Home    Mandolin Belly    Construction

Belly  The belly of each instrument is fashioned from book-matched quarter-sawn spruce, which gives a very warm mellow sound. It is rigid and thin, so that it can vibrate, but as such is very fragile during the construction process.

A shooting board is used to produce two perfectly straight edges for gluing together the book-matched halves of the back and front. The two sides are glued up and afterwards  sanded smooth ready for marking out. A front is marked up after sanding, for cutting out to rough shape. Notice the holes drilled ready to cut the sound hole.
The support struts that support the belly under pressure are glued on. The 2 longer ones are slightly curved, to create the lateral doming.

Treble bars are glued on. The top can not vibrate in the same way on both sides, because the sound waves are different from the different strings.

Final shaping of the bars is done with a chisel and block plane. The ends are tapered down, and the length will be shaved down to a whalebone shape.