Guitar Making Tip No. 179 is about gluing the braces. You do not have to glue down all the braces at the same time. In fact, gluing your braces in stages allows you to take more time on each set, and ensure the braces are the best they can be. Here is what you do.
Gluing the Braces to The Top Plate
The braces spread out the forces from the string tension. This means an evenly loaded soundboard, and a stronger structure. With the importance of these braces, adding a little time to this step can make a difference.
Most guitar making books will have you glue down the braces in stages. This is a good method for a couple reasons.
When you glue your braces down, you need to ensure that they are really glued down well. If you work in stages, you will have an easier time making sure that these important connections are really well made. Here is what you can do to ensure that your top braces are the best that they can possibly be…
Follow a Bracing Plan or Make Your Own
If you are following a guitar making book, follow their plan. They will most likely have you lay down the bridge patch first. Then, the X brace, followed by the upper and lower face braces and finger braces.
Some books may be different, but you should still follow along. The author of the book will know how they want you to build the top, and their instructions will be important later in the build. Follow along, and glue the braces down in stages.
For those of you that have made a guitar before, you can combine ideas from different makers and lay down the braces how you like. As long as you are giving yourself enough time to glue them well, you are doing it right.
Working in Stages for More Time
The big advantage to gluing down the braces in stages is time. You are working with wood glue, and it only stays wet for so long. There are a lot of braces, and it can be difficult for a beginner to get them all glued down at the same time.
Not only will this be difficult on time, but it can also be difficult on clamps. There may be too many clamps in the way to get everything glued down well. This will lead to frustration, and can cause you to glue a brace or two poorly.
Working in stages gives you the ability to have more time, and more room. You can glue down the braces more carefully, and you can also load up the clamps. Without as many braces to glue, there will be less clamps in the way.
Guitar Making Tip No. 179 Wrap-Up
Gluing down the braces can take some time. It can also be tough to wrangle them all at once. Instead of doing that, glue them down in stages. Follow a good plan if you have one, and glue them in phases until they are all in place.
Gluing in phases conserves clamps. It also ensures that there is enough room on the plate to accommodate all the clamps. Working in steps is also less stressful, and you won’t have to worry as mush about getting a good solid joint between the braces and the plates.
If you have any questions about Guitar Making Tip No. 179 – Gluing the Braces, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.
1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners
Tip No. 179 is from my book, 1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners, which has a thousand more great tips to get your first few builds on the right track. There is no secret to guitar making, just a lot of small things that you need to get right. These tips will help you.
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