My dad Charlie (a.k.a. Chuck D.) is a wise man and this post is from him. He randomly sends me brilliant emails like this one.
He has been working on making his own mandolin and it stirred up some good ideas in his brain.
This picture is the back of said mandolin.
” I’ve learned so much about instrument building. The true skill part on this mandolin was done before I got the pieces: i.e., selecting some decent wood for the project, carving out the F holes, and making the fretboard and neck. But after that point, it is amazing how much an instrument is just held together by glue! WE need an inner glue. It almost never looks like the substance that will save us and integrate us and keep us from falling apart. It is just squeezed out of a tube. But if applied correctly and allowed to cure with pressure, it creates a bond that is stronger than the wood around it! If you were to use excessive force to rend the bond, you would actually tear the wood apart! The glued edges would stay bonded.
Besides just incredible skill in carving, the biggest investment of the master instrument maker is in the right tools and the time required. A set of excellent “C clamps” with soft covers so they don’t dent the wood is important. Some might see these tools as being like the hounds of heaven. They pin down the wood and stop it from squirming or running until the bond can make it strong and integrated. It is the pressure of Godly, brotherly C Clamps in our lives that make our blind spots go away and allow are dark musty closets to air out. In addition to pressure, the countless hours of sanding are what makes the bridemando one without spot or blemish or wrinkle. The loving instrument maker uses very little coarse sand paper. I used my belt sander for 5 minutes and left a few divots that will never go away and will always be a part of the final product and limit its aesthetic appeal. Unlike having a huge area of forgetfulness, Impatience is fortunately not one of God’s shortcomings. Not only does He limit his work on us to fine grit sand paper, but he “goes with the grain”. That makes for a smoothest possible final product as well as just being less traumatic and “painful” to the wood.”