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

This is the blonde part of a pair of same-style Old Kraftsman guitars that their owner calls "Johnny and June." This one is Johnny. I think the one called June is because its previous owner was named June. Fair enough!

Just like the other one, it's a plywood-body special with painted-on trim and a faux-flame paintjob. I like the big, C-shaped neck and steep radius on this one's board, though. It fits my hand beautifully. The sound is almost the same as the other, with perhaps a little more lower-mids velvet added to its midsy, chunky-sounding drive. I think both of these guitars could be real winners with a magnetic pickup popped on at the neck position, but they're still quite fun acoustic, too, if you're wanting a snappy chord-chomper.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, neck-bolt reinforcement at the back of the heel (to replace a big screw that was there already), compensation of the bridge, cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays bang-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. The neck adds 1/64" relief tuned to pitch but for all intents and purposes that's straight. I used 52w-11 gauges to keep the tension down over the quite-long scale length.

Scale length: 25 3/4"
Nut width: 1 5/8"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2"
Body length: 19 7/8"
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-big C-shape, ~10" board radius

Condition notes: there's some wear and tear throughout but it's mostly quite clean. It appears all-original save perhaps the tuners -- though those might be, too, as I don't see any extra holes.

Like the other one, this has cool tortoise dots in the board.

A tortoise pickguard sets-off the buttercream-colored body.

I think the double-stamped "steel reinforced neck" says it all about quality control in the Kay factory...


Nick R said…
You never know but there may be two steel rods inside that neck!
Guitar Nerd said…
Johnny Cash and June Carter - Just a guess