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ScottR

Sarah's Mandolin

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2 hours ago, psikoT said:

Love the tuning hammer!

It's a case of function over form! 

Siminoff used a striker from a piano to do that bit of tuning.I was surprised to learn how much chamber tuning was involved in his how to book. The Stew-Mac DVD that shows how to build one of these kits basically just says to follow the patterns we provided and go on to the next step. And according to the reviews, doing so will get you a fine sounding instrument as well.

SR

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Sure, a guy goes away for a while and comes back to see Scott is back at being awesome again.  This is looking really nice.  I would love to attempt one myself but need to get a few builds under my belt first.  With your skill and experience at carving I would love to see you tackle a violin or just do a very elaborate archtop.  Regardless of what you build I will gladly follow along as long as you are willing to post your progress.

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What pickups will you use, and will you outfit a Floyd or Kahler?

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9 hours ago, maull said:

Sure, a guy goes away for a while and comes back to see Scott is back at being awesome again.  This is looking really nice.  I would love to attempt one myself but need to get a few builds under my belt first.  With your skill and experience at carving I would love to see you tackle a violin or just do a very elaborate archtop.  Regardless of what you build I will gladly follow along as long as you are willing to post your progress.

Well, hello Maul, how awesome it is to hear from you again! I do hope things are rosy in your neck of the woods and you are still brewing excellent award winning IPAs. Do you still have a half finished Les Paul laying around?

I have a couple of neighbors that have been watching the builds over the years. They say I really need to make a violin to be considered worthwhile. I must say that carving a violin neck and headstock scroll is a very appealing prospect. And the arched body....I'm still surprised at how much I enjoyed that.

Thanks for the kind words too.

SR

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1 hour ago, komodo said:

What pickups will you use, and will you outfit a Floyd or Kahler?

Since it's a blues-grass instrument, I'm thinking a set of P-90s would be just the ticket. And keeping with the old school vibe, and lord knows that's the only one I have, it would have to be Bigsby all the way!

:D

SR

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On 4/26/2016 at 8:30 AM, ScottR said:

Well, hello Maul, how awesome it is to hear from you again! I do hope things are rosy in your neck of the woods and you are still brewing excellent award winning IPAs. Do you still have a half finished Les Paul laying around?

I have a couple of neighbors that have been watching the builds over the years. They say I really need to make a violin to be considered worthwhile. I must say that carving a violin neck and headstock scroll is a very appealing prospect. And the arched body....I'm still surprised at how much I enjoyed that.

Thanks for the kind words too.

SR

I am just getting back to the point of being able to brew beer and work on guitars again.  2015 was not a good year for me.  My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of January 2015 and I became her full time caregiver on top of my own job and life.  She passed away almost one year to the day after her diagnosis and I just finally had a memorial service for her last weekend.  I built her an urn which took a little while and have been playing catch up with the rest of my life since she passed.  I am hoping to get back to normal soon.  That half finished Les Paul has been collecting a lot of dust but will be coming back out to be finished soon enough.  

It is strange how everyone is starting to think of making acoustics or archtops lately as that has been on my mind as well.  I even managed to cobble together a homemade side bender while practicing my hand tool skills prior to building my mothers urn.

 

 

 

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I remember you saying that life had dealt you a blow back then. I lost my mom going on three years ago now....everything looks a bit different after that. You have my condolences. Returning to a sense of normalcy, albeit a somewhat different feeling normal--is nice though.

I wonder if these thoughts of acoustics and arch-tops are coming upon us because of the challenge they present. I greatly prefer playing electrics, and yet every now and then catch myself mentally working out how various aspects of acoustic construction are accomplished. And then thinking, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do that. Even if the only reason to do it is just to see if I can.

I've certainly been enjoying this build so far, but the biggest challenge for me is coming soon: binding. And binding in tight places and around tight curves and strange angles in three ply. Brrrrr.

 

SR

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Ah man, sorry to hear that everything's been rough recently Maull. It's times like that which make me very thankful for the people I know both online and offline and the simpler things in life. Preferably times shared and all that you know?

Acoustics and archtops. Well, I've been through a mostly-acoustic phase the last couple of months since my rack decided to play all kinds of electrical games. Two units are ready to permafail on me which is not something I look forward to since I have no idea how to afford replacing them. Seems silent will be the new loud.

