Typically we don’t work on mandolins but this instrument is a special case requiring special talents. Tim is heat bending a piece of maple prior to laminating it onto the carved-out area of the headstock and neck of this mandolin. The purpose of this time-consuming process is to strengthen the area between the headstock and neck so that when impact stressors* occur the instrument will be less likely to break again. If you look closely you can see the prepared area of the mandolin just behind the heat bender. After the cut-down piece of maple is affixed to the instrument it will be shaped by hand using Japanese woodworking tools. This is the same process we use for guitars with broken headstocks. Only, since it’s a mandolin, it’s in miniature.
*In chemistry, a stressor is something that either speeds up a reaction rate or keeps the reaction rate the same. Stressors include light, temperature and elevated sound levels.