Hey there LJ, it’s been about a year since the completion of my Les PAul and I just recently started an Archtop guitar. I will be taking a break on it for Christmas but I will be back up and running again in the New Year. Anyways, here’s my progress so far in making this instrument.
Well, I don’t have pictures of the wood I started with but I do start to take them a few steps in. Here you can see I have two pieces of wood. Walnut (Left) Sitka Spruce (Right). The walnut is to be used as the back of the guitar, and the sitka as the front. Both pieces are 1” thick; a far cry from the future 1/8” thick! I have already traced, and cut out the shape of the guitar.
My camera had been out of commission for a while so I missed some pictures, but to sum up what I did: I used the drill press with a forstner bit all over the back and face, to give me a target curvature; and then carved roughly down to that depth leaving the characteristic “arch” in the guitar.
Moving on, I start the shaping of the top of the guitar
Done the top!
Now I carve out the inside of the top and back
Amazing how thin it actually is
And after a lot of sanding with an orbital sander we have the finished profile on both pieces
Next step in the process is steam bending the sides. Will be up soon!
-- There's nothing like the feel of a wood shop.