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What do you think about these braces?
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Author:  000lover [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  What do you think about these braces?

First question is about the x-braces. Do they look right? They seem to taper rather quickly and thin out. If one wished to scallop these braces it doesn't look like it would be possible on these stock martin braces.


Second question is about the bridge plate. there was no markings on the soundboard to indicate its position. Is it already pre-sized and pre-cut to be perfectly placed when moved flush against the x-braces?

Third, this picture shows the sketched area where the tone bars are supposed to be glued. Does this look ok?


I can see some erased marks that were a little lower than the picture above and in this picture I placed the tone bars on those erased marks in this photo:


Author:  George L [ Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

I agree with your assessment of the X-braces not allowing scalloping.

As for the placement of the bridgeplate, tone bars, etc., I would recommend you refer to the plans associated with your kit. If you don't have them, ask your supplier for a copy or at least to provide measurements (soundhole to X-brace, X-brace to front of bridgeplate, etc.) that will allow you to position these pieces correctly.

In my admittedly limited experience, I've never seen tone bars intersecting a bridgeplate as they do in your first photo, so your second photo looks more reasonable to me. Again, plans are what you need.

Good luck,

Author:  Michael Dale Payne [ Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

Here are my thoughts. Not knowing anything about the top, I feel the X-brace is tapered off to 1/8" far too quickly. I would expect the top to be too loose which will cause a loss of volume and tone. The tone bars appear to be cedar. I would prefer they be spruce. I too would prefer that the bridge plate be shaped to allow the first tone bar to be in tangent contact with the bridge plate and but end contact with the tone bar as a continuous joint. I can’t see any info on the height of the tone bars so I can not comment there

Author:  000lover [ Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

Michael is this what you are talking about regarding the bracing?

Author:  Michael Dale Payne [ Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

Yep. i like for the bridge plate to have direct contact 9I>E> input into the first tone bar. i would have liked to seen a bit more contact area but that OK. I have to say that those tone bars look mighty beefy. Judging from the body shape I am guessing an OM, I would have used 5/8" tall x 1/4" thick tone bars and finger braces in combo with 5/16" thick X brace.

Author:  David LaPlante [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

The "X" braces are the standard tapered configuration that Martin uses on its series of guitars that have the "A" frame top bars (as seen in your photo).
If you want to switch them out for the earlier scalloped design, those are available (in 5/16" or 1/4" widths) from the Guitar Maker's Connection at Martin on line or by phone.
The tone bars are also Martin and actually look typical of the dark sitka spruce ones that I've seen coming from them in the past so I think you are fine with those.....Martin has never used cedar bracing as far as I know (cedar tops , yes).
By all means take the corner off the bridge plate to allow the brace to occupy it's original marked position. This was done on many Martin models (sometimes even on both sides of the plate).
I don't think that it's neccessary for the plate and bar to touch, but it is important that the bar be close enough to the bridge to stiffen the area behind it.

Author:  Tai Fu [ Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What do you think about these braces?

You can make your own brace from brace stocks too, saves some money and you can make them just the way you like it. I played a lower end Martin that has no binding, and it doesn't sound very good at all, sounds really muddy.

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