The Finished Mandolin
This mandolin sounds better than my first mandolin. It is much better when played with a pick than my other mandolin, but it still doesn’t sound as good as my Kentucky f5 style mandolin. It sounds best when it is fingerpicked, which makes for a sweeter sound than when played with a pick. The harsher tone of this mandolin when picked compared with traditional mandolins is likely due at least in part to the small pattern. At only 8.5 inches wide, it is much smaller than an f5 style mandolin which is about 10 inches wide. A larger pattern would likely allow for more bass response and volume.
I prefer the look of this mandolin over my last one as well. I like the rounder look of the body that results from a longer neck and a shorter overall mandolin. The proportions seem to work out better. My last mandolin ended up emphasizing the fact that it is much narrower than most mandolins. The biggest improvement in the look of this mandolin comes form the additions of the various pieces of trim. The addition of the inlayed position markers and the rosewood binding together make for a much more finished and professional looking piece. I still would like to add more trim to the next mandolin I make to pull the elements together even more effectively. I want to add binding to the peghead to match the trim on the body. I would also like to add a peg head inlay, likely of a simple symbol, my initials or maybe my last name.
Here are pictures of the mandolin complete with strings and ready to play: