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Discussion Starter #1
I said I wasnt going to build any more guitars for a while... I meant electrics! I decided to tackle a project I have been mulling over for about 8 months.



I ordered some AAA flamed maple back and sides and some sitka spruce wedges for the top from A&M Wood specialty in Cambridge on FRiday. I have the book and been reading it for months, but I also ordered the 9 hour 4 DVD set today from Stew MAc. I will start this soon, but I think it will take me a little longer than my average electric solidbody. I have built one acoustic and bent the sides for my archtop (that had the plywood top and back) so I have a little bit of experience with acoustic construction.

ANyhow, it should be fun! :)

AJC
 

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Cool. What do you plan on using to carve the top & back? When I made a couple violins I bought four of those little bronze finger planes and a really nice gouge. I wore a thick-palmed weight lifters glove when using the gouge so I didn't get blisters on my palm. It was tough work at times but fun & rewarding. Good Luck.
 

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Very cool A.J.

I had the opportunity to look through that book at my brothers place last summer. I've been meaning to order it. I absolutly love arch tops. I look forward to seeing your results.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I actually just saw a tool on the back of the new Lee Valley catalogue that I think will be perfect for carving the inside of the top/back.

Its called a pull shave, and I ordered one up. I am sure it will come in handy for my regular work as well.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=54888&cat=1,310

I was being sarcastic when I said it would take me a little longer thanmy average solidbody... I know this one wont be done in a week. I am not in any hurry, but my nature is to give it hell once I start a project so I am thinking maybe I will get it made within a few months time of spare time. I have a few other things going on but if I can get one night a week on it that would be cool.

I am looking forward to the DVD's - I bet seing Bob do the work in real time rather than just seeing still pics in the book will be worth many times over the $89 US it costs for the set.

Woodworking is just a beautifull thing... "giving life" to a guitar is just for me more than words can say. I look at the rough lumber, then I envision what the guitar might look like when its done and I get goosebumps... :D

AJC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I received my wood from A&M yesterday - the spruce and maple look really good and after a week or two sitting in my shop acclimatising, I will consider them ready to start working on.

Today I received the 4 dvd set from stewart macdonald, as well as the detailed plan set. Amazing stuff.. the drawings are just beautifull and I will start watching the dvd's tonight.

Soon I will start making shavings... :) Really looking forward to it.

AJC
 

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Hmmm, don't know if pulling is how you will want to do it. I personally wouldn't want to do it that way. I got a Henry Taylor 1" #7 Bent Gouge from Lee Valley for my violin carving, it's a sweet thing to use when scary sharp, you can really honk out wood. Those bronze fingerplanes are also fun once you re-shape the blade to the sole and sharpen them. I started off with the gouge and finished off with the fingerplanes and then scrapers. Maybe the Pullshave will work out great, Veritas are AWESOME quality tools, I have three of their hand planes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
whats wrong with pulling? All the Jap. tools I know of and use operate on the pull stroke, and are generally much more controlable and "easier" to operate.

I am pretty good at carving (been a hobby of mine for years and years, mainly full size decoys and wildfowl and some fairly deep relief carving) and have a lot of chisels in my collection. I generally use a 1" wide, #3 henry taylor gouge I replaced the handle on with something I can work into my body.

I did both receive the pull shave from Lee Valley (it is a work of art, is very well balanced and I tried it on some scrap, it will be THE tool to use on this build I guarantee) but I also made a smaller wooden round bottom plane, using a piece of 1" wide tool steel I had from a jointer knife. I posted pics over in HC.

I am currently in Toronto for the holidays, I brought my portable DVD player and am almost done watching the Benedetto videos. I will try and start carving up the top or back as soon as I can (after I make some forms and a fixture to hold the top while I work on it).

I am a very aggressive wood carver, and I am sure my archtop carving will also be pretty aggressive. I generally work up quite a sweat when I carve! :)

AJC
 

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Any updates AJC? I'm dying to know how this is going, it's definitely the build thread to watch these days. I bet this will probably be one of your most satisfying builds so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sad to say I havent even had a chance to look at the archtop - just finished building my amp, I have "work work" to do and I spent the past weekend hanging with my GF.

