Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 52

Thread: Fan-fret mandocello build

  1. #26
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    One of the most difficult parts to get clear in my mind was how to handle the neck/head transition. The simplest way is just to plane the head perpendicular to the top of the fingerboard, but that means the head sits at a weird angle, which I didn't want. Here is a YouTube video of someone having a go at explaining the 'proper' way of doing it.

    I thought up my own simple way of doing it:

    Draw a line square across the neck blank level with the top of the nut on the treble side
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc3.JPG 
Views:	9 
Size:	950.0 KB 
ID:	181188Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc4n.JPG 
Views:	5 
Size:	188.5 KB 
ID:	181189

    Plane the head angle to this line in the normal way:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc5n.JPG 
Views:	7 
Size:	174.7 KB 
ID:	181190

    The fingerboard will overhang the head on the bass side:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc7n.JPG 
Views:	8 
Size:	127.8 KB 
ID:	181191

    Draw a line on the head level with the top of the nut:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc8n.JPG 
Views:	10 
Size:	135.9 KB 
ID:	181192

    Glue a block of fingerboard wood to line up with that line:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc9n.JPG 
Views:	9 
Size:	145.8 KB 
ID:	181193

    Plane level with neck:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc10n.JPG 
Views:	9 
Size:	129.4 KB 
ID:	181194

    The fingerboard will sit on the resulting wedge (bad photo - there isn't a gap there, honest!):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc11n.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	204.6 KB 
ID:	181195

    Funny how you find existing threads on the Cafe just after you posted things yourself . . . here is an old thread on fan fret headstock angles.
    Last edited by tonydxn; Nov-14-2019 at 4:43pm.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  2. The following members say thank you to tonydxn for this post:


  3. #27
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,622

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Ok, Tonydxn et al: after you solve this luthiery puzzle the next level it to create a fan-fret Gelas model mandolin. I think I might have to take some dramamine for that one.

    Here's our friend John Maddock (Tavy) talking and playing a mandolin. "and it has not been hit on the face with a large hammer."

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26125-0020.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	676.7 KB 
ID:	181196   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26125-0022.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	482.8 KB 
ID:	181197   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26125-0023.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	439.1 KB 
ID:	181198  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26125-0024.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	528.0 KB 
ID:	181199  
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  4. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  5. #28
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    One of the most difficult parts to get clear in my mind was how to handle the neck/head transition.
    Haha, yes those angles will make your brain hurt - the way you did yours was pretty much what I did, which is to say a small ebony fillet under the bass side. Certainly not my idea, I think it came from around here....

    after you solve this luthiery puzzle the next level it to create a fan-fret Gelas model mandolin
    Ah now steady, even I wouldn't want to do that, and I've surely done some daft things

    You could stick a Ceccherini style resonator/soundboard inside for even bigger "zing" though...

  6. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  7. #29
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    You could stick a Ceccherini style resonator/soundboard inside for even bigger "zing" though...
    Challenges enough on this one, thanks!

    I think I've covered most aspects of the build that are different because of the fan-fret format. I'll post occasional photos as I pass significant milestones. And a sound sample when it's done (unless it's too embarassing . . .)
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  8. The following members say thank you to tonydxn for this post:


  9. #30
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Sides glued to neck:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc12.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	232.1 KB 
ID:	181306
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  10. #31
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Back ready to glue on:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc13.JPG 
Views:	18 
Size:	249.9 KB 
ID:	181344
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  11. #32
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Soundboard ready to glue on, and a closer look at the struts I've done:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc14.JPG 
Views:	20 
Size:	198.1 KB 
ID:	181399Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc15.JPG 
Views:	21 
Size:	206.2 KB 
ID:	181400

    I took Marty Jacobson's advice (post #12) and added some lengthwise struts. These will also support the ends of the bridge, which otherwise would just have been sitting over unsupported soundboard (I was never sure if that was a good idea).
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  12. #33

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Should work. Looking forward to hearing how it sounds.

  13. The following members say thank you to Marty Jacobson for this post:


  14. #34
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Should work. Looking forward to hearing how it sounds.
    My bracing is much lighter than Joe Mendel put into the one he made for Walt (post #12 & 16). Walt put some pretty heavy strings on his. I will be using much lighter ones.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  15. #35
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Looks good so far! The headstock is certainly the trickiest part of these, so if you can do that, you can do the rest. My preference is to use a compound headstock angle, which for me is a little easier to wrap my mind around than the fretboard wedge:


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7929.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	89.7 KB 
ID:	181479

  16. The following members say thank you to amowry for this post:


  17. #36
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Ready for spraying. I'm not sure how long that will take as I'm trying a new finish
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc16.JPG 
Views:	34 
Size:	211.3 KB 
ID:	181509
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  18. The following members say thank you to tonydxn for this post:


  19. #37
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Wow that's quick.... looking good there.

