I fitted the metalwork (tuners and tailpiece) and put the strings in place. I am delighted with the tone, it has more sustain that the smaller mandolin, but still has that mandolin 'ring'. The fretboard seems huge compared with its smaller cousin, and needs a much more active left hand.
Once it has settleed down, and the strings hold their pitch for more than half an hour I will need to refit the bridge and lower the action a little bit.
I can now concentrate on the Les Paul, but already my mind is wandering to the cittern, gittern and the next two mandolins after that...
Here is a close up of the bridge. It has a bone saddle which is at a slant to compensate for the changes in pitch as the strings are pressed down onto the frets.
This is the back - the walnut has taken the finish nicely.