Course: May 2008
Phil Bates    Owen Davies    Paul Mckee    Hordur Tomasson

Instrument details: Phil Bates - Arch top guitar


The first stage of an arch top guiar is joining the front. The two halves are planed flat and fitted together.

Photo added on 23/10/2014


The underside is then planed flat prior to cutting it to shape.

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A shelf is then routed around the edge to give a reference for the rest of the carving.

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The shape is then carved, first to templates.

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Planes are used to acheive the basic shape which is then fine tuned with scrapers.

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The inside is then carved out to thickness the plates. Much material can be removed by drilling to a preset depth.

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The bulk can then be gouged to the bottom of the drill holes before thicknessing proper.

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The f holes are marked out and cut with a fret saw.

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The truss rod is glued in covered with a hardwood fillet.

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The braces need to be carefully shaped to exactly match the internal profile of the front.

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Phil is bending the sides around a hot iron.

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In the slipper heel method the first step is to align the front to neck join.

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Phil has made the walnut bindings and bent them to shape ready to glue in.

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The front end of the slots in the headstock must be relieved to give clearance for the strings.

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The first coat of oil finish is rubbed on.

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A close-up of Phil's bridge and tailpiece.

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Phil with his finished guitar.

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Course: May 2008
Phil Bates    Owen Davies    Paul Mckee    Hordur Tomasson

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