  20. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  21. #38
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Marking string slot positions on nut and bridge saddle. I am using the spacing given by Sunburst in Post#166 of his thread.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc17.JPG 
Views:	12 
Size:	234.6 KB 
ID:	182051 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc18.JPG 
Views:	10 
Size:	176.1 KB 
ID:	182052
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  22. #39
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Here are some shots of the finished instrument:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc20.JPG 
Views:	47 
Size:	194.1 KB 
ID:	182133 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc21.JPG 
Views:	30 
Size:	160.6 KB 
ID:	182134 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc19.JPG 
Views:	28 
Size:	246.4 KB 
ID:	182135 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc22.JPG 
Views:	29 
Size:	170.7 KB 
ID:	182136 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc23.JPG 
Views:	23 
Size:	114.6 KB 
ID:	182137 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc24.JPG 
Views:	40 
Size:	195.3 KB 
ID:	182138 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc25.JPG 
Views:	24 
Size:	239.9 KB 
ID:	182139 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	mc26.JPG 
Views:	23 
Size:	188.3 KB 
ID:	182140

    I am working on a sound sample . . .
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  23. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to tonydxn For This Useful Post:


  24. #40
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    It will take me a while to produce anything with this instrument which might be considered musical. When I have, I will post it on YouTube and put a link on here. In the meantime, here is a video of me just about managing a simple scale of C major: Mcello1c.mp4
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  25. #41
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    4,071

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Nice workmanship. Good deep bassy sound.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  26. The following members say thank you to billhay4 for this post:


  27. #42
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Good stuff!

  28. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  29. #43
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Here is a better sound sample https://youtu.be/kOWVB7iu_sg

    First of all I have to say this thing is a pig to hold. Maybe they all are. After five minutes I’m getting back pain from screwing myself round so that I can see where I’m putting my fingers. Maybe the f-style ones with points you can hook over your leg are easier, or the fat-onion shaped ones. Probably the Gibson ones, with their smaller profile and deeper body are easier to hold, even if they don’t work well acoustically. If I ever make another one, I will reduce the size of the body profile and make it a bit deeper, which would hopefully make it more comfortable to hold. This would raise the resonant frequency of the back and soundboard, so I would try to counteract that by making them thinner and the soundhole a bit bigger. Apart from that . . .

    It wasn’t complicated to build (though I wouldn’t recommend it as a first project). Apart from needing extra thinking time, it wasn’t much more work than a straightforward build (certainly not three times as much). I don’t keep any record of time spent on my builds any more, but I reckon it took around 150 hours, plus a bit extra for messing about with an unfamiliar finish.

    A more competent player would be able to give a more comprehensive assessment of the instrument, but the bass notes do seem to be satisfyingly rich, while the shorter scale length at the top end keeps it reasonably playable. I would really have struggled playing that tune if all the strings had the 27” scale length. I’m aware that some people commented earlier that the fan-fret arrangement doesn’t really do anything for four-course mandolin-family instruments. I’m sure that’s true for mandolins, mandolas and OMs. But mandocellos are a special case, because of having to make them sound good without being too hard to play. Overall, I'm pleased with the way it turned out and I’d say it was worth pursuing the idea.

    Some facts and figures:
    String gauges: 19 27 40 60, which give about 22lbs of tension per string, as recommended by Graham McDonald in one of those threads. I had them custom-made by Newtone Strings.

    Weight without hardware 1.4kg, with hardware 1.8kg (that's roughly 3lbs and 4lbs).

    Resonant frequency about 10 cents below A.

    Please let me know what y’all think of it. (I have my own opinions, but they're biased . . .)
    Last edited by tonydxn; Dec-27-2019 at 7:06am.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  30. #44

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    It sounds really good to me especially for the classical-type piece you played. My old friend Martin Jenkins played a Mandocello which he christened the "Swine o phone" probably because it was a swine to hold. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGHN_BO2vnI

  31. The following members say thank you to Davey for this post:


  32. #45
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Sounds about right to me

    And yes, they are bugger to hold if you make the top wide enough to resonate near that low C. Mine is guitar bodied which is easier to hold, but sometimes I wish I'd gone for a wider top for some really stonking bass notes.... but it's all compromises whatever you do!

  33. The following members say thank you to Tavy for this post:


  34. #46
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    . . . sometimes I wish I'd gone for a wider top for some really stonking bass notes....
    You could always make another one, John
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  35. #47

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    The Mandocello looks great. Congrats. On the fan fret matter - When you Barre a chord is your finger slanted aligned with the fret?

  36. #48
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Quote Originally Posted by Happymandolin View Post
    The Mandocello looks great. Congrats. On the fan fret matter - When you Barre a chord is your finger slanted aligned with the fret?
    Thank you . . . I'm afraid I'm not a good enough player to do barre chords, but I suppose your finger would need to be roughly parallel to the frets. However if you're doing barre chords, you would presumably be up the neck somewhere where the frets are closer to square anyway.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  37. #49
    Harley Marty
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Mullingar Co Westmeath Ireland
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Well done! That's a fine instrument to my eyes & ears! I'm a big believer in straps irrespective of how easy an instrument is to hold. One thing I'm curios about is if there's an issue sound wise with the fact that you're picking closer to the bridge on the top strings than the lower ones. I'm thinking for really fast trad tunes. Raising it higher up with a strap & holding it level would improve the pick angle to the bridge I suppose. Well done I'm sure you'll be as proud as punch when you pass it to an accomplished player out in a session. Marty

  38. #50
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: Fan-fret mandocello build

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Marty View Post
    . . . One thing I'm curios about is if there's an issue sound wise with the fact that you're picking closer to the bridge on the top strings than the lower ones . . .
    Thanks Marty. Yes, it did take me a while to get used to that. At first I was just too close to the bridge, and it mattered. When I moved up to the soundhole it sounded OK across all the strings though. It's just a case of getting used to the quirks of the design I reckon.

    I did try a strap, and yes, it certainly helped. If I was playing seriously at a gig or session I would definitely use one. But for a sound sample I decided not to bother.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  39. The following members say thank you to tonydxn for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •