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Here’s the soundboard with all the bracing glued into place. As you can see, I’ve used a conventional arrangement with 7 struts symmetrically arranged in the familiar fan system and 2 closing bars at their lower ends. Over the years, guitar makers have experimented with the geometry of the bracing pattern with asymmetries, wide squat bars, tall narrow bars, transverse bars under the bridge, openings in the transverse bar under the soundhole and endless other variations. Part of the reason, I suspect, is that it’s so easy to do. No new jigs or moulds to make; no new skills to learn. And it’s something to talk to clients about ā€“ a unique selling point. Maybe that is too cynical but I tend to agree with William Cumpiano and Jonathan Natelson who wrote in their classic Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology that ‘…specific elements of brace design, in and of themselves, are not all that important’. I need to admit that I have used a lattice bracing system with cedar soundboards (as I did with the last guitar that I made, which is being finished at the moment). It works perfectly well but I’m not yet convinced that it’s a significant improvement. Anyway, whatever the pro’s and con’s of these different systems, the new guitar is entirely traditional in its bracing.


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