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Thread: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

  1. #26

    Default Re: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    That last 1% of material removal is where the magic happens.
    1% of anything doesn't make a big difference. The magic happens because spruce varies from piece to piece by not 1-2%, but more like 5-25%. So the magic is in getting close to that last %. Wherever you end up it's, it's not the last 1%, it's the decisions that got you there, and which you can't just intuit. You need experience and data from previous builds to get you there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by fscotte View Post
    Just build from scratch, few things are as hard as it looks and the mandolin is no exception.
    Yeah, it's way, way harder.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

    I just received a StewMac F style kit and it's very nice. There is more work to do than with the Arches kit I built. The Arches CNC machining was smoother, and the scroll binding channels were pre cut as well as the headstock channels, plus the f holes were cut. But it was a couple hundred dollars more expensive.

    The StewMac kit is a very traditional mandolin, with flat finger board and tiny frets. The maple back is very 3A flame and the spruce is very close grained. No complaints there. One thing is the headstock overlay is not as wide as the headstock. Fine if you are binding, but I was going to do an F5G simple non bound neck. The other thing is the binding needs to be glued together, but I had already decided to go one ply iveroid anyway, but a novice would have to glue all the thin strips together. But I'm nitpicking. The wood is very high quality.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  4. #28
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

    Sounds cool, I'd love to see pictures of your building process!
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  5. #29

    Default Re: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

    It will be awhile as I've had a pre amp and a power amp kit to build for a friend. Had it for a year. Told myself I had to build that first before touching the Mando kit, but I did scrape the machining fuzz off the back to see what it looked like.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #30

    Default Re: Advice on first mandolin building kit/tutorial

    FWIW, International Violin had the A style F hole kits available when I looked at the site last week.

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