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 Post subject: Ladder Braced Guitars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:02 pm
Posts: 188
Hi All,

I am so happy with my Ladder braced Grand Concert Guitar, that I thought I would document the top here - it was based off 2 of my old vintage guitars: 1920's Oscar Schmidt built Galiano Grand Concert; 1925 Joseph Nettuno Grand Concert.

Here is my top:

Note that I added the sound hole braces as the originals do not have those. However, the old ladder braced guitars tended to cave in a bit at the sound hole. Details on the top taken from my vintage guitars:
- Braces are 7/16 wide, triangular carved. I start with braces at 3/4" tall, but carve them as I see fit based on feel. this is the grand concert model - little over 14.5" at lower bout. The majority of Oscar Schmidt guitars were concert sized, 13" across lower bout. If I was making one of those, i would use thinned braces. I do not own a concert guitar, so can not compare to the vintage models.
- Bridge Plate is spruce (.120"), with a hardwood small piece for the string ball ends. I think i used a mad rosewood cutoff I had from another guitar
- The Joseph Nettuno has the bridge plate going all the way across the guitar into the linings, where the Oscar Schmidt did not - I followed the Oscar Schmidt design here
- the top thickness - do not make the top too thin. the older guitars actually had thick tops, with just the 3 braces across, and bridge patch. i used red spruce here, which was used on the better guitars in the 20's by Oscar Schmidt (they also used birch topped guitars).I started at .125 on this one as the top is very stiff. Not sure what it ended up at, prob ~ .120. Vintage models were all over the place at top thickness, from .110 - .140 for 6 strings that i have seen. For 12 strings, Oscar Schmidt would often go .150-.160 (long scale, 26.5"), with very heavy strings (.070 - .012) tuned down several steps - usually to B or C)
- I added the popsicle brace, but kept it fairly thin.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5801
Location: Hegins, Pa
there are more than X braces. I did an LO with the H frame interesting sound more like the old blues guys. Thanks for posting

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans

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