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Two Mandolins #5: # 5 Opening The ff's

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Blog entry by Texcaster posted 01-01-2015 04:08 PM 1144 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Mando And Archtop # 4 Part 5 of Two Mandolins series Part 6: Binding The Body »

I’ll start out by telling you I now own Jorge’s mando. With glue on the top and the rim, I dropped the top. It landed glue side down and had a long crack. So it is starting it’s life with a repair. I had to tap tune the cleats, the middle was a persistent dead spot till I got it right. Jorge is quite happy to make another top and back.

I’m using the white pattern, the brown one is plan B if I need it. The calligraphy looking ones are more viloln like with almost no short grain to break off. I saw this pattern on a viola.

I cut the ff’s after the top is glued to the rim because it is so fragile. The inside is scored and then bored from the top. I like to have the ends very small like a violin. This is harder to open up but is a look I really like. The middle is opened then carved to the line, then filed.

hand held hacksaw blade and coping blade to open the ends.

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



6 comments so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2662 days


#1 posted 01-01-2015 05:26 PM

The mando is coming along nicely, Bill…..Looks like some good tight grain on the Sitka Spruce top…The line going across the top…? Is that the line you use to line up the bridge across from the f hole points…? I had to play with mine to get it just right…The bridge on mine had to be slightly forward of the f holes, just a snatch hair…!!!! The repaired crack is not going to hurt the sound one bit. I’m keeping up with your build, so keep posting…

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

View BJODay's profile

BJODay

514 posts in 1411 days


#2 posted 01-01-2015 10:55 PM

Bill,
I just stumbled onto your blog.

I was looking for a smaller but more difficult project last spring. I thought I should build a mandolin. I don’t know what they sound like so I bought one to learn how to play first. I’m three months into the lessons and have read lots of stuff about different styles.

I just received a book for Christmas about building mandolins by Graham McDonald. He lives on your side of the globe. I’ll be starting the project this spring, (is 12 months a bit of lag time?). I have a few other projects to finish first.

Thanks for posting the blog. Good reading.

BJ

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2662 days


#3 posted 01-01-2015 11:26 PM

Hello BJ…..I think once you get started building a mandolin, you’ll really enjoy it….It’s a challenging project, but really enjoyable…I built an F-5 style mandolin several years ago, and wish I had built a couple of more….My mentor that “showed me the ropes” to get started on died during my build. But I had 95% of it built…..just needed the finish and little things done to complete it…I sent it to a good friend of mine who worked for Gibson Guitar Co. in Nashville, Tn at the time (he worked in the mandolin dept.), and he completed it for me…..It’s modeled after the F-5 Lloyd Loar, with really aged wood, and it’s really “woody” sounding….it’s got a good chop…I just wish I had better tuners, but these work ok, and at least it stays in tune good…....Good luck with your build, and keep us posted….I’m keeping an eye on Bill’s mandolin…..he’s a pretty good lutheir…...

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

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1141 days


#4 posted 01-02-2015 02:29 AM


The mando is coming along nicely, Bill…..Looks like some good tight grain on the Sitka Spruce top…The line going across the top…? Is that the line you use to line up the bridge across from the f hole points…? I had to play with mine to get it just right…The bridge on mine had to be slightly forward of the f holes, just a snatch hair…!!!! The repaired crack is not going to hurt the sound one bit. I m keeping up with your build, so keep posting…

- Rick Dennington

Cheers Rick, the line closest to the tail is the bridge line. This one is Oregon (doug. fir ) and plantation mahogany. I’ve been pushing this one, the neck is almost ready to go on. I haven’t kept up with the blog.

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

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1141 days


#5 posted 01-02-2015 02:44 AM



Bill,
I just stumbled onto your blog.

I was looking for a smaller but more difficult project last spring. I thought I should build a mandolin. I don t know what they sound like so I bought one to learn how to play first. I m three months into the lessons and have read lots of stuff about different styles.

I just received a book for Christmas about building mandolins by Graham McDonald. He lives on your side of the globe. I ll be starting the project this spring, (is 12 months a bit of lag time?). I have a few other projects to finish first.

Thanks for posting the blog. Good reading.

BJ

- BJODay

BJ, the mandolin is great for melody or chords and the 7th fret can be reached from the first position! The bonus is if you want to start fiddling the fingering is the same. Lessons are the way to go to advance at a steady pace.

You won’t go wrong with Graham McDonald’s book. Lutherie can be as low or high tech as you like. If I had to shift to a smaller place, I could get by comfortably with just a bandsaw, 12in disk sander and a drill press.

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

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

8743 posts in 1908 days


#6 posted 01-05-2015 08:05 PM

Sorry about the drop.

Amazing patience required to cut those FF’s.

-- ~Tony

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