Second Archtop Guitar

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Geoff St. Germaine
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

Good evening everyone!

Here's my second attempt at an archtop guitar.

Specs:
25" scale
17" x 3" body
Engleman spruce top
Flamed maple back, sides and neck
Ebony fretboard
Parallel bracing
Black/white binding/purfling
Gold MOP block inlays
Kent Armstrong Suspended Pickup
Schatten thumbwheel vol/tone
Grover Statite Tuners
Dyed sunburst
Nitrocellulose finish

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Thanks for looking!

Bob Francis
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Bob Francis »

What a beauty!

Jay Wood
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Jay Wood »

Love that sunburst!

Dave Stewart
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Dave Stewart »

Great looking archtop Geoff!
Dave
Milton, ON

Patrick Hanna
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Patrick Hanna »

Goeff, to my eye it looks fabulous in fit and finish. Second archtop? Surely not your second instrument overall.

Gilbert Fredrickson
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Gilbert Fredrickson »

"Such stuff as dreams are made on."

Chris Richards
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Location: London, England
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Chris Richards »

Lovely looking guitar.........The finish is stunning, could you give a few details on how you applied it, especially the top?.....Looks fantastic!

Jason Rodgers
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Wowsa! :shock: That's a classy jazz-box!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Geoff St. Germaine
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I'm quite happy with how it's turned out.

To answer Patrick, this isn't my second instrument. I've build 2 electric guitars and 2 bass guitars as well. I'm looking to start a flat-top acoustic bass with my next set of archtop guitars.

Chris, here's how I applied the finish:
I used aniline dye for the colour. The instrument was first dyed with an amber base on all areas. Following this I applied the black to the outer areas of the burst. Following this I applied a red/orange dye to the area where I wanted the burst transition. After that dried, I had all three dyes ready to go at once and started to blend the area across the fade, mostly using the red-amber, but sometimes having to add in black or amber to the edges of the fade. It was really about applying and looking and checking to make sure the fade was even and that the shape of the inner area was symmetrical. The spruce top was much harder to dye than the maple back, sides and neck. The maple was really easy to work with. The spruce, on the other hand, did not absorb the dye evenly and needed a very concentrated black dye to get it to look convincingly black. This concentrated dye presented the issue that it did not blend well with the other colours as it would easily overpower on blending, for obvious reasons. The other issue I ran into with the spruce top is that the glue joint absorbed more stain than the surrounding wood. While not a problem with the black, in the amber this shows a noticeable darker line at the glue joint. The joint was quite good and I couldn't visually see any problem with the joint that might cause this. It could simply be that the mere presence of the joint in the softwood presented the opportunity for the dye to penetrate deeper and present a darker colour. I'm not certain about this.

After that it was a pretty standard nitrocellulose finishing process - 5 base coats, sand flat with 220, 3 coats, sand flat with 400, 2 top coats, wet sand flat with 800 and then coarse, medium, fine and super fine polishing compounds.

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Mark Langner
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Mark Langner »

Attempt? I think you succeeded. Nice 'burst.
Garbage In, Compost Out

Geoff St. Germaine
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

Thanks, Mark!

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Neal Carey
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Location: Woburn, Massachusetts
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Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Neal Carey »

Geoff, that is just "gorgeous"! And, what a finish!
"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." - John Lennon

Adam Savage
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Adam Savage »

Beautiful instrument indeed. I particularly like the look of the top sunburst - I think the slightly blotchy look (not really the best way to describe it, but my mental thesaurus has given up tonight) really adds to the charm.
Superb - do you have any WIP images?

Cheers,
Adam

Geoff St. Germaine
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

Thanks, Adam. I know what you're describing with the top burst and that seems to be he nature of how softwoods take up aniline dyes.

I have a thread on mylespaul, but I'm not sure on the etiquette of linking to that here, so I'll post an assortment of in progress shots here.

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Geoff St. Germaine
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Re: Second Archtop Guitar

Post by Geoff St. Germaine »

A few more:

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