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Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin
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Author:  Tony_in_NYC [ Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's

Bryan Bear wrote:
Tony_in_NYC wrote:
It's just aight for me dog.

Posted from my Mustache using Tapatalk

Lemme’ guess, you would like it better if I had botched the binding channel and glued in some abalone then painted it black?


Ok. I was trying to be funny. I messed up. I don't even have a witty retort now. I have to go sniff some nitro. That usually perks me up!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Wait, if you're sniffing nitro, that must mean you are putting a finish on the Uke. If I cared, I would insist on pictures of the burst ASAP.

BTW, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I forgot how sensitive you get as Halloween approaches.

Author:  Beth Mayer [ Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Bryan, you have a beautiful build there. Can't wait to see and hear it done. Love that curlicue thingy, and the beautiful neck. Daughter's pretty adorable as well! [clap]

Author:  Tony_in_NYC [ Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I'm better now after an intense nitro sniffing session. I posted pics too.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Thanks Beth, I'm mighty fond of her.

Nice save Tony!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Never having made a mandolin before I have some questions about how to handle the compensation. The bridge will be glued down so I can't just move the bridge until it intonates correctly. Can anyone tell me the approximate compensation to add for each course with a 14" scale? I also opened a discussion on the mando forum that may get more responses. . .

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I have managed to get a few things done, so I might as well update you all. Bindings are on and scrapped so I started on the neck. I got the profile and heel roughed in. I think I am close to the final profile but the heel still needs some refinement. The combination of the cutaways requiring a non tapered heel, the depth required for the bolt and the narrow/shallow mandolin neck makes it look kind of clunky. I don't think there is much I can do about that but we shall see.
rough carved.JPG

Tony refused to design and fabricate a bridge for me so I had to do it myself. I had a general idea of how wide I needed it and I planned to err on the safe side and make the belly deep to give me more peel resisting surface area. I always thought the handles on my chest of drawers looked like a miniature guitar bridge; I figured since I used my daughters toy chicken can for a sound hole template, why not this. I took it off and it was pretty much the size I had already planned to use.

As you can see, it is a little bit bigger than the aesthetic ideal, but better safe than sorry. I started mocking up a prototype bridge. I used a 1/4 inch saddle slot, again bigger than needed but I am a novice with mandolin compensation. I'll make a wooden saddle for the first go round and later play around with bone, wood capped with bone and woods of different densities. . . The strings will loop onto the stainless steel pins in the back and over the saddle. I should have just enough space to keep the windings off the saddle. Here is a better look at it's size relative to the body.


An admittedly poor shot of the bridge. Since this was taken, I have moved the pins out a tiny bit and flattened the heads on the inside edge of the deeper set pins to allow the strings to fit in the tight spaces.

I'm now wishing I hadn't used this flatsawn piece of scrap for my prototype because I may just end up using this one. We will see how much modification is needed once I try to string and set it up.

I am also almost finished fitting the neck joint. As you can see, I will need to add a very small wedge under the fretboard. It should be so small that no one will notice. The heel cap will be jatoba to match the binding. I'm not sure how I feel about the maple to maple (no vertical binding on the corner). I almost wish I had done a corner binding and a tapered neck heel. Too late now I suppose. I think the fretboard and binding being the same wood highlight the abrupt end of the binding at the neck joint. I had hopped to get the grain of the cutaway side to flow nicely into the heel, but was unsuccessful. . .
neck joint.JPG

Author:  Tony_in_NYC [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Nice job on the bridge.

Posted from the future using Tapatalk

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Thanks, I'm going to pretend that was a compliment. :)

Author:  SteveSmith [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I think it's coming together nicely. Eat Drink

Author:  Beth Mayer [ Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Looking really great, Bryan!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I've been dreading finalizing the bridge location. I should have just done it rather than procrastinating, now that it is done I feel much better. I made a wooden saddle that was compensated according to some estimates I found online. So I needed to rig up a temporary tailpiece so I could install four strings and move the bridge around until it intonated properly. First thing first, I had to install the tuners so I reached for my mandolin tuner hole drilling jig. Crap, I don't own one. First thing first, make a quick and dirty jig. I drilled 4 holes in some scrap at uniform distances from the edges. Then I sawed between them, slipped them over the tuning posts and glued them together with some masonite:
tuner hole jig.JPG

Once the tuners were in, I put a nail in the spot where the strap button will go and put some cork and an angled piece of oak trim over the corner. I put tape down under the bridge location so I could cut around it (once located) and have it all masked for finishing.

This barely gave me any break angle over the saddle, so I had to improvise:
locating bridge.JPG

I was able to get all four strings to be within a few cents. (further saddle tweaking can be done if needed but I was happy with the results). The funny thing is the bridge ended up almost exactly where I had thought it should be. Close enough that I could have skipped this all together. . .

