Well, to begin with, "mandolin" is a musical instrument. "Mandoline" is the
slicing tool. :-) And why on earth would you want to build one when the best
are made out of steel and dirt cheap? I paid under $10 for mine in the '70s
and it's still going strong.
My mandolin is a Japanese plastic "Benriner" that cost about $35
If I wanted to make one, I'd start by buying one of these and using it
to donate the blades. It includes a set of three "comb" blades for
slicing into matchsticks as well as slices. Although I've seen plenty
of wooden mandolins, I've never seen a twin-bladed one like this.
There's no way you could make a similar set of blades without enormous
investment in grinding machinery.
If I wanted to make a wooden one, I'd use quartersawn beech. I think
you'll need the quartersawn to cope with moisture movement.
But I'd just buy a plastic one.
Cooks Illustrated rated mandolines, and the best was a Japanese plastic
brand by Benriner ($33, kitchenetc.com). Also recommended was a plastic
model by Progressive International ($10, amazon.com), and a stainless steel
model by Bron ($158, cookswares.com).
The stainless model was the most versatile, but for $160, sheesh.
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