The bindings worked well, so it was time for a final sanding and clean up using 180 grit, then 600 grit then 1200 grit on the sides and back.

mandolin

I also took the face of the head back to bare wood and painted it black – after masking off adjacent areas – as grain run-out made it look as though there was a nasty crack in the head. So the paint is purely cosmetic. When dry, I varnished it for durability.

I then fitted the Tasmanian blackwood button at the back which covers the join between the neck and the back, and sanded it smooth.

With a final check of the overall structure, I gave the back a further fine sanding and began varnishing. There will be several coats, not only to give a smooth weather resistant finish, but also to seal the padouk timber. It is used as a dye for good reason! So it is important to ensure it won’t rub off on the player!

The top will only have several coats of shellac – a kind of French polishing – to provide a nice satin finish that won’t reflect stage lights too badly, and to keep the character of the birdseye maple.

I hope to attach the fretboard soon and fit up the instrument tomorrow – just in time for my Daughter to return and give it a real workout! The instrument is for her, and I know she will make good use of it – assuming it sounds okay!

mandolin

mandolin

What do you think of it?

Cheers
Jerry

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