I hope to get on it soon, maybe one more week.

When I start on it, I will give er' shit, trust me!

AJC:rockon2:
 

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ajcoholic said:
whats wrong with pulling? All the Jap. tools I know of and use operate on the pull stroke, and are generally much more controlable and "easier" to operate.

I am pretty good at carving (been a hobby of mine for years and years, mainly full size decoys and wildfowl and some fairly deep relief carving) and have a lot of chisels in my collection. I generally use a 1" wide, #3 henry taylor gouge I replaced the handle on with something I can work into my body.

I did both receive the pull shave from Lee Valley (it is a work of art, is very well balanced and I tried it on some scrap, it will be THE tool to use on this build I guarantee) but I also made a smaller wooden round bottom plane, using a piece of 1" wide tool steel I had from a jointer knife. I posted pics over in HC.

I am currently in Toronto for the holidays, I brought my portable DVD player and am almost done watching the Benedetto videos. I will try and start carving up the top or back as soon as I can (after I make some forms and a fixture to hold the top while I work on it).

I am a very aggressive wood carver, and I am sure my archtop carving will also be pretty aggressive. I generally work up quite a sweat when I carve! :)

AJC
I've been eyeing up that pull shave also. But I just bought two expensive rasps. Let me know how it works as I am probably going to get one unless you say it works like s---. How long are you in TO for. A& M has an open house for instrument makers on Sunday afternoon. Some guest speakers etc. We could hook up if you are still around. Right now I'm working on a hollow body PRS style guitar. I arched the inside of the top on Sunday. it worked ou pretty well.
 

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ajcoholic said:
Sad to say I havent even had a chance to look at the archtop - just finished building my amp, I have "work work" to do and I spent the past weekend hanging with my GF.

I hope to get on it soon, maybe one more week.

When I start on it, I will give er' shit, trust me!

AJC:rockon2:
Sounds awesome! Now that the holidays are over, I'm sure you'll have a bit more free time.

What amp did you build?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I built (assembled) a Trinity 18 watt sIII kit. There is a thread in the amp forum. I just got home from another 12 hour day at real work. I will hopefully start after the weekend, as I have to work this weekend also. Self emplyed you know... and work has to get done!

AJC
 

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Trinity Amps are supposed to be awesome. My amp tech actually works with the Trinity guys on circuits. He's an awesome tech and has done some amazing and fairly priced work on my amps. He redid a JCM800 I bought with a new board, some mods, and he even tweaked it to my cab.

I'm sure the amp is top notch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finally got to work on this one...

I have a thread running at HC with more pics but here are some shots of the top carve over the past few days...

I still have to finish carve it to final thickness. Start the back this week I hope!

AJC




 

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That looks amazing AJC. Looks like it's going to be a lot of work, but the end result should definitely be worth it.

Have you got any idea as to what kind of pickups you're going to put in it?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I will be using a single pickguard mounted archtop pickup. Just a single volume also mounted on the guard.

Definitely nothing cutting into the top!

I may even leave it pickup-less... I doubt it will ever be played out. I am making it for the experience and just because I wanted to try it. Not really suited for rock and roll, eh?:rockon2:

AJC
 

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Discussion Starter #19
well, I have the back almost carved out. I have been really busy the past two weeks ( and sick with the flu as well) so I havent done too much.

I hope this week or next weekend I will be able to give it some more time. I need to finish carving the inside of the back, and then finish thnning the top and back plates to their final thickness. Then brace the top and I can think about starting the side bending.

AJC

here is a few pics of the back...

the outside carved and sanded:


The inside drilled and started to be carved:


The back as far as I got last weekend...



Its not a fast job, I took about 4 hours to carve the maple back so far. I figure another hour or so to finish carving it rough, then I have to slowly take it down to the final thickness while measuring with the calipers. THat slows down the process as its start & stop all the time.

But the main thing is its a lot of fun and its a god start!

AJC
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Did some more work tonight on the archtop. I finished carving and sanding the top to final thickness. I layed out the F holes and cut them, and I made up the braces and fit them and glued them on.




 
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