I've really been digging my Washburn D42SCE even though the EA20SDL I have is more expensive and "better". Better looking for sure, but not as loud and rounded. I've wanted to build a 5-string version of an EB-750 since forever:

EB7501[1].jpg 

 

....or even making it without the florentine cutaway. It's an overwhelming project in some ways, so I hold it as an a "one day" idea. I'm not too bothered about a fully-acoustic bass though. Maybe a multiscale 6 or 7 string acoustic.

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Back to work.

Out of the clamps........er, clothes pins. These things can't be exerting a huge amount of pressure, but the glue joint appears to be rock solid.

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Then we clean up the kerfing by sanding it flush to the rim.

 

The neck is at the proper depth in the dove-tail joint so we sand the heel flush with the neck block as well. It is coming out for a while and this will allow me to put it back exactly where I got it when the time comes.

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And now it's time to install the truss rod.

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SR

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The truss rod appears to be a one way compression style rod. There is only about 8 inches or so of free neck, so I imagine it is more for stability than anything else. It certainly added some heft to the neck.

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Next the filler strip gets glued in.

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I chiseled and sanded that flush and then found the angle and cut the ninety degrees to the fretboard surface....apparently without taking any pictures. And glued up the headstock cap.

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Oh and I located the truss rod nut and drilled an access hole before gluing it up.

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SR

 

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Next I cut the edges of the cap close with the bandsaw and carved, sanded and scraped the edges flush.

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Cleaned up the truss rod access too.

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SR

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There are a few nicks along the edges that are going to disappear into the binding channel.

Then I prepared the back of the headstock for a back strap. The kit did not come with one, but I think it classes up the look, and this is a classy instrument. The back of the headstock had a lot of machining to clean up, before I could glue it up.

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But glue it we did.

Whilst the glue was drying I rough shaped the points of the little spurs out of corian. (At least I think that is what it is).

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I epoxied those to the spurs and, while that glue was also drying, set up the violin clamp factory.

It will soon be time to glue up the backboard.:)

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SR

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Looking great Scott. I'm ready to see how you're going to finish this thing!

I hope you decide to build another from scratch, as I'd love to see your build process. As talented as you are, side bending will be a piece of cake.

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Thanks Matt, I'm looking forward to the finishing stage. That will mean I've gotten through the binding stage.

You can't tell from these pictures but the headstock is cut 90 degrees to the fretboard plane, instead of perpendicular to the headstock angle itself, so there are some strange angles in it, especially in the scrolls.:blink: Come to think of it my own headstocks are cut that way, so I guess I do know how to do that.....except for that tight-assed scroll.

Anyway, I expect there is a scratch build coming at some point, maybe not next, but it probably will happen. As cool as I think the F-5 style is, I'd say the odds were even as to it being another one or something I design myself.

I do like making unique stuff.:)

SR

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Thank you sir. It's a shame it has to be so large for such a small instrument, but you've got to be able to get a socket around that big ol' nut. Not that I think it will ever need adjusting. The trust rod is quite stout.

SR

 

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There's a broad consensus that compression rods make for a livelier neck, so even a little dialled-in tension might bear positive results.

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Makes sense. I was thinking a little compression would make it stiffer, which should make it better able to transmit vibrations, so- more lively.

I snugged the nut up enough to guarantee no rattles, and then turned it an eighth turn more.

SR

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The end caps for the points are glued on and shaped.

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My understanding is sound waves reflect the best without degrading off of smooth surfaces. So I polished up the inside faces of the sound board and back board.

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SR

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With that done I glued on the back board.

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Irwins over the neck and tail blocks and violin clamps everywhere else. For some reason it looks like a birthday cake to me.:blink:

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Then I took the backstrap out of the clamps and looked at bandsawing the overhangs closer to the headstock. But because of all the angles, I couldn't see well enough and got scared enough to stop.

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SR

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This is the side that had to face up when it was on the bandsaw.

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So it was back to carving, filing, sanding and scraping.

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This is as far as I got.....

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In the middle of that I drilled the machine head holes through the backstrap and countersunk the face side for the bushings.

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This was one of those weekends of work that didn't seem to make that many visible changes for the amount of work done......

SR

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That is a significant amount of progress, actually, Scott.  Closing the body is also a very important milestone.

The build continues to reflect the care and skill you are putting into this, Scott :)

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