This mandolin was my sixth instrument, having previously made 5 fiddles. I finished it in October 2002. It took me about 1.5 months working on it every day. I built it for myself, as I play all kinds of stringed instruments and wanted to try something challenging but fun…and it was! I got a book on mandolin making and chose the F style, popular for bluegrass. The materials cost about $600. Back and sides are Quilted Maple, the neck is Curly Maple and the top is Sitka Spruce. I bought a plastic trust-rod cap (top of the finger board) but it didn’t look right so I made one out of Rosewood. The Mother of Pearl inlay was very tricky.
I had to make my own jigs, a lot of finger planes and it took a lot of time to to get the carving right on the back and top. I was very pleased with the outcome. The finishing was very time consuming. 3 coats of poly, sand it down until it was almost gone and do it again over 20 coats in all!