Practical Wood Working

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April 4, 2018

Making a Bowlback Mandolin Pt. 1

Mandolin Pt. 2 >>


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I've wanted to make a bowl back mandolin for a very long time. My father had one when I was young and I've always liked the bowl backs. And it's a nifty piece of wood work.

This first video is about prep. Buying or making tools and jigs, plans and materials, and reading as much as I can to get ready for this project.

For books I have been studying "Historical Lute Construction" by Robert Lundberg and "The Mandolin" by Graham McDonald. The Historical Lute Construction book I feel is essential because the bowlback is after all a relative of the lute and I hope that I can carry this to the point where I someday decide to actually build a lute. The Mandolin also has a lot of important information, both for building and for learning the history of the instrument.

I will admit that although I am a musician, an important draw for me to do this project is the challenge of the wood working skills required. No matter what happens and what kind of instrument I'm able to eventually build, I'm sure I'll be a better wood worker for it.

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