Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Of mandolins and other things....

Dating from the early part of the 20th century, this flat backed mandolin is not the most distinguished instrument I have had in recently, but has given me considerable pleasure to put back into playing condition. The picture above shows how much dirt accumulates over time. The original finish on the soundboard appeared to be a coat of sealer and wax, and then added to that were years of grime, more wax and DNA. Cleaning the soundboard is a very simple but enjoyable task; half an hour gently 'washing' the front revealed the aged spruce colour. In the picture I have just completed the first quarter and the contrast is clear.
The top 2 strings were tripled rather than doubled, which for me is a great bonus as it really does give a shimmering tone.

This picture really does not do this piece of flamed mahogany justice. A while ago Frank acquired this lovely piece of mahogany from Bob Smith of Timberline. This week we cut into it and I was the lucky recipient of 3 nicely flamed necks. I just had to run a plane over one of them and revel in the beauty of it. Mahogany is a timber that I am coming to value more and more. I am so looking forward to using this material - it should be just deep enough to cut for V joints. Imagine this mahogany with a burnished French polish....!

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