I tend to refer to the whole assembly of the sides, linings and end blocks as the rim of my instrument.
So the first job is to mark out the sides, looking at the grain and making sure that any grain that looks problematic is in area that doesn’t have to be bent too tightly. The sides for my twin-pointer have to be cut into 2 pieces where the point will be- a measurement that I check about 12 times before cutting!
The bending, as always, is done on my “iron”. This cocobolo was a real pain to bend just where the curve gets really tight at the points. Although the wood itself bends OK, the resin seems to boil and retain the heat, so that the wood keeps wanting to spring back. I had to call for reinforcements! I held the curve in place whilst Amanda sprayed water on it, to quench it!
Once bent, the sides are clamped to my mould to dry out.
Next, cedar blocks are shaped and glued into the points to hold them together. Then the two end blocks go in which gives us our final mandolin shape.
The linings are next; mine are solid, as this makes the rim of the instrument more rigid and less likely to absorb energy from the soundboard. As you can’t bend 5mm thick wood, two thinner strips have to be bent and glued together; which adds to the time taken.
With the general construction of the rim complete; the pretty bits go on. The end trim- here I’m using some sap wood and ebony.
Then ebony points-
Which after some careful shaping .......
Look like this
Before the soundboard and back can be glued on, small housing joints have to be cut into the linings to take the ends of the various braces- 13 of these!
The soundboard and back are glued on......
And finally the body!
Labels: Handmade mandolin, Luthier