intro   the project   singing wood   the top    the back   the neck   assembling   tonebars adjustments     Finish/setup

Winter 2004 / 2005 . The mandolin which gives me chills  is the Radio Flyer made by John Monteleone. It is simply superb,
splendid, divine.  I never expected to have the opportunity to see one for real , so it is for that reason , that I try  to build one similar.

So lovely !!

First of all, nursery, a small corner of paradise not very pleasing at the beginning, but quite cordial nevertheless

To have a rather precise idea of the shape of the scroll , I took the photograph of this mando on the site of the Master and I increased it until getting the 17.6 cm length from the nut  to the 12 fret.  According to my memories, I had to multiply the size by 4 approximately.  On the photograph, we see a scientist assembly between the body top view and the scroll back view , because the photo of back was better on the site, and it was necessary for me despite everything, the position of hearing like their size. etc

This drawing is an assembly between the body of F5 traditional of the plan Stewmac . It is starting from this plan that I will build my mold.

The height of the side is 35 mm, I make a mold a little finer (30 mm) out of plywood.  A little less thick, to then be able to glue the kerfed lining and rim, and also to have a margin of visibility during joining of the top to the rim.

Equalization of the sawing on the band saw.  Note the grips with a small wood end as "a martyr" to avoid the pulling up of plywood when the grater "leaves".

The maker thinks !!

Wednesday October 13, 2004
Here is  the headblock . Usually I use walnut . This time I test maple . I made 2 provisional notches which receive the ends of the rims .  They will be thus maintained during the drying of the glue .

Cut out higher rim, in a "sheet" of curly maple,  70 cm length, 36mm width and  1.9mm  thick .  I start by cutting out with the band saw to 38 mm width .

Then I sand in order to have a perfectly rectilinear side on the sandpaper table (here, a plate of false floor,  30mm on which two sandpaper sheets are stuck.)  it is the surfacing machine of the mando maker.

Then I adjust the hold of sawing on the band saw with 36mm.  Foot-note:  a small plywood 5mm sheet on the table of saw makes it possible to make a sawing more accurate .

A last checking comparing with the thickness of the headblock

And finally I saw to 36mm width (precaution:  2 checks are better than one!)  Why 36mm whereas the headblock is 35mm, because it  will have a sanding after the kerfed lining will be glued .

The ends of the rims must be perfectly clear and crossed perpendicularly, I use a square and a cutter for that.

To curve the rims (operation delicate and stressing) I heat a tube with a blow torch I plaçe the part to be curved between two metal sheets and I put it in contact on the hot tube . By giving a certain pressure on the part, it is magic, wood curves , Attention, the curly maple is very fragile and breakage is frequent. 

Work in progress

Another view . The arrow drawn on the headblock indicates the direction of wood grain .
The first rim is practically ready .

New technique of bending the sides . Now I use a heating blanket controlled by a thermocouple and a temperature regulator.

The side is surrounded by paper soaked with demineralized water . Then the whole is rolled up by aluminium paper.  The heating strip is then fixed against then whole piece  is sandwiched between two flexible steel bands.
Here the whole piece at the beginning of the procedure.  The temperature is about 140°C, I wait 10 minutes before starting to press so the wood is hot.  I start by curving the concave part.
Some minutes later
Some more again
The control box
Here is final result ,after a little sanding
Opening the scroll with the bandsaw
Here is how I plane the point before gluing the final point
Here is the process for making the kerf lining . I fix 2 metal band saw blades on a piece of scrap wood . Then I put 2 kerf  side by side .
I cut until I make contact with metal band saw blades . This process is better for me than trying to cut the kerf on the bandsaw .
Rim and kerf lining glued together . Kerf lining are heated and bent on the tub before .
25/01/2005 New tool to cut kerf lining
A small piece of hard wood with a piece of  saw blade , at 5 mm from the edge .
On a piece of wood , 2 old metal saw blades are fixed , and 2 kerf lining are put between , to be cut .
The tool is placed on , and I saw the first cut . Then I jump the tool in the new cut , and saw again
and so on .
Voila , voila .