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Type: Posts; User: SBJ

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  1. Replies
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    Re: I want to build a mandolin

    Patience and practice are the keys. The top of my first mandolin was pine boards from HD, and the back was a repurposed cutting board. I hate to waste any usable tonewood. It was great practice and...
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    Re: question on restoring an old gibson

    I bought an old Washburn A5 style missing a top and carved a new arched top. I did not remove the neck, and it was beyond my luthier abilities to fit the top under the elevated fretboard nicely. It...
  3. Thread: Side bending

    by SBJ
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    Re: Side bending

    I used an inside mold for the four mandolins I've built. My pipe is 2 1/2 in diameter with a heating cartridge, light dimmer and stuffed with aluminum foil. Search the archives for excellent advice...
  4. Thread: A5 top thickness

    by SBJ
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    Re: A5 top thickness

    I've built four mandolins, and the top and back on each one is thinner than the one before it. I now have a concept of how flexible the top and back have to be, which seems too thin like Andrew said....
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    Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    +1 for a wax warmer and the technique NAS describes. I also put in locator pins in the head block and tail block to quickly set the top in place.
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    Black Rose Baby build question

    Some months ago, I bought an NOS Framus Black Rose Baby mandolin neck because I like the black and red vibe and the pearloid headstock. I'm building an A5 style body for it with cats eye f holes,...
  7. Thread: Back removal

    by SBJ
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    Re: Back removal

    Nobody sitting across the room at a jam can see all the flaws in my mandolins (nor do they care), so I just play them, and your secret is safe with us!
  8. Thread: Practice wood?

    by SBJ
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    1,699

    Re: Practice wood?

    I built my first mandolin out of soft pine and a repurposed maple cutting board. It wasn't a complete build but I learned a tremendous amount about wood and using small tools. While building three...
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    Re: I want to build a mandolin...

    I also recommend Graham's book, but be sure you get the plans with it. Some sellers don't include them.
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    Re: Beginner staining & finishing

    I mix blonde dewaxed shellac flakes with denatured alcohol (DNA) and tint it with Keda powdered dye mixed in DNA. Zinsser makes shellac in a spray can.
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    Re: Beginner staining & finishing

    One reason to seal before staining is to minimize dye being preferentially absorbed by the end grain like in the f holes. Another is that it allows you to scrape all the color off and start over if...
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    Re: Tuner for tap tuning

    I wasn't the first post to mention Chladni patterns so don't blame me for what might follow. In the absence of a big database, I think they are useful in showing whether my carving is symmetrical...
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    Re: Tuner for tap tuning

    I have built only three mandolins, but it didn't take long to realize that there are many variables besides tap tones that affect the sound, especially my level of woodworking skill. When you get to...
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    Re: French Polish Final Coats

    As I'm learning FP, I've found that a 1lb cut is easier to smooth because it leaves less "ruts". Also mineral oil helps to prevent the pad from sticking.
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    Re: Soon to make my first Mandolin

    I built my first one out of scrap wood to get the feel of cutting, bending, alignment, and gluing and to see what tools I would need.
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    Re: No frills vs fancier mandolins

    I've only built four mandolins, but I can't imagine not doing everything I can to ensure that it will sound good before I glue on the top. I would assume all builders have the same mindset.
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    Re: Suitable for a neck?

    What about resawing it into a bookmatched back, either flat or slightly less arched than typical?
  18. Thread: Oval A

    by SBJ
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    3,344

    Re: Oval A

    I appreciate Andrew using describing the backs as "floppy". I've built four mandolins, and it takes a few to get comfortable with the concept that the strong center of the top or back can resist the...
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    Re: Replacement bridge for Gibson A9

    Check out a Cumberland Acoustic bridge, which worked well for me.
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    Re: Boomerang Banjo Mandolin

    Search this forum for Triflow for a lubricant
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    Re: Post a picture of what's on your bench?

    193758
    I bought an old Washburn M2 that missing a top and carved a new one. It is the first time I used micro mesh pads on the shellac, and I was surprised at how much sheen I could achieve. Also...
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    Re: The back and top join

    I use the joint line to align every other part of the mandolin. If it were at an angle, I'd go nuts.
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    Re: How much will final sanding take off the top?

    You don't indicate how you're going to sand, but in another thread, you said you're using an orbital sander. I wouldn't use an orbital sander on spruce; 80/100 grit by hand on convex sanding blocks...
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    Re: Graduation for Saga AM-10?

    My favorite tool for carving is a Stanley number 100 1/2 curved bottom squirrel tail block plane although thumb planes are useful for the steeper areas near the neck and tail blocks. If you use a...
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    Re: Plans for mandolin etc

    Check out Graham's book: https://mcdonaldstrings.com/mandolinproject.html
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