how to make a mandolin neck

It took a lot of tape and some care in how and how tightly the tape was secured so that the binding would be held firmly in place while drying. The frets are metal bars that are installed along the fretboard of the mandolin. I used a flat board to clamp the top and braces flat while they glued.Carving the BracesI used a thumb plane to do the majority of the carving of the braces. Once the strings are removed, the truss rod can be adjusted. In order to translate written musical instructions and symbols into music that you can play on your mandolin, a basic understanding of chord diagrams, tablature (or 'tab'), and the fingering for a few common scales makes your life a lot easier. I used small, light-duty rubber bands, but heavier ones may be more appropriate depending on how close your bends are to the shape of the form. I have a mountain Dulcimer I need to finish I am a bit timid about bending the side and setting the neck. Strings are cheap, so experiment until you find what you like. The scale length is roughly around 16.5" (42cm) and has four sets of courses tuned C-C-G-G-D-D-A-A. I also added a number of other clamps to secure the head and tail block areas and fill in where needed.Shaping the FretboardThe fretboard was cut to it's final size using the belt sander and a paper template so I could use the fretboard's top profile to carve the neck. Leveling the FretsI leveled the frets with fine sand paper attached to a flat block of wood. Theres one step left, checking string height at the nut, and it has an enormous impact on how the mandolin plays in the first position. This is one of the times when this method of holding these parts together is a bit awkward. This project is a sequel to my first mandolin project, Building Mandolin No. I got my specs the same way I got my guitar specs- measured the mandolins of pros. 7. He also teaches mandolin at music camps. Don't try to sink the staple into the fingerboard completely, but leave 3/32" to 1/8" of the staple above the back surface of the neck. Blue masking tape was very effective for covering the area where the fretboard would be glued and I didn't want cover with finish. I wanted to make a four string mostly so I could try playing the mandolin fingerstyle like a steel-string guitar. I'd love to see it when you're done! With a seam separation knife I coaxed the pickguard off the rusted support pins. For most of my customers, I have found that fifty thousandths (0.05) of an inch on the bass strings, and forty thousandths (0.04) on the treble strings is good. by brewerpaul Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:22 am. To finish the neck (besides carving which is actually most labor intensive part of making the neck), I cut out the top profile and sanded it smooth. The harsher tone of this mandolin when picked compared with traditional mandolins is likely due at least in part to the small pattern. Have your 4th finger over on the 5th fret of the 4th string and your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of string 3. 0615Truss Rod Cover for Banjo or Mandolin . One to two thousandths (.001) of an inch, measured at the sixth fret, with the string fretted at the first and twelfth, works well for most players. The measured difference between the lightest and heaviest string sets seems small, but on a double course instrument with high string tension, it makes a big difference. 1. I got one from Andybanjo. At 34.5 inches long, each of the two pieces used were long enough to make the top and and back binding each from one continuous piece of rosewood.RoutingI routed the channel for the binding using a table router. Remove the strings from the mandolin and place the instrument on a flat work surface. One thing to remember, if your fretwork is bad, you need to have that addressed in order to get the best playability out of your instrument. To finish the neck (besides carving which is actually most labor intensive part of making the neck), I cut out the top profile and sanded it smooth. Ratliff Mandolins produces around 25 high quality mandolins per year. bravo. Lastly, a capo is used to press down the strings of the mandolin so that the neck can be adjusted without the strings getting in the way. THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR. Does it sound like a real mandolin? on Introduction. I went a bit too far at the neck on the back side and marked up the underside of the neck. After the third coat, I waited at least 12 hours before going over the finish a final time using 0000 steel wool. Adjust the bridge. The top of your bridge sits on those wheels, which move up or down when you turn them, raising or lowering the action. Straightening a mandolin neck requires patience and precision. Check the strings. Clean your strings every time you play your mandolin to get rid of the grime and oil that accumulates from your fingers. I used a rasp to cut the top profile by carving the sides so they curve up to the top layout lines. I used epoxy for this glue-up since the joints weren't pulling up as tight as I wanted. Relief is needed to make space for the oscillation of the string, which is greatest at its mid-point. 