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How Many Go Bars?

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 57
How many Go bars does one need?

Mar 23, 10 | 2:56 pm

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
Here is an excellent tutorial at
It looks like Todd has quite a few on that back.
I have 24 set up and have more I could dremel in half as they came in 6' lengths.

Good luck

Mar 23, 10 | 5:08 pm

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I would say 16 -20 minimum. I wish I would have had 30 or more when glueing the top and back in the go-bar it sort of depends on what glue operations you plan to do in the deck.

Mar 30, 10 | 5:08 pm
Chuck D

Total Topics: 5
Total Posts: 18
I received a set of 15 from John Hall--and this has been adequate for me so far. I have glued braces to the top/back but not closed the box yet. If you wanted to glue all braces on at the same time you might want to do more. I did only a few at a time which meant that I didn't feel rushed and I got to the glue squeeze out while it was still easy to take care of.

When closing the box you could probably get by with 15 by using a clamping caul on top around the perimeter of the guitar body and spacing the go bars out evenly around the caul. I would guess the caul would need to be flexible or partly made of foam to conform to the radius shape of the top/back. Anyone try something similar?

I did a quick search for an example of this caul idea--found one about 1/4 down this page, where you see examples of the top and back being glued on using a caul:

Caul Example


Mar 31, 10 | 6:38 am

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Chuck D, pretty cool link. When I first became interested in building, I looked at dozens and dozens of blogs, tutorials, and sites of custom builders. I never found this one. But I do have to say....WTF??
Whats up with those big flat pieces of wood where the finger braces go? Interesting to say the least. I would imagine those really take away from the area available for sound production. I am no expert, but thats my humble opinion.

Mar 31, 10 | 7:23 am
Chuck D

Total Topics: 5
Total Posts: 18
Ha, I didn't notice the unusual "finger braces".

If you look inside the strung guitar with a mirror you'd see these braces and the bridge plate making a big smile with brass string ends and bridge pins for teeth. I feel pretty certain that is the reason.


Mar 31, 10 | 7:37 am

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
I had not thought of that Chuck. A smiley face inside of my guitar. Genius!! I just wrote a dedication to my son in my first one and something insulting to my younger brother in the second one since its a gift for him. A surprise gift. Cuz I am such a great brother.

Mar 31, 10 | 8:28 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I glue my backs and tops on in my go-bar deck using a caul like this. I use about 14 rods. I have fiberglass rods for glueing braces on, but they are 24" long, so I've used wood doweling for this purpose. This has not turned out well. The dowels tend to hold the bend they take, and loose pressure over some time, so I haven't gotten the clamping pressure I would like to have. I will purchase more fiberglass rods (but them to the length I need) for this, or, I will make a clamping caul like Kindade uses in his book, which I actually like the idea of better. If you haven't seen it, it is a cut out of like 1/4" plywood that covers the edge of the rim with about 2" overhang, and he screws it down into the top of the mold to clamp down on the joint. Nice too because you can clamp it, and then move the mold, rotate it to check the glue joint, and also clean up some of the squeeze out.


Mar 31, 10 | 9:34 am

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Ken Cierp uses what sounds like the same mold gluing technique. It has served me well for two guitars so far. And it is great because you can pick it up and hold it to the light to see if you have a good mating of the surfaces before actually gluing. The screws get in the way when cleaning up the squeeze out, but they just make it annoying to do. Plus, you don't have to worry about hitting the clamps and moving them. Its pretty quick too since you can use a cordless drill to get the screws started and a hand screw driver to do the final tightening. It is a very good method of clamping the top and back and more appealing to me than the other methods out there. Its part of his "Success Kit" package and one of the big reasons I bought from him as opposed to the other choices.

Mar 31, 10 | 9:58 am
Chuck D

Total Topics: 5
Total Posts: 18
Thanks for the advice, Kevin and Tony.

I designed my go-bar deck to have an adjustable top platform so I could raise/lower it to match my needs and still use the 24" go bar rods I have. I've been meaning to post about the design of my deck (basically borrowed several ideas I found online) and should do that soon.

I'll look to Kinkade or Ken Cierp's guides for caul design. . .both have great ideas.


Mar 31, 10 | 12:14 pm

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