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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to build another guitar. I have been itching to try a semi hollow archtop and also want to try those TV Tron pickups... so I ordered my parts from Stew Mac today.

They sell a 3 ply curly maple arched "back" for building arch top jazz guitars, and speaking to the salesrep on the phone the other day, he said I wasnt the first to think of using it for the top as well - ala a Gibson 335'ish type instrument.

I am going to make my own neck, but I ordered a pre slotted rough board with 25" (PRS) scale length. I will be inlaying block style MOP in the board. Undecided what wood I will be using for the neck, but probably curly maple or mahogany.

Hardware will be a bigsby and roller bridge, the TV Trons, 2 tone/2 volume and 3 way switch, grover imperial tuners, bound body, neck and headstock. The body sides wood will also probably be maple. I will have to bend them like an acoustic and use kerfed strips to join the top and back. I am going to have a solid center block which will hold the neck and pups, and bridge.

All in all I dont forsee any issues - I am not working from any plans but will style it after a Gretsch single cutaway. I want it thicker than a 335 and like the look of the single cut body.

I am running a build thread on HC but will keep you guys posted on my progress here as well. :)

Getting ready to build another guitar is more exciting to me than buying one. I was THIS close to just buying a Gretsch Setzer model - But the satisfaction of building my own is too hard to resist!

AJC
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ofender said:
Do you often play the guitars that you've built so far?
I play my own guitars WAY more than I do my factory ones. Except maybe my PRS but even that doesnt get used any more my two main home made ones. I am at the point now where I think they (my home made ones) are built as good or better than any factory jobs and play in many cases better. I cant get my Strat or Tele set up as nice as my 4 home made electrics. My PRS is killer but even that, I think I do a little bit better fret job on my own (I like the ends rounded off) for my personal taste.

This hollow body will end up costing me about $1150 Canadian just for the materials alone (a lot of that is the top quality hardware), I could have went and bought a Gretsch Setzer model for under two grand. But I really get a lot out of making my own guitars and its not because they cost less (when you factor in the labour they cost more actually) but because I know I will get exactly what I want and it will play as good as anythign I can buy anyway.

Thats the best way I can describe it. :)

AJC
 

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Wow aj, that is pretty pretty cool. I didn't folow the previous ones that you did but I read all the thread this far for this one (you're not sure of the colour at this point) :)

A single cutaway archtop.. wow. It's fascinating stuff. The whole process. Some people on that site said that you may want to do dvd of this or something ("time time..."). Hey maybe the next one you could do it from this site and bring the traffic over to Guitars Canada. You would at the same time reinforce that you're Canadian. You're some sort of pioneer on an old road my man. And you're Canadian. Right on.

I'm looking forward to the next steps and final outcome.
 

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I believe that you said that the woodworking business is a family business. Does your *family business* own treed properties and actually harvest the wood? Or do you buy wood already milled?

And for your guitar projects, do you further dry the wood that you use? Do you have to import some wood sometimes? I'm just curious.

Martin
 

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Arch top guitar, Very Cool

Sounds like a great project. I would be very interested in what you do for bracing so keep us informed as the build goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I would consider doing a build thread here but I need to figure out how to post pics first.. :)

As for my business, we buy all our wood kiln dried from large dealers like Oliver Lumber in Toronto. I do buy some of my specialty woods from A&M in Cambridge, Ontario and other places.

I do not cut and dry my own wood. In Northern Ontario we are 99% coniferous like black spruce and some crappy deciduous trees like poplar and a few birch here and there, nothing worth harvesting for furniture or guitars.

RE the bracing - the top and back are plywood and very stiff. Since the center block supports the entire length of the top and back I do not plan to use any bracing (I have not yet cut the sound holes so I dont know 100%) but so far they seem more than stiff enough to leave unbraced.

AJC
 

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"I have no idea how these semi hollowbodies are made never having even handled on in real life. However, I am going at it with a bunch of ideas and hopefully it will work for me :)

I do know how to make necks and set them into a solid body, so I am going with a solid center block between the arched top and back pieces."

So you're creating 2 separate internal chambers or are you going to make hole(s) in the centre block?

I like the f holes. It's starting to shape up pretty nicely. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is no hole connecting the upper and lower halfs - the center block is 100% solid from top to back and neck to end.

By the rate I am going it should be in the finishing room by the weekend - I should have a chance to fret the neck Saturday.

Will be playing it by this time next week for sure!

AJC
 

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I'd need lots of coffee to get me me going so early in the morning too. But then when you love doing what you do, you're probably dying to get up in the morning and get to the shop to do some work on your guitar before your *regular* day begins.

You catch up on your sleep in between guitar projects or do you always have long days like this (and up early in the morning)?

You're almost there!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, my entire life I have been on the run - playing music and building guitars is just one of my hobbies (i have many) and I am generally very very busy. Thats besides working 45 to 60 hours a week for a living :)

The key is enjoy what you do and do lots of it! :) Once the summer comes I spend more time on my bike and out doors than in my shop, but in the cold winter months I almost live there 7 days a week...

I managed to get the fret work done this morning, and glue in the neck. Very little to do - just a final once over with fine sandpaper and mask off the binding, before finishing will start this evening.

Our band has a gig April 7th/8th playing in a local bar/tavern and I am hoping to break in this new guitar there :)

OK back to work...lunch is over!

AJC
 

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TV Trons

ajcoholic said:
also want to try those TV Tron pickups... AJC
I put a TV Tron pup in the neck of a Thinline project guitar I did last month. I think you'll be as thrilled and surprised with them, like I was.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, yes I am!! :) You see I finished the guitar today and am already playing it! :)

Check out the thread on HC there are pics there...

AJC
 

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When you said you'd be done by the weekend, I thought that the body would be done by Sunday nite and then you'd start putting the hardware on early on during the week. It all done now and looking good.

Good stuff!
 
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