Making Barbara's "Ceol Binn"

I'm making a "Ceol Binn" mandolin for Barbara Stuppia with a European Spruce top and English Walnut back, sides and neck.

 

Last updated 23/05/2019.

 

The main components are assembled.

Here's the English Walnut back and side set.

Start with a cunning plan.

The English Walnut sides are thicknessed and a hole for the "porthole" soundport cut in the bass side using a 35mm Forstner bit.

Here's the result.

The Bog Oak centre of the "porthole" is cut and tested for fit.

The neck curves on the sides are bent by hand on the hot pipe and then the sides are bent in this jig. The sides are sprayed lightly with water, wrapped in brown paper and sandwiched as slat, side, slat, heating blanket, slat and the neck end clamped down to the bending form. The blanket is switched on and when hot enough the lower bout shape is bent.

After fine tuning on the hot pipe and some initial trimming here's the bent sides in the mould.

The Bog Oak "porthole" ring is glued to an Bog Oak backing ring using hot hide glue.

The "porthole" is then cut out using a 25mm Forstner bit.

Here's the result.

The "porthole" is then glued into the side using fish glue.

The first three pieces of the English Walnut neck block are glued together using hot hide glue.

English Walnut caps are then glued on the top, bottom and rear face of the neck bock.

The 7mm bolt hole is then drilled.

Then the two 5mm holes are drilled for the carbon fibre internal braces.

The English Walnut tail block has two 5mm holes drilled for the carbon fibre rods.

The English Walnut tail block is then shaped to the side curvature. The slot for the fingerboard support is then cut in the neck-block and the neck block shaped to match the side contours.

The bass side is glued to the neck-block with fish glue using this jig.

Then the treble side is glued on to the neck-block in a similar fashion.

The Bog Oak end graft is glued on to the English Walnut tail block using hot hide glue.

The two 5mm carbon fibre buttress braces are then attached using super glue.

The sides are then glued to the tail block together with black/ pear/ black purfling using fish glue.

The sides are profiled to match the top's curvature and the English Walnut reverse-kerfed linings glued on using fish glue.

The sides are profiled to match the back's curvature and the English Walnut reverse-kerfed linings glued on using fish glue.

Then the English Walnut side braces are notched into the linings and glued in using hot hide glue.

A 12mm hole is drilled with a Forstner bit for the pickup jack.

The K&K pickup is test fitted.

The English Walnut back is initially thicknessed, jointed and glued up using hot hide glue and the tent method.

The back is marked for the position of the braces. The European Spruce back X braces are profiled to a 10' radius and notched. The centre strip is notched and the first X brace glued on in the go-bar deck using hot hide glue . . .

. . . followed by the second.

The lower bout ladder brace is profiled to a 10' radius glued on using hot hide glue.

The English Walnut X brace cap is glued on using fish glue.

The braces are then carved and the back "voiced" - here's the result.

Notches are cut in the linings for the back brace ends and the back glued to the rim-set using fish glue.

The European Spruce top is initially thicknessed, jointed and glued up using hot hide glue and the tent method.

The soundhole is going to be “bound” with English Walnut. Firstly an English Walnut soundhole patch is cut to shape and glued on using hot hide glue and a caul.

The English Walnut central rosette ring is cut using the circle cutting jig . . .

. . . with this result.

Then a rosette channel is cut in the top down to the soundhole patch.

The English Walnut rosette ring and twin black/ pear/ black outer purfling are test fitted and glued in using white pva glue.

Next a step is routed in the inner edge of the rosette and then the soundhole is routed out. This gives the look of a totally bound soundhole and the fingerboard edge will finish at the beginning of the step to give a complete English Walnut ring around the inner edge of the soundhole.

Here’s the result.