Archtop Sides Width

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Fernando Esteves
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:10 pm

Archtop Sides Width

Post by Fernando Esteves »

I'll build an archtop next year and I'm talking with a guy to do the tailpiece to me.
But I've no idea what will be the width of the sides to have a 3" thick archtop... Anyone can help me?

Photo of the tailpiece design below
Cordal Archtop 2.jpg

Mike Conner
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC

Re: Archtop Sides Width

Post by Mike Conner »

My first builds had 2.75" (2-3/4") sides, and I have enlarged that slightly to 2.88" (2-7/8") for later builds. My front and back plates are 0.188" (3/16") thick at the sides. So, the total side width finishes out at about 3.25" (3-1/4"). This body depth seems to help bring out the lower register and volume.

I use 0.250" (1/4") bindings for both front and back edges, so the binding ledges are wider than the plate thickness and some of the linings are visible before gluing in the bindings. I think this might help in locking the plates to the rim (sides), but that might just be wishful thinking ;)

So, decide on how thick your plates will be where they attach to the sides and then subtract that to determine your width needed to finish out at 3" total, so around 2.63" (2-5/8") for my plates. That would be fine for a hollowbody electric design, but in my humble opinion you might be sacrificing some volume and tonal balance as an acoustic instrument.

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