Top positive review
In producing this book Bob Benedetto has...
on November 3, 2002
In producing this book Bob Benedetto has shared a lifetime of experience and produced a legacy for future archtop guitar builders. A reasonably competent woodworker can learn how to make an archtop with the assistance of this book. Yes, as one reviewer comments, it does have many high quality photographs of Benedetto's guitars and I don't find this a nuisance as they are very inspiring. Of course, you cannot learn tap/tuning from a book but there is a series of videos if you require more guidance on this subject.
There are some minor 'gaps' in explanation but that is exceptable (I am still trying to figure out how to make a fretboard tapering jig). The book is worth reading even if you do not intend to make an archtop, it is simply a joy to see how a craftsman produces these wonderful guitars. My impression
is that no secrets are kept back and that Bob Benedetto has left us a great 'craft' inheritance.
If you intend to make archtops, be prepared to invest in many unusual tools or to make them yourself. Also look on the Web and you will find several people who have recorded their attempts to follow the methods in this book.
If you are interested in archtop guitar making do also read, Acquired of the Angels, the biography of John D'Angelico and James D'Aquisto (author Paul William Schmidt). It contains very little on making guitars but is an interesting historical account.