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Handmade Music from the Ozarks

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About Shawnee Creek Woodworks
Makers of handcarved SHAWNEE CREEK MANDOLINS
We are located in Eminence, Missouri, in the Ozarks near the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, which are part of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. 
I am a retired National Park Service protection ranger and have been woodworking since I was young.  I spent a lot of time watching and working with my grandpa, who was a furniture maker.  Upon my NPS retirement in 1997, my wife and I worked for Chris Foss, owner of Songbird Dulcimers, building hammered dulcimers.  I have spent considerable hours in my shop making furniture, but my passion is building mandolins.  I've been called a luthier, but I prefer to be known simply as a mandolin builder.

My primary goal when I began building mandolins in 2007 was to build a good-sounding mandolin at an affordable price.  This continues to be my priority.  Please keep in mind that my mandolins are hand-made and each will have individual characteristics.  They are not the "cookie-cutter" perfection of assembly-line mandolins.  A visitor at one of my demonstrations described them as "perfect imperfection".

 S h a w n e e  C r e e k  M a n d o l i n s
Bluegrass Gospel from Hurley, MO
First Place:  2011 CAM Gospel Sing-Off Competition
   2nd Place:   2009 National Single Mic Competition, Branson MO

Comments from other instrument builders, as well as professional mandolin players, have been that my newly-built mandolins have a mature and balanced bluegrass sound. 
Jeff Parker, mandolin player for DAILEY & VINCENT,
described my mandolins as good playability,
good sound, notes true, hard to beat for a
handmade mandolin under $1000. 
(used by permission) 
John E. Martin* says these are good mandolins that have an "old" sound
and they show the individuality and characteristics of true handmade instruments. 
(used by permission)
*John is the owner of JME Guitar Shop in Huntsville, Arkansas, and is factory authorized for Martin & Gibson repair.  His handmade guitars have been owned and played by DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER, WAYNE LEWIS & TIM CASE.


Customer testimonials
"The mandolin sounds absolutely fantastic.  It sounds like an instrument that should cost several thousand dollars.  The 12th fret harmonics on it are fantastic.  I love it. "   ...............Carolyn B.   June 2009
"I am a guitar player of 10 years who found myself at the Fiddler's Picnic in Iowa City, IA  looking to buy a banjo.  Then I came across a beautiful mandolin that was just begging me to buy it, so without ever playing a mandolin in my life I picked up your #8 2-point and haven't been able to put it down yet!  Beautiful instrument, easy to play, and sounds absolutely amazing.  It has great overtones that tease the ear and give  a really alluring haunting sound...I cannot make this instrument sound bad no matter how hard I try!  Thank you for caring so much about your craft and executing it with such elegance."    ...............Kyle H.   October 2009
“And I really can’t say enough about how happy I am with the sound and the feel of the neck – I haven’t played a ton of mandolins in my time, but I’ve been playing music for over 20 years at this point and it’s definitely one of those instruments that inspires me to play.  Which is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?”   ...............Matt T.   October 2010

"The mando has settled very nicely and has developed a nice bark.  It plays beautifully and I frequently think about how satisfied I am with the decision to order through you.      ....the neck is perfect and exactly what I wanted.  It makes all the difference between playing for a half hour and playing for hours on end.  Thanks again."   ...............Mark M.   February 2011



"I can't begin to describe how much I love the mandolin.  It is a beautiful piece of art and it sounds great.  The finish looks better than any picture could ever capture and it plays great.  I am definitely a very happy customer and I am happy to say this was the greatest investment I could have ever made.  A beautiful American handmade instrument.  Thank you a million times over and hopefully on my next trip through the midwest I can make my way to Eminence and meet you and thank you first hand.  Great work and thank you."    ...............Mario B.   September 2011