Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mike’s in the white

You can see that Mike’s mandolin has been set-up; the action and intonation is now what I consider to be the optimum for one of my mandolins. It’s a long iterative process to get everything spot on. The strings are brought up to tension and the instrument rests, measurements made and then adjustments- maybe one slot in the nut is cut a bit deeper or the whole saddle is lowered. With the action correct, next on to the intonation and we keep adjusting and re-tuning. This process takes me about a week as I like to allow the mandolin to settle after any major adjustments.
Next week the French polishing starts!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Just working......

So here’s a bit of an update on what’s happening in “The Nava Analogue Workshop”.
The archtop is going through the finishing process- it will have about 16 coats of shellac applied with an air-brush. Sounds a lot, but each coat is cut back with super fine abrasives and a silky, natural looking satin sheen gradually builds up.
The majority of the constructional work on Mike’s Standard plus is complete. It’s had a good clean-up and is now ready for me to make the bridge, nut & saddle and go through the “line-the-white” process that you’ve seen so many times before. The redwood soundboard looks quite stunning already.
And then we have; return of the Uke!
If you’re a stalwart of this blog you may remember that quite a while ago I started to build a maple baritone ukulele and no doubt you’ve often wondered what happened to it! The answer to that question is nothing; it’s waited patiently in the workshop whilst many mandolins have been made.
I decided a while back that this year (2018), I would limit the number of commissions that I build, so that I can finish the projects that I’ve not had time for, as well as developing the archtop mandolin range.
So rewind 6 years…………

Back to the present day and you can see things have moved on a bit this week! 
Here it is with the Spanish cedar neck and cocobolo fretboard glued on. Hopefully it will be offered up for sale on my website later in the year.
And last but not least, thinking about the next archtop; top plate joined in anticipation.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Phil's New Site

Just stumbled across my old mate's, Phil Hare, new website. Lots of interesting stuff- make sure you have a good look!  Just click on the image.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Archtop in-the-white

Here it is! The archtop fully fettled and playing. By the time you see this it’ll be stripped back down for the finishing process!

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Carl’s Mandola Completed

Carl came by earlier in the week to pick up his newly completed mandola. After months of email correspondence, it’s always good to meet the player, see their reaction and simply have a good old chat.
Here are a few pictures of the completed mandola; and very nice it is too ;-)

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Making a Tailpiece.

As I was making the tailpiece for Mike’s Standard plus, I thought, "let’s show what’s involved in a wee video!" So for your viewing pleasure……………


Thursday, March 08, 2018

So what’s been happening?

I’ve been working on Mike’s Standard plus; this one has Indian rosewood back and sides and a wonderful Redwood soundboard.  It’s also got a dot and diamond rosette, this time in abalone.  So, I think it’s going to be another looker!
Just started on the purflings..........
The archtop has been strung-up, “in-the-white” and I’m already very pleased with the sounds it’s making! There’ll be some fettling, experimenting with different strings, fitting the pick-up etc, and once I’m 100% happy with it, it’ll be stripped back down and the finish applied.
Hopefully this archtop will be the first of many, particularly as I recently bought this batch of nicely aged European wedges from a fellow luthier!