Workshop: Long Bracing Overhaul

I've been working on this consignor's 1890s Washburn little bit by little bit. I'm going to finally string it up tomorrow so I figured I'd share the most interesting part of the repair work: fixing the absolutely wrecked bracing. The above shot is what the inside looked like after I removed the back.

What greeted me was no less than 4 non-original bridgeplate additions, glued-up canvas attempting to hold down all of the loose bracing (every brace was loose and poorly reglued), a top that was bellied almost 1/2" at the bridge, lots of cracks, and a mess of kerfing that'd come loose and was rattling-around inside.

I mean -- ugh. I pulled everything and then lightly-sanded the interior to remove all of the built-up gunk before repairing split braces and then regluing the whole lot...

Above is a shot of it after -- with a super-thin (1/64") birch-ply veneer helping to shore-up the very-damaged bridge plate area (the top was cut paper-thin, to boot) and lots of cleats and additional patches to cover similarly-damaged areas. I forgot to take a shot of the upper bout, where I added an additional heavy-duty ladder brace cut from tight-grain, 120-year-since-cut spruce.

The top is now essentially flat -- only the lightly-domed shape of the bracing gives it minor "deflection." This will get strung-up with nylon and I'm assuming it will sound pretty similar to the 1840s Martin that was in here recently and had a similar cut, materials, and bracing.


Phillips said…
Nice work Jake
.always better to fix those braces
With the back off..😉