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  #121  
Old 10-16-2011, 06:14 PM
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Kwak Kwak is offline
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After 3 weeks away I almost finished up gluing on the bracing last night. My friend Mr. Kitchen was busy too. He was too busy shooting kiddie pics - including my younger son's preschool - and hadn't been in the shop as long as I had been. He hadn't touched his latest build and my top was STILL in the go-bar deck. He also neglected to empty his dehumidifier so the RH went up to 55% which is a little high for gluing but I pressed on. After futzing around with my back plate I marked where my tone bars would fit into the X brace and I notched a slot with a 1/4" chisel:



Then I worked on the bridge plate, which is made of flat sawn osage orange that I thickness sanded to .096". Then I did a dry test fit.


Everything could be snugger but it was good enough for me to proceed after making a caul for the bridge plate:


Hopefully I'll get to glue those last two sound hole braces next time. It's likely that everything will still look like this when I return:


In the meantime I have some homework to do: cutting the braces for the back so that I can glue them up next time too. I'm getting excited because I"m getting close to voicing the top! It looks like I'll be able to do that here at home; after a rainy week the furnace has kicked on and the RH on my workbench hygrometer reads around 40%.
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  #122  
Old 10-19-2011, 02:59 AM
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Now that the top has (nearly) had all its braces glued on it's time to start getting the braces ready for the back plate. Since my friend's pretty busy with his photography business this week I took some spruce home to work with. This morning I found my 4yo had taken an interest in the unfinished bracework.



FWIW later on he came down to my workshop and wanted to help "glue some stuff" together, but he got distracted by some cardboard templates I'd made and decided to draw out his own bracing pattern.
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  #123  
Old 10-24-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default 10/23/2011 - Back Plate Bracing part 1

I did the back bracing last night:

First sand the underside of the braces on a radius dish with 80 grit sanding disk. Note that each brace is in a specific spot.


Next, using a template mark where each brace goes and with a Japanese saw and a 1/4" chisel remove a specific section of the centerline graft.


Glue them in with go-bars just like with the top. Note that the waist brace had to be supported. That's because I removed a little too much from the center strip so the brace had a little "wiggle room."


Everything's square and I got the worst of the glue squeeze out cleaned out. Next time they'll be ready to shape.


PS: since the humidity in my basement here at home has been stable at 37% I've brought the top and sides home so that I can do a little homework. More on that later.

EDIT: BTW, my son's scribblings are still on the sides of the 2 wider braces. I have to do a bit of planing and sanding but I'm hoping to keep as much of it as I can. If not then I'll find some other way of preserving his involvement.

Last edited by Kwak; 10-24-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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  #124  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:43 AM
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Today was a mix of mulling things over and getting things done.

The weather's about to change so the RH in my basement has fluctuated. I don't know which hygrometer's reading to trust either. Today one was as high up as 58%. Tonight they seem to agree, though when placed next to my work on the bench below the RH is about 3% higher. FYI: the floor is concrete and this is a basement so some moisture coming through from the ground below is to be expected.


Since the RH fluctuated so much I opted not to glue in the last pieces of my top bracing (namely the sound hole grafts) but I spent some time making sure that they fit snugly for when the time to glue up does come. Instead, I chose to start tapering the ends of the braces:





I'm on the fence on how to proceed though. Do I taper the ends but save the scalloping and final shaping for later in the voicing process when I glue the top to the sides? Or do I just go nuts with the chisel now? Gitnoob's talk of voicing and checking frequencies has me wondering what's best. I'll have to sleep on it. For now I think tapering the ends is best. That will get me closer to gluing the top to the sides.

So I did a test fit after I'd tapered the ends of the X brace on the lower bout. The upper bout is a little more complicated though. The plan is to follow gitnoob's lead and trim the ends of the upper transverse brace so that it locks in flush against the inner face of the bent sides.



Carefully, I flipped it over and laid in on a piece of foam posterboard:


I took note of where the centerline on the plate was located and the one I marked on the underside of the end blocks. Using the neck block extension as a guide I had a rough idea of where the lengths of the two components line up. Looking at the thickness of the plywood and the pre-drilled hole for the truss rod I had an idea to thicken that area. The inspiration was from a plywood Martin neck block that I'd borrowed from my friend who's led me down this path:



I figure that shoring that up like that would help stabilize the area even more and allow me to route a channel for the truss rod after all. I'd been resigned to just having the access point at the headstock, which I wasn't crazy about for aesthetic reasons.

FWIW this area is foremost on my mind because that extension is key to setting the neck angle. At some point I'm going to have to take those sides out of the mold and get that top face planed to the right angle. I have my drafter's protractor ready. I'll be shooting for 91.5 and I'll want the top of that piece of plywood to be dead flat before I even entertain the idea of gluing on that top.
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  #125  
Old 10-29-2011, 04:20 AM
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The humidity dropped when the rain ended so I put my new toy to use:



Yeah, it's a go bar clamping deck. I opted to use wood bars instead of nylon. It's actually much easier to use. The whole thing also doubles as a storage cart and work table when I put it on a dolly:



Not only does this make better use of space but I've also been cleaning up the basement as well. I've moved a lot of old baby stuff to the garage where we'll be having a sale tomorrow morning. There's a lot more space to move around in now and with some cleaning it should actually be a nice little man cave. Sorry guys if you're disappointed if there's no big screen TV or X-BOX but at least there a full size fridge with a case of beer within reach.

Last edited by Kwak; 10-29-2011 at 04:24 AM.
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  #126  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:47 AM
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Last night I sharpened my 3/4" chisel and started started shaping the profile of the braces so that there are no more sharp edges. Instead the cross section are now arch-shaped. It was hard at first but eventually I found the right angle from which to shave the wood and things are much smoother. The braces are nowhere near as refined as on my Martin or Larrivee acoustic guitars but this one is 100% mine.

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  #127  
Old 11-03-2011, 06:43 PM
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I nearly screwed something up but found a go-between. In the meantime I'm prepping the top plate and upper rim of the sides so that I can glue them together. It's a delicate process but I'm getting closer.

Meanwhile, I started working on the back plate's braces:

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  #128  
Old 11-03-2011, 07:45 PM
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WOW,,very nice job on everything ...Looks like a lot of work and enjoyment ...something sure to be proud of when its done
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  #129  
Old 11-04-2011, 02:11 AM
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Thanks!

I'm loving having stuff here at home to work on. I was feeling like things were losing momentum because several friends had built 2 or 3 guitars while I got just this far. I like to think I'm learning something while I do things twice!

BTW, I still get my "nights out" over at my friend's place though. I've been watching him French polish his current guitar build and the other night he started fitting the neck. I'm a long ways off from either step.
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  #130  
Old 11-06-2011, 12:34 AM
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I stayed up too late last night and snuck away a little today to scallop the braces on the soundboard:



My friend lent me a Martin guitar template for reference, though I'm not looking to copy things exactly:



The reason for the dips in the brace wood is to reduce mass without sacrificing strength. The rule of thumb is that every 3 inches from the soundboard and along each brace is a "node" where the soundwaves cancel each other out. By leaving the braces thicker at the nodes it doesn't interfere as much with the vibration of the soundboard.
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