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Old 11-23-2022, 09:36 AM
kbinde2 kbinde2 is offline
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Default Black Walnut Bracing

I have a "000" style build in progress, and am considering using Black Walnut (from a previous project) for the bracing wood. A conventional X-bracing configuration, with a maple bridge pin backing plate. The top wood is spruce..Are there any structural or tonal concerns that more experienced builders would voice on my bracing wood selection.? Thanks.. kb
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Old 11-23-2022, 09:51 AM
redir redir is offline
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Both structural and tonal imho. I have used Black Walnut for back braces before but Spruce because of it's strength to weight ratio is preferable on the top of the guitar. A top that is as light as possible yet built strong enough to just barely handle the string tension is ideal. Walnut is heavy and will impede the top from doing its job.

Having said that the Larson Brothers back in the 1920's were making laminated bracing out of spruce and rosewood. So nothing is really 'wrong' when making a guitar but if you want it to sound like a traditional guitar then it's best to stick with traditional practices.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:49 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Beard made the braces on their Decophonic flat top guitars from mahogany - but they use a completely different shape for the braces (standard X patter though as far as I can remember). The braces themselves were like I beams with holes drilled through them.

The guitars had spruce tops with birch b/s and sounded fantastic. But didn't sell well because they were not "traditional".
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Old 11-23-2022, 01:44 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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Bracing accounts for far less of the weight than the top itself does, but I'd still avoid using a wood as dense as walnut for top bracing. Most hardwoods (and walnut for sure) tend to have a Young's modulus similar to spruce. To get the same stiffness the brace has to be about the same size, but walnut is around twice as dense. You're going from bracing that weighs about 30% as much as the top plate to more like 60%.
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Old 11-23-2022, 02:05 PM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Save the black walnut for head plates or binding and spend $5 or $10 on spruce bracewood.
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Old 11-24-2022, 11:55 AM
kbinde2 kbinde2 is offline
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I do have the spruce billets to finish to brace configuration, just wanted to get thoughts on the walnut. Thanks for the helpful information in your replies, and glad to have found AGF.! kb
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Old 11-24-2022, 08:39 PM
Rogerblair Rogerblair is offline
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Another thought…I have a Guild with Sitka over Adirondack braces. The combination on this guitar is fantastic!

Rb
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Old 11-26-2022, 10:54 AM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
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Having worked with Walnut over the years. There’s several species. Black, Claro’ and probably a few others. I don’t feel the grain structure of walnut would be a good choice as a brace wood! It would likely be prone to fracture under stress. Nothing beats quality Seasoned Spruce for instrument brace material. Laminated with spruce it would be fine, but no real reason to go that route. Walnut is my favorite headstock overlay wood. It’s also great for B&S. Best! Sage
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Old 11-26-2022, 12:31 PM
kbinde2 kbinde2 is offline
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I was fortunate to get two 1"x12"x10' rough sawn black walnut from a friend, who's grandfather (furniture maker) had passed away. After resawing for B/S sets, those taken to an Amish friend, for thickness sanding. I have material for a few acoustics, but had posed the question.. more to not waste the walnut I had acquired, but to explore alternate species for acoustic "parts".
Your comments and suggestions not only help me, but may aid others with similar questions.. Thanks, kb
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Old 11-26-2022, 01:55 PM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbinde2 View Post
I was fortunate to get two 1"x12"x10' rough sawn black walnut from a friend, who's grandfather (furniture maker) had passed away. After resawing for B/S sets, those taken to an Amish friend, for thickness sanding. I have material for a few acoustics,kb
I made my first guitar and my granddaughters uke from black walnut as well as a laminated neck and a Les Paul Jr. It is a lovely wood to work with, bend, look at and listen to.
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