Selected articles and important information on caring for you vintage archtop:


The lower humidity during the winter months in many parts of the country (and the world) can be devastating to a hand-carved solid-top guitar. Even with a home or room humidifier running constantly you may not elevate the level of moisture in the air adequately. A dedicated guitar humidifier is a must for your solid top vintage guitars in winter months.

After trying many brands (and making some of my own) I found what I believe to be the best instrument humidifier: Oasis Guitar Humidifiers. These allow you to keep your instrument at a healty 40-50% humidty all winter long. Their Case Humidifier is the perfect solution for f-hole archtop guitars and are guaranteed to protect the health of your valuable instrument during dry seasons.

Further Reading:

Taylor Guitars - Using A Guitar Humidifier (PDF)
A well-written, illustrated tech sheet from Taylor Guitar from their large collection of Tech Sheets.

1Humidity & Your Guitar’s Health
Another good reference written by a luthier. Also, read this companion article addressing the effect of extreme temperature to your guitar.

Humidity & Your Guitar by Thomas Prisloe

Basic Guitar Tips

There are a wealth of resources on the internet if you know where to look (and know how to filter out the bad advice). The following are some links that I reference from time to time.

Care and Feeding Of Your Archtop Guitar
Joe Vinikow has written the bible on shipping guitars. You will also find a wealth of information about action, strings, finish care, amplification, and more, specific to archtop guitars.

Restringing an Archtop Jazz Guitar by Frank Ford
This most basic and necessary skill is detailed here for anyone who might nee it.


Most Gibson pickguards prior to the mid-1970's were made from celluloid. This material can break down with time. Joe Vinikow addresses the details best at I have also included my own photographs showing the damage that can be done when celluloid is in direct contact with the finish of a guitar (in this case, an early 1960s Gibson Super 400).


Don't skimp on your case! The best protection for your valuable instrument is a proper fitting well constructed guitar case. Here's some industry leader's links for further investigation: