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Thread: Cut f holes and headstock

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Howdy,

    Last night I cut the headstock and it came out very nice with a little design that is not a traditional A look. I cut it by hand and sanded it smooth and it looks really good.

    I then cut both F holes and guys, it just didn't go well. I am going to have to make them bigger than normal to smooth them out. I cut them out by hand and found that to be a difficult task. Then I tried to use my dremel to smooth it up and that didn't work either. I am going to have to get after it with the sand paper.

    Next mandolin, I will buy a saw designed for the purpose. Any recommendations for the home shop that will not cost me an arm and a leg and that will allow me to cut angles and curves in such small areas?

    I saw something at Home Depot the last time I was in the big city and it was a little over $100 and was table mounted. It was kind of a jig saw but with a mounted arm and you move the wood. Is this similar to what I would need?

    Well, I will work on the F holes to smooth them up but they will not be exactly right.

    HAve a good day

  2. #2
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    I am no pro at this but I had good luck by using fostner bit so 2 sizes to drill end hole. One size larger on bottom than top. that gave me a clean hole. I then used my Grizzly scroll saw to cut just inside the lines hole to hole and then xacto knife and small file to clean to the lines. I am sure there are other ways.




  3. #3
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    DavidB's system is a good one. Just be sure to put a carefully shaped backing block behind the spot where you are drilling the holes so you don't get tearout when you drill.
    By carefully shaped, I mean it has to conform to the curvature of the top pretty precisely, and be pressed firmly against the top as you drill.
    There may be a better way to do this to prevent tearout. If so, I'd like to hear it as cutting a block is a bit of a pain.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  4. #4
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    This thread has some explanations of some methods of cutting F-holes.

  5. #5
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    You can avoid the tearout by drilling just enough so you get the centre pin of the fostner through and then turn the top upside down and drill out the rest. Very clean cut on both sides.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

  6. #6
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    Bind the "f" holes to make them smaller. Practice makes perfect.

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