Sunday, February 1, 2009


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Been busy reading my book, surfing and doing a little bit of shopping over the last couple of days. On Saturday, my wife had to go to Wal-mart for a few groceries and such so I decided to tag along to see what I could find in the more “manly” sections of the store and, since there is also a good sized hobby store nearby, I figured I could probably talk her into letting me go there as well. Turned out to be a pretty good visit to both places and I was able to pick up several of the things from my list and a couple that had not yet made it there. While I don’t think I am going to post pictures of a bunch of tools and supplies sitting idle on the workbench, I will go ahead and list off what I picked up:

There are 2 acrylic sheets, 20” x 16” x 1/32” thick, 48 clothes-pins, 4 craft brushes, 1 roll of blue painters tape, a bottle of super-glue, and a roll of double-stick tape.

I will use the acrylic sheets to create my templates for the top and back, neck, body blocks, and fretboard. The clothes pins are for clamping the kerf lining to the sides when gluing, and the craft brushes are intended for applying the hide glue.

With regard to the book I received on Friday, The Mandolin Manual - The Art, Craft and Science of the Mandolin and Mandola by John Troughton, I must say I find it a difficult read. Mr. Troughton is obviously British and, consequently, his choice of words and units of measure (metric) differ from those used by us common Americans. Because of this I often find myself having to do mental measurement conversions to understand how big or small something is or reading and then re-reading a paragraph just to figure out what he is trying to say. For example, in Chapter 1 where he is describing how to build a body mould, he writes:

“You will also need to buy a length of 19 x 19mm ‘quadrant’ moulding - larger section if available - usually sold in 2.4m lengths. This needs to be sliced up like a loaf of bread into 15mm wide segments with you tenon saw or band saw, so you end up with a lot of ‘little chesses’ as a visitor to my workshop once described them.”

I had to read this a couple of times to realize that he was talking about a cut-up length of 3/4” quarter-round molding. Sure, once I understood it, it made perfect sense, but for a while, I was quite stumped as to what he was trying to describe. But even though this is book is a bit difficult to read, I must say that it is worth the trouble. Mr. Troughton goes into great detail to explain not only what to do but why you need to do it, as well. He explains many of the differences between various woods and how they react to different conditions and, as I mentioned before, he even goes to the trouble of telling you many of the things not to do. While I am still only about half way through the book, I have picked up a lot of good information already and I have no doubt that there will be many occasions when I will look back to this book for information.

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