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making a carved/arched top electric

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skguitarsbasses, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. i have a friend that would like me to build a carved top guitar for them. something similiar to ESP horizon guitars where the center of the body is elevated and then it slopes down from there. do you have any suggestions as to the best way to accomplish this? is it just a matter of sanding? thank you.
  2. ZuluFunk


    Apr 14, 2001
    I'd contact Matt Artinger www.artingerguitar.com

    Tell him Zulu sent you...not that it will get you anywhere...

    He's made some beautiful custom archtops. But there we are talking hollow body. If you want a solid bass that is contoured down to have the shape of an archtop, he may be able to help you there too. Figure a solid bass like that would weigh a ton, you may consider at least chambering it.
  3. Well, ESP and Gibson probably have CNC machines programmed to carve the arched tops, but guys like Greg Curbow probably use the same sorts of tools that an archtop guitar or mandolin builder would use. I believe the main tool is a small plane--there are some photos of a mandolin top being carved out here:


    Something like the Benedetto book on archtop building might be helpful, too.

  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    If memory serves, one of the guitars in the Melvyn Hiscock is a carved-top.
  5. I don't remember a carved top in the Hiscock book, but you could be right...

  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The one on the cover is carved, and I think it's one of the ones detailed.
  7. Ah! I've only got the older version, and the cover doesn't look anything like that, nor have any guitar like that inside.

    "Completely revised and updated"--maybe it's time to get the new edition. :)

  8. so this book would definitely be a good start for me to get the info i need then?

    thanks for all of your replies
  9. Curbow


    Aug 1, 2002
    Give me a Call!
    I will give you some good pointers!
    Greg Curbow
  10. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I built a guitar like this. There are probably better ways to do this, but what I did was carve the rough shape out with gouges. After that I used an Orbital sander to smooth it out.