Small Body Archtop

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Blog entry by Texcaster posted 02-04-2014 11:26 AM 1513 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a blog about designing and building a small body archtop. Plenty of hand work and quiet on one of these.

This photo shows the relation between a 17in archie, my new 13in and a mandolin.


Making new arch patterns

Where the patterns sit on the top. When each pattern arch fits, I connect the dots.


Body in the mold

Carved top & back

The insides are bored to a depth, thicker in the center, diminishing towards the recurve at the edges. The thin edge is meant to allow the top & back act like a speaker cone and allow the chamber to push air.

Parts well advanced

The ever versatile tailvise

Ready to play. The pickup is attached to the fingerboard and suspended over the body.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

7 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


7928 posts in 1713 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 02:07 PM


-- ~Tony

View kenn's profile


806 posts in 2993 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 09:11 PM

Well done , as quick as that went I guess you knocked it out in a morning ;). Seriously, amazing craftsmanship, great work, inspiring to see. Thanks for sharing.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View RCT's profile


89 posts in 3024 days

#3 posted 02-05-2014 07:46 PM

Great job love the fret work-
did you cut the “F” holes by hand or use a router?

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View Texcaster's profile


1061 posts in 947 days

#4 posted 02-05-2014 08:44 PM

Cheers fellas,

RCT, I bore the top and bottom holes first, then a series of small holes as far as I can go down the center.
A coping saw blade held in my paw completes the cut. I enlarge and finish the cut with a knife and file. It’s done after carving both sides, so is very thin with considerable flex.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5186 posts in 2986 days

#5 posted 02-23-2014 09:17 AM

It always intrigues me how instruments are put together, this one looks like a very good example and a good amount of detail on how you accomplished it!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View BJODay's profile


509 posts in 1216 days

#6 posted 03-19-2014 01:47 AM

Beautiful work.


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1150 posts in 986 days

#7 posted 09-26-2014 11:39 AM

Lovely work and looks like a fine instrument. Would love to try it out!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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