Rapid prototyping methods are the new wave of engineering. As manufacturing new test design move toward lasercutting and 3d-printing, I’ve been looking into one materials. Foamboard makes a great sounding board, and nobody seems to work with it So, I put together a quick foamboard mandolin based on the Saga Mandolin kit.
Here is the first prototype:
Now, what makes a great sound board? Well first, we need to dive into some engineering terms.
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When the Luthier told me-
This will become your main instrument, and you will like it more than the bowback mandolin.
I didn’t believe him. After a week of playing, its true. I love this Mandolin.
Nice finish on the head
Notching the bridge
The troublesome neck joint
Back came out nice
Went to a professional to adjust the action
Stratches in the finish
Done with the finish
1 Layer of Varnish
Trimming off the back
Clamping the Top Down
Hardest part was getting this to fit
These came out well:
+ All the time spent on the project was enjoyable.
+ Tone & playability
+ Color and texture on the finish
+ Using Google Helpouts and having Hustler Guitar give advice on the build. In particular, his advice on the finish.
+ Having a Stubblebine Lutherie adjust the action on the frets&strings
These things came out less well:
+ Original action on the strings & frets were too high and hard to play.
+ The neck joint was a pain to put together, and the angle was a bit off.
+ Scratches around the neck joint. Too forceful with sandpaper.
Here is a video of the kit before I got started. You can order the kit on Amazon.