Celtic Mandolin #7: Top surface final shaping

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This is part 7 in a 13 part series: Celtic Mandolin

Finally finished the top surface shaping, so it’s time to start on the slope at the neck interface. This is the surface on which the fretboard will rest. 
Started with planing the surface down to the highest elevation (about 12mm at the 20th fret position). Then, after re-marking, I cut a kerf from the 20th position down to 5mm at the 12 position using a dovetail saw.

Using the saw kerf as a depth guide, I planed down the surface to establish the slope for the fretboard. This is a preliminary process as the final planing will be done after the top is attached to the neck/sides assembly. After planing, a final shaping was required behind the 20th position.

The only thing left to do at this point was to carve the transition area on both sides of the fretboard pad. Note to self: when I build the flight model of this mandolin, I won’t drill the last large hole closest to the neck. Too much material is removed by doing that and it forces me to have a very small radius between the top surface and the side of the fretboard pad.

The finished (rough) top surface.

I checked the surface against the profile gages and found some discrepancies. The length-wise gage looks ok. The surface is a little deep behind the 20th position, but thats where the sound hole would be so I’m not too concerned about it

None of the transverse gages seem to fit. Since the errors are pretty much the same for each one, I think I made a common mistake on each profile when laying them out. 





I’ll revisit this for my own sanity, but I don’t think I really need these gages at all. the shape of the top is pretty well defined by the depth-stop holes.

Next step is to turn it over and hollow out the inner surface.

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Neat process.

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