A few weeks back I bought some padouk, some birdseye maple and some New Guinea silkwood and a couple of blocks of rosewood, at the Canberra “Timber and Working with Wood” show.

Today I have started work on the mandolin. I have a rosewood fingerboard from a broken mandolin, and machine heads from same, but this instrument is basically being built from scratch.

This evening I re-sawed the padouk board so I could book match the timber for the back. Using a jointer I prepared the edges and then thicknessed the boards down until they were identical. I matched up the grain pattern and glued them with hide glue – it’s not vegetarian but it’s the ideal glue for instruments. The board has been clamped and set aside for the glue to set.

I also re-sawed the birdseye maple, which I hope to use for the top – but it is difficult to get a good edge on it for gluing. However, it is reasonably wide, so I may just go for a one-piece top. The mando is designed for traveling and ideally it will fit into a backpack – like the pochette fiddle – it should be close to the shape of a spoon-back mandolin, with a hint of a reverse dimple, so it will actually be more of a guitar shape.

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