Thursday, December 01, 2011

Brendan’s Mandolin Part V

With the body together, the next stage is the purflings and bindings. Rebates have to be routed around the edge of the mandolin to take them.

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.

The purflings are held in place with tape whilst the glue dries- it’s a good idea to put a thin coat of shellac on the soundboard, that way the tape doesn’t pull up the grain as you take it off.

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.

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Blogger Peter Brown said...

Beautiful work Gary - the cocobolo looks fabulous!

12:25 AM  

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