You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to


Wooden Go-Bars ala Kinkead?
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Wooden Go-bars seem easy enough to make with material I have on Hand. However, I see everyone using the fiberglass versions. Has anyone used wooden go-bars similar to what is shown in the Kinkead manual?.

I checked the book from the library and have since returned it.. Does someone have the book that could give me dimensions to the wooden go-bars?
John Butler

Oct 18, 06 | 10:04 am

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 81
John, while I am sure that the wood bars work fine, the dimensions would depend on the wood species. But understand that wood simply won't bend like fiberglass and apply the same force over a wide range of arcs.

I bought fiberglass spars from the kite company "Into the Wind" in Boulder, CO. They come in four foot sections which you cut in half. You also buy the end cap pieces. This is really cheap and you can cut the fiberglass easily with a hacksaw to make your own fiberglass 2 foot bars.

Folks use the fiberglass rods because they have a greater range of usefulness and the end pieces really grab onto whatever you are clamping without slipping or damaging your workpiece. Wood bars simply don't come close to the same effectiveness or ability to bend as fiberglass. Give it a shot.

Steve Courtright

Oct 20, 06 | 6:44 am
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Thanks Steve for your input!! From the lack of response I assumed no-one has tried it or it may have been an inappropriate or uninteresting inquiry.. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I would prefer to use what everyone else is comfortable with so I may just go ahead and order the fiberglass rods.. Just thought I would at least inquire about the wooden version as it is fairly easy for me to cut wood and I wouldn't need to wait for shipping, etc.

Thanks again..

Oct 20, 06 | 10:41 am
Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 651
John, I found the same kind of fiberglass rods at a local Tap Plastics store. Check your local phone book to see if one is nearby and you could save some shipping costs. The one's I found were six feet long, so I got three Go-Bars from each rod. If I remember correctly they were 3/16" diameter.

I did end up having to order the plastic end caps from Into The Wind, though, as no one had them locally.

Oct 20, 06 | 12:31 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
One big problem with the wooden sticks is that eventually they break and the strength of them vary. Fiberglass is consistent. I used to use Fglass but went with the vacuum systems for my own building.
I carry the vinyl ends and the Fglass rod. I can get them in varrying lengths. If you use off the shelf stock from Home depot Etc use a 24 inch thread all rod ( 1/2 by 13 thread ) 1/2 PVC plastic pipe as spreaders for the top and base , this will let you with about 22 inch clearance and a 24 inch Fglass rod 3/16 will give you about an 8-9 lb force.
Good luck and let me know if I can help
john hall
Blues Creek Guitars

Oct 20, 06 | 1:10 pm

Total Topics: 19
Total Posts: 244
I don't want to cut into John's sales...but I can buy fiberglass rods 4' long at my local hardware store. They are sold as driveway markers. I think you could also find some small tips to cover the ends in the chair tip area.
Or you can buy them from John and KNOW they will perform as desired!

Oct 21, 06 | 7:03 pm

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 44
Are the rods solid or tubing? Steve, do you have a product number from Into the Wind.

Oct 22, 06 | 1:29 pm

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
I used wooden dowels cut to matching lengths. Worked great for me. All are arched now so their strength deteriates. But the se worked great for the top and back.

Oct 22, 06 | 5:00 pm

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 81
Peter, go to the FG rods are item #421. The caps are #4603 for the 1/8" solid fiberglass rods.

I just glued braces onto my top from John Hall this weekend in my home made go-bar deck with bowls from Tracy. The rods and caps even sat perfectly onto the very narrow and peaked X-Brace members without skidding. I am sold on this clamping method. What I like in particular, is that the FG is so narrow, that I could concentrate 5 of them at the juncture of the X-Brace, all within a square inch to ensure that the brace was in contact with the top all along this part of the brace/top joint. I can put more rods clustered together where I want more force because the rods are so narrow. Highly recommended.

Oct 23, 06 | 6:44 am
Luthier Suppliers

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 68
I have used wooden dowels before too. However, they lose their strength too fast. The fiberglass is the way to go. The thickness of the rod depends on how tall your go-bar deck is. Mine is 36" tall and can be adjusted up or down. I cut the rods when the deck in in a lower position, then when I glue the top or back on I can still use the same rods by just lifting the top of the go bar deck. I can even slant the top to glue on the back at a slant. I think I used 3/16" rods, but not 100% sure. Another great tip is to staple a piece of carpet to the top underside of your deck. This way the rods will stay in place when contacting the top.

Steve, glad you like the dishes! Happy Building!

Jan 03, 07 | 8:08 am

You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum