Soundboard Bracing Template

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A soundboard bracing template is an easy way to make the complicated process of measuring and marking the location of the braces much easier and faster. In cases where many of the same guitar is going to be made, having a template is useful.

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Making a Bracing Template

soundboard bracing templateThe first step in making a soundboard bracing template is to cut a piece of 1/8″ to 1/4″ MDF to the shape of the soundboard. Draw the shape on the piece using your plans or mold. Then, cut it out on the band saw. After that, sand the edges until they are smooth and the shape is correct.

Once the piece is made, the braces can be drawn on the template. Start with the location of the soundhole. Measure down from the top edge and mark the center, then use a compass to mark the circle.

From there start marking out the placement of the other braces on the soundboard bracing template. I like to place the X-Brace and the upper face brace next. These make placing the rest of the braces much easier. Place these three braces where they need to go, and verify your measurements.

Draw Everything You Need at Once

soundboard bracing templateI also like to draw in all my braces at the same width as they will be installed on the guitar, which keeps the template as accurate as possible.

After the main braces, the smaller finger braces, soundhole braces, lower face braces, and bridge patch are all drawn on the board. Other useful references like a center line can also be added.

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Lastly, add as many measurements as possible to the template, which is easier than looking them up or remembering. For example, mark the distance of the soundhole braces from the center line. This helps get the angle right when placing them on the guitar. The distance from the top to the bridge is another useful piece of information. Measure and mark the numbers right on the template. When it comes time to brace a guitar, having them all in one place will make the process easier.

The soundboard bracing template helps save time and energy when bracing the top, as all the measurements are in one easy place.

Templates like this can also be made for the back bracing. I typically put this right on the back side of the soundboard template. This way, both are right there on the same piece of wood. You can make one of these for every model of guitar you build, and they are a quick, easy acoustic guitar making project.

acoustic guitar making how to make tools templates and jigs book beginner book for new guitar makers

My book, Acoustic Guitar Making: How to make Tools, Templates, and Jigs explains the importance of templates, as well as over 50 additional jigs and tools. With over 500 pages and 1600 images, it is a great companion to any ABC guitar making book. There are chapters on finishing, construction theory, making tools, and more.

For more on guitar making, take a look at some of my articles below:

Fret Bending Jig (An easy fret bender that can be made from scraps)

Fretboard Duplicating Jig (A jig for making exact copies of fretboards without measuring)

Making a Side Bending Iron (This is a classic side bending tool)

Making Fret Dots (This article explains how easy it can be to make exotic wood fret dots)

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Any questions about making a soundboard bracing template? Leave a comment and I will be glad to answer you. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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