January 11, 2008: I decided to make a mandolin. I had no plan and little material. That day I bought some thin maple on ebay and had it shipped priority mail. That night when I got home from work I scrounged under the work bench and found some "stickers" (spacers in lumber piles to aid in drying) that looked like mahogany. I have no idea for sure, but it looked right. Here's a couple chunks that were the beginning of the neck. There's a borrowed Kentucky KM100 in the background I used as a rough guide and something to measure off.
Here's a few shots of the roughed out neck and the beginning of the fingerboard (leftover Indian Rosewood).
I didn't have any thin spruce for the top but I had some scrap cedar from a truckload that a girl from work brings in to share for kindling. I split it with a steak knife and a claw hammer (high tech!) and joined it until I had enough for the top.
I traced the Kentucky onto a piece of poster board so I could have some semblance of a plan:
January 12, 2008: I cut it out oversized and I'll trim it once I make the sides. I just guessed at the size of the sound hole and cut it out with an X-acto knife.
I've used parallel bracing on a couple other instruments and I liked the results so I used it again here. I gave the top a little extra bracing because the cedar is very thin and not nearly a strong as spruce. I have no idea what it will sound like. I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel, I just like this bracing design...
January 13, 2008: I trimmed off some thin scrap pieces from the mahogany stickers and I will use them for top binding. I wasn't going to bind it at all but the cedar is delicate.
I soaked the thin strips in a plastic tube of water and bent them on my homemade side bender.
Here's a couple shots of the neck in it's nearly completed state: