The new bracing started out looking like this:
It's red spruce I purchased from John Hall. I ripped these pieces to proper dimensions and then shaped them further on my belt sander. Doing it this way I was able to make everything exactly the way I wanted it. I'm looking forward to having the tools to build everything from scratch. A control freak can't have it any other way.
I took off all the old bracing with a chisel. A little heat was applied to the bridgeplate. It was slow going, so as not to damage the top. Here's the top after bracing had been removed and the new X-brace had been glued down.
After gluing down the remaining braces, I started shaping 'em with a chisel.
I didn't even own a chisel when I built my first guitar. I picked up a nice Irwin chisel over the winter.
Lately, whenever I need something FLAT I reach for this marble chess board.
I cover stuff up sometimes so mama doesn't see our prized household items getting used on guitars.
It's the upper transverse brace that needs to be flat. This helps to have smooth transition from the fingerboard to the body, in order to avoid the dreaded "14th fret hump."
I glue the bridge plate on last. In these pics I'm just fitting it in place. The final piece will have diagonal notches cut out of it.
Everything is starting to shape (har har) up...
I like to look at pictures of 30's Martin bracing while I work and make my braces look a lot like those. I also tap the top and do my best to voice it. Doing both of these things, I hope to achieve an open sound like the 30's Martins that I like so much.
It's getting there. I'll maybe have the top glued on again this weekend.