Hello, members of the mandolin cafe forum community. This is my second time posting on this forum, so I suppose I'll start with a bit of an introduction. My real name is Pierre, but you can just call me "pie", or "le chef", they're my nicknames, and I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Currently I'm 19 years old, and I play bass and ukulele as my main instruments, but can also do some stuff with a drum set, piano, and I'm trying to learn mandolin and harmonica. I play mostly rock styles of music - prog. rock, black metal, punk, psychobilly, ska/punk etc..., but I'm starting to get into some folk stuff. I've been lurking these forums for a while now. I'm just a little bit of a beer geek and borderline beer snob. I've got a bit of history building instruments, my first being a saga strat kit. I've quickly moved on from that to making cigar box ukuleles from scratch - it all started in high school shop class, when I thought making a ukulele was an awesome idea. It was, and now I'm approaching completion of my 5th cigar box uke. I'm also inspired by my family's history of woodworking - we've got furniture made by my forefathers that are approaching a hundred years old, and the furniture of the church I was baptized in was made by my various forefathers as well (I'm not turning this into religious discussion, as far as I'm concerned it's not what you believe but how you believe it).
TL;DR - I'm new here, you can call me "pie" or "Le Chef"
Anyways, I'm going to be building a cigar box mandolin as my first mandolin. I'm going to be making a mando. for a friend out of an IV kit, so I'll use it for some dimensions like the graduation of the soundboard, and the scale length and neck dimensions. I've got a punch cigar box, made with "mahogany" ply measuring 9"x7"x1.75". Since I have a fetish for oak, I'm going to remove both the top and bottom and replace them with quartersawn curly oak (or just quartersawn oak if I can't find it) for the back, and a spruce billet from Stewmac.com for the soundboard. The neck will either be maple or birch (possibly with wenge or purpleheart lamination) and the fretboard will be purpleheart. I've got a basic shop with very little bench space, as well as only some experience, so don't expect this to turn out to be like one of the vintage gibsons or martins.
I'm going to be posting pictures of the progress as soon as I start, and this is going to take a while - I'm in two bands and working full time this summer, as well as having a girlfriend, so I can't devote ten hours a day to this. I'm also wondering - how is it that most people "graduate" the arches on their mandolins? I'm hoping to make some "stencils" for the graduation and route them out and then sand or plane it down to an arched shape and a thickness of between 1/10" and 1/8".
TL;DR - I'm making a cigar box mandolin, stay tuned for pictures.