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Eureka! (Go bar content)
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 338

I built my own go bar deck out of plywood and cheap hardware. When I put my go bars (wooden dowels) into it, I get good clamping pressure on the first one, and then when I put the second one in, the first one often falls down. I put a couple of lifting weights on top of it, and that helps, but not a whole lot.

So my set up has been rather rickety and hasn't been ideal or suitable. I've been trying to figure out another way.

I'm an idiot for not noticing this before, but my work bench is in the basement of our house. The first floor of our house has a steel I beam running thru it, and the I beam is directly above my work bench. Last night I measured the distance between the top of my dish and the beam, and it's 35".

Today I ripped a few dozen 36" long strips from a single 8' long 2"x2" SPF piece. It was 98 cents at Menards. The pieces are about 1/4" by 3/4".

Cheap and effective...just the way I like it!

Mar 01, 10 | 9:46 am

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Martin, how thick was the plywood on top? How stiff was the bottom?
I've never used a go bar deck, but I'd bet with 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood, it would be plenty stiff to keep your bars in place.

Mar 01, 10 | 12:08 pm
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Yeah, I thought so too, but for whatever reason it isn't working. I like the 3' rather than 2' long go bars. It's a little easier to work with.

Here's pics of the old setup:

Mar 01, 10 | 12:24 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I am not great fan of go bar decks but I do have some experience --- yes a tall deck is much more user friendly, you want to make it "very sturdy" with a top board that "will not flex" here's why --- the bars excert more pressure than you may realize so "if the top can flex" as you add bars the tension on the previous bars loose tension and clamping force, the more bars the more chance of movement --- believe me the frustration of finding that the braces moved twenty minutes after you thought you were done is bad enough.


Kenneth Michel Gutiars est. 1978

Mar 01, 10 | 1:13 pm

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 41
When I built my go bar deck, I added cross-braces of 1X2 inch red oak to the top and bottom 3/4 inch ply. It seems to work well, however I'm using fiberglass rods.

Mar 01, 10 | 1:31 pm
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Adding that oak piece is a great idea!

Here's what my new setup looks like.

I can't get enough of those popsicle sticks. Use em for dang near everything.

Mar 01, 10 | 8:06 pm

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Looks good Martin!
For those who don't have "I" beams handy, this seems to be a pretty good trouble free design...the addition of 1/2" or 3/4" pipe at the corners, the swivel and the use of "Pipe clamps" is leaps and bounds ahead of other designs such as those from Stew-Mac and LMI.
The cost is a bit more, but it makes an otherwise questionable, shaky device... USEABLE! :)

May 05, 10 | 1:50 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I will add that your L bracket is your weak link . If you placed your L bracket to the out side , it will be stronger. You are relying screws to hold this together and that is the weak link.
If you place your L bracket on the top , the L bracket becomes part of the structure and will make the unit stronger. That way under tension your L bracket will carry the load and not the fastener.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

May 05, 10 | 2:55 am

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
I use bamboo garden stakes they work great, if anybody see's any this spring give them a try. Natures strongest bending stick.

May 05, 10 | 4:21 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
hi John,
I am no longer using the deck with L brackets. that was the point of the thread. I discovered a better way by ditching the deck and using 36" long bars ripped from spruce, going directly from my bench to the beam in the ceiling.

May 05, 10 | 5:59 am

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 57
How thick and wide did you cut your sticks?

May 05, 10 | 8:23 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
1/4" x 3/4"

works great!

May 05, 10 | 8:29 am

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