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I am thinking about doing a Martin or Gibson bracing on this as a project for fun. Any suggestions on which to choose? Also, were these made in Chicago by Regal?

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ok so I am getting my game plan ready. I am planning on using as much of the old brace wood as i can. It looks pretty ok. I think all I am gonna have to cut new are the X braces and the bridge plate. Did you guys use the old brace wood? If so, how did you use it? Just curious.

I didn't bother trying to save the old wood. It wasn't particularly well quartered stuff and most of the braces split during the removal process. I just bought some adirondack brace stock from LMI for under $10.

David, check your Private Messages... Thanks!

I am having trouble finding your message... davidedwardhelmer@gmail.com

I would go 30's Gibson L-00!  I suppose you're going to have to modify whatever pattern you use to take into account the location of the bridge.

Thanks for all the input everyone. I am also toying with a Larson style bracing too. I have the bracewood en route now. I am pretty pumped about this!!!! So many bracing options....

Take your time with this, David. Re-bracing a top is a bit difference than bracing it without the sides in the way. You're going to be working in a hole so getting thing measured and marked is more challenging. Make ABSOLUTELY sure of your positioning before you start gluing. It's a bummer to have to remove and replace bracing that turns out to be out of place and too short to move.  I keep harping on it but positioning of the bridge is critical, particularly if you are going to use an X brace. 

You haven't said or shown us. Do you have a neck and fingerboard for this guitar? Don't forget to get your scale length involved in your calculations.

Yep Yep. You are absolutely right on the button with all of that. I was little full of zeal last week. haha You know how it goes when you get a new project... I still need to remove old braces and calculate bridge location using the scale length. From there I will figure out how to lay out the X pattern. I will upload neck pics soon. I am sure I will post progress and get more tips from all of you. This is a really great place!!!!!!!

I completely understand the zeal, David. I have a couple of projects waiting in the wings that it just kill me to have to leave alone but I HAVE to finish what I have started before starting anything else. Taking my time is one of the hardest thing for me.

Hi Edward: That definitely looks like a Chicago maker.  Even though it is in pieces, it appears to be in great condition for it's age.  I have re braced a few parlor guitars with excellent results, but there is a catch to doing this.  You will lose a sound quality that many players are looking for especially blues guys.  It is a hollow boxy sound with an almost reverb like quality built in.  So it's a trade off.  My personal advice would be to leave it original, remember to use lower tension strings, and build a close replica that you can X brace.  My fourteen year old daughter has been writing songs for a while using my newer guitars, and recently unearthed a ladder braced relic from the 30's.  It is her go to guitar because as she says, "it has the soul that the others are missing", and it's just right!  Hope that helps.

Ed K  

I'll pile on with Ed here - I reset the neck on a ladder-braced regal a few months back, and my friends went ape over the guitar. So many of these are grossly underset that they never have a chance to produce any real tone - the saddles are at their minimum, and the top just doesn't get much movement. Resetting the neck and getting a nice tall saddle really seems to make these guitars come alive and get that sound that Edward is talking about, with plenty of projection.

You can do the x-brace thing, but I can't help thinking that, instead of a ladder-brace sound, you will have an imitation of a mediocre Martin sound, and you can always just get a mediocre Martin for that!

My 2 cents...

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