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    Re: Tone bar question

    Violins, with their relatively tall, light, flexible bridges, their bass bars and sound posts, and their bowed playing behave so much differently from carved mandolins that we can fall into various...
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    Re: Tone bar question

    I am more convinced that optimal (rather than minimal) mass is important to sound. Part of the characteristic sound of a carved arched mandolin is because of the relatively massive and stiff top. If...
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    Re: Tone bar question

    I can't say I spend time wondering about that, but I sure don't know why the decision was made to do them them that way. Gibson archtop guitars were not done that way, so perhaps that decision was...
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    Re: Drilling out the top

    I sometimes build with arches as low as 14mm when the wood is very stiff and dense. You'll be fine with a little sanding if needed.
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    Re: Tone bar question

    Apparently not. Dave Cohen tried different bracing patterns (tone bars, x-brace, his own bracing scheme) and found no particular difference in sound or in laser holography using the same mandolin...
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    Re: Tone bar question

    I use them to adjust stiffness. Perhaps that qualifies as "tuning", but I don't try to "tune" them to notes or any of that.



    I don't think there is a limit in terms of structure. An arched...
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    Re: Drilling out the top

    I put a little leather pad on mine.
    Also, I do the gauge hole drilling with the outside of the top sanded to 80 grit. After re-sanding with 80, sanding with 120, wetting to raise the grain, and...
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    Re: Recurve too thin?

    No need to build up with glue or epoxy. It would only add mass without adding stiffness of structure.
    I agree with Adrian, it's "on the edge" at that thickness, but if the 3" area is far enough from...
  9. Re: F5 scroll "ridge" - Distance from the side

    The F-5 scroll is misshapen in that the there is not a constant taper between the edges of the scroll all the way from the body to the button. The edges of the mandolin flare out from the rim to...
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    Re: What tools do I need ?

    If we were to poll a bunch of luthiers on what tools they use we would get nearly as many answers as luthiers; especially when we consider shop space, amount of production and many other factors....
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    Re: Bindings and strings.

    Bindings are installed oversize and then cut down to size after they are in place so you just have to make sure they are big enough to start with... and you install them before completing the job of...
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    Re: Fretboard Frets Question

    “Too many notes. Take some of them out.”

    The only way to do it would be to remove the frets you don’t use (if there are such frets).
    191261
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    Re: Flattop Top Thickness?

    Could be, but the top thickness may not have much to do with the loudness of the instrument. Loudness significantly depends on coupling between the top and back, so thinner is only better if it...
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    Re: Flattop Top Thickness?

    Yes, redwood will usually end up thicker than spruce when used for similar tops. How much thicker? Depends on the stiffness, density, desired sound and other things that experience tends to teach us....
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    Re: Blonde Loars ?

    The '22 is not blonde. Mike Seeger's Blonde F5 was a 1925.
    Here's the '23.
    191237
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    Re: Truss Rods vs Carbon Fiber?

    Not all of us...
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    Re: Mike Marshall's Loar?

    ...and tone bars shaved and a wider fingerboard added (to accommodate Mike's big fingers), plus plenty of normal wear and tear.

    I once "played" Mike's loar (...said as if I can actually play...
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    Re: Truss Rods vs Carbon Fiber?

    My bet would be that the majority of failures of either system are the fault of the builder.
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    Re: Truss Rods vs Carbon Fiber?

    James Condino.
    IMO, it is not worth experimenting, it's all been done. We can save time and effort by learning from others' experience.
    "Single action" truss rods must be installed below the...
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    Re: Truss Rods vs Carbon Fiber?

    I make my own (or have them made for me) so I have no particular preference between the linked ones. The two are very similar and functionally equivalent. They are also similar to mine, but mine are...
  21. Re: Tips for bending/fitting the F5 bottom point rib piece?

    I bend the rim pieces a little long so I have bent cut-offs. I just make sure at least one of those is the correct radius for the bottom point. I fit the piece and glue the whole rim at once in an...
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    Re: Truss Rods vs Carbon Fiber?

    We've been over this several times around here but I don't know if you can easily find discussions using the search feature.
    It comes down to adjustability. CF is not adjustable, an adjustable truss...
  23. Re: Customer selecting specific woods for custom build

    luthier88 said it well.
    A builder developed a characteristic sound, with enough experience. He/she can vary that sound to some extent, but few can comply with "I want it to sound like mandolin X"...
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    Re: Removing "Touch-Up" from a Spruce Top

    Maybe.
    What do you mean by "touch-up"?
    Is it a spot where lacquer was oversprayed? Was the whole thing oversprayed? Is it on the top? Sides? Back? Is it applied by a method other than spray? Is it...
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    Re: Advantages of Guitar Bodied Bouzoukis?

    I'm sure others have heard him say this too, but Tim O'brien says the advantage is in the airport.
    The case looks like a guitar case, and he says when someone in an airport asks "hey, what's in the...
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