Would you believe that it’s ten years (almost to the day) since my first blog
post? If you’ve been following the blog all that time, many, many thanks for
your support. The first entry back in 2006 saw me working on a couple of
classical guitars and over those past ten years things have evolved to the
point where I’m now making mostly instruments from the mandolin family. Anyway,
let’s not get all nostalgic! On with the show!
I’m currently working on rims. What’s a rim; well that’s my
collective noun for the assembly of sides, blocks, linings and end graft.
All of my rims are essentially the same-
- solid wood sides bent using a hot iron,
- a plywood tail block to join the sides at one end (plywood
resists splitting when fixing the tailpiece)
- the neck block- joins the sides at the neck end and is
sturdy enough to take the neck joint
- linings- these increase the surface area for gluing the
soundboard and back to the sides
- the end graft- the decorative insert where the ends of the
Here’s the completed rim for the carved top- note the neck
block is spruce to cut down on weight, but is laminate from 3 pieces to resist splitting.
This will be going on the back burner for a while, whilst I
progress with commissions.
You can see some of the step’s of “rim making” here with
Tail block glued in position-
Linings going in-
There are quite a few styles of linings;
my instruments have evolved to having a double thickness of solid linings. This
equates to 8 separate pieces being bent and glued in place- a time consuming
process but well worth the effort in improving the overall quality of the
Patrick’s twin point is more complicated! Each side is made
up from two pieces which are held together at the point with a spruce block
(just like the points of a violin).
In order to protect the end grain at the points, a piece of
ebony is glued on and shaped to blend in with the curve of the sides (believe
me, this is easier said than done!).
And eventually we get to this- the four side pieces held together
by their respective blocks- next step the linings.
And the next ten years.....?
Labels: Gary Nava mandolins, Handmade mandolin, Luthier