1960s Kay-made Old Kraftsman Archtop Guitar (Sunburst)

This is one of a pair of old Kay archtop guitars called Johnny and June by its owner. I think this one is June. It's a very-typical, all-ply-body, lower-end Kay from the times. However, it does sound pretty good despite that and its painted-on trim. It's a sort-of all-mids sound with a bit of crunch in the lower-mids that makes it satisfying for chord work. I wouldn't want to be trying to zip-zap lead stuff on it all night, though.

Repairs included: bolt-reinforcement of the neck joint, a fret level/dress, side dots install, making a replacement pickguard, compensation and modification of the bridge, cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. The neck is essentially straight with only 1/64" relief tuned to pitch. I strung it with 52w-11 gauges rather than 54w-12 because Kays have such long scale lengths.

Scale length: 25 5/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2"
Body length: 20"
Lower bout width: 15 1/2"
Waist width: 9"
Upper bout width: 11 1/4"
Side depth at endpin: 3 3/4"
Top wood: ply birch
Back/sides wood: ply birch
Neck wood: poplar
Bracing type: tonebar
Fretboard: maple
Bridge: adjustable maple
Neck feel: medium C-shape, ~10" board radius

Condition notes: it's quite clean for its age and all-original save the new pickguard.

The big dots are actually tortoise! I added a pearl dot at the 17th fret to hide a little screw I used to get the fretboard extension to not ski-jump over the body.

The pickguard really should be white but I didn't have it on hand. I still think it's neat. I used the original pickguard off this guitar's "twinsy" to trace this shape.