Sunday, April 11, 2010

Octave Mandolin Build, Part 5

Sanding the Sides and Kerf
After the kerf dried I placed the sides back into the mando form, and then mounted the form 'into' the sanding jig. Using chalk, I marked the sides along with the neck and tail blocks before sanding. While sanding you can check often to see when the sides and kerf level up (i.e., when the chalk disappears). When the top was completed I flipped it over and sanded the back following the same method. Here are some pics:

Gluing and Flush Routing the Back
In order to glue on the back I: 1) re-marked centerlines on the neck and tail blocks; 2) laid the back down and placed the sides on it (holding it in place w/two clamps), and lining up the centerline on the back with the centerlines on the neck and tail blocks; 3) marked the where the braces hung outside of the sides, and marked where the kerf would be cut out to accept the shortened braces; 4) cut the braces to size; 5) cut out the kerf using a pull saw and chisel; 6) glued the back sides; and, 7) placed the back on the sides and clamped it up. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the entire process for the back, but I did when fitting and gluing the soundboard, so there will be a number of pictures for that step, all of which pretty much correspond to the back.

Getting everything set-up and ready to go:

The water marks in the pic below are from a damp rag I used to wipe up excess glue. The glue in the slots of the kerf should not be wiped clean. It will, however, dry clear, so you don't have to worry about it. Just try to clean the stuff that squirts outside of the kerf and onto the back or soundboard (depending on which you choose to glue on first).

When I unclamped it I decided that I wanted the braces and center to be darker, so I masked everything off and gave it about 8-10 more coats of shellac.

I then, using a flush cut bit on the router table, removed the excess overhang from the back.

The final back and sides look like this:

In the next entry we will talk about fitting and gluing the soundboard.

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