What are the limitations regarding curving the top instead of carving? Does an exagerated induced arch breakdown over time?It seems a curved brace would hold. Just curious before I ruin good wood.......! Mandolas in mind....tailpiece.

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Heres a link to the article I think Ned was talking about- pressing or forming an arch into an otherwise flat top- in this case the luthier is talking irish style bouzoukis. After forming the basic arch, he does go into some additional graduating of the top so it truly is a hybrid of flat & carved. I've done a similar thing on some of my floating bridge tailpiece travel guitars- glue the top onto curved braces, then graduate the top further by sanding on the outside surface. Not suprisingly, you get a tone that is somewhere between a flat top & an archtop.

One other thought to throw out there in considering highly arched flat top construction- laminating some thin carbon fiber into the x-braces would certainly help to maintain the curvature of the braces & therefore the top over time.

I have had this same thought and plan to experiment with it in the future when time allows. Now many guitars have a radiused top and i know there are tops with a 15' radius but an arch topped instrument has a more pronounced arch to it and I'm not sure f you could induce such and arch using the guitar building method of using radiused braces. Someone here mentioned that they use to press tops and backs under pressure and i have seen photos of this but I believe heat was used.
I once owned a kay kraft round hole arched top guitar that had a single layer (not laminated) top. They do exist!


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