mandolin

After gluing on the fingerboard and nut I touched up the varnish and gave the whole instrument a good final cleanup and wax.

Then it was time to add the tailpiece and machine heads and the instrument was almost finished.

The final-ish thing was to make a bridge – I used some leftover Tasmanian Blackwood and made a bridge, tuning in the strings with stepped forward and back slots.

Finally I got some new strings and strung it up for the first time. It needs playing in but the sound is wonderful and will only get better!

You can read all the steps here
http://fourstrings.wordpress.com/?s=mandolin

This was very well worth doing!

Here are some more photos

mandolin

mandolin

mandolin

mandolin

mandolin

And here is what it sounds like

Cheers
Jerry

An

After sawing the ribs, there is then a fairly careful process of thinning the ribs to the right thickness of about 1.5mm. The sawing left rough faces which then needed to be smoothed out and the sides taken down to the right thickness. Initially I used double-sided tape to tape the sides down and took the worst of the sawing marks off with the plane. Then a more delicate process with the scraper, and finally, after selecting the best or face side I took to it with 380 grit then 600 grit sandpaper, and finally 1500 grit to get the surface really smooth.

I wondered about the colour mix, as the back padouk is very orange, and the sides, or ribs – blackwood – are very brown, and the top of birdseye maple is almost a pale honey colour. Would the brown and the orange clash? Actually, yes. But there is a solution, and that is to include a banding strip containing the colours of all the timbers. Here are the parts lined up to see the relationship between them.

mandolin sides

You can read the rest of the story here:
Part 1 – making a start (selecting the timber)
Part 2 – preparing the top
Part 3 – cutting out the back
Part 4- starting the ribs
part 5 – sawing the ribs

Some small progress this week – I selected some figured blackwood for the ribs and began preparation of the timber using my trusty old Russian plane freshly sharpened and reset. Once the surface is good on both sides I shall saw the board in half along its length and resaw it into thin slats ready for finally thinning and bending.

Cheers
Jerry

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