The complexities of building an f-model mandolin are remarkable. I’m sure I’ll never stop learning. Though basically a box (top, back, and sides), the limited number of flat surfaces and 90-degree angles make nearly every aspect of construction a challenge.
It’s also intriguing to ponder the different domestic and exotic trees, mollusks (abalone and mother-of-pearl), mammals (hide glue and ivory), and natural resins (varnish) that comprise a single instrument. It is truly a global effort!
The information presented below is in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide to constructing a mandolin. Rather, I simply want to share a few processes and thoughts that may prove useful to others. I am happy to expand on any topic or cover others. Please feel free to ask questions or share ideas of your own.