I recently aquired a decent F mandolin from a small builder at a very good price but it has a very thick top. It sounds ok and plays good but it wouldn't ever hold up in a jam with a couple other instruments. It's got a couple other problems that make it almost worthless to the average player but to me its got some emotional attachment. So i'm thinking of thinning the top a little, which i'm certain will help its "pop".
I've heard you have to pull the back off these to re-carve them from the inside but I really don't want to go there. Has anyone had any experiance regraduating thick tops from the outside of the instrument?
Here's my idea. I remove the tailpiece, bridge and measure the radius of the top. Then I could thin the top with a hand sander to a predetermined thickness(with your help). I would then give it a coat of black stain and varnish.
For all the people that think i'm crazy, I do a fair amount of wookwork, furniture building for a hobby/neccessity and have access to a ton of tools and equipment.
I have other mandolins but that doesn't mean I want to destroy this one so any help will greatly be appreciated.