Custom Mandolin Build

Share your Shapeoko created projects!
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:52 pm

Custom Mandolin Build

Post by kidoho » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:33 pm

Hey guys! First time posting here. This is a recent mandolin I built, using the Shapeoko 3 extensively I used to to do the headstock inlay, truss rod cover, carve the front and rear plates and the bridge. That little machine really did a wonderful job!
1_Front.jpg (338.18 KiB) Viewed 2295 times
3_Headstock.jpg (227.32 KiB) Viewed 2295 times
5_Foreshortened-2.jpg (234.49 KiB) Viewed 2295 times

Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:31 am
Location: Western PA, USA

Re: Custom Mandolin Build

Post by hatallica » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:09 am

Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing.
Shapeoko3 #1153

Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:21 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Custom Mandolin Build

Post by CastIrony » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:37 am

Can you talk more about how you did the inlay?
Shapeoko 3 #192 - Complete! Needs limit switches.

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:52 pm

Re: Custom Mandolin Build

Post by kidoho » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:00 pm

CastIrony wrote:Can you talk more about how you did the inlay?
CastIrony, I'd be happy to.

I purchased the mother of pearl stock from StewMac. You can get bulk assorted shapes by weight ( ... _Pack.html) or you can order 1" x 2" per piece ( ... Blank.html) . Both options are nice and are both approximately 0.1" thick. I also purchased a 1/64" end mill from Amazon with a 1/8" shank. The depth of cut was just a hair less than the 0.1" thickness of the pearl, so I flipped my vector paths so that the resulting "over-cut" was on the back side of the finished inlay. I used double-sided duct tape to secure the mother of pearl stock to a piece of waste-board. It works well enough, though once you get through the bottom of the stock, the adhesive begins to work it's way up the end mill, resulting in needing to clean it between cuts. Also, you have to be crazy-careful removing the freshly cut pearl from the tape. I used modified dental picks and a metal putty knife. I have another luthier friend that told me that some of his buddies use out of the box hot glue to secure their stock. I'm going to try it on my next build, but I'm hesitant about getting it spread uniformly beneath all of my pearl.

I prepped the veneer myself, planing it down to 0.2" thick. I used the same vector paths to create pocket cuts at 0.1" thick to receive the mother of pearl. I overcut the edges of the veneer by about 1/4" and then used a Dremel tool router attachment ( ... e_Set.html) to trim it down to match the contours of the headstock. I glued the mother of pearl in place with regular old superglue, then hand scraped around the pearl with a modified dental tool. This created the channel that I filled with Timbermate ebony filler to get the dark outline around the pearl.

I think that's about it. Let me know if you have more specific questions

Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:52 am

Re: Custom Mandolin Build

Post by Dan_the_Chemist » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:55 am

Well, doesn't that just make me feel inadequate... :shock:

Lovely work. :)

Posts: 225
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 11:28 pm

Re: Custom Mandolin Build

Post by JeromyReno » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:58 am


Post Reply