Planing Guitar Braces with Handmade Thumb Planes

In the long-ago land of my childhood we clearly understood the high desert country of southeastern Oregon as the actual world. The rest of creation was distant as news on the radio.

William Kittredge, Owning It All, 1987



This is a top that I made several years ago from Sitka spruce, originally it was braced entirely with old growth redwood, but I glued the bracing on when the wood moisture content was very high. That summer the top "potato chipped", I had to remove the "fan" bracing with a hand plane and glued on bars made from Douglas fir with fish glue. I took this photo this afternoon to show off the little thumb planes I made, whenever I show them to visitors to my shop they ask if they work. As you can see they do.

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