Monday, March 28, 2016

Bound up

It continues to surprise me, that there is a growing trend to leave some instruments unbound. The bindings serve the very real function of protecting the delicate edges of the soundboard and back and to me, leaving them out is inconceivable. Here you can see the vulnerable top edge of Heikki’s Standard mandolin; how could I leave that unbound?
Obviously, it’s a stage which takes a fair bit of time, care and skill to carry out, but is essential to the longevity to the instrument. 
To contrast with its bubinga back and sides, I’m using rosewood for the bindings, which has to be bent using the bending iron.
Cloth tape is the method that I like to use to hold the bindings in place whilst the glue dries. You can get a great deal of pressure with the tape and ensure a good bond. The only drawback is the 10 to 15 min that it takes Amanda and me to get it all untangled once the glue is dry!
  And here’s the body of Heikki’s mandolin; fully bound.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

What’s on the bench?

Currently, I’m waiting for the Tru-Oil on Chris’s e-mando to harden and then it can be re-assembled.
So, time to get on with the next two! The work on Heikki’s Standard mandolin is well underway. Heikki lives in Finland, so this will be another one of my mandolins going out to the discover the wider world! We’ve chosen Bubinga for the back and sides- (which is sometimes called African rosewood) I think that it is a much under-rated tonewood and it has all the properties that any luthier would want to make a great instrument.
Below are a couple of photos of the back and rim.
 Also work has commenced on Paul’s Standard Plus; here’s its herringbone rosette, which I must admit, I'm very happy with!

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