View Full Version : IV Kit Complete

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 10:45am
Here is a full frontal.

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 10:46am
Close up of the top.

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 10:48am

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 10:49am
Last one is of the back.

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 10:51am
It is finished with hand rubbed shellac. Started our using a Preval sprayer but ended up stripping the instument and redoing it by hand. The top is amber shellac and the rest of the instrument is blonde.
It sounds pretty good, but I need to tweak the setup a bit.

May-29-2005, 12:37pm
Bill, I think you did an amazing job on your IV, kudos to you.
When you mentioned that you put the finish on by hand the second time, what was the "hand" method you used. I am feeling right now that following your lead would be a good thing.
Again, great job,

May-29-2005, 1:37pm
That does look nice. Great job, I cant wait to get mine that far.

Bill Snyder
May-29-2005, 2:30pm
On the first mandolin I built (a small flat top of my own design (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=17181;hl=small+travel) )
I just tinted some shellac and wiped it on. On that mandolin I just had to finish the top and neck.
I have a light duty comercial style airless sprayer like house painters use, but it would not be good for an instrument finish and I gave my cup gun away, so on this mandolin I decided to try a Preval sprayer. I did not like the results or the color I started out with so I stripped the instrument and started wiping.
I have read about french polishing, but my method is not as refined. I literally wipe on about a 1 1/2lb (more or less) cut of shellac. Build it up and level sand, add a little more shellac sand, etc until the color was fairly even and sanded to 1000 grit then polished.
The construction part went quickly, it was the finishing that drove me crazy. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

May-30-2005, 6:53pm
Bill, looks great, congratulations, I have one question for you, can you explain your headstock, did you put a different veneer over it(or two?). Its a nice creative touch

Bill Snyder
May-30-2005, 7:22pm
I peeled the rosewood veneer off (an iron works well at removing veneers) and replaced it with the two pieces of veneer you see.

Stanley Cox
May-31-2005, 9:04am
Bill, I have been following your progress on this mandolin and it seems you have done a great job. From the pics the finish looks fantastic. Hope it suits you. Noticed you are from the Lone Star state, are we neighbors?
Thanks again,
Stanley http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Bill Snyder
May-31-2005, 9:25am
Thanks for the kind words on the finish. It turned out ok, but probably not quite as good in person as the pictures would suggest. I may have to work on it a little bit more.
I am going to order another kit and I think that I am finally going to start cutting on some of the spruce and maple I have here to build a two point mandolin as well. I purchased the maple for it last summer and I have had the spruce for several months as well. I really want the finish on it to be top notch, so I will really have to re-examine my methodology.
As far as being neighbors, according to MapPoint we are about 185 miles apart. I live in a little community west of Temple. I can step outside and look down the street and see Lake Belton.
Good luck on getting that neck fit to your liking.

May-31-2005, 10:49am

Great job! I'm now bogged down in finishing mine and it doesn't look nearly so good. I'm also thinking about stripping and starting over...Howw did you do that? Did you have to remove and re-bind? I'm on the verge of getting really frustrated...I just bit off more than I should have on the finish...so my congrats...

May-31-2005, 10:57am
Have been out checking traps with the dogs and have been away from the mando board for awhile. What a nice job on the kit, I like your explanation of the finishing technique and have used it myself with the exception of using the tip of my index finger to apply droplets of finish that is then rubbed into the surface in the direction of the grain. I have found that the thinnest of layers can then be applied over several application efforts and this results in an instrument that is loud and open from the get go. Great job on your mando that will serve as the benchmark for many builders.

May-31-2005, 1:28pm
HEY NOW!! That flame is wicked! Great work and ideas on the headstock. I hope mine looks that good. If anyone else has finished thier kits please post the pictures!!

Bill Snyder
May-31-2005, 6:09pm
How you strip the finish is going to depend on what finish you are using. With the shellac you can get most of it off with alcohol. The alcohol does not damage the binding. I suppose depending on the glue you used to put the binding on it might be a problem.
Lacquer thinner will disolve lacquer, but I do not know what it would do to the bindings - probably nothing.
With some of the other finishes you would need to use stripper, and no matter what you strip the finish with you will need to do some more sanding.
Good luck. I know that the finishing part for me was the most frustrating and time consuming.

Jun-01-2005, 11:32am
I'm in the midst of stripping my top plate,, alas, I appear to have dropped some sweat on it(ughh)and right now after going over it with some aclohol I have a rather interesting distresed model( I would keep it this way cept for the dang sweat blotch even messes up the distress look). I must admit though that the maple back came out great with a dark amber shellac,,, sweet

David M.
Jun-09-2005, 8:10am
Bill, you may have mentioned and I just didn't see it -- how does this Int'l Violin kit sound? Did you do anything to the graduations? Good price for a kit.


Bill Snyder
Jun-09-2005, 10:25am
It sounds pretty good, but I need to tweak the setup a bit.
That is what I said when I first posted and unfortunately I have not messed with the mandolin since. Right after I took the pictures I pulled the bridge off because I wanted to let the finish harden up a little more and do a bit more buffing. I have not gotten around to it yet, I have been working on a strumstick for my 9 year old.
Plan on getting the buffing and setup tweaking done today.
I will comment on its sound later.

David M.
Jun-09-2005, 10:28am
Thanks, Bill. I knew I overlooked a comment on the sound http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Look forward to the report.

Bill Snyder
Jun-14-2005, 3:15pm
David M.
Sorry for not getting back and posting about the graduations and the sound of the instrument ( I was out of town for the weekend).
Let me start off by saying that I have never played a high-end instrument so my opinion of this one is subject to be different than someone that has much experience with a "good" instrument.
It is much louder than my import and a bit louder than the flat top I built last year. I still have not played it much, maybe two hours total, so I suspect the tone will change noticeably as it is played more, but I like it so far. I would like to get a better mandolinist than myself to play it and give an objective opinion.
As far as graduations I used a thickness caliper that I built and compared the plate thickness to some plans that I have. In several of the areas the plates were already as thin or thinner than what my plans called for, but I tried to get it close to the plans I have.
The plates are rough carved and whether you try to graduate the plates to a set of plans or not you will need to do a lot of sanding/scraping to get the gouge marks out.
I need to join my maple and spruce for the two point I plan on building and get started on it, but I also plan on building again from the IV kit.

Jun-17-2005, 11:21pm
Where I can I get one of these kits?

Bill Snyder
Jul-30-2005, 6:20pm
Ken at International Violin has said that they should be getting some more kits in stock in a couple of weeks. Great buy for anyone wanting to build a kit. No financial interest.