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 Post subject: This is Peter Hopkins
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:39 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Just to add variety Peter has also agreed to stop in for a chat every once in a while. Those of you that like archtop guitars and that attend some of the shows likely have met Peter or at least have seen some of his work. We are fortunate to have him add his perspective on his approach to making these instruments!

Thanks Peter

Shane

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:23 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Welcome Peter! Please tell us about your archtops...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:10 am 
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Welcme Peter .

I look forward to having you share insite into archtops . By all means lets have variety here . [:Y:]

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
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Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:52 am 
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Looking forward to your comments Peter and any insight you can give. Your work is terrific. Welcome.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:09 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: Peter
Last Name: Hopkins
City: Penticton
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V2A 4E5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Thanks, Shane. Thanks for the welcome, guys. It's an honour to be asked to participate.
Rather than start spouting off in all directions....Haans, perhaps you could be more specific?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:07 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Peter, perhaps you could show some photos of your instruments and tell us how you carve the tops and backs; CNC, pattern router, handcarved?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:56 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: Peter
Last Name: Hopkins
City: Penticton
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V2A 4E5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Here is a Monarch Regal in quilt maple with a tobacco burst. The top is some of Shane's excellent Lutz. I use a modified Terrco carver to rough out my tops and backs. The top surfaces are planed and sanded to shape, then turned over and drilled for graduation depths, and planed and sanded again. Once the box is together, recurve is done with curved scrapers.

Attachment:
Regal 17,07.jpg

Attachment:
Regal 17,07 back.jpg


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:37 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Man!!!!!!!! [uncle]

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:09 am 
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Thats one beautiful looking guitar !! [:Y:] [:Y:] .

Lars.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:34 am 
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Absolutly beautifull , [:Y:] maybe one day my work will look so good :roll:

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:57 am 
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Koa
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Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
Beautiful Peter. I've been influenced by your work, particularly your very elegent unbound "Contessa" (as you may be able to tell from may avatar). Do you use Lutz for the majority of your tops?
I'd be very interested, if you'd share, on your typical approach top graduation (say compared to Benedetto's typical 1/4" center - 3/16" mid - 1/8" recurve) at assembly.
Also, do you use so called "scientific" methods (quantitative deflection testing, chladni patterns, other)?
Always trying to improve my work and archtop builders are pretty thin on the ground, so I hope you don't mine me picking your brain!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:26 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Lovely Peter!
I use the Terrco myself on the mandolins. I do carve the inside partially on the machine, then do the outside. Still, leaves a lot to be taken off by hand. Glad to see that you do it by hand and not CNC. Gives you more of a perspective on the individual piece you are using.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: Peter
Last Name: Hopkins
City: Penticton
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V2A 4E5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Thanks everyone for your kind response.

Dave, that's quite a compliment. I have been admiring your avatar, especially the f-holes.
I use the Lutz whenever I can get it. I'm always bugging Shane for more. Tonally, it's got a soft crispness that I really like. Looks great too. I have been leaving my tops a bit thicker than the Benedetto spec lately, with good success, after having been encouraged to do so by the late, great Taku Sakashita. He said, in his inimitable way, "not louder, but seems louder". I would encourage you to try it too. I don't use science to build my guitars, although I realize it's there. I mainly rely on intuition and experience.

Haans, I should have mentioned that I do dish out the insides too. And I agree that it's very important to stay in touch with the wood during the entire process.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Wow, Peter... That archtop is stunning.

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Columbus, Ohio
http://www.polingguitars.com


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:25 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Interesting Peter, I have always approached mandolins from the thick side...makes a fatter sounding instrument.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:26 am 
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Thanks Peter. I appreciate your insight and any opinions you care to share, (and any compliments are well deserved).

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Milton, ON


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:49 am 
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Welcome Peter. Your guitars are wondrous and inspiring indeed!

Can someone please show pics of their Terrco carving process? Thanks

Lance/Brock...any chance we can get a separate Archtop forum. I have a feeling this is about to take off.

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Napa, CA
http://www.DonohueGuitars.com


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Are all Arch Tops Carved?

Can a good quality archtop be done with heat , bending and arched bracing .


Quote:
Lance/Brock...any chance we can get a separate Archtop forum. I have a feeling this is about to take off.



Why not just change the Sub Forum To Mandolin And ArchTop Guitars ?

Just an Idea idunno

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Many arched instruments in the past, the tops and backs were mashed in presses to arch them, but they were mostly inferior and not graduated. I think you can still buy pressed plates from Stew-Mac. Problem is that the q-sawn grain follows the arch whereas in carved instruments the grain remains vertical.
I'm up for changing the subforum to Arched Instruments or something similar.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Well , I am intrested in the idea , however , i would be looking at bending myself and not purchasing . I will be searching and watching carved top stuff with great intrest since it is an area ive never considered or tried .

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Wud, I think you are confusing the idea of bending with arching. Arched tops are carved in several curved dimensions that cannot be "bent". The only other way is to steam, heat and press, because the arching is so compound, and there is also a re-curve to deal with. In addition, arched instruments are graduated, meaning that thicknesses are different ALL over the area of the top (or back). This is one of the problems of pressed top instruments. They might be able to be graduated in addition to being pressed, but again, the grain follows the curves, and does not remain quartered to the rim. Carved top instruments have end grain carved into them and pressed top instruments do not.
I was not suggesting you buy pressed tops, only remarking that I thought they were available...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:00 pm 
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First name: Big
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thanks I follow what your saying here . Again carved tops are an idea I havent even began to consider . However I do see that n my future [:Y:]

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Welcome Peter! Beautiful work and a great web-site. I see why you do your recurve after the box is closed. It's really well defined. What are you using for finish if you don't mind me asking? As a fellow Western Canuck( I lived a lot of years in Kelowna) I know we don't have the access to the variety of products our Southern Brothers have.

I have yet to build an arch top guitar but I think it's going to be next. Unfortunately the day job will be in the way for a while.

Thanks,
Danny


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: Peter
Last Name: Hopkins
City: Penticton
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V2A 4E5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Thanks Brock, much appreciated. And thanks to you and Lance for hosting this great forum.

Haans, my feeling is that a slightly thicker top has a more "complete" sound, if that makes sense.

JJ, I have tried to upload a shot of my Terrco taken with my digital camera without success. perhaps someone could advise me....

Wudwerkr, I agree with Haans. I haven't built a pressed top/back instrument, but my understanding is that they are most helpful when feedback at higher volume is an issue, as the laminations tend to deaden vibration. Carving from solid wood allows one to fine-tune the relationship between the top and back, which creates a more sensitive acoustic instrument with a broader tonal spectrum.

Thanks, DannyV. Greetings from the Okanagan! I'm using Mohawk Classic Instrument lacquer, and their ultra penetrating stains.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: John
Last Name: Abercrombie
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Peter-
Thanks for participating here!
There's nothing like trying to fumble your way through an archtop build (I just finished my first) to make one appreciate the skill involved. Like the rest of us, I'm really impressed by your work.

Question about scraping the recurve...I found that it was tough to avoid just 'fraying' the top wood when working 'cross grain' with the scraper around the lower end and cutaway. I thought my scrapers were pretty 'sharp' (they were working fine on long grain areas- nice and clean). Any hints? Less/more 'hook' on the scraper edge? Thin or thick scraper stock?

In my case it was mostly moot since the recurve seemed to kinda disappear when I got too enthusiastic with sanding! Next time....

Cheers
John


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