This design is after a mandolin which has an arch. Sometimes on extremely figured master grade wood like this, the flame is so intense that it wants to chip or tear regardless of how sharp my scrapers are. But if you can get a used professional instrument for the same price as a new student instrument, it is often worth taking the risk. Gibson literally carved the arched top out of a block of wood, a technology that is seldom used today. For questions, comments, suggestions, trouble reports, etc. This is the definitive set on carved-top guitarmaking. Note about Buying Musical Instruments New: Before you spend $2000 on an instrument that will be worth $800 once you get it home, check out the used market for that sort of instrument in your area. (Elderly Music's new and used archtop guitar places might be a good place to start the quest.). “It’s true that more and more artists are leaving the city,” he says, “and the high-end guitar market isn’t what it was, say, before 2008. Get your templates direct from the master! If so, I re-saw them from Spanish cedar neck blanks and laminate them to a final thickness of 1/4″. I don't really recommending that you buy a high-end archtop online, unless you're in an area where they're impossible to get otherwise. Then back to my hand planes again to start making things beautiful. I purchased this edition hoping that some small points might be covered in the 2nd edition that won't covered in the first. For more detailed information about why products seem to come and go and why I have stopped listing prices for most products, please see my article "About Pricing and Availability.". Take a small scrap of paper, the size of a small Post-It. When he first started building, he copied the dramatically carved arches of the prototypical example, but his own interpretation has evolved into a much subtler top arch, with widened X-bracing for a refined sound. Carbon Fiber Guitar Neck Reinforcement Part 1. Cutting F-holes Check each string individually by pressing the string down at the third fret, and sliding the paper between the bottom of the string and the crown of the first fret. I found no playable US-built solid-topped full-bodied arch-tops of any age under $1000, and very few under $1500, though I found many beaters, "project guitars" (basket cases), and laminated Silvertones, Kays, etc., with the same potential and the same potential problems as the Harmonies I found locally. After that, it’s ready to be glued onto the sides of the guitar. … After the two halves have been carefully joined together, they are sanded smooth to the proper thickness, usually around 7/8″ thick. Sign up free! The friend had been keeping an eye on a massive log floating in the ocean and noticed that a storm had pitched it onto the rocky beach. This sound has dictated Frick’s modifications to the contours of both the guitar’s soundboard and back. Depending on where you live, or what kind of instrument you're looking for, it may not be an option. Bob explains it all in this book & video, in a simple form, the best that he can explain in the time allotted. Will be extremely helpful when I get around to building one. It is a time lapse, and It goes by pretty quick, so I put together a timeline below that you can use to see some of the steps that are going by so fast in the video. contact us. The second edition is on the workbench for reference and inspiration! Neither one would be a great guitar - the top is laminated birch and the "steel reinforcement" in the neck is a piece of v-shaped sheet steel shot lengthwise into it, so if it ever starts to bow, there's very little to stop it. In other words, if you want to play a vintage arch-top that has the projection and tone of the old Jazz, Blues, and Mountain Music arch-tops, you will either need to inherit one, spend "real money," or "roll the dice" on beater. It's never been easier to lay out the neck, top, back, and precisely carve of all curves and contours. “It was nearly two feet wide at the base. Though not aware of the wood’s species, he thought that Frick might be able to put it to good use. As an acoustic instrument, a full-bodied archtop with a solid top has a lot of volume, especially in the low and midrange tones. I might spend a whole week just carving the top and back (working on other things in between carving sessions). Magnetic Mapping For Floating Guitar Pickups. A lot of people may give you a fraction of their knowledge, not revealing all, in fear of losing business to another. These DVDs are not "region-specific," and are intended for worldwide use. Each time I listen to the way it responds to my tapping and flexing. Your email address will not be published. If you change your mind, you can unsubscribe anytime. I remove more material little by little, listening and feeling how each new change affects the sound and behavior of the plate. Gibson apparently believed that he could make the guitar louder by making an arch top (like a violin) so it wouldn't require bracing. I then start a long process of removing material from different places on the plate and then flexing and listening to the piece. “I just thought they looked cool and thought that they’d be fun to make,” he says. Having noticed Frick’s instruments online, I visited his shop to get a closer look at his work. So we do list, when possible, live links to real vendors with a good return policy, in case they're your best choice for getting what you want. From the first whiff, I knew that it was Alaskan yellow cedar—a very stiff wood that would be great for the back and sides of a flat-back archtop guitar,” he says. "I know of no other work offering comprehensive step by step coverage of the making of an acoustic jazz guitar." Unlike most guitars, this one is made using basic woodworking tools. Frick explains that he has recently been favoring flat backs on his archtops as well. The following illustration shows the parts of a typical archtop. Throwback Thursday: ‘More Than Words’ by Extreme, Watch Ron Jackson’s AG Facebook Takeover Performance and Q&A with Sean McGowan, Chris Robinson and Neal Casal Are Seduced by Old Guitars, Santa Cruz Shows New Guitars Made from Old Woods at Winter NAMM 2019, MoFi Remasters Jefferson Airplane’s High-Flying ‘Surrealistic Pillow’, New Book Release: Roots and Blues Fingerstyle Guitar Explorations by Steve James, Guitar on Record: The Early History of Recorded Sound and Acoustic Instruments, Affordable and Oh-So-Innovative Guitars & Amps Ruled Winter NAMM 2017: Report, Guitar Wall Mounts, Floor Stands, & More—How to Keep Your Instrument Safe at Home, Acoustic Guitar Review: Gretsch G9520E Gin Rickey Is a Secret Tone Weapon, 5 Ways to Play C Augmented | Chord by Chord, How to Play E Diminished Voicings | Chord by Chord. From the February 2018 issue of Acoustic Guitar | BY ADAM PERLMUTTER. Archtop Guitar Building Learn how to make a carved top and back archtop jazz guitar with Brazilian luthier João Cassias.