I built my first mandolin, an F5, from scratch in 2012. I spent 2 years building that first handcrafted mandolin and found it to be one of the greatest challenges I had ever undertaken. I could have finished it earlier, but I wanted everything to be "right". I even studied up on how to apply oil varnish and shellac french polish and used that as my finish.
In 2011, I built a carver duplicator. After much research on arch height and recurve, I then hand carved a set of plates from some red oak boards. Once I achieved the arch height and recurve that I was satisfied with, these plates allow me the consistency to "rough carve" the soundboard and backboard within the desired tolerances each time. But it's just that....a rough out close shape. It leaves a lot of hours of carving, scraping, and sanding to get the right look for each mandolin. Every soundboard & backplate is then hand carved and graduated for tone and volume.
June 2016- "Upcoming builds"