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Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
Topic starter  

So . . ..

I have Benedettos' archtop book. I've actually had it for awhile now, just to look at the pretty pictures more than anything else.

Anyway, my father's day presents this year include a floor standing drill press.

So, I'm having these ... ummm. .. ideas :)

Has anyone gone down this path, and if so, what should I know before I start? Any real "gotchas" that someone ran into building an archtop that you wish you had had spelled our better prior to kicking off the project? Or at least prior to you got to the point where you found out about it?

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029

Whoa an Archtop.. Is this going to be your first guitar build? Making an archtop as your first may be a rather large undertaking.

I've been throwing the idea around for about 6 months now to start the process of learning the art of Lutherie maybe even going to one of the schools.

There are some great resources online: just a few here, but you can google Lutherie and get a ton more.
The Lutherie Guild
Lutherie Mercantile
Their "NEWBIE" page.

Its been suggested to me to get this book:
"Guitarmaking; Tradition and Technology"

I know on both these sights you can buy plans for just about every kind of guitar, with measured, scale diagrams etc. They also sell kits and it was also suggested to me to buy and build a kit as my first project. As you go along and if you want for instance, do a custom inlay on the fingerboard or headstock you can surely do that with one of these kits, you'll just need to order the extra bits to do so.

Living in the Pacific N.W. there are lot of builders up in these parts and I've contacted a few and all said to get that book.

The number one suggestion is to TAKE MY TIME.... building is very slow at first. Be meticulous. I even visited one guys shop and most all the Jigs and clamp/vise contraptions he has...he made himself. It takes the most time figuring out what you'll need to clamp the tops and sides to each other just right and how to shape sides etc, then building the tool/jig just right so it works.

Good luck in your search... I think its cool you want to build one.... as I do too. And to get to the point to build an!!

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)

Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 12

Here is a site - - that is an endless source of info as well as a fourm. Very goods folks with a wealth of hands on help.
I have been able to make a soildbody that not only works but plays pretty darn well with the help of that site.
Good luck and have fun-

Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366

You got to make sure you've got enough of the right kind of equipment before you start. You'll need clamps to hold everything together, and enough "stuff" to make sure the wood doesn't get damaged whilst you're working. And you need properly seasoned wood.

We wish you luck - keep us posted as to how it's going.


A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850

Check out

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