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Thread: Rebracing top on my Guild JF30

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Bend, Oregon
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    Default Rebracing top on my Guild JF30

    Hello fellow sinistrals,

    Some of you know I shaved the braces on my Westerly Guild jf30. It was my only decent guitar I'd ever had and I liked it a lot......until I got some Santa Cruz's. Then I started to think it was overbraced. Lo and behold it was definitely over-braced (see below). It basically looked like 2x4's glued in there. And there was 3 tone bars, a more common pattern for a 12 string. I wonder if it was originally meant to be a 12 string?????

    Being the risk taker I am, I started shaving braces. Theres an entire AGF thread about it if interested. It started sounding so much better and I learned so much in the process but ultimately took the braces too far to where the low end was a bit flabby. No one really thought it sounded that bad and even Preston T. thought it still sounded ok. But it was very woofy. I saw an AGF thread by Brian Howard on removing back and re-bracing and thus, now having quite a few more skills, decided to redo this thing.


    Guild JF30 westerly by samvanlan, on Flickr

    Here is a shot before shaving braces (I'd actually removed a bit from the x-braces by this pic).....



    And here's a shot when I got it sounding better. I just thought I could make it sound even mo better.



    So now I'll document the re-brace...........
    Last edited by Sam Van; 09-12-2016 at 02:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    OK, so to remove back, turns out its not that hard.

    Remove binding, use heated spatula and separate back from kerfing through the sound hole.

    NOTE: The backs on these are unbraced 4 ply maple laminates. Very thick!

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr
    Last edited by Sam Van; 09-12-2016 at 01:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    As you can see, by the time I was finished shaving braces, it was under-braced. Oops!

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    So then I started removing braces with steam and a hot spatula. Note the not so great joinery of this factory guitar, and how big the bridge plate is. Further indication that this may have been destined for 12 strings.....

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr

    Guild jf30 rebrace by Sam Van, on Flickr

  5. #5
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    Jan 2013
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    Bend, Oregon
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    OK, heres a shot of the top with most of the braces removed. I'll clean this up and potentially thin top depending on how thick the Sitka is...

    Oh and look at that back! It looks good but guess how much it weighs? 1.4 lbs!!!! A back I just built out of white oak with traditional Martin style bracing weighed 0.6 lbs.

    Jf30 by Sam Van, on Flickr

    Jf30 by Sam Van, on Flickr

  6. #6
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    Although the old back is still in great shape and it would be a much easier job just to pop it back on, I am quite confident a braced back will sound much better than the laminate. And way lighter. I think this is what I'll use:

    Untitled by Sam Van, on Flickr

  7. #7

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    Wow! Thanks for the pictures of the process completed so far. You're channeling your inner Frank Ford. Very informative.

  8. #8

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    I love reading (and looking) at threads like this. Thanks!

    I've owned a JF30 and wondered why it was so heavy. Now I know. It did sound amazing though.

    slightly off topic:
    I wonder what an all-oak guitar would sound like? Oak is really hard like mahogany, so it might work. And it's easy to find super-wide boards, especially in New England. I imagine it would be hard to cross-cut or whatever it's called.
    Last edited by elasticman; 09-12-2016 at 08:55 AM.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elasticman View Post
    I love reading (and looking) at threads like this. Thanks!

    I've owned a JF30 and wondered why it was so heavy. Now I know. It did sound amazing though.

    slightly off topic:
    I wonder what an all-oak guitar would sound like? Oak is really hard like mahogany, so it might work. And it's easy to find super-wide boards, especially in New England. I imagine it would be hard to cross-cut or whatever it's called.
    Here's a Larrivee with Silver Oak body. I like the sound, but have never played an oak guitar. I've got two sets of pin oak from otterhound set aside for a right and left hand build with my friend Skip. He builds a lot, although mostly mandolins (Skip Kelley Mandolins). He has contact with a lot of builders, and he says he's heard and played several oak guitars, and liked them. I've also got a set of white oak stashed away


    By the way, Skip said oak tended to crack, so maybe that's why it isn't used much. It could just be that it's a readily available domestic wood, and sort of plain looking compared to Rosewood and many of the other tropical hardwoods, and has just been ignored. I suspect individual luthiers will be increasingly trying different woods as the traditional woods availability continues to decrease while the prices skyrocket and gov't restrictions on it increase. Black Locust is another domestic wood I've read good things about.
    Last edited by Mark the Magnificent!; 09-12-2016 at 12:01 PM.

  10. Default

    Sam,

    I like where it's headed! I envy you your obvious talent at it. My endeavors thus far are sort of why I haven't attempted more I wonder how long the bridge plate was cracked? It gives you an excuse to get a smaller one in there! It's sort of like street rodding for acoustic guitars!!

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