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View Full Version : BracingL A look under the hood II



sequoia
10-11-2017, 07:25 PM
I think I enjoy bracing more than anything else on building an uke. I like cutting the little sticks and carving them in. I do not enjoy fretting and dressing frets. As a matter of fact, I can only put in about 10 frets before I have to go outside and hit myself on the head with a hammer for about 5 minutes. It feels so good when I go back to fretting.

Below are pictures of a classic fan bracing scheme with slight changes. Note the central fan is not tied off to the lower transverse brace and is mortised over the bridge patch. Also the the lateral fan braces are half mortised into the bridge patch and finally, the central brace has a patch under the south end to resist bridge rotation and the dreaded bulge and loss of intonation. The patented "Bite-Me" bracing system. Just Bite Me!

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Michael N.
10-11-2017, 09:07 PM
I've never done those 'pockets' that let the bridge patch into the outer braces. I've just butted them up against the edge of the patch.

sequoia
10-12-2017, 06:18 PM
I've never done those 'pockets' that let the bridge patch into the outer braces. I've just butted them up against the edge of the patch.

Yes Michael, that is the way I learned to do it too. However the more I looked at that little join, the weakness looked more and more obvious and that is not an insignificant joint. What I could see happening is that over the years as the instrument moves, dries out, the bridge rotates and the glue starts to really contract, that little butt joint could easy separate and the fans would no longer be in contact with the bridge patch which is the whole point of that design in my opinion. Worse, there could be buzzzz starting as the two pieces vibrate off each other wasting string energy. Butt joints like that are just inherently weak, so I now create a mortise and tenon join there which ain't going nowhere anytime ever. Biggest problem is that it takes time consuming detail work, but I don't mind. Time I got and I think it is well spent. Oh and it effectively more than doubles the surface area of the outer braces to the bridge patch which has to be a plus since we are trying to get the string energy into those outer braces so it can then vibrate the top. Just my thought. I have no idea if anybody else does this.