Friday, December 12, 2003

Mandolin #2: Carving

Though I swore I would take more pictures and keep better records on my second mandolin, it didn't really turn out that way. In any case, I tried to take pictures of the things I did differently this time. The first major change was in carving.

Carving the Top and Back
In general, on #2 I was more confident to actually get thicknesses down to the measurements on the blueprint. I had also seen some measurements taken from John Reischmann's Loar which appeared to be significantly thinner in some places and generally thinner all over than the McRostie plans.

The main change in my approach was trying to be more consistent as I thinned so that I didn't end up with any craters that I had to tiptoe around later. To this end, I would work in the recurve with either a small gouge or the violin planes, then come across with the orbital sander (80 grit paper) and smooth things out. Then I'd do the same on another area. At this time, I wasn't looking to hit anywhere close the numbers on the blueprint, just evenly take everything down.

Then, once I started to get close with this process, I drew out the graduation map on the piece and tried to work my caliper around the contours to hit all the readings on my marks with smooth transitions between.

Mapping Graduations


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