10/06/2018

1930s Kay Kraft Style C 2-Point Archtop Guitar



The owner of this beautiful machine is a very patient fellow. He came down from the Montreal area  today to pick it up but my days have been slamming lately, and I hadn't had the time to do the work. Fortunately, he had a few hours to spare, so I did the work while he waited and watched. I love that. It's fun to share all the little quirks of instruments with their owners.

This is the fanciest Kay Kraft of this style through the shop so far and it has all the right features: 12 fret neck, x-braced top, and superb condition with all of its original bits and pieces and no cracks or trauma to the arch of the top and back. The ebonized-maple fretboard has a few hairlines, though.

Work included a fret level/dress, new bone saddle for its bridge (with proper compensation), adjustment of the interior neck gizmo as well as installation of a "keeper bolt" through the soundhole so said adjustment wouldn't drift after we set it, general cleaning, and a good setup. It plays really well, now, with a neck that has only the tiniest hint of relief tuned-to-pitch and action right on the dot: 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. The owner, fortunately, tunes down a half-step so the 54w-12s that are on it right now won't kill the guitar with the extra tension that the 25 3/4" long scale applies to it.

Materials on this include a spruce top, ply Brazilian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck with probably steel-bar reinforcement, ebonized maple fretboard and bridge, awesome checker celluloid binding, and the classic Kay Kraft celluloid headstock veneer.

I didn't get measurements, but these are approximately 00-size and the nut widths are wide at around 1 7/8" or so. The necks are manageable, however, with a soft-V, mild-to-medium-ish profile.

Did I mention it still has its full set of banjo-style geared pegs? The owner asked me about value for this and I just chuckled and told him he got it at a great price considering that the tuners are worth about half of what he paid for it!







Folks often ask: "why is the bridge so far from where it was?" -- the answer being that almost all old bridges aren't put in the right place when they're laid-to-rest.









As a final thought -- the owner of this guitar runs a French-language comic/graphic novel publishing company up around Montreal. I hope he enjoys this shot from the night before of Ms. Oona greedily reading an English translation of the French graphic novel "Cici's Journal!"

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