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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:26 pm 
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I'm building an A5 mandolin based primarily on the Siminoff plans and I am a bit confused by the construction order of the tapered neck joint. I am not planning to use an extended fret board but figured I would cut off at about the 20th fret.

1. My ribs with linings are done. When do I glue the top on? Before or after the tapered neck joint is cut?

2. I have a drawing for a small semi-circular block that fits on top of the neck block and encloses the butt end of the neck but I've also seen where small filler blocks were installed after the neck was glued on. Do I need this small semi-circular block and if so, when do I glue it on?

3. Do I need the 15th fret binding strip that goes across the front of the top since I am not using the extended fretboard? I do plan to bind the top.

4. How do you cut your tapered slot in the body? Siminoff shows a cool jig but for a one-off project I'm more inclined to use the mark, cut with hand saw, and fit method.

Appreciate any help - I'm sure I can get something built but always happy to do it the right way first if I get a chance to ;)

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Last edited by SteveSmith on Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:00 pm 
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Well, I'm hearing crickets on this one - of course we don't have a ton of mandolin builders around here. I'm sure Hans or Arnt would pass through eventually and provide guidance.

But, no big deal. I was having trouble sleeping last night so got the chance to run this through my mind a couple-a thousand times (well, maybe not that many) and I'll just move forward. Parts is parts and I know how to make parts. Hopefully I won't do something out of order that makes me spend 8 hours on a 1 hour task but if I do, so be it, it sure won't be the first time.

So it finally occurred to me to go back through Arnt's Mando thread and that pretty much answered all my questions. Why didn't I do that in the first place. duh :oops:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:08 am 
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Sorry that I missed your question, Steve, but I always used to cut my dovetails straight on the bandsaw and not tapered. I cut the box part after the riser block is glued on and also the top is on. The neck part is cut rough and hand fit after. Never had a problem.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Hi Hans, No problem and thank you. I have already started with the taper cut. Next time I'll do a straight dovetail. I think I like the look of it a bit better.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:58 am 
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Sorry for the lack of response Steve , I missed this one as well. I'm glad Hanns dropped in

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:45 am 
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Hey Wud, It's all good and progress is being made

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:59 pm 
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Hi Steve. If you do a pinned v joint be sure to get a good fit where the sides meet the neck. This is the only part that can be seen after it is glued up. Cut the joint in the body after the top is on. The fingerboard support and cheeks around the 15th fret are needed to blend the neck to the body and are added after the neck is on. I like the pinned V joint so much I built a fixture to cut them with a router. With a fixture for the neck and one for the body I can cut a perfect joint in just a few minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:04 pm 
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Hey Cush, I was starting to do a pinned V but after Hans' post I went back and started a straight dovetail. If I build more of these some fixtures would be a great idea. Image

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:40 pm 
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The dovetail is a good choice. It will add to the fun of your build. And it has much more class than a V joint. I have done a few dovetails on mandos. But as I said I use the pinned V joint now. When cut by router you can butt the neck heel against the neck block to set your neck angle and neck height . This makes both cutting and gluing go smooth and quick. I also like having the neck and the neck block butted together. The string tension holds the joint together.

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