Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More bracing

Our digital camera is back. We sent it in to have it repaired by Canon, just in time for Christmas.

A week or so ago I took a little time off from the guitar. I've been really motivated to work on it, but there were a few days when I made a couple of minor flubs and it was feeling to me like my head wasn't in the right place to do exacting work. So I gave it some time off, and came back to it this past weekend.

Since then, I've been working on the top and the back. I work on the guitar each night after my son goes to bed. I've developed a nice routine, and lately I really look forward to working on it every night.

I've slotted the rim to accept the top and back bracing. I've also been re-studying the bracing of early 30's Martins, and have been shaping the braces to look as much like what I see in pictures, as I can get them.

I'm realizing that I missed a lot of details on the bracing of my first guitar. I thought I was copying old Martin bracing, but there's more to it than I had thought. There's the height of the "peaks," and the depth of middle of the scallops, and the slope and shape of the scallops themselves. Each peak has material taken of the sides of it. It's the height that gives the brace it's stiffness, but the width of the brace allows more vibration. I hadn't quite grasped that, yet am still working on it.

I've also calculated where the bridge will be placed on the top and have made the bridge plate so that it will fit right around it. It won't be any larger than it needs to be.

To work on the braces I went out and finally bought a really nice chisel. I didn't realize just what an essential tool this is! I was just fumbling, before.

I've been doing my best to tap tune the top. My ear has more to learn in that regard, but I'm finding that I've developed in that area also. While shaping the braces I can hear the top becoming more responsive, as well as developing sustain. This guitar is going to have some stuff going for it that my last guitar didn't!

In each pic below you'll see my braces first, then a picture of a 30's Martin guitar. I still have a little more cleaning up to do on my braces, but I'm almost there.

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