Before the soundboard can be braced, A rosette needs to be inlaid and the soundhole
cut out. To create the channel I use a small router using a circle-cutting jig. The
rosette is made up of lengths of black/white/black purfling and a central strip of
walnut. Once the rosette is glued in place it is scraped flush with the rest of the
soundboard, and the soundhole is cut out.
Now the top back and soundboard can be braced. In order to increase strength and
improve tone the soundboard and back are gently arched. This is achieved by carefully
using a block plane to curve the bottom of the braces then gluing them onto the plates
in a curved dish. I use two dishes, one for the soundboard and one for the back,
each with a different curvature. I use a go- bar deck to glue the braces in place.
It is a very simple method, which does away with the need for clamps, instead it
relies on pressure from a piece of wood pushing down from a ceiling above.
Once the soundboard has been braced and all of the braces shaped, they can be scalloped.
This is a method of taking wood from parts of the braces to make them as small and
light as possible to bring out the tone of the soundboard further. It is important
not to remove too much wood, as this will weaken the guitar when the strings are
at their full tension. I take this part of the process especially slowly and carefully
and listen to the tap tone regularly, hearing it slowly drop and harmonics improve.
The customary signature on the inside of the soundboard.