Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Brendan’s Mandolin Part VIII
Spokeshaves and rasps are the tools that I prefer for this.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Brendan’s Mandolin Part VII
After it's been glued on, the fingerboard has to be levelled and once it’s perfectly flat, I put a camber on it. Most of this work is done by sanding as you can’t afford to tear the grain of the fingerboard.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Brendan’s Mandolin Part VI
Once the body is complete it can, at last, be united with its neck. Into the body I route a large socket to take the neck- as you’ve seen before I use a large tenon to join the neck to the body. This type of joint gives masses of surface area for the glue to bond.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
You can see that I’ve finally completed Chris’s Hare steel-string and he came over today it collect it. An exciting moment for both of us! Since we moved up to the Norfolk Fens I’ve had more commissions from relatively local musicians, which is great as it’s always good to finally meet the client face to face rather than just giving up the instrument to a courier!
Here’s a great picture that Alan (Red Mandolin) sent me of himself and his son Kevin (Koa Standard II). Two Nava mandolins together- would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to hear them.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Brendan’s Mandolin Part V
The purfling is decorative, which is why I can leave them off my “Standard” mandolins but the bindings are essential to protect the edge of the instrument (and therefore the joint between the sides and either the soundboard or back) from any accidental damage.
One of the trickiest bits of this process is cutting the mitres at the points, there is no room for mistakes; you can spend a ridiculous amount of time working on these and if you get it wrong................
Once the purfling is in place the bindings go on. I’m using ebony here (nearly always do). If you use good quality ebony it is quite remarkable how tight you can bend it and how easy it is to bend- these bindings are just over 2.5mm thick.
With all the purfling and binding done around the front, we flip her over and start again on the back! In total there are 31 separate pieces to be fitted; takes a time! The last job is to use the trusty cabinet scraper to clean everything up.
As you can appreciate the complexity of Brendan’s took a fair bit of time and in between gluing on various pieces of purfling, I got on with “Standard III”. Only 4 pieces of binding used here- you can see how the time is saved and the cost kept down.