Making "Ceol Binn Mór"

"Ceol Binn Mór"


I'm making "Ceol Binn Mór" an octave mandolin with a European Spruce top and English Walnut back, sides and neck for Simon Marsden.


Last updated 12/1/2018.


The main components are assembled.

Some "cunning plans".

The English Walnut sides are thicknessed.

The soundport "porthole" is cut in the bass side using a 35mm Fostner bit.

The Ovangkol 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 Ovangkol porthole ring is glued to the Ovangkol backing plate using hot hide glue.

The centre of the porthole is then routed out.

Here's the result.

The Ovangkol "porthole" is then glued into the side using hot hide glue.

Next the English Walnut neck block is made. This is a three piece construction and the first two pieces are glued together using hot hide glue.

The first two pieces are initially shaped for the curvature of the sides and the final piece glued on using fish glue.

Two 8mm holes are drilled for the carbon fibre internal braces, the bolt holes drilled and the slot for the fingerboard support cut - the final depth of the slot will be determined when the neck is fitted.

Next the neck-block is glued to the sides with epoxy using the mould as a jig.

The Lime tail block is made with two 8mm holes drilled for the internal carbon fibre braces. The 8mm carbon fibre tubes are then glued into the neck and tail blocks using epoxy.

The sides are glued to the tail block using fish glue.

The end graft channel is cut and the Ovangkol end graft flanked by black/ white/ black purfling glued in using fish glue. Here’s the result.