About mid-December 2007 I began thinking about having an A style mandolin built from a smaller luthier. I contacted three in my search, and ultimately chose Howard Morris. Howard builds mandolins (A, F, & 2-point) in Oregon. He has numerous builds, and very satisfied customers. His pricing is NOT astronomical like some of the other builders. In this thread I will try to document the build of my A-5 (should be delivered by March 2008) through emails from Howard, pictures, etc. So far, all we have are raw specs on what I wanted. They are: A-5 Style Bear claw spruce top Flamed maple B/S Radiused ebony fretboard .080 fretwire Vintage Sunburst finish Schaller "A-Style" tuners Hardshell Case Howard will be emailing me pics of the set(s) of bear claw spruce and maple for me to choose from. I will post these pictures when I receive them. Will update as needed, if anyone is remotely interested in watching/following this build from a great American builder.