Click the photo to hear the sound.

The Mandatar

by Vaughn R.

My instrument is named the Mandatar. It is like a mandolin and guitar. That is how it got its name. I was inspired by my brother's guitar that he got the previous year. It is a string instrument like my Mandatar. It is a dark chestnut color and sounds eerie. It has a high pitch and a soft volume.

I used wood, nails, glue, string, eyelets, saws, and a hammer. I cut various sizes of wood to nail and glue together. I found most of the materials in my basement. My dad bought only the string and eyelets at the hardware store. I was used to working with those materials.

My instrument was made very well. I cut and measured wood for ten minutes. Then I nailed and glued pieces together, which took a long time. Then I cut a thin board into the exact sizes. Then I glued and nailed that down. It was a tiring process.

Two days later.....

I was taking out stain and varnish from my basement. My dad had a two-in-one varnish and stain that I used. I painted on it all morning and let it dry.

One day later.....

My dad and I were in the basement and we were cutting out a bridge for my Mandatar. Then we glued it on and then strung and tuned it. The tuning was hard because the strings kept stretching out. But that was the only problem. My dad supervised me using all the power tools and cutting the bridge. I did the rest of it.

The Mandatar can be played in various ways. You can pluck the strings on either side of the bridge and you can play it like a guitar. Also you can hit the strings lightly with something. The Mandatar can play any octave you set it to. You do that by turning the eyelets on the end of the instrument. The volume depends on how hard you it the strings or how far you pluck the strings.