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Best Way To Do My First Top Carve?


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I've looked through the tutorials on the main site and seen a few methods, and ill continue to trawl the internet (im also reading martin koch's book so that should help), but I was wondering if some builders with experience here could recommend what they think is the best method for carving a top for the first time.

Thanks in advance,

- Dan

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Is there really a best method???

Doesn't it all depend on tools available, and experience of builder with these tools.

Hearing your story I think you just should give it a shot. Based on articles you read, try the method you feel most comfortable with.

I've seen people use dupli-carvers, band, orbid & drum sanders, routers, shissles....the lot. All with great results.

And if you wanna be really on the safe side.....buy cheap piece of pine (or other cheap wood) and do a couple of test carves. Just to feel what works and what doesn't....

Good luck.

Edited by RGGR
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I can only recommend the method I used last night. Rout about a 1/2 inch wide channel (at your desired depth) around the perimeter of the guitar (or however much of the perimeter you want). Then round over with 100 grit on a random orbit sander. It was easy as pie - took about an hour. And the results were amazing! Check out the thread: my carve

You'll have to scroll down to the appropriate string of replies, but it's there somewhere - with some pictures too!.

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I would suggest getting the Benneddetto book on building Archtops. While the techniques might not be directly applicable, it might give you some ideas.

And I definitely would suggest starting with pine. You can throw away several pine bodies for the price of one mahogany body.

Guitar Ed

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Lookin great Toddler..... I see you did it exactly like I described.... Excellent... Hopefully my method will spread and we'll start seeing arched tops pop up all over the board..... :D

Jivin, obviously that's the method I recommend. Honestly doing it with scrapers, chisels or even doing the whole routing steps up toward the center method is just doing a whole lot of unneccesary work, which probably won't come out as consistant either unless you've been doing it awhile.......

Here's the thread I posted on my PRS arched-top clone:

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=11848

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Lookin great Toddler..... I see you did it exactly like I described.... Excellent... Hopefully my method will spread and we'll start seeing arched tops pop up all over the board.....  :D

Jivin, obviously that's the method I recommend. Honestly doing it with scrapers, chisels or even doing the whole routing steps up toward the center method is just doing a whole lot of unneccesary work, which probably won't come out as consistant either unless you've been doing it awhile.......

Amen, brother! Arch tops will rule the earth!! B) Thanks for the tip. I gave you props in another thread. I also agree with your tool assessment. It took me a couple of days to shave the profile down initially with microplanes and rasps. Using your method, I'd have saved myself at least a day and a half.

And the only reason I can think of to do a stairstep rout is if you are doing an LP or have a seriously thick top with a deep carve. Just my $.02.

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Thanks for the replies guys! I appreciate it.

Well, this is an LP :D

I will -definitely- be doing test runs until i feel ive got it right so I might just try a few different methods and see how I go.

Thanks!

- Dan

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Well, this is an LP

:D

I will -definitely- be doing test runs until i feel ive got it right so I might just try a few different methods and see how I go.

Keep us informed, willya!!. I'm planning LP too, and a reviewed the different methods just like you. The stepped route alternative in combo with bandsander looks promising to me.

But as I don't have orbid sander or band sander.....just some chisels, wood files and some sand paper after routing will do the trick too, I guess.

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