I have recently been working on an archtop mandolin, and wanted to post some progress photos. It will have a spruce top with maple neck, sides, and back. The body will be hollow, but reinforced with braces to accommodate passive magnetic pickups.
To start, I made templates of the top and back for use in a duplicating router that I had built. This is a picture of the rough routing of the maple back.
The back is then routed to conform to the template I had previously carved that is placed on the upper shelf.
After finish carving by hand and final sanding, this is the back.
The sides were bent on a side-bender using a silicon heat blanket, and neck block, tail block, and linings added. Notice the oversized head block to accommodate the later attachment of a strap button on the side of the neck.
Fairly heavy braces were added to the carved top (using a template similar to the carved back above) since this will be primarily and electric instrument.
Dovetail fittings are routed into the body and the neck.
Headstock inlay on neck before final shaping.
Initial fitting of the neck to the body.
Back attached, and gluing binding to the body.
In the spray booth.