After building two A style mandolins and an F5, I wanted to try a restoration project. I found an old Washburn M2 (SN 147) with no top so Iím planning to carve a new one. This is strictly MAS, not a get-rich-quick scheme, and carving is my favorite part of the building process. The back, sides, and neck show little wear. I have F4 plans from Georgia Luthier Supply to position the f holes and tone bars, although their graduations are thicker than I used in my other builds. I will aim for about 5 mm on the arch thinning to 2-3 mm in the recurve and about 5 mm on the edge. The original top was about 2 mm plywood so Iíll have to thin the top to fit it under the fretboard extension. The original arch was under 10 mm based on the back arch and the neck angle, but Iíd like to carve it higher, which would probably mean a one-piece bridge. It looks like I have about 29 mm from the rim to the bridge top to work with. Judging the stiffness is the hardest part of the build. My other mandolins are brighter sounding than Iíd like which I assume is due to the stiffness of the tops and/or backs. So for this build, Iím going to clamp the top to the sides and string it up to check the tone. Maybe jam in a dowel for temporary lengthwise support, too. I donít know if the back is solid wood, but itís also about 2 mm thick, which will affect the tone but I canít change that. Finally, Iíll have to replace the binding since the edge will be about 5 mm instead of 2. Because of that, I may strip the finish and redo it. Any comments are welcome!

Steve