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Cricket Fiddle Instrument Co.

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Here you'll find more pics and info on some of the instruments I make plus lots of detailed photos on the actual construction of some of them.
Also YouTube videos of some really unique
(and really Strange!) musical instruments from around the world.


|The Cricket Fiddle
The Shop 

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Upcoming Events

Rock Bend Folk Festival

Rock Bend
Folk Festival
Peter, Minnesota

  I will not be set up at Rock Bend again this year. My big old tree died and they cut it down, so needless to say... no more shade! I will be hanging out at the North Stage most of the time and will have an Octave Mandolin or two with me. Hope to see you there!


Welcome to TeeJays Home Page and Web Site.
I make stringed Musical Instruments
and conduct field surveys for

Reptiles and Amphibians

(Click on the Frog to get to the
Biological Survey)



Tuesday - January 18 - 2022


Hello from the banks of the
Watonwan River at Madelia, Minn. 

(The "Pride of the Prairie")        

A note about calling here
and leaving a phone message:
It usually doesn't work! 
Sorry... but using a cell phone with a bad connection
makes it impossible to hear
your return number.
Please use my E-mail address instead.
Thanks. New E-Mail Address:


Items currently available:

  Scroll down to see what I've got,
then click on the
appropriate blue link above for more pics and info.


My latest project:
(Well one I started
20 years ago anyway and finally finished it again last week!)
A wooden West African Kora.
(No sound sample yet)
There are still a few strings missing, and I'm hoping Scheitel's Music in Mankato, Minnesota will be able to install an electric pickup on it somewhere to enhance the sound.

More photos in the 'Other Stuff' section up above.

8 String Hardanger Viola 'd Amore

I started this project in January 2020 and have just finished it. 

     More photos and details in the
        Violins and Fiddles section.


F- 4 Octave Mandolin
is right down below the Arrpegione.

 I've made an


And it is now on display and for sale at
Groth Music in Bloomington, Minnesota.


(Or best offer)
More photos and details on the 
Violins and Fiddles page.




F- 4 Octave Mandolin


These are tuned the same as a regular size Mandolin…but an octave deeper.  The body size is much larger giving it a nice,
deep “Guitar Like” sound.

There are carved scrolls in the top and back of the

The scale length from nut to fret is 20 inches.  
I've been using D'Addario Octave Mandolin strings, but you might want to consider using Guitar strings to compensate for the shorter scale.

In-lays are made of local clam shell from the

Watonwan River.

The top is made of Redwood.
This was one of the last pieces of old growth Redwood I found up at the local lumber yard years ago. And despite the fact that this last board was infused with several knots, I decided to use it anyway.

As it turned out, all those knots certainly didn't dampen the sound at all, as it has a nice deep resonant tone.

The scrolls on the top and back of the body are more exaggerated than most Mandolins. Just something I've been experimenting with to enhance the balance and tone.

The sides are deeper than my older Octaves: These are 2 - 1/4 inches wide to get a deeper sound.

And port side sound holes have been added
for extra tone.

The tuners are inexpensive but good quality Guitar tuners from China.

The back, neck and sides are made of highly figured Maple all stained a wine-colored burgundy 'Merlot'.

The string width at the Ebony nut is 1 - 1/2 inches wide and has a 'Zero Fret'.

The Ebony bridge is adjustable for

varying string heights.

The tail-piece is made of bronze
by Allen Guitars

All reports coming in agree: These heavy bronze tail pieces really add to the tone and balance and sustain of an instrument.

The top sound-hole is also bigger than ones I've made in the past.

The inside bracing on the top is my own experimental version called an X-Spyder. It may be slightly over-doing it a bit, but so far I haven't had any complaints on the final sound quality. And it's a good bet the top won't be collapsing any time soon!

On the inside of the lower right rib, there is a wooden block that can be used to attach an internal pickup.

On the outside of the lower bout, there is a tiny black dot so you can pin-point the exact location to drill the hole for the pick-up.

The case itself is constructed of carved cedar 2x4's and plywood. The inside is padded with foam and lined with felt. Brass hinges and latches make a secure lock and the little rubber legs will prevent any scratching of floors or furniture.

(Case included)

Now on display and for sale at
Groth Music in Bloomington
, Minnesota.

I have 4 video/sound samples up on YouTube. It looks like the direct YouTube links are working now,
but just in case, you can copy and paste the
https links:


(Sound Sample # 1)


(Sound Sample # 2)
('O'Carolyn Tune')



(Sound Sample # 3)
('Josephine's Waltz')



(Sound Sample # 4)
('The Music Box')



There is a problem with the Mandolins page!
When you click on the page you will get a big blank space. Just scroll down past the blank area until you see something.


 Guitar Body Octave Mandolin
has been


There will be another one of these this Winter. 

(More Photos and details in the


Octave Mandolin
(# 82)


(More Photos and details in the
          Mandolins section)

10-String Hardanger Viola
is SOLD !!!

I've built another one of these, but it's not quite done yet. It won't be a Viking Fiddle, but it will have 8 strings. Stay tuned to my facebook page for weekly updates.

More photos in the
Violins and Fiddles




The FiddleHarpa is for sale
    once again!

(More photos and details in the
 Violins and Fiddles section.

10-String Mandola (# 75)

(Case included)

Now with new side sound-holes too.
(In the Mandolins section)

Now on display and for sale at
Groth Music in Bloomington
, Minnesota. ______________________________________

The 10-String Viola D' Amore is done and is at its new home in Richland, Washington.

There will be more of these!
Let me know if you're interested.

The 10 -String
Snake head 'Hardanger' Fiddle
has become famous!
It has toured several countries with it's new owner and is making beautiful music. 




  I now have video/sound samples.
Please keep in mind:
I spend a lot more time building than playing.
(More coming soon)

More videos in the Mandolins section.
That's what's currently available.
Check out my Facebook page for
photos of the construction of # 78.


Great Big Giant
10-String F-4 Mando Cello.
The photos of the construction process
are up on my Facebook page too.

  10-String A-Style Mandolas have been available in the past.
I might be building more in the future
but it will be a while.


(In the Mandolins section)


This is a direct link to all my videos on YouTube:


OK...That's it for now.
   Keep checking in.      

The Cricket Fiddle Logo


·  A4 Mandolins 

·  F4 Mandolins 

·  F5 Mandolins 

·  F5 Bluegrass Mandolin 

·  Octave A4 Mandolin 


·  Octave F4 Mandolins 

·  Come back for more...

I started making musical instruments in the late 1970’s.

My first attempt was a 5-String Banjo made out of a pine board I found in the garage...
                                       Read More...                                               




 Sorry...Had to delete the phone number.
I usually run and hide whenever I hear the phone ring anyway. 9 times out of 10 its not for me and I'm really bad about getting back to you if you leave a message. You'll have a much better chance if you use E-mail. Thanks!
E-mail the Webmaster

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