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Back Joint Reinforcement Strip and Back Bracing
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Post
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Any opinions on the correct procedure for installing the back joint reinforcement strip?.. I have seen several ways..

On Bill Cory's tuturials, I see him just installing the back Braces with no joint reinforcent.

On another site, I see the back reinforcement strip being applied, then the reinforcemnt strips are cut out where the braces go, then the back braces are glued on.

On another site I see the back reinforcemnt strip being glued, then the back braces notched to fit over the reinforcement strip.

It seems like it would be easiest to install the back braces similar to Bill's method, then cut the reinforcement strips to fit in between the braces.

Any advice on which method is best would be appreciated. Thanks
John Butler

Oct 24, 06 | 7:52 pm
mbbransc

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
Just like you've noticed... it's a matter of preferrence. I'm sure people could give you a reason why they do it the way they do, but I don't think there is a scientific reason for doing it one way versus another.

I cut my back reinforement strip into pieces and fit them between my back braces.

Oct 25, 06 | 8:33 am
SteveCourtright

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 81
I have heard arguments for both ways, and I don't think it matters in the end if you can do accurate work and your back is carefully joined.

First: I will reinforce the back first as I am worried that bending the back to receive the arched braces might cause the back to separate at the joint from the bending strain. It should not happen IF you have done a proper job of joining the plates.

Second: It is easier to mark the exact width of the brace on the reinforcement strip, with the strip in place, with a marking knife or x-acto knife than accurately measure the distance between braces and cut the strip to fit. In other words, it is a lot more work, imo to fit the reinforcement between the braces than mark the strip and form a notch to receive the brace. If you mark and remove, the joint will be perfect.

Finally: If you put the braces into a notch, the reinforcement strip will function to hold the brace in place exactly while it is clamped and the glue dries.

Just my thoughts!

Oct 25, 06 | 9:35 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi John -- I've done it all three ways. I usually do it with back braces first, then cut the center brace to fit between them. On a couple recently I've left the center strip off, and on one I put a center strip from the tail block to he nearest brace, and the neck block to the nearest brace, and none in between (though I haven't finished that one yet and still might put in center braces; it's Brazilian RW and I'm not sure I trust it without the center strip).

I think, if the back is thick, the strip might not be as necessary. I've seen a number of factory guitars without a center strip, so I'm testing the waters.

Also -- remember, I'm a novice. Fewer than ten guitars, but getting close!

Bill

Oct 25, 06 | 10:35 am
SteveCourtright

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 81
Bill,

BRW! I am sure you know there are no or very few old BRW guitars which have not cracked somewhere! I would definitely go with reinforcement, both for the back and especially for the rim, unless it is a laminate where it probably won't be critical.

When you put the center strip reinforcement in last, Bill, how do you put on a rounded profile to the top of the strip? Do you chamfer and/or round each piece before you install? Or do you leave it square? I can't imagine that the shaping matters a lot, but it looks nice if it has a bit of a profile I think.

Steve Courtright

Oct 25, 06 | 10:56 am
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
I'd have to agree that the order is kind of a personal thing. I put the strip down first so that I could bevel and round the edges easily. It also turned out to be easier as Steve has suggested to mark the removal sections of the strip for the braces. I think what ever sequence you are comfortable with is the ticket.

Oct 25, 06 | 2:55 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Steve -- Yeah, I've pretty much decided to put in the center strip on the BRW.

To answer the shaping question -- I take a whole strip of material and round it off, etc., and then I measure, cut and glue each length.

Oct 26, 06 | 7:09 am
John B

Total Topics: 15
Total Posts: 76
Thanks everyone for the input! I think all of the input is valid and each method has its purpose. For me, I don't have an adequate chisel yet so I decided it was easiest (for me anyway) to install the braces first and then install the strips in between the braces. So far this has worked out without any problems.

I'm having fun!
John

Oct 28, 06 | 8:31 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
John--

Having fun doing this is rule number one in my book!

--Jim

Oct 29, 06 | 4:18 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I do the cross brace and shape it on the back , then I use a razor blade to cut the cross grain. You locate the brace and use the blades as a chisel on both sides of the brace , pop out the chip and you will have a nice tight fitting joint
john

Oct 29, 06 | 6:44 pm
BarryO

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 58
Something I noticed from Clapton's Guitar is that Wayne Henderson slightly 'cheats' the center strip to the 'bass side' of the back, such then when you look at it it is not in dead center alignment with the neck! He does a lot of other interesting things which all seem to point to why his axes are so well balanced. Anyone ever tried this. Oh when you look at the back of the guitar it is not offset - so it is strictly the center strip which is offset.

Barry

Nov 13, 06 | 3:35 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hi Barry -- One of the things Henderson does that I copied was to make a modified "V" neck shape with the peak of the "V" toward the bass side; it's very comfortable so far, but I haven't finished the guitar so I haven't played it that way yet. I think it's going to be pretty nice once I get used to it, but I think I might have made the peak a little too high.

Bill

Nov 13, 06 | 7:26 am
BarryO

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 58
You're right Bill -he does a lot of neat little things - even his bridge is weighted meaning a bit longer on the treble side...I think all these things obviously contribute to a well-balanced guitar. I also think he has a true gift from God since he has no real formal education on guitar building - although few of the greats ever do!

Barry

Nov 13, 06 | 9:14 am
Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 651
I once owned an MTD Heir 5 bass that had an asymetric neck profile. In cross section it was somewhat teardrop shaped, with the thicker portion on the bass side of the neck. This would be pretty similar to Henderson's offset V design.

It took a little getting used to the feel, but once acclimated it was a very comfortable neck to play. The thicker bass side tended to keep my thumb near the center of the neck and made the reach around the treble side a little easier (this bass also has a wider-than-normal neck).

Nov 13, 06 | 2:38 pm



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