Guitar Making Tip No. 114

Guitar Making Tip Number 114 is about keeping all the internal braces touching each other during the construction process. This is an easy way to help vibrations transmit around the guitar better. Here is what you need to do.

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Vibration and the Internal Braces

guitar making tip number 114As the guitar makes sound, vibrations are passes through the structure on the top. The better the top works together, the better this vibration is passed along.

On the other hand, if you have a very poor structure, the vibration energy will not move as freely. In a case like this, it can rob the guitar of sound potential, and make it less than it could have been.

When you are building, you need to do a few things in order to make the structure work together as well as it can.

One of these things is to make sure that the braces are all touching each other. When braces are touching, they can pass vibrations to each other easily. This is one way that you can build a top for the best performance that it can possibly have. Here are the rest…

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Keep the Braces Touching

As you build, you lay out the braces according to the plan that you are following. As you go, the plan may or may not tell you how to keep the braces touching. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to make sure they are all connected.

Since the X-Brace is glued down first in most cases, you are really going to be concerned with the other braces more than the X. As you place them, look for ways to keep them touching at the base where they attach to the top.

This can be done in a couple ways, and of course the better of the two is the more time consuming method. However, if you are concerned with making a guitar quickly, then little things like this are probably not in the design anyway.


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Notch Your Braces Under the X-Brace

The best way to make sure that the braces are all touching is to notch the X brace a tiny bit, and use that notch to slide the end of the other brace underneath. This does a couple things, and they are both good for making your top function better.

First, you ensure that the braces are touching each other. That’s the point of this entire acoustic guitar making tip. Second, you create a physical barrier to the new brace coming off in the future.

When you notch one brace under another, the trapped brace now has a mechanical means of holding it in place. Glue is not mechanical, and the chemical adhesion can fail. If that happens, the other brace will provide some force to hold the first brace down.

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Guitar Making Tip No. 114 – Wrap Up

It’s important to keep all the braces touching each other when making the top. This helps the vibrations pass along the piece more freely. It’s an easy process, and you can do it as you glue down the braces.

Simply notch under the X-Brace with a chisel and create a small opening for the end of the neighboring brace. Once it’s made, slide the new brace into the notch, and glue down the other end as normal. You can add this process to my other soundboard bracing tips.

Since all the braces will be interconnected and held in place by each other, not only will the structure vibrate better, but it will also be more secure. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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