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Paul's Flat Top Mandolin Cello Project - The Restoration
Porch Swings and Other Things
Paul sent me an e-mail one day saying he wanted a mandolin that was made in the U.S.A. Paul served this great country in the United States Air Force and knows the importance of supporting this country's economy. After a few follow up e-mails and phone conversations, I was ready to begin this new project for him.
I was going to build Paul a flat top “A” model mandolin. The back, sides and neck would be made from this slab of curly maple.
The template is for an "F" model but if you just leave off the scroll and points you have an "A". This gives me a way to see the grain in the piece that I want to use.
This is the piece the back will come out of. I will have to re-saw it so I can get a book-matched set of plates.
I also cut material out for the neck. It is laminated against itself to add strength and stability.
This is the back plates joined and ready to glue. The outline for the back is penciled in.
The sides are cut from the same slab, thickness sanded and bent on the hot iron. This is one piece of wood. Its placed in a form to cool, dry and set.
Kerfed lining being glued in place.
This is the finished rim with both sets of lining, headblock and tailblock glued in.
The top is spruce and has a 15 foot induced radius.
The neck has been profiled.
The x-bracing is being glued on the back. The back also has an induced arch.
Here is the neck being fitted on the rim/top.
After the neck is set, I can glue on the back.
The mandolin has been bound, finish sanded and cleaned up. Now I can start dying it. First I need to make it look like a watermelon.
After a few more colors it begins to look more the way it should.
This is our mandolin after the binding has been scraped and tape removed.
Ready for finishing, polishing and setting up.
The head stock.
And finally, Paul's finished mandolin. After Paul recieved his new mandolin, he sent some kind words of satisfaction. I've included them below.
From the headstock to the tailpiece it's every inch the quality mandolin that I was hoping for. The finish is beautiful and really compliments the grain of the wood. It has a really sweet sound and is easy to play. You really know your business. All this and it's made in the good old US of A! However, this was not just the purchase of a quality product . Your frequent progress reports by e-mail really gave me an amazing insight into the construction of the mandolin. Each progress report reminded me that this was a one of a kind, handcrafted mandolin. You can't find that type of service at any musical instrument retail outlet.
Thanks for including your business card. I definitely will recommend you to the musicians that I know as I'm very satisfied with your work.
John M. Saxon