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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bowlback neck

Here is the start of the neck. It's made from maple, and is formed from a central core and some 'wings' glued on. The recessed section underneath where the fretboard will sit is to accomodate an extension of the belly. I noticed this feature in the mandolin I took to pieces and I presume that it will add strength to the neck - body joint.

I have been wondering whether to glue it on to the bowl and then do the shaping, or shape it first - I will probably go for the first option.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Status Update

I managed to 'rescue' the situation with the end cap of the bowlback mandolin by adding some edge pieces cut from some of the spare rib material. I bent these to fit on the iron (they needed to be bent in three dimensions!) and stuck them on with superglue. I broke lots of my early attempts. There were still a few gaps left so I filled these with araldite mixed with walnut wood dust. The result is OK, but not my finest work! All that because of a flawed design! I have now started on the neck.

I have also been making a bit of progress with the cittern. I fitted the bindings, and I think these look great (which is just as well as I want to sell this one when it's finished). I'm now starting on the fretboard.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A dog's breakfast

I have made a right dog's breakfast of the end cap... On the first attempt I made the end cap too thick (a little under 3mm). I could not get this to bend successfully (even after wetting the surface) so I made a new one, this time about 1.7mm thick. This bent well, but fitting it to the mandolin bowl was a nightmare. The problem stems from the fact that wood (or paper or anything non-rubbery) won't bend in two directions at the same time. This means that the surface to which the end cap gets glued has to curve like a cylinder, and not like the surface of a sphere! So the basic problem lies in the design of the mould (I will have to fix that for the next one). With a lot of clamps, too much glue, and quite a lot of swearing I did manage to get the end cap fitted - after a fasion. Once the glue is dry I will have to add some decorative bits to hide the gaps. Oh well, it's all part of the learning process.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Bowl complete

Well, the basic shape of the bowl is now complete and here it is, removed from the mould. Once I'm sure that I won't be needing to put it back onto the mould I will chisel off the extra bit that was glued to the inside front cap (with the screw holes in it). The next step it to fit the end cap which wraps around the front of the bowl. When this is done I will line the inside of the bowl with paper - I'm thinking of using tissue paper and a dark coloured cellulose dope (the stuff used to cover the wings of model aeroplanes).