In Spanish building, at least the top is traditionally built using individual blocks, called tentalones, but some builders use kerfed or solid bent linings and some tentalones. I know Charles Fox used to use tentalones for the top and kerfed strips for the back, but for the back he glued them in with the kerfed cuts against the sides. He claimed to have gotten the idea from the boat building practice of using scuppered gunwales. There are traditional woods, but I'm sure stability is the key. For steel strings I use mahogany top and back.
where i live there is no supply of kerfs
there is plenty of mahagony 6 mm by 9 mm triangular strips lying around and cut by 10 mm pieces allready cut and sanded for some other work -- leftovers
to build a jig for making kerfs is more tough for me
i just have to keep the sides in a mould and then the bottom is there and i place glued pieces one by one takes around ten minutes
what i really would like to know will it sound any different and are the thin joints of wood in the kerf very essential
...must be what Juan Velasquez refers to as little diamonds...what dimensions and how are they spaced? I ran out of reverse
kerf and used 2 continuous strips of mahog.to join sides and back on my last mandola.It looks neat too.
another joint application i was thinking about was [ shape the top of this shape stuck to the top the sides to the side and the bottom to the bottom - will this have any effect on the sound - i am sure it will add structural strength
standard kerfing gives you sufficient glueing surface for your top and back, it plays no part in the sound, unless of course you put excessive mass kerfing and add too much wieght to the instrument,try not to over build. excessive weight will be detrimental to the tone.