Archtop #1 in progress

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Mike Conner
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Mike Conner »

Looks good, Greg!

I didn't have the patience for the Benedetto style kerf sections added to side braces , and they don't work out quite the same with reverse kerfing that I use. You have done a nice neat job of it.

I don't know if it matters, but I've tried to avoid sharp edges inside the box, so I round off the sharp interior corners of the neck and tail block, and soften the edges of the side braces. What do you think?

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Hmm, couldn't hurt certainly, and I do see the logic. I might look into that myself.

You should have seen my face this morning when I placed to top on there after my wife said "what would happen if the top didn't fit now?". It didn't. But once I stuffed it back into the mold it did. Pheww.

Patrick Hanna
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Patrick Hanna »

Hey, Greg, I was just looking at your home made bending iron. It might not be the prettiest tool I ever saw, but it's BEAUTIFUL in its simplicity. I really like that you put it all together with common hardware store screws and fittings. Do you run it with a temperature control of some sort? Or just wide open?
Patrick

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Patrick Hanna wrote:Hey, Greg, I was just looking at your home made bending iron. It might not be the prettiest tool I ever saw, but it's BEAUTIFUL in its simplicity. I really like that you put it all together with common hardware store screws and fittings. Do you run it with a temperature control of some sort? Or just wide open?
Patrick
Thanks Patrick. I do run it through a variable router (or fan) speed control, but it seemed like I kept it all the way up when I was bending.

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Still getting a little done here and there (boy, it's not like building a Telecaster! I could have one of those done in a couple of days). Not getting many pics unfortunately but I'm going to do better about that.

I've leveled the sides for top and back glue-up and cut a wedge for the end of the guitar where the sides met. It was just barely off but off enough to look bad. Anyway, it gives me a chance to do a little decorating, as I'm using a piece of birdseye maple for the wedge.

I also found another simple but useful piece for building: a 2' square piece of plywood that I mount some sandpaper on. I've used it to true up the underside of the top and back for a precise gluing surface, and to level all points on the sides as well. I used the "paddle" that Benedetto suggests for that but it wasn't working well for me.

Greg Martin
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg Martin »

Great diy job on your hot bender. I learned here that curley maple doesn't like a lot of water when bending, and its true.My working temp is 310 degrees, to start.
I now lay a wet 4 folded white paper towel on the pipe then start bending, its just enough to make hot steam. I didn't get any more cracking and zero scorching.
I made bender pipe as well . Pictures are in my archive on my site. back in the november 2014 section I think . www.redtailguitars.com

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Well, there was an issue with the walnut back; a split that wasn't going to be able to be avoided. So I had to scrap that idea and go to some cherry I had. It looks good and it seems to be similar to maple except for the look, so it will be fine. I've seen a few archtops done with cherry backs (Mike Conner comes to mind) but none with walnut sides. Might look a little weird but it will be okay for me.

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Mike Conner
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Mike Conner »

Cherry sounds great, closer to maple. so brighter than walnut. Your cherry looks nice and I like the way you were able to have it look bookmatched (eg. the cathedral grain pattern).

I found the cherry was harder than the walnut or red maple I have used, so more work to carve and sand. Just a heads up! Some cherry can have a shimmery type figure to it, so you might find that in you plate when you get into sanding. The contrast with the walnut sides sounds interesting to me.

Remember also that cherry will darken with age, especially in sunlight. It sort of sun tans, and if you leave it near a window you can get a outline of anything you might have left laying on top, like perhaps an Ibex plane. Not that it would ever happen to me ;-)

Looking forward to seeing more progress!
//mike

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Well, it sure has been a long time coming, but I do finally have it all put together. Sprayed a wash coat of lacquer and filled the walnut, not I'm waiting for some spraying weather to get it completed.

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Not sure why the pics are life sized :lol: but you get the picture.

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Randolph Rhett
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Randolph Rhett »

Lovely.

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Finally complete. See below.
Last edited by Greg McKnight on Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Finally finished and pics are normal size.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Barry Daniels »

Good looking archtop. How does it sound?
MIMF Staff

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Greg McKnight
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Re: Archtop #1 in progress

Post by Greg McKnight »

Thanks, Barry. It's really punchy and loud, maybe a little bright. But it sounds great to me! I don't think I have actually played another acoustic archtop in my life, so all I have to go on for comparison is recordings or videos. Mine compares well enough I guess. I'm enjoying it quite a bit and I'm sure it's tone will age nicely.

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