John Page

Mandola Build

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Alright here we go! The first one shows the angle the two pieces are coming together at. I have no idea how to lay out dovetails for something at angles other than 90 degrees, so I sort of arbitrarily marked the length to be the thickness of the board as you normally would. The tricky thing is, only about an inch and a half of the width will remain after it is shaped, so the joint area is extremely small for the load. miter.thumb.jpg.4c30d9b29d2bdd2ee4fc6ca5

 

There is a stripe of rosewood I scavenged when trimming the sides, and there rest is sapele. Hopefully it will not be a mistake having ripped it!

In the next picture is what would seem to be normal layout for tails, except on the reverse side it is offset down to compensate for the 14 degree cut. Will that be a problem later on? Not sure how to make the pins in a way that will accuraely preserve the joint angle, which is the current concern.

dovetails.thumb.jpg.a7c97ee7e6f94f374cf6


Is there another joint altogether that I should use instead? Box or finger joints come to mind, but cutting that accurately by hand doesn't seem to be a great alternative. 

Any suggestions welcome!

John

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Most guitar necks use scarf joints and those have held up fine for multiple decades... Is the tension on a mandola significantly greater? Otherwise I'd say you're fine using the tried and true method... Unless you're avoiding it for another reason?

Obviously a scarf joint certainly isn't the strongest joint, but it is used frequently because it's cost effective (thinner stock can be used instead of milling a single piece neck, and it is less labor intensive than many other methods).

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Your scarf joint is not right. The joint needs to be at 20 to 40 ish degrees relative to the main face to maximize the amount of surface area for glueing. This will also give you a back angle on the headstock. Forget about any fancy dovetails or box joints as you will end up cutting them away when you shape the headstock.

I'm nowhere near my shop at the moment to photograph a joint but here is an arbitrary image I found to illustrate this.

 

image.jpeg

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Perfect, thanks gents! That angle makes way more sense now that I see it there. I'll definitely be going with #1 in that picture. Back to the shops with me!

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Thanks gents! I was surprised by how it came out. There's a little gap I need to shim, but overall not bad at all. I've been notoriously bad at cutting matching joints in the past, and the slot on the body to receive the neck sounded like it would be an inherent disaster, but it's all looking forward from here!

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Wanted to check in here, haven't posted in a while but the progress is coming along. I had to move 2600 miles across the country on two weeks notice and haven't had the chance to process a lot of the recent pictures. I have enough done for two or three more posts, and there were some serious complications that I had to work through. In any event, it's nearly ready for finishing, so with a bit of luck it should be done in the next month or so. Until then, here's a phone picture I grabbed when doing the fretboard. 

Cheers!

John

image.jpeg

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Sure is! It was my only other ebony experience other than some of that weird American Ebony (?) that's mostly a yellow white with the occasional hard, black spots in it. 

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Finally got through some of the pile of photos from before I had to move. Going back in time a little to look at the neck joinery, an unfortunate accident that crushed part of the sides, and the subsequent repair. If nothing else, this project is teaching me how to creatively fix the problems made from my own stupidity!

Part IX link

Cheers!

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I'll be getting part 10 up in the next few days, but until then here's proof that I'm still making progress! It's actually about 95% finished now and I finally figured out the tailpiece. The perfling was a bugger to attach and there are a few places I'm not entirely satisfied, but overall it came out better than expected considering I once again have zero shop space to work in. With that, it's a final sanding and buffing on the finish and stringing it. So close after working so long!

John

image.jpeg

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Thanks folks! I'll definitely be putting together a recording, either of me playing it badly or of someone else I can find who is a bit more proficient than me :lol:

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Thanks! It was an productive day to an unprecedented degree. I won't spoil where the project is at the moment, but let's say it's getting really close to being done. Until then, I managed to get the next round of pictures up and ready. This time, it's mostly about the neck and sound hole. What I wouldn't give for a giant forstner bit!

Part X- Headboard, Fretboard, and Rosette

John

37 shaped.jpg

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You've got that right! The more I play around with the final bits, the more I think that might be the case... I've found a few critical things I should have done differently that knowing even a little bit about guitars would have prevented :wacko: Aah well, live and learn as they say. 

Until then, next part is up. Laying the frets and joining the neck and closing the body.

Part XI

 

John

21 fitted.jpg

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