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Hand Made Guitars by Luthier Dan Koentopp

Fitting an Archtop Brace With Hand tools

Here is a short video I put together showing how I go about fitting tone bars in my carved instruments. I find that doing this step by hand is one of the most enjoyable process’ of the entire build. I think of it as a game, trying to do it faster and more efficient than the previous time. There is quite an advantage of doing it this way than with any mechanized  jig out there. You can feel the brace as it gets closer and closer to a perfect fit and as a result, there is much more control.  In my opinion, the more feeling you can put into the guitar, the more feeling you get out of it.

9 Responses to “Fitting an Archtop Brace With Hand tools”

  1. Jack Says:

    Excellent video! Loved seeing the skill and detailed workings involved in that segment. Thanks for posting

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks Jack! Much appreciated.

  3. Fine Archtops Says:

    Very informative video. Thanks for adding such great content to the archtop community!

  4. joseph cozza Says:

    Happy New Year to you Dan !. i’ve just finished watching you fitting the braces.thourougly enjoyable.should be compulsory viewing for budding archtop luthiers. can i nominate this short video for an Academy under artisan doco ? the Amati is one of the most elegant, stunning instruments around.joseph cozza ( Melbourne , Australia

  5. admin Says:

    Thank you so much Joseph! Hope you are well.

  6. Rubens Says:

    Hey Dan, Just great see your work live. Kind of organic feel.
    Congrats, Rubens

  7. paul hamilton Says:

    Wow Dan very cool vid! I thought is was interesting that the glue shouldn’t over saturate the wood – as it could permeate to the other side. So many variables. You are a mater builder: you make sure that everything is sonically worked out, but you also finesse details that won’t even be visible. Great work my friend! Loved watching this.
    Your pal.

  8. jos geers Says:

    Hey Dan what a super cool guitar the Amati is! i am looking around a lot on the net and came accros your guitar via caravan guitars in holland. I would love to build a guitar like this very much. This moment i have made three selmer type jazz guitars foes my kids.
    I always hoped to build a guitar with F holes never found a model that hit me like yours. I have deep respect for your craftsmanship. Nice to se guitars build with so much attention to detail. I am afraid i know the answer be pose the question anyway ?
    Do you sell drawings 😉
    Hope to hear from you
    Greeting from the now cold Holland
    Jos Geers

  9. admin Says:

    Thanks so much Jos! I developed the Amati based upon my work with string instruments. I guess you could say that it is a blend between classical string instruments and the modern guitar. I found that the archtop guitar could greatly benefit from this direction and that the best way to make a guitar like this is to put yourself close to great examples of old Italian master instruments. When you see the details, the tool marks, etc, you begin to see patterns of why makers did certain things. All this will influence your own work. I am sorry but I do not have drawings of the Amati. Thanks again Jos, please keep in touch!

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