Archtop Build Journal

Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:27 pm

A detailed build journal documenting my entire process for building my first archtop guitar and guitar based octave mandolin. More than 100 pages with lots of pictures. This third edition updates some of the methods with lessons learned in later builds (number 6 was completed recently and delivered in June).

I have found so much good information and other resources online, and this is my attempt to give something back. I hope it encourages anyone curious about archtop construction to learn more and maybe even attempt to build one too!

http://www.mimf.com/Builds/Archtop%20Build%20Journal%20-%20Third%20Edition%20-Lo%20Res.pdf

A higher resolution version is available by email (about 12 Mb). PM me with contact info and I'll send it as soon as possible! Any feedback about how this journal could be expanded or improved would be appreciated.

//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Dan Smith » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:02 pm

Thanks for posting, Mike!
I'll spend many enjoyable hours reading this!
Great photos and information!
Dan
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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Dan Smith
 
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Location: Texas

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:08 am

Link to photo slide show with music played on the same guitar - Englemann spruce with cherry back and sides for Bridget Marie Egan
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=579256998883106&set=vb.100003964347381&type=3&theater
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Matthew Lau » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:27 pm

I'm looking forward to reading this!
Matthew Lau
 
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Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:44 pm

I have been building and learning, and revising the Archtop Build Journal as I go. I humbly present the new, revised Archtop Build Journal - Fourth Edition ;-) Interested readers can find it here:

Archtop Build - Fourth Edition

Highlights in this Fourth Edition:
- More details on plate arching and graduations.
- Optimal placement of the piezo pickup sensors.
- More details on neck carving (still a work in progress).
- Detailed method for Enduro-Var Catalyzed Urethane Varnish finishing.
- Additional instrument photos in the Gallery section.
The revisions throughout are clearly marked with a [4th] designation to make it easier to spot the changes.

Build progress photo albums have been also been added to our Facebook page - look for Conner Woodworking Seneca SC.

This edition is actually the higher resolution version. PM me if you would like a copy emailed to you.
Hope you find it useful!
//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Dan Smith » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:54 pm

Thanks Mike!
I did a quick browse.
Very detailed with great sketches and pictures.
Dan
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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Dan Smith
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Eldon Howe » Tue May 03, 2016 7:32 pm

Thanks for this Journal and all the work you’ve done.
On my arch top I glued the Piezo sensors just as you would on a flatop guitar.
The Volume is a little low even with LR Baggs pre amp.
Would your Optimal placement of the piezo pickup sensors Help this ?[quote][/quote]
Eldon Howe
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:23 am

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Tue May 03, 2016 9:28 pm

Eldon,
I use JJB Prestige 220 piezo sensors, glued to the inside of the front plate in front of where the bridge posts are located. A picture might help:
B042 - Pickup Elements installed.jpg


I get plenty of volume, even direct into a channel on an acoustic amp or PA head. A preamp can warm up the tone a bit, but I get by pretty well direct. The signal strength is at least as hot as the neck mounted humbucker pickups.

I use gel superglue to attach the sensors.(You get slightly less volume if using the putty that comes with some pickups). The position of the bass side sensor is intentional - having it further away from the bridge post location helps to balance out the treble and bass volumes. Of course, this may be specific to the X-braced design I am using.

Does this help?
//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Eldon Howe » Wed May 04, 2016 6:39 pm

Thanks Mike this does help. I used the triangle shaped Dazzo pickups. I think my problem is my location not the Dazzo.
It may be a while before I get time to change the location.
Eldon Howe
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:23 am

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:29 am

Wow! Over 2000 views of the Journal thread so far. I am humbled and amazed that folks are willing to take the time. Definitely feels worth it to spend all that time creating and maintaining the Journal.

(I realize not everyone who views the thread will bother to download or even view the Journal. But it stills gives me a smile :D )
//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Postby Mike Conner » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:10 am

I'm still amazed by the number of views of this original Journal thread - over 4300 so far.

The Fifth Edition is available at the new thread:
http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=4668

//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC


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