The Big Celtic F mandolin perfectly blends the sweeter European sound with a little American woodiness and projection.

If you’d like a fine handmade Celtic mandolin, and you want the best, get in touch through the contact form at the bottom of the page.

"It’s easy to see Nigel’s attention to fit and finish from the images, just as it is to hear the quality of tone that he achieves from the videos. But it’s only when you pick up the mandolin that you understand what a well-rendered tool it is for making music, with a body that is comfortable to hold and play and a fretboard which feels intuitive to navigate. I won’t go so far as to say that it makes me sound like Ian Stephenson, but it makes me want to practice more and get closer to that standard."

- Patrick Heffernan, USA
Commissioning a mandolin or any musical instrument can be a daunting experience and especially when its builder lives in far away in Australia! What if it doesn’t work out? Doesn’t sound or look right!!! I decided to take the plunge and order “The Big Celtic F” featuring f holes, Maple back, sides & neck. I chose this based on photos, music videos and finally, Nigel’s reputation garnered from his time working with Stefan Sobell and then branching out on his own.

The instrument itself is larger bodied than the standard size and it is easier to play, fitting under my right arm very comfortably. Nigel’s workmanship is flawless and details such as the neck’s back strap and Evo Gold frets set this mandolin apart.

It’s sound is warm, well rounded and projects enough volume to hold its own within my nine-piece Celtic Music Band. Now, after several months of playing, its action has settled in very nicely with no adjustments required. Its intonation is perfect, and my N. K. Forster “Big Celtic F” mandolin is now my go to instrument for all my shows.

- Peter Collins, USA
I was fortunate to own a Sobell cittern in the 1980s. When I finally decided to acquire a mandolin that matched the craftsmanship and uniqueness of the cittern, I chose Nigel Forsters' workshop. I was not disappointed. Not only did I receive an instrument that was magnificently crafted in every detail, but one that is unsurpassed in sound quality and playability. The action on the fretboard, the intonation, and the heft of the neck are incomparable. The wide body perfectly balances the clarity of each note with the resonance of the sustained tones. More than any instrument I have ever played, the Celtic F really lets the strings sing. And, of course, it’s strikingly beautiful.

- Kelly Bishop, USA
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1. Big Celtic F 2022
  • Material

    Soundboard – mature seasoned European spruce

    Back and sides – there are many options - mahogany, maple, figured mahogany, wenge, ziricote or figured bubinga.

    Neck - mahogany.

    Fretboard - fine Sri Lanka ebony or ancient bog oak.

    Bridge - rocklite ebano, ebony or maple.
  • Hardware

    Tuners - Gotoh 510

    Frets - hand polished Evo gold frets

    Nut and saddle - hand polished bone.

    Tailpiece - custom made, hand polished solid brass.
  • Dimensions

    body width - 310mm
    body length -300mm
    depth at tail - 50mm
    nut width - 8st 34mm 10st 38mm
    scale length - 347mm