FDP Forum / "New" Kay N-1 archtop/ 18 messages in thread.

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Steve Dallman

Contributing Member
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Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 15th, 2017 06:39 AM        

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. <br /> <br /> $30 or so later ($20 pickup, DIY pickguard, $5 tailpiece, Kay decal, some lacquer...) It is done. <br /> <br /> 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. <br /> <br /> I love this thing.



wrnchbndr

Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Sep 15th, 2017 07:18 AM        

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        

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        

Wow! It's pretty.



Leftee

Contributing Member
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VA

One foot on the brake, one on the GAS
Sep 15th, 2017 10:17 AM        

Very nice indeed!!!!



Steve Dallman

Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 16th, 2017 06:45 AM        

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
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Creed

Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 17th, 2017 02:50 PM        

Beautiful work as usual, Steve!<br /> <br /> 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        

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
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Sep 18th, 2017 01:08 PM        

awesome



mfitz804

Contributing Member
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Staten Island, NY

Godzilla the Thread Killa
Sep 18th, 2017 01:38 PM        

It looks beautiful.



Bubbalou



USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Sep 18th, 2017 09:10 PM        

Nice Job!



Dolemite



What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Sep 21st, 2017 01:17 PM        

Cool as heck, way to go Steve!



henrycat

Contributing Member
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Oct 9th, 2017 04:38 PM        

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



hushnel

Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 20th, 2017 01:53 PM        

Yeah, very cool. Inspirational too. <br /> <br /> I've got a 1960 Stat0tone Jupiter that I've alredy done most of the repairs to. I need to get back to it. I had to replace about a quarter of a side were the phone plug output was totally wrecked. The fingerboard totally rotted, I could pull the frets out with my fingers. All the electronic work and those old Armond Pickups alone are worth it's restoration.



Bubbalou



USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 22nd, 2017 09:04 PM        

Hushnel, you must have a golden thumb and 10 tons of courage to take that on. Let me rephrase that. I would have to have 10 tons of courage, we’ll maybe 2 tons since If I messed up it would not be a big loss but if you have a golden thumb and the ability ( which you probably do) you will have a cool guitar. Good luck with the project. Let us see photos when done 🤗



Peegoo

Contributing Member
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Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 23rd, 2017 01:27 PM        

No kidding. A repair like that is major surgery.<br /> <br /> Doing a repair to make the guitar playable is a fairly straightforward technical matter.<br /> <br /> Repairing and restoring it to original appearance, however, is pure artistry.



hushnel

Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 24th, 2017 07:34 AM        

Once Christmas is over and things settle down a bit I’m heading over to a guy I meet last week and purchased a mid 60s Yamaha Classical from. I put new tuners on it yesterday and not that it hold tuning it’s a blast. I’m giving it to my nephew latter today.<br /> <br /> Anyhow the guy I got the Yamaha from told me he has well over a 100 old electrics from the 50s and 60s he wants to get rid of. I’ll be checking them out in a week or so. Those old funky guitars are so cool.



lonesomebill



USA/Southwest

Don't watch my foot!
Dec 31st, 2017 10:54 AM        

Several years ago, I bought a Kay archtop for $60 at a Nashville guitar show. The neck had come off the body, but it was a nice 3-piece set-neck and a 17" wide body with nice veneers. I ended up replacing the fretboard, inlays, binding and refinishing it for around $500. Looked beautiful, but didn't sound very good as an acoustic guitar. Noe I really hold back when I run across those bargains.



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