Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two A Models Finished

An A-4 (oval hole) and an A-5 (f-hole), finished.

Detail of the A-4. Ivoroid binding, custom herringbone rosette and ebony accents.
Inlay of Mother-of-pearl and Abalone

The lovely flamed maple backside.

"Flower pot" design in Mother-of-pearl and Abalone, black tuner knobs and "tortoise shell" binding.

Detail of the A-5. Tortoise binding, with rosewood accents.

Backside of the A-5. Flamed red maple back and neck. High gloss lacquer finish.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Retro-fitting Carbon Fiber Neck Reinforcement

This mandolin was built several years ago and the neck was not as straight as it should be. The adjustable rod was as tight as I felt it could go. I decided to remove the fretboard and install two carbon fiber bars to keep the neck straight. I use the carbon fiber on all the new mandolins I build, but since this one is already finished I had to devise a way to rout two parallel slots down the center of the neck under the fretboard. I first removed the fretboard with a thin knife and some heat.

Then I designed a jig that would hold the mandolin underneath and guide the router to cut two perfectly straight grooves.

A view from the top.

The mandolin is clamped flat against the jig from underneath.

The router cuts one groove by sliding along one of the guides, then cuts the second groove by sliding along the other side, putting the grooves about 3/8" apart.

The grooves have been cut to the proper depth.

The carbon fiber bars fit perfectly in the slots and are glued in place with epoxy. I'll glue the fingerboard back on and touch up the finish and it will be done.