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Thread: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

  1. #1
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    Default Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Build update #1 saw the top nearly completed, with rosette done, and bracing begun. The sides & back had also had some work done. I missed an update due to being wicked busy the past month, so this will really combine what should've been updates #2 & #3.

    Back bracing in process:


    Top bracing completed:


    Sides mated to top:


    I thought this was a cool touch. It won't be visible when the instrument is completed, but I'll know it's there:


    Fingerboard beginning to take shape:


    Fingerboard purfling in cherry (same as back/sides) with rosewood binding:


    Speaking of binding - back & sides with rosewood binding:


    Fingerboard complete:


    Frets being installed:


    Frets being trimmed:

  2. #2
    New-thier Rob Zamites's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Wow, that is gonna be a looker for sure! Can't wait to see more progress pics!
    ===========================
    I quit trying to build.
    ===========================
    "Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible." -- Ambrose Bierce

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    What a monster set of photos! Beautiful. A LOT of top bracing -- more than I have ever seen for a mandocello but the shaping of them is just amazing --so graceful!

    I wonder what the thought is on all that top cross bracing -- just for structural support or are they part of the sound/tone strategy like the X-braces?

    Sure will be interesting to hear this one!
    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Sure will be interesting to hear this one!
    Bernie, some more details here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW09_9CBv0Q

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy H View Post
    Bernie, some more details here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW09_9CBv0Q
    Thanks Troy -- I was aware of the Dammann 5-course -- very impressive builders. For some reason I assumed this a standard (4-course) mandocello being commissioned. In any case, the Dammann seems to be a terrific instrument -- the idea of an adjustable neck is amazing. It will be interesting to see if the idea catches on with other builders. It might be just the thing for a high tension instrument like a 10 string mandocello with a total string tension probably exceeding 280lbs.

    In any case the bracing is a beautiful thing to see. The early Gibson (K-1 through K-4) mandocellos had only a single transverse brace below the sound hole! There is a reason why so many of them experienced top failure.
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Thanks Troy -- I was aware of the Dammann 5-course -- very impressive builders. For some reason I assumed this a standard (4-course) mandocello being commissioned. In any case, the Dammann seems to be a terrific instrument -- the idea of an adjustable neck is amazing. It will be interesting to see if the idea catches on with other builders. It might be just the thing for a high tension instrument like a 10 string mandocello with a total string tension probably exceeding 280lbs.

    In any case the bracing is a beautiful thing to see. The early Gibson (K-1 through K-4) mandocellos had only a single transverse brace below the sound hole! There is a reason why so many of them experienced top failure.
    Bernie,

    Thank you - I'm very excited about it. The build process has been a truly great experience, and if I could, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd really like a baritone uke, which Ray is also working on developing. Maybe next year.

    Anyway, as for the bracing, you'd have to ask Ray. My first instinct is to say it's because of the top-mounted bridge vice a more traditional heel plate + floating bridge, but I could be way off. I'll ask Ray if he has an account here & can reply. Otherwise, I'll try to gather his thoughts & post them up.

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    Ray Varona rvarona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Build Update #2: Dammann Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    I wonder what the thought is on all that top cross bracing -- just for structural support or are they part of the sound/tone strategy like the X-braces?
    Hi Bernie, Troy mentioned to me that you were curious about the bracing scheme so I thought I should pop in to answer your question. In, short the answer is that both are true. With a pinned bridge flat-top and an added course all that bracing is necessary for long-term dimensional stability and since I can't build a loose enough top and big enough body to support a low C at the fundamental I need to go for overtones instead so the extra cross-stiffness helps me shape the harmonic content so that'll happen. The first attempts used a smaller X-brace and only one brace for the fingers and lower cutoff bar but the bracing has gradually gotten more robust after several premature neck resets. With carved arch-tops I'd feel comfy with a standard tone bar or single-X brace, but the arch is doing most of the work in those cases.
    ---
    Ray Varona
    Luthier, Dammann Custom Instruments
    http://www.mandocello.org

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