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I'm making me an 8 string.....electric mandolin


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Warm. That is definitely the adjective that comes to my mind when I'm working on it. The zebrawood back is turning out much warmer than I expected and is moving away from what zebrawood typically looks like. Part of that warmth is the burst, which is intentional of course, but much of it is the Tru-Oil. I'm going to have to make a zebrawood topped guitar treated the same way.

The pickup is designed to be direct mounted. It is a 4-pole P-90 and the mounting wings are a molded part of the cover. It is not the most attractive thing in the world, so a ring could be added to dress it up if I get bothered by the way it looks.

SR

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After a bit more leveling, yet still matte, I had to have a few in the sunlight. This is closer to actual color...but still a bit hot from the direct sunlight. SR

This is fun stuff! SR

In the bright sunlight. And with the first coat of Tru-Oil. SR  

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I hear you and think you are probably right. This pickup has the cover and dogears all molded from one piece and the pickup is epoxied into the cover. It is very much a single unit. Short of covering the cover, it would be a pretty involved process to fit a wood cover to it. Not impossible...

SR

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Curse you Wallace.

I finished up Saturday thinking I get this thing assembled on Sunday. But I woke up Sunday thinking I didn't like the way the pickup looked direct mounted. So I took John's advice and proceeded to make an ebony pickup cover.

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The body is not only carved, it's asymmetrically carved. I'm going to have to slip fit the cover to match the contours.

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SR

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Another thing I noticed this morning was that after that nice polished finish sat overnight, the finish shrunk into the pores. I leveled it and polished it out again, Luckily, it didn't take much to level. I guess it shrank just enough for the edges of the pores to reflect light and show where the pores are. It may do that again....and it may just stay that way if it does.

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SR

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Interesting. Oil is a funny beast. When it polymerises, it actually expands as it takes on oxygen (but not that much). Shrinking back would imply that it is either offgassing some sort of carrier solvent or sinking/wicking into the wood still. Has there been much change in the weather or other things that might affect the fresh finish?

She looks like a fun sister to play along with my 5-string Carl Thompson style bass, Scott! Love the scroll.

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She would look at home up next to your Carl Thompson bass.

The sinking took place overnight after finishing leveling and polishing the day before and there was very little temperature or humidity change overnight- warm and muggy. I just assumed that the removal of material involved allowed what remained to cure a bit faster. On the other hand the late was fading when I quit Saturday evening. Maybe fresh eyes in the morning light just allowed me to see what I couldn't the night before.:P

Since the point of the day before was to level the finish, I rather doubt that to be the case, though.

SR

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15 hours ago, seb said:

Wow, that's a gloss! :thumb: How did you polish it?

Hey Seb. I used micromesh through the grits and then Meguiar's swirl remover rubbing compound.

It polished pretty easily...probably because it is not quite as hard as other clear finishes.

SR

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14 hours ago, seb said:

Thanks. MM is great stuff. Did you use it wet or dry?

 

 

I prefer to use it dry.  I like to be able to see what the finish looks like without having to wipe it dry. And I don't like putting water on my instrument, and using mineral spirits can gum up the grit. I run the mesh over a scrub brush and wipe on some denim...usually that I'm wearing:D, and the MM unloads easily enough. But your pants do get covered in sanding dust rather quickly.:P

SR

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I got her put together. (her?) Still needs a set up, but I know enough to say it does make noise. I'll probably take one more set of pics when it's all done, but these will at least show what it looks like.

First a confession: I measured for the neck angle prior to preparing the top and body for glue up. I lost a fair bit of thickness whilst flattening the pieces. Bottom line is my angle was too high and my bridge too low. I took a base plate form an old Shaller bridge I had used in the past and made a base plate for this.. The open end was actually useful as it gave me room to solder on the bridge ground wire.

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SR

 

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I hate this bridge....but it is literally the only style I found. The saddles are just threaded stock-think bolts or all thread. The strings have to angle in to stay off the height adjustment holes, and to be properly spaced for mandolin string pairs.

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SR

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I probably should lined up the ball ends in the same direction. I had a tough time finding electric mandolin strings. I wanted to be sure they would create an electromagnetic signal. I open the ones I bought today and they have loop ends...which require a tailpiece with hooks. I ended up using most of two sets of guitar strings.

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SR

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