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Thread: Armrest Plans

  1. #1

    Default Armrest Plans

    Does anyone have a pattern to base my first armrest off of? Being a worker with a full woodworking shop, I find it quite difficult to purchase one. Much less, even asking my family to spend $50 +/- on one for a Christmas gift knowing I could simply use some of my existing wood in stock.

    Thanks for any help you might give.

  2. #2
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    You could make any style/design you want, you have the outside shape of the mandolin to work to so just do as I did and give your mandolin it's own look!
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....

    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

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  4. #3
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Wheeling, WV

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    I had been gifted a supply of ebony a while back and used some to make an armrest for my second mandolin. I had an armrest already to use as a template for the new one. I've made them before and tried something different this time using the Hill style chinrest clamps. I like that they are separate. I used a dremel with router base for the underside.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries, Black Slaney

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    Any chance you could copy the template and send it to me? Perhaps set it on a scanner with something for reference? Maybe a dollar bill? Attach as a pdf?

  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Pittsboro, NC

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    Armrest design is up to you. The top/outside edge should describe the corresponding edge of your instrument. Length and width is a matter of personal taste. Thickness needs to be just enough to accept the mounting hardware.

    As to mounting hardware, I've had good luck using viola chinrest screws from International Violin ( Cheap and quick.
    "And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations... Well, I have really good days."

    -Ray Wylie Hubbard

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    I started with a 1x3 piece of mahogany and a trace of my mandolin. All you need to do is keep a part of the bottom outer edge flat, maybe 2" X1/2 to sit flat on the top. Maybe even not that much. The rest, no pun intended, is up to you. You need viola chin rest hardware for the clamp. I just finished mine in tung oil. Piece of cork is glued to the flat spot to protect finish. I did mine with a rasp and a scroll saw.

    With a real wood shop this is an hour max.
    Silverangel Econo
    Michael Kelly LSFTB

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    Thanks everyone.

  12. #8
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Marietta, GA

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    I make Armrests to sell and agree with the above approach. I trace the outer curve of my Mando onto a piece of paper, cut it out and trace that on to my piece of whatever wood I use. (I have a template that I keep and use for all my Armrests). I start with a block that’s about a 1/2” thick. I cut it out on my bandsaw and then removed a lot of excess with a router first, then I carve the bottom away so there is an “curved rectangular” that is about 1/2” x 2” footprint left where it clamps to the edge of the instrument. I glue a small piece of leather there and use the Viola Chinrest Screws from international violin to clamp it to the instrument. Check the link in my signature and there are lots of pictures.
    aka: Spencer
    Eastman MD-305
    Flatiron 1N

    Hand Crafted Mandolin Armrests
    Check them out here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Armrest Plans

    Great advice. I appreciate it.

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