1. on Step 12. nice build, good looking flatiron. Bill IM (NS)HO Feb-07-2013, 4:15pm #6 lenf12 Registered User Join Date Jul 2008 Posts Adding the dovetail to the Weber way of working for 2018 definitely raises the bar, making the best traditional mandolin available today even more traditional. A very small amount can make a big difference, and so only turn this rod about one-eighth of a turn at a time. The propane tank is supported by a loose clamp. Check the headstock. Smooth out the surface of the ears with sandpaper. Use a fret-rocker tool to check the fretboard for any high and low frets, and use a fret file to file them down. Attach the neck to the body. Add Tip Ask Question Download Step 4: The Rim Gluing on the Sides I used the same system to glue the sides to the blocks as I did to hold them on after bending. First, I carved the lower end of the neck to match the contour of the ham can's top. To check if the neck of your mandolin needs to be straightened, observe the string spacing and action. Care should be taken not to over-tighten the truss rod, as this can cause the neck to become warped or bowed. The form is a very important part of making a bent side mandolin even though it won't actually be used in the final instrument. To cut out the Sound holes, I used a paper template to locate and I cut out the sound holes. I used the same clamping setup later for gluing the sides to the blocks. All the old glue most be cleaned out, and any necessary wood repairs executed. Ibanez 8-String Mandolin M522 (Best F-Style Mandolin) 12. This was much easier with the center dowel system I used. The mandolin is often used in folk music, bluegrass, and classical music. I want to add binding to the peghead to match the trim on the body. This method works, but it's clumsy to work with and isn't the most stable since the block can bend and therefore let the head block move (although only a little bit. What are the Steps to Set up a Mandolin? Dummies helps everyone be more knowledgeable and confident in applying what they know. In-between coats I knocked down the shine and lightly smoothed the finish with 0000 steel wool. They come in one of two main body styles: A- and F-style. Please check the fields highlighted in red. If the rod is too tight, it may be the cause of the neck bowing; loosen it slightly. Put two staples in the back of the fingerboard-one between the first fret and the nut and the other between the last two frets. I'd love to see it! Don has released over 20 albums and played on countless others. The mandolin is a beautiful melody instrument, and many melodies are derived from scales. I shoot for twelve thousandths (0.012) of an inch clearance under the G and D, and ten thousandths (0.010) under the A and E. Youre all done. I applied three coats with about three hours between the first and second coats as well as between the second and third coats. I then rock the section back and forth on the iron until it gets very hot through to the opposite side of the wood. Up to an additional 30% off shop-wideEnjoy weekend savings on Fender, Gretsch, and moreShop now. Keep in mind that this is not a step-by-step lesson in how to do your own setup, but should serve as an overview to help you learn how the different adjustments can make your mando play great. These gouges luckily cleaned up of with a bit of recarving at the base of the neck. The small teeth allow the pliers to grab under the fret, so it can be pulled out. Firstly playing the mandolin with clean hands will make a massive difference to string life. # Posted by showaddydadito 18 years ago. You have to hold down certain strings with your left-hand fingers and strum. With this in mind, if you rest a straight edge across the strings, just in front of the bridge, all eight strings should touch the straightedge, with no high or low strings. With the rubber bands I used, even with quite a few, I still had to use a caul and clamps to secure the ends of the sides where there are sharp bends that the rubber bands couldn't pull tight. Contact Andy on and get one today MrD. In the process I lowered the bridge and now this cheapie plays like a real champ. The button looked strangely proportioned to me when I layed it out so it would only cover the top of the neck. Sand it to 220 or so. The player wont be able to get the sound they desire, and the instrument will be difficult to play. This is adjusted by filing the string slots to even out the strings. Yes, it is necessary to remove the strings from the mandolin before attempting to straighten the neck. I did this before cutting out the area where the tail block would be held. Once the amount of adjustment required has been determined, the truss rod can be adjusted. If the neck is back-bowed or bent backwards, making the strings buzz against the frets, try loosening the truss rod by turning it to the left. A poorly setup mandolin is brutal to play, but one thats setup correctly is a joy. A mandolin needs very little relief. I might use a razor blade instead of a scraper. Mandolin will not stay in tune - Construction Issues. Whether it's to pass that big test, qualify for that big promotion or even master that cooking technique; people who rely on dummies, rely on it to learn the critical skills and relevant information necessary for success. To check the truss rod, turn it clockwise with an Allen key until it is tight, then turn it counter-clockwise until it is loose. 13 years ago The thinner neck is much more comfortable. Most mandolins have flat or slightly curved backs and arched tops. The truss rod tool should be inserted carefully and slowly, and the neck should be monitored for any changes as the truss rod is adjusted. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If the neck angle is not correct, it can cause the neck to bow; adjust the neck angle as needed. Adjust the length of the strap, as needed, to ensure the mandolin is held securely and comfortably. 13 years ago The truss rod is a metal rod that is used to adjust the necks curvature.