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Two Mandolins #2: # 2

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Blog entry by Texcaster posted 11-04-2014 01:57 PM 1284 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Two Mandos Part 2 of Two Mandolins series Part 3: Mando and Archtop »

The back is planed, spokeshaved and carved. Smoothing is done with curved scrapers. The back is rough sanded to shape cross grain from different directions. The sanding blocks are thong sole rubber and cork backed with 3mm MDF or ply.

The recurve is taken down to an even 5mm. Final recurve thickness will be 3mm.

The drill press is set to 5.5mm ( the thickest area in the center) and 3.5 in the recurve.

Ready to carve the inside.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.



6 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

8730 posts in 1903 days


#1 posted 11-04-2014 02:06 PM

I’ll. Be. Damned.

-- ~Tony

View Julian's profile

Julian

1037 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 11-04-2014 03:38 PM

I enjoy seeing unique woodworking projects and techniques. Thanks for sharing.

-- Julian

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#3 posted 11-04-2014 05:15 PM

Bill…..Stellar job on the building of the basses and mandolins….I built an F-5 style mandolin in 1984, based on the Gibson F5….The back and sides are curly birdseye Maple, and the top was made from an 80 year old (at the time) piece of Sitka Spruce I got from Martin Guitar Co. The neck is Mahogney, and I put a Cherry stripe down the back of the neck, going all the way through the body….I’ve played bluegrass all my life, have built resosphonic guitars, and when I met my luthier friend at a pickin’, I wanted to learn how to build a mandolin…He walked me through all the steps (I did all the work), and then he died…The mandolin sat in my closet for 12 years unfinished, had a good friend that worked for Gibson Guitars in the mandolin dept. Sent it to him, along with all the parts and overlay for the peghead to finish in a Sunburst…It turned out beautiful….I’m not much of a mandolin picker, but I can play some….Mainly guitar, upright bass….I’ve never posted it, and have only taken a couple of pictures…It’s opening up and getting that “woody” sound now, now that’s it’s about 30 years old…..I may post it on projects sometimes as an old project…..I have in in my Photobucket projects…..Keep on building, pickin’ and grinin’........

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1139 posts in 1137 days


#4 posted 11-04-2014 08:59 PM

Thanks for looking fellas.

Rick, lucky you! A mate, Dave Brown of King Brown Mandolins, bought a second hand F5 built in the Gibson custom shop. It serves as an investment and as something to compare his instruments to. His instruments have the tone and projection, it was the polishing that was an eye opener!

Just from a technical woodworking perspective. Archtop instruments have a much better chance of surviving seasonal changes because the back has no bracing at all. The tops have only two lengthwise braces, unconnected.
The timber is free to move around a bit. Some have X bracing but parallel is most common.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#5 posted 11-04-2014 11:13 PM

Bill…. I’m somewhat of a vintage instrument collector myself…..I have a 1956 A-40 Gibson mandolin, a 1951 F-12 Gibson mandolin built on the same scale as the F-5…I collect vintage Martin D-28 guitars that range from 1946- 59…..On the subject of bracing, etc…..My Martins all have X braces, where the mandolins have two tone bars under the bridge…no braces…..When I built mine, I tuned the top by machine that gave me perfect pitch, and it’s tuned to a D…..The tone bars are tapered on both ends, and shaped to fit the curviture of the top…..After 30 years, it’s still holding true and stays in tune…..Wish I had continued to build instruments…...

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1139 posts in 1137 days


#6 posted 11-05-2014 06:55 PM

Rick, you’re right of course, in the archtop and violin family the “braces ” are called tone bars. Sides are ribs, tops and bottoms are called plates. Your D-28 flattops are very different animals to archtop animals. Most flattop guitars are X braced. If you look at the mandolin sectional drawings in my first post you can see the bars.

In a mad scientist moment I fitted two tone bars in my double bass instead of a single bar and a sound post. If I ever take the top off, I’ll remove one bar.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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