Friday, January 30, 2009

Second Arrival

Friday, January 30, 2009

Yet another big day for the receiving department (me, at the front door). At about 5:00 pm, UPS dropped off the first of my two books and then at about 6:30, the Fed Ex guy delivered my order from LMI.

There’s that mandolin again, sneaking in for reference (camera hog!)

Inside the box from LMI were my 4 lengths of kerfed lining (taped nicely to a stiff backing board to prevent damage in shipment, 2 spruce end blocks, 1 ebony fretboard, and my hide glue. Though I failed to get it in the photo, the glue also came with a printed sheet of instructions telling me pretty much everything I should need to know for how to prepare, use and store it.

Here is a closer shot of the glue and blocks. The blocks nominally measure 3” x 5-1/4” x 1” thick.

And, finally, here is a close-up of the fretboard (with the Sharpie as a reference - had to shoo away the mandolin for this one).

On first inspection of the book, The Mandolin Manual - The Art, Craft and Science of the Mandolin and Mandola by John Troughton, it appears that it might be just a bit off the mark for me when building my F-style. I say this because within the first paragraph of the book is explains that “The ‘traditional’ Neapolitan instrument (the classification he earlier gave the archtop mandolin) is more difficult to construct that a flat-back and is beyond the scope of this book.” He then goes on to say that it is a good book for reference when building a bowl-back instrument. As I flip through it, though, it does seem to describe and detail a lot of how-to’s and things not to do. For an example of what not to do, on page 55, when describing how to prepare the edges of the book-matched top-wood for gluing, he writes “Do not feel tempted to use abrasive paper on a straight-edge to get the centre-join edges straight: sanding a true, straight edge is very difficult and in any event the abrasive rounds off the edges and tears up the grain...” and so on. Since it’s the hope of finding just this kind of information that prompted me to buy the book in the first place, I am still looking forward to reading it through. Once I do, I will post a more informed opinion here.

For now, though, I clearly need to do some more reading (especially after reading that about not sanding the joint) before I start butchering my material. So its off to the arm chair for me.

Until next time....

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