Archtop Build Journal

Post Reply
Mike Conner
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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%20Bu ... %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

User avatar
Dan Smith
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Dan Smith »

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.

Mike Conner
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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=57 ... =3&theater

Matthew Lau
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Matthew Lau »

I'm looking forward to reading this!

Mike Conner
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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

User avatar
Dan Smith
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Dan Smith »

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.

Eldon Howe
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:23 am

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Eldon Howe »

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]

Mike Conner
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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

Eldon Howe
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:23 am

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Eldon Howe »

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.

Mike Conner
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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: 204
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Murphy NC
Contact:

Re: Archtop Build Journal

Post by Mike Conner »

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

Post Reply