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Making Mandolins for Love, Not Money

A mandolin built by Frank Sox.
Courtesy SC State Museum

  Frank Sox of Lexington not only enjoys bluegrass music, he also plays bluegrass mandolin. But he goes further than that: he actually builds mandolins, and is nearing his 100th. He talks about his unusual hobby and how he got started. In his woodshop, he also demonstrates how he builds mandolins and tells us why he doesn’t advertise and isn’t worried if his instruments don’t sell: it’s not for the money, it’s a labor of love.


Tut Underwood is producer of South Carolina Focus, a weekly news feature. A native of Alabama, Tut graduated from Auburn University with a BA in Speech Communication. He worked in radio in his hometown before moving to Columbia where he received a Master of Mass Communications degree from the University of South Carolina, and worked for local radio while pursuing his degree. He also worked in television. He was employed as a public information specialist for USC, and became Director of Public Information and Marketing for the South Carolina State Museum. His hobbies include reading, listening to music in a variety of styles and collecting movies and old time radio programs.