A few summers ago I made a banjo neck and never found the time to build a rim (the part that holds the drum head) or a resonator (the curved part in the back) for it. Last month I decided to finish that banjo! Having had little interest in bending and laminating wood to create a rim, I decided to build a large mandolin body for this instrument. This solution also gave me a chance to practice tap tuning the soundboard and back.
The first three images below illustrate my 3D Rhino model of the instrument’s body. The series continues with images of the milling process for the top and back plates, inlay of the purfling, and finished inlay on the back. There is still plenty of work to be done, so ignore the roughness around the edges.