11/15/2012

Workshop: Archtop Details


This guitar was boxed up today but before I did that I converted it from a righty to a lefty, which will look very cool "in the lap" with this curious Kay Kraft body shape.


When I had gone over the guitar originally I removed this bridge (the original) in favor of an adjustable rosewood type with a compensated saddle. This time, the straight-saddled original was a boon for conversion over to a lefty since it meant I just needed to turn the bridge at a slight angle for compensation. I turned this bridge into an adjustable one at the same time by cutting it in half, touching up the coloring (since this is a dyed maple type), and installing adjusters for height.

Much more practical!


I also installed a few K&K pickups in instruments today and at the same time pickup-ed my L-50. For those of you with older Gibson archtops, the endpin hole mount in these tailpieces will allow a jack to pass through without alteration, and the tailpiece itself hides the pin-hole enlargement behind it. So, if you were concerned about resale aesthetics going down in a guitar you really want to amplify, this may be an elegant solution for you.


My L-50 was also lacking its original pickguard, so I installed this 30s-looking repro by this eBay seller. This guy has got the aesthetics down and also offers vintage parts, so I can highly suggest you check him out if you want that pickguard look but don't have an original on hand. This particular guard has the right-style tortoise look but it's also been laminated onto a thicker clear backing which makes it a lot more stable than an original type.

So, that's it for today! What's next?

...a lot of cool stuff! There's tenor banjos, a funky old English 5-string, numerous fun customer instruments, and also a pretty rare 1900s Spanish bandurria coming up.

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