The good news is that I am now done with all the "woodworking." I'll do a final go over to prep for finish then let it set in the sun for a few days (if we ever get any here) to help all the jatoba bits darken to the point the fretboard has. Then pumice pore fill, which shouldn't take long since it is just the bindings and peghead veneers and on to french polish. It will be nice to not have to wait until my daughter goes to bed to sneak away and work on this. I have a little French polish station that I can set up in front of the TV during wind down time. Well off to bed, I have to get up early and vote.

Author:  Tony_in_NYC [ Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Very nice Bryan. I like your solution to the tuner hole drilling jig. Quite a stroke of genius if you ask me.

Author:  Beth Mayer [ Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

That looks great Bryan!

Author:  SteveSmith [ Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Beth Mayer wrote:
That looks great Bryan!

+1 [:Y:]

Author:  WudWerkr [ Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Very impressive Bryan .. Just try tellin a Country boy he cant figure somthin out huh . lol

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Update, sorry no pics tonight. I got all the surface prep done for finish. The body and neck woods have been knocking around in rough form so long, I had forgotten how pretty curly maple is. This stuff is by no means wildly figured (what do you expect for Home Depot maple?), but even just getting the wood polished and ready for shellac made me smile. I got two spit coats of shellac on everything tonight. I'll try to get another one on tomorrow. Hopefully I will have some time Saturday or Sunday to do the pumice pore filling. Only the binding, peghead veneers and the other jatoba bits will need to be filled so hopefully it won't take much effort. Of course, I may have to come back the next day and touch it up; sometimes I use too much alcohol and my pore filling shrinks back a little bit. There really won't be much to show for a while (until I give up and call the french polish done).

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

No pics this time either (not really anything interesting enough to post). I am glad to have the extra time now. The last several days I have had way too many things get in the way of getting the FP sessions done. To further complicate the issue, I am having a bit of trouble getting the FP to build in a few areas. I’m not sure why but I’ll figure it out. I am way behind where I thought I would be at this point. I wanted to be putting this thing back together over the holiday. Instead, I’ll have to use some of that free time to do more build sessions. On a disappointing note, the neck isn’t turning out as pretty as I hoped. First there is the big inclusion in the heel that I unearthed when carving, now the figure is not really coming alive on the neck. I knew it wasn’t wildly figured, but it really appears fairly flat now. The neck is made from the same board as the sides and they look much better. Oh well. . . The good news is the top is looking better than I expected, it is showing much more Medullary rays than I expected. Not bad for shipping material.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I had suspected that the batch of shellac I was using was part of the problems I was having. A few days ago I started dissolving a new batch. That made all the difference in the world. The previous work I had done amounted to nothing more than a bad pore fill session. I didn't realize how poorly it was building (everywhere) until I started using the new batch. Suddenly it was like an old friend had returned. I now have one body session done and it already looks much better. Now that I am back on track I will try to get up early and do a session before work the next two days to catch up.

body session.JPG

I still have a lot of work to do, but now I a m moving forward.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

It's starting to look really good with the finish!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Man! As the instruments in these threads near completion, it becomes clearer and clearer that I have no business entering these. I probably will enter again but I have a long way to go before I'll actually belong in these things. I'm not sure how I am going to be able to vote. Too bad we can't rank our top 3 (can we?). There are several that I can't bring myself to snub.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

I agree with that but I think the coolest thing has been the daily interaction with everybody here as we've gone about our builds. I've figure I'll have to buy my own chisel and that's ok.

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Yep, I have gotten a whole lot out of being involved. It has been nice to have the push to meet the deadline and to know that people are looking in on my work. I learned quite a bit from following more closely than I did as a spectator too. Most of all, I feel like I have gotten to "know" some of you more than I would have. Sometimes it is hard to keep all the names straight with the personalities.

Author:  Beth Mayer [ Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Though I'm no where near ready to participate in the friendly competition, I have learned so much by watching the details of these builds. Voting is going to be really hard!

Author:  Bryan Bear [ Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bryan B's "everybody cares" mandolin

Well I am just about done. I strung her up last night and she sounds, well, like a mandolin. I am no expert on mandolin tone so I can’t say if it is good or not, but I like it. I still have to do some set-up tweaks, but I want to keep it under string tension for a while. It is a zero fret, and some of the nut slots are not quite deep enough to give enough break angle. When I set it up to locate the bridge, the intonation was spot on. I only used 4 strings to locate the bridge and with a tailpiece the string tension was bearing down. With twice the string load and the torque from the bridge, the top has pulled up a little more than I expected. This probably rolled the saddle a bit. That combined with the higher action is likely what is causing the intonation issues. I’m going to hold off on fixing that for a while though; I don’t see myself going very far up the neck for a while anyway. I’ll take care of the saddle next time I change the strings. . .

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