Holy Braces, Batman!

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.
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Doug Shaker
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Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Doug Shaker »

I notice that Kevin Ryan has taken an old bike-racing trick - drilling holes in components to lighten them - and applied it to top bracing:
http://www.ryanguitars.com/Innovations/ ... -more.html
Has anyone else tried this? How did it work for you?
-Doug Shaker

Michael Lewis
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Michael Lewis »

Well, I'm not going to say it doesn't work, but there are a LOT of guitars that have sparkling tone and no holes in their braces.

I would think that if the purpose is to make the braces as light as possible they would incorporate some CF composite and less wood, and form beams or trusses composed of triangles.

Doug Shaker
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Doug Shaker »

I agree, but the two approaches - carbon reinforced triangle cross-sections and holes in the body of the brace - aren't mutually exclusive.
-Doug Shaker

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G.S. Monroe
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by G.S. Monroe »

Well, from an architectural background and viewpoint, the old way of building floors and ceilings involved solid beams for support, and current methods have moved towards triangular joists and "H" beams. I can see where the advantages can be weight wise. Properly built a guitar with such bracing is far more involved to build though. I've been experimenting with architectural style bracing, using materials found in the model railroad hobby. Some of the pre formed structural items that are used to make HO scale train trusses and bridges are surprisingly light weight and stiff. Especially the die cut bass wood joists.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I've experimented with cutting small scallops on the fan braces and then gluing the scalloped side to the soundboard, which then forms the top member of the "beam". I did it not so much to lighten the structure as to provide an easy way to tune the top by cutting through the scallops to loosen up the top in selected areas.
Since wood isn't equally strong in all directions I think Ryan's bracings might prove problematic if not reinforced with C F or made like plywood.

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Waddy Thomson
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Waddy Thomson »

Kevin readily admits that he doesn't make changes on his instruments unless it has a "Wow" factor. I'd bet the braces are for the "Wow"!

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Here's something I did on a small-bodied, terz classical I'm building for my daughter.
Braces REDUCED.jpg
I'll be honest: I did this for fun. The harmonic bars are 3/16" Doug Fir, laminated with a piece of maple veneer in the center, and a maple veneer cap. Holes were drilled and sandpaper was wrapped around a dowel to sand the subtle 'I' shape. I have no allusions that this is saving weight or imparting any "wow." I probably saved as much weight in the holes as I gained in the glue lines. That being said, these braces are VERY stiff, and even tinkly-brittle-sounding when tapped or dropped. These are on a very light WRC top, and my goal was to achieve no deflection from the waist up. This instrument will hopefully be finished this summer.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Alan Carruth »

I have to wonder if the game is worth the candle.

In the first place, most of the mass of the system is in the top rather than the braces. I think it would be difficult to drill out more than about 10% of the brace, and if they amount to 30% of the total weight of the top, that's only a saving of 3%. Drilling out the braces also restricts how much you can reduce their height, which is the most effective means of 'tuning' the response of the top. From an acoustic standpoint, then, it's hard to see it as much of a benefit. Structurally those holes have to be pretty smooth if they are not to be stress risers in what should be a highly stressed member. If it's not highly stressed, then you should be reducing the size until it is to save weight! On the other hand, it does add 'wow'. He sells lots more guitars than I do, for more money, which brings in what's been called 'the American question': "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

Trevor Gore
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Trevor Gore »

Alan Carruth wrote:...which brings in what's been called 'the American question': "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"
Because you let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Alan Carruth wrote:
...which brings in what's been called 'the American question': "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

In order to sell the E(iei)O bracing you need to be able to sling the B.S. :lol:

Alan Carruth
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Re: Holy Braces, Batman!

Post by Alan Carruth »

Oh, I can sling the B.S. alright: just ask my English profs. The problem with that is that you have to be consistent about it: if you try to substitute horse or sheep stuff, the customers know. The only ways I know to be consistent with it are to either have a much better memory than I have, or else you have to really believe that what you're saying is true. Since I can do neither I have to stick with things I think I understand, subject, as always, to revision based on data. Yeah, it wrecks a pretty story, but I'm stuck with it.

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