Archtop Guitar Helping Hand Video

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The Helping Hand offers sturdy support for lifting pots, switches, and jacks into the holes of an archtop or semi-hollowbody guitar.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Archtop Guitar Helping Hand - StewMac]

Aaron Smiley: [on-screen text reads: StewMac Tech Advisor] I'm upgrading the electronics on this archtop guitar and the problem with archtop guitars is there's not a whole lot of access for the electronics to do any sort of work. The most you have is the F hole here, which is about an inch wide at the most and then this bridge pickup cavity that I can kind of get my hands in, but not enough to really do any work here. Just enough to put the pots in there.

The pots are soldered up, ready to go inside the guitar, but I still have to get them up here to the mounting holes. I can kind of get in through this F hole and maybe grab them with my fingers, but not really. And even if I can get them up there, I still can't get the right back pressure to mount the nut and washer, because it'll just fall back through, especially not on these guys, because they're so far away from any sort of access point.

Using the archtop helping hand tool

We came up with this tool, the archtop helping hand to make this job easier and save you a lot of frustration. It's got a hook for moving wires around in there and you could also use it as a spatula to get back pressure underneath the pots. I'm going to mount the tone pot on the bridge pickup, because that one's the farthest away from any sort of access. Right now I'm just moving the pots around with the tool just so I can see them. I'm going to get the tool in through this F hole and just kind of hook it underneath those prongs and the wires there and get it right up through there.

Pull the pot up here and this tool's pretty bendable, so what I like to do is just kind of bend it to a 90 degree angle, get you a little bit more back pressure there and then feed it back through. Hook it the same way you did originally and just kind of pull it up and from there you can get the nut and washer on pretty easily. And that pot's good to go.

I spend almost as much time mounting electronics as I do actually soldering them in this sort of job and the tool speeds that up so much. I can't imagine doing this job without it.



Aaron Smiley

StewMac Technical Advisor

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