The Design

This mandolin was built with the same basic techniques as the first, but with a number of upgrades and revisions. I didnít use the angled sides as I did in the previous version. They still blend seamlessly into the neck, but the base of the neck isnít angled. Without the compound bend they were much easier to make. It doesnít lose much in the looks department as far as the clean flowing lines either, especially with the other revisions to the top profile. I was limited in size by the wood I had for the top; one half of a spruce guitar top which was about 8.5 inches across. I made the body as big as I could fit on the piece of wood, hoping for better bass response in this mandolin and therefore a less harsh tone. The neck joins two frets higher at the 14th fret rather that the 12th as on the first mandolin, which makes for a shorter and rounder body.

Both mandolins 001 and 002 share the same shape for their sound holes, although number 002ís are larger and positioned higher relative to the bridge. Both mandolins have the same shape for their pegheads as well, although number 002 was carved more daintily. This made for a more fluid look that better matches the rest of the mandolinís shapes. Mandolin number 002 weighs considerably less than number 001 due largely to a smaller head block.

The most striking upgrade is the button and the binding, which where both made of rosewood. The binding is made of one piece and runs around the top and back edges with a strip connecting the two to cover the joint between the two halves of the sides. I also added simple pearl dot position markers to this mandolin (actually, my first try with position markers was with my electric mandolin, so this is my first acoustic mandolin with position markers.)

Materials

Please see the materials page for my first mandolin. I used the same materials except for some additions such as the button and binding, made from rosewood coming from a few different sources. This unfortunately meant that every piece of rosewood on the mandolin is a slightly different color. The binding was purchased from Stewart Macdonald with the other mandolin and luthiery specific parts. The fretboard also came from Stew-Mac, but it was likely cut from a different piece of rosewood so the color still varied from the binding. The button was made from a scrap piece of rosewood along with the nut and bridge. To add to the confusion, I applied finish to the binding and button (since they are a part of the body) but not to any of the other rosewood parts (fretboard, nut and bridge.) Despite all this, the different rosewood parts matched reasonably well. The slight differences in color donít detract from the look of the mandolin. It would still be best to make all of these parts from on piece of rosewood if you have the ability to make a fretboard from scratch, a task for which I donít have the proper tools.

Tools

I used essentially the same set of tools as for my first mandolin. The only significant addition was a table-mounted router to make the channels in which I inlayed the binding.