I've been lurking here for quite awhile and really enjoy learning all about the mandolin. so much so that I bought and built a Saga AM-10 kit this spring.
Here are a few pics of my new mandolin I built from a Saga kit. I think it came out pretty good being that I have no woodworking experience....ever and no tools other than a small hack saw and file (if I ever go to jail I'm in good shape). I learned all about glue - make sure it's not permanant in case you need to take something apart.......and sandpaper - who knew there were so many different grades!!!......and why I should not be allowed near a band saw (see the small blemish on the front left bottom near the binding (below the left f-hole) - that's where I nearly cut it in half). So then the guy at the woodworking shop took pity on me and helped me with the band saw…..and proceeded to nearly cut the neck off….so I was like….ummm I got it, thanks….
Oh and finishes.....I felt muscles I never knew I had after many rounds (too many to count) of stain, sand, stain, sand.....then polycoat, sand, polycoat, sand.......good thing I had alot of sandpaper. I finally pronounced the project complete and took it for a critique to my local mandolin guy. I stood back while he looked it over for a long while, strummed it a few times and said......."not bad"....LOL……he is a polite guy indeed.
Anyway, it's kind of fun, well except for stringing it - apparently one needs something like four hands to do it (and that e string will put your eye out) and I have no idea how to play it but last night I decided that since I knew Galway Girl on the guitar I pulled up a chord chart and figured out the chords on the mando. So while I'm pretty sure Steve Earle would not recognize my version of his song the cats thought it was ok…...