Foamcore / Foamboard Mandolin

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:

Foamboard Mandolin

Now, what makes a great sound board? Well first, we need to dive into some engineering terms.

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Finishing the Saga Mandolin Kit

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.

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.