Brace yourself for another cheesy headline…

Wait, I used “brace yourself” already.  Damn it.  Oh well.  I need to work on my delivery.

Got some decent shop time in this weekend.  Lots of bracing going on.

I must say, working on three is a bit much.  Some of these steps can get a bit tedious, but there are a few new operations that I haven’t done, and by the third one, I usually find a way that works well for me.

Cut all my braces, planed them to size and started rotating the tops through the go bar deck.

box o bracesgo bar bracing

Hadn’t done an x brace before.  Wasn’t too bad as far as layout goes. Fairly happy with how they came out.  Using HHG was a bit of a challenge with the X braces.  The first one I did in two pieces.  It came out OK, but the alignment could have been a bit better.  It wasn’t bad enough that I had to redo it, but I wanted to get it as close to perfect as I could.

x brace lap joint

For the second two I glued the x first then glued the whole assembly on. That’s a decent amount of gluing surface, so I heated the top with a heat gun.  I also tried putting the x under a heating pad, which wasn’t necessary.  I ended up just using the heat gun on the last one.

My glue up sequence: Short braces first.  Then some shaping  before I added the X brace.  Then I added the bridge plate, tone bar and remaining little brace above the rosette.

brace sequence

I have the upper cross brace on the adirondack top.  Just need to add those to the second two palladium tops and they all should be ready to carve.  I guess I could call it voicing the top, but since I really don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I’m gonna stick with calling it brace carving.

These tops are surprisingly bright and tight sounding right now.  I’m going to be interested to see how that changes as I carve.

Oh and I needed to make two brackets for the wall.  Thought it was a good opportunity to play with finishes a bit.   I made this stain from black walnut hulls last fall.  This bracket has one coat of fresh stain, which will lighten up when it dries.  I’ve done a couple samples before that I liked. One coat, then sand, second coat, then boiled linseed oil. Then I’d need to add a seal coat of shellac.  It really seems to pop the grain well.  This is what I’m thinking about using under the finish on the flamed maple guitars.

stain samples