Northfield Mandolins

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Northfield Finishes

We find ourselves in a time of many great advancements and options in wood finishing materials. While we continue to press the envelope of innovative building techniques, within the traditional mold, we choose to adhere to older, time-tested finishing materials and applications on our instruments. It has always been our main focus to produce the best sounding instrument possible. Regardless of the composition, having a thin, expertly applied finish is among the most important steps in this process. Below are some details regarding the finish types featured on our various models.

Model M
Coats of shellac applied over top the stained wood. Sanded by hand and then brought to a satin sheen with a mist coat of 1lb cut of Blonde.
  • Spirit Varnish
  • Hand applied alcohol stain
Traditional process building layers of lacquer. Final satin coat added to resemble the vintage glow of late 1920’s and 30’s instruments.
  • Satin Nitro Lacquer
  • Hand applied alcohol stain
Big Mon
Originally we finished the Big Mon completely in spirit varnish. In response to a demand for a more durable finish on this model we started in 2016 applying a varnish/lacquer hybrid. We retained the acoustically and visually superior attributes of shellac while adding an extremely thin topcoat of Lacquer for protection from moisture and heat.
  • Varnish Hybrid
  • Hand applied alcohol stain
Based principally on the time-tested traditions of string instrument varnish recipes and processes, the finish on these instruments are composed of our special blend of shellac flakes and tree resins dissolved in full grain 190 proof corn alcohol. The last coat applications are French polished bringing the final result to a beautiful luster.

The exceeding clarity of water dye stain is used on these mandolins to accentuate the character of our best maple and spruce.
  • French polished spirit varnish
  • Hand applied water dye stain
For more information regarding the finish materials we use or specifics on our processes please feel free to contact us directly by email or phone. We hope this information is helpful.

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Take a look at our dealer list to find out where you can try out one of our instruments. Click here.

Contact Us

130 W Michigan Ave.
Marshall, MI 49068

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(877) 367-7304


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