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Thread: Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

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    Default Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

    Is there a helpful walkthrough for the process of cutting an oval center hole in an F4 style mandolin? Is it as simple as the F holes in an F5--just draw the pattern, protect the wood and use a coping saw? Or is there some other way?

    I'm planning a series of three mandolins for my next project: two F5s and one F4. So that's the one fundamental difference (at least that I can foresee--corrections welcome!).

    -Mark P.

  2. #2
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

    I cut an oval hole in my current build, an F-4 style. I printed out a variety of oval holes that I created on the computer. I found the one I was satisfied with and taped it to the top. I drilled a large enough hole to fit the blade of my table scroll saw. I cut it close then finished the hole using my oscillating drum sander. I like using the drum sander as one can control the removal of material more carefully than trying to cut the finished edge with a saw blade.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

    There is at least one (probably more) threads on the subject in this search of the cafe.

    After you cut the hole you might appreciate this thread on cutting and installing the rosette.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting an F4 sound hole - Walkthrough?

    Quote Originally Posted by putnamm View Post
    . So that's the one fundamental difference (at least that I can foresee--corrections welcome!).

    -Mark P.
    The fundamental difference is that the thickness and graduations of an F4 style is quite different to that of an F5. A search through the archives here will find diagrams of thicknesses.

    If you don't have a spindle sander a length of 1" dowel with sandpaper wrapped around it works well for the final shaping.

    Cheers

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