Whew !, I spent most of the day working on the braces for these three tenors. Three tenors demand 24 braces and that means a lot of whittling, lots of detailed activity. I make my braces of Sitka Spruce. It must be quarter sawn so the grain goes vertical adding the most strength to the brace. They must be thin as you dare, light as possible. Here is how it goes.
Here are all of the required braces for three tenor ukuleles. I have run them through reduced them to 1/4 inch thickness, cut them to length, and now must shape them to the proper shape to add strength and support to the instrument but also provide the freedom to vibrate and bring sound. Took me most of the day. Here is what happened.
First of all , you want to use bracing with grain going vertical. This is not the finest grain spruce I am using but it shows pretty graphically how the grain wants to run in order to give maximum strength to those braces.
I was able to save a lot of whittling by using the band saw. This works well but there is still plenty of hand work ahead. the redwood scrap is used to provide a solid and level surface to saw on. The hole in the saw table is a bit too large.
Now it is time to whittle. I use an exacto knife with a carving blade. They are wonderfully sharp and do the job just right.
Once you have them all carved to the right shape, then the tone bars must be fitted over the walnut bridge brace. I do this with a very fine exacto saw to cut the deep cuts and then just carved out with the knife blade. Be sure that the groove is deep enough that the tone bars touch the top board freely.
Now you just add a bit of glue and head to the Go-bar deck to attach the braces.