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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / "New" Kay N-1 archtop

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 15th, 2017 06:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought 4 "wall hangers" at a garage sale for $5 each. One is a 50's Kay N-1 archtop. It had no strings, bridge, tailpiece, nut or pickguard plus it had 7 field arrow holes in it. The back was in worse condition due to the arrow tips hitting it. None of the arrows broke through the back, but they left pencil sized holes in the front.

$30 or so later ($20 pickup, DIY pickguard, $5 tailpiece, Kay decal, some lacquer...) It is done.

Great action and tone. Very lively. The string spacing is quite narrow. The binding shrunk making the neck a bit narrower. The frets are brass with no wear. When time comes to refret, I'll likely replace the neck binding to widen the spacing a little.

I love this thing.

Kay N-1 archtop

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
**********
*

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Sep 15th, 2017 07:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very nice acquisition. These are wonderful guitars. who'd have thunk?. Back in the way back, I used to scorn these and the harmony archtops because they always played badly and I had no idea there was such a thing as a guitar tech. Now I'm looking for them. I just had a Harmony archtop come in that was a dumpster find. This one was one of those "Steel Reinforced Neck" without an adjustable trussrod, painted on faux binding and faux flame back. It took me three hours on the bench but in the end it was a really great guitar with an awesome classic AM radio country music tone from the 60s. I really want to find a good one for myself.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 15th, 2017 09:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice one, Steve. Kind of like rescuing a doomed pup from the pound, isn't it? ;-)

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
*****

Pueblo, Co

Relics produce tone, and then some...
Sep 15th, 2017 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow! It's pretty.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*******

VA

One foot on the brake, one on the GAS
Sep 15th, 2017 10:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very nice indeed!!!!

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 16th, 2017 06:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

TE 52, There is music and joy in any instrument. I've "rescued" quite a few, usually fixed up for young guitar students. This one's a keeper. I've saved a lot of them from the landfill, some broken into pieces from a dumpster.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Creed

Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 17th, 2017 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Beautiful work as usual, Steve!

Did you plug the holes and refin? I can't see any repairs at all!

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 18th, 2017 06:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The holes were the size of pencils. I made a plug cutter from a brass tube and cut plugs from a scrap of cedar shingle. I carved each to fit as best I could with an X-acto knife and glued them in. I leveled the tops, stained the ones on the middle of the face, and blacked the ones on the edge. After lacquering, I scratched weather checking into them followed by dark stain. You can see them close up, but if you're not looking for them, they blend in.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
**********
*

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Sep 18th, 2017 01:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

awesome

mfitz804
Contributing Member
**********
*********

Staten Island, NY

Godzilla the Thread Killa
Sep 18th, 2017 01:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It looks beautiful.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Sep 18th, 2017 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice Job!

Dolemite

What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Sep 21st, 2017 01:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool as heck, way to go Steve!

henrycat
Contributing Member
**********
**

Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Oct 9th, 2017 04:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very nice! I love a good "back from the brink" guitar rescue story. Enjoy!

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / "New" Kay N-1 archtop




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