No longer Spineless

With the backboards glued together, it was now time to give them some support. Even though the seam is well glued, with only 1/8″ of wood contact at the joint (which will be even less after all the scraping and sanding is done), it is necessary to reinforce it. I use pieces of quartersawn spruce left over from one of the parlor guitar’s soundboard. These pieces are glued cross grain along the seam for the best support. Gaps are left where the braces will go. The Spruce is rounded over at the edges and sanded.

 

Notice that I have two backs here. I plan on completing another “Beast” this summer to have available for sale.

The bracing, of different thicknesses and heights according to the plan, then needs to be glued in the gaps, again, spaced according to the plan. To get as tight a fit as possible, the gaps were left too small, and the exact width is marked from the braces themselves.

Then the excess is carefully chiseled out.

Once all of the braces have been fitted, they can be glued onto the back. They have had their back arced so that the back will end up concave, not flat. This is done for strength, as well as for additional sound projection.

Once all of the braces are glued, they can be shaped; both to minimize the height of brace that will need to be let in to the kerfings, but also to remove excess weight, while retaining strength.

There are many ways to carve the braces. I used my favorite chisels, finishing with a card scraper and some discreet sanding.

Comparing the finished, carved, braces with the the uncarved ones, you can see the difference.

“The Beast” has a backbone!

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