taking this class. Let me know if you are interested….

Take Care,



Macica Workshop: Classes, Mandolins, WoodWorking Show

Greetings from the Workshop!  I am thankful for the change of seasons…Spring is on its way here in upstate New York.  As you know, I am continuing to teach the Violin Making Class for the Northeast Woodworkers Association…

P1100909 (2) (Custom)

Right now we are in the process of graduating and contouring the outside of the top and back.  We turn the lights off and just use one lamp.  We do this so it can cast a shadow over the top and back plates, so that we can see where we need to take wood away.

The tools we use are first, the gouge to rough carve the plates….

P1100892 (2) (Custom)

We then use the thumb plane to do the fine shaping…

P1100920 (2) (Custom)

Lastly, we use the scraper to make sure all is smooth…

P1100900 (2) (Custom)

After the outside contour is done, we are ready to flip the plates and use the same process for the inside of the back and top.

P1100921 (2) (Custom)

Along with making my own violin with the class, I am continuing to finish this new batch of A-style Mandolins.  This week, I put the inlay on the head stock…

P1100937 (2) (Custom)

The logo of the tree that I put on the head stock of all my instruments is based on the scripture in Mathew about the mustard seed.

I also wanted to mention about the upcoming WoodWorking Show in Saratoga Springs on March 28th and 29th.

We will have a display of some of the students work from the violin class I am teaching with the NWA.

I also will be doing some dovetail demonstrations at the Maplewood Center for Common Craft booth…

Check out the demonstrations that they will be offering at this years show:

Saratoga Woodworking Showcase – March 28 & 29, 2015
We will be back at the NWA Woodworkers Showcase this year on March 28 and 29, 2015 at the City Center in Saratoga Springs.   This year, in addition to our booth, we have been invited to be one of the featured demonstrators at the showcase.  We will also be raffling off a beautifully restored antique Stanley #4 Smoothing Plane at our booth.

Maplewood Featured Demonstrations – NWA Showcase 2015
  • Sat. 12:00-1:15pm – Handcut Mortise and Tenon Joints Made Simple
  • Sat.  3:30-4:45pm – Making a Shooting Board
  • Sun.  10:30-11:45am – Making a Shooting Board
  • Sun. 2:00-3:15pm – Handcut Mortise and Tenon Joints Made Simple

Well, that’s all for now,

Until next time,


Macica Workshop-February news

Greetings from Macica Workshop!  Yes, its still winter here in upstate…  in fact the children are getting quite creative with the snow!

I continue to work on the A-style Mandolins.  I now have all the necks in and am now working on the binding.  I like using a purfling knife to cut the step groove for the binding.  I find it makes for a nicer crisp line.

I then cut out the excess, using a knife router I made.  I really like how it works.  After everything is cleaned out, its time for the binding…

I am also enjoying making a violin along with the class that I have been teaching. Here, I am establishing the edge thickness so that we can all begin to contour and shape the back and top.

Sometimes, I have students that may of needed to miss a class or just would like some extra one-on-one help.  I have encouraged them to stop by the shop and work with me if they need to.

Here, Fred is cutting his corners for the sides of his violin.

Here, Mike is flattening the outline of the sides of his violin.

One of the reasons this class can work well, is that there is one day of intensive class instruction and then the students have two weeks to work on it before the next class.  Homework is key.  Looking forward to seeing the progress.

Until next time,



Macica Workshop-Wintertime in New York

Greetings from Macica Workshop in snowy New York!  These last couple snow storms have presented a blanket of white fun for our three boys and friends….

Winter is definitely here!  In the workshop, I have been working diligently on the three A-style mandolins that I hope to have finished before Spring.  I finished some fine tuning to the tone bars and glued the tops on.  I then cut the over hanging edge flush with the sides. I use a spoke shave at first….

Next, I smooth it using a file or scraper….

I then cut out the space for the heel…

When that is finished, the mandolin is ready to fit the neck.  This process needs to be exact making sure the angle is right.  The neck needs to be straight and break out over the top at the right height.

All of these aspects have to come together at the same time in the process.  I can then glue the neck in.

While the mandolin necks are gluing, I look out the window at the winter snow falling…  and think…. “its time to shovel again!”

Until next time,