The soundhole brace is made by cutting circles in fine cedar that are just a tiny bit larger than the sound hole itself. These will then be cut out to just fit between the lateral braces.
Now the sound hole is braced. The grain of the cedar goes across the grain of the spruce top, Now it is time to make the cross braces. Using spruce with grain that runs vertically through the brace I whittle and sand these to shape. Note that they are tapered carefully at the ends to allow for vibration of the soundboard to occur.
Now that all the braces are made I apply a little luthiers glue and put them in the "go-bar" frame to set. The thin dowels simply apply downward pressure like a clamp. Clever huh! Old luthier's trick I think.
The next morning the soundboard is finished. Now it is time to carve the walnut necks, always one of my favorite tasks.