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Tuck Tone Bars & Bridge Plate Or Butt Joint ?
Author
Post
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 352
I remember a fair while ago either Ken C and/or John H made a comment in another post about the method of jointing tone bars and bridge plate. It seems that way back Martin for instance, tucked these joints and then the method became either obsolete or streamlined for production sake.

Stewmac, as many of you guys know, use tucked joints as their preferred method. It also seems that many small run pro's tuck joints, maybe because their clients see this method as a sign of a "quality" build ? Cumpiano for one, makes no mention in his "Guitarmaking Tradition & Technology" of tucked joints.

If my memory is correct, I think the argument *for* a butt joint in this part of the build, is that glues like Titebond are so efficient they have rendered a tucked joint obsolete.

So to refresh my memory or expand on this topic maybe someone would like to chime in here.

Tuck or butt ?

Mar 30, 08 | 7:01 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Just to clarify, I'm talking about the joint used to join the tone bars & bridge plate to the X-braces.

Mar 30, 08 | 10:02 pm
Ted

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 158
Not wanting to kill the thread Andy, but here are the previous ones.

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=1316_0_6_0_C

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=969_0_6_0_C

I do like Ken's "we're not building a suspension bridge"

Mar 31, 08 | 1:24 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Thanks Ted thanks for the links.

I did do a search using "tucked braces" in the search link. That gave me a choice of 100 posts to sift through. Maybe I'm getting a bit lazy or you've got a better handle on the search link ;)

Folks consider this one dead.

Mar 31, 08 | 3:45 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
This is an older method. It is a case of preference. I can tell you that Martin stopped it . The bridge plate is a removable or scarafitial and will be taken out at some point. Using a butt joint makes this an easier task.
Todays glues are stronger than the glues of the past. It is kind of overkill but you are the builder and you control what happens. The best joinery advise is keep the joints tight and allow the glue to fill any void .
have fun and enjoy the adventure
john

Mar 31, 08 | 3:47 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
PS- I'm also getting very forgetful as I actually posted to the second link back in Dec 06 on this very topic. Must be the medication. Still I read adamant views on this on the UMGF where guys buying very expensive custom order guitars would not settle for less.

Maybe aspiring luthiers here will come up against clients with the same views in the future.

Mar 31, 08 | 3:58 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
It seems to me that a huge part of guitar construction is "lore" rather than fact. I've told the story here of the hambone -- everybody wondered why the end of the bone was cut off before cooking the ham -- when they finally got to a family member old enough to remember why, it turned out it was just because their only big pot still needed the bone cut off to hold the ham.

Maybe tucking or butting, with the exception of the bridge plate, is like that. Stewmac recommends it, and Don MacRostie there is an "old school" builder.

So many builders say that hot hide glue is so much superior to modern glues -- and they had it long long ago -- so if that's the case, modern glues are no better, so why did they "have to" tuck things?

On the fretboard extension, tucking the upper X and the shoulder brace make sense, to help the neck joint resist any rotational force from string tension -- but tucking the finger braces and tone bars into the X braces hardly seems necessary to me.

There seems to be a lot of hambone reasoning in guitar building. :-)

Bill

Mar 31, 08 | 5:46 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I have an article on glues, somewhere, I will have to scan it and post it or try to get it in PDF format, it was a comparison between HHG, Titebond, Gorilla Glue, Elmers glue, and epoxy. Very surprising results in some cases, expected results in others. The end result was, however, that Titebond 3 outperformed every glue in every category, and luthiers have determined that titebond original outperferms titebond 3 because of coldcreeping issues. They also rated it best glue for ease of use, clamping, and accessability. I'll find it soon, and post it probably against one of the other glue discussions.

Mar 31, 08 | 6:03 am
jeremy3220

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 242
Other than this thread everything I've read says HHG glue is stronger than the wood itself but I have no experience with it myself.

Mar 31, 08 | 6:43 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
HHG is a good glue but a pain to use. Most glues when used correctly are stronger than the wood. Even elmers is . What is most important is the joining technique. A poor joint will not work well no matter what glue you use.
john hall

Mar 31, 08 | 8:45 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
I think the point to be taken here is that, if HHG is superior when used correctly to the other when they are used correctly, then the story that "modern glues are better so you don't have to tuck braces" is without merit. The point is (I think) somebody convinced several others that tucking was necessary, and it caught on in some places. When you think about it, tucking isn't going to hurt anything (except as John said above, with the bridge plate which you might want to pull out someday). Regarding the sound of the guitar, tucking of the lower ends of the X braces and/or tone bars might actually tighten up the guitar top -- which would benefit the trebles and midrange, but would take away from the bass.

Bill

Mar 31, 08 | 8:52 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
From my understanding of glued joints, the strength of the joint comes from the relationship between a close fitting joint and the adequate surface area needed to form the glueline combined with the strength of the glue being used.

In this case, obviously Titebond needs a close fitting butt joint. I'm no expert on HHG and have only used it in high school woodwork classes, but if I remember rightly it was impressed upon me that HHG needs a very flush fitting joint with maximum surface area. I would imagine that when HHG was industry standard, tucked joints were an integral part of this process. That's not to say that Titebond doesn't need a close fitting joint.

The thing I find funny is when I read posts on other forums that HHG has some sort of "sonic mojo" that is unattainable with Titebond.


Mar 31, 08 | 1:33 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Yeah, that is funny. Maybe it also depends on what animal the hide came from ... Maybe that's why there are Wolf Notes.
(...sorry...)


Mar 31, 08 | 2:49 pm



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