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30's L0 Top Xbrace Replacement


jedzep

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I think they have to be hand made. If you are a skilled luthier, you may be able to find the specs on the internet somewhere. Certainly the best thing to do is to have them replaced by a seasoned professional -- there are a number out there. It won't be too cheap, but in terms of the value of the instrument, it will be worth it.

 

If you give your location, this forum can probably point you at some candidates.

 

Good luck,

 

-Tom

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I would agree with getting a luthier to do the work.... Neck, Finger board have to be removed, the top has to be popped.. Not the back.. those X braces have to be tucked in with the purfing around the inner edge.. I popped a top off a 70s J200 along time ago... got rid of the thin , narrow Double X brace. Replaced with a Single X, New purfing around the inner edge of the sides. Reset the Neck and attatched. set the Bridge into place... didnt turn out that bad for a first attempt.. I wouldnt do it again though...

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There are a couple of places that sell bracing kits but I am guessing they would not fit that guitar. On an el cheapo guitar which I am just goofing around with I have made the braces myself. I replaced all the top bracing on a 1930s Regal a few years back and while it was a royal pain in the butt it did work out fine. But that was an all-birch Regal. In the one instance when I really wanted it done well I did have my repair guy do it.

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I would agree with getting a luthier to do the work.... Neck, Finger board have to be removed, the top has to be popped.. Not the back.. those X braces have to be tucked in with the purfing around the inner edge..

 

 

This was not always the case with 1920s and 1930s Gibsons. The bracing on the early L-1, 1930s jumbos and others did not tuck under the kerfing in pockets. The thought was that this allowed for more top vibration. Gibson later changed this and built them so the ends of all the braces were tucked into pockets probably to strentghen the top.

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This was not always the case with 1920s and 1930s Gibsons. The bracing on the early L-1, 1930s jumbos and others did not tuck under the kerfing in pockets. The thought was that this allowed for more top vibration. Gibson later changed this and built them so the ends of all the braces were tucked into pockets probably to strentghen the top.

 

Thanks! As painful as it is to look inside, I dropped a mirror in the belly of the beast and the kerfing is indeed notched to allow the tip of the bracing to slip into it. It still seems like something I can do from the back, rather than go through the hassle of taking off the top. It's no longer a museum piece, and with the tone so sweet, apparently it can still fight through the 'modifications' to sound nice. Sure I wouldn't notice if a shortcut or two was taken.

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I would agree with getting a luthier to do the work.... Neck, Finger board have to be removed, the top has to be popped.. Not the back.. those X braces have to be tucked in with the purfing around the inner edge.. I popped a top off a 70s J200 along time ago... got rid of the thin , narrow Double X brace. Replaced with a Single X, New purfing around the inner edge of the sides. Reset the Neck and attatched. set the Bridge into place... didnt turn out that bad for a first attempt.. I wouldnt do it again though...

 

Thanks for the heads-up. The kerfing is notched out to accomodate the brace end, so it can be slipped under the way other orig braces are placed. Can you elaborate on why you feel the this can't be done from the back?

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Thanks for the heads-up. The kerfing is notched out to accomodate the brace end, so it can be slipped under the way other orig braces are placed. Can you elaborate on why you feel the this can't be done from the back?

 

 

It depends on how far you want it to slip under the kerfing. If you want it to go to the edge of the soundboard--which may not be necessary--you couldn't do that without removing the top or a chunk of kerfing.

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You might want to check over at UMGF. A while back they started putting together a Martin and Gibson bracing directory. Not sure how far they got but it is worth a shot. If nothing else you might get some solid advice as there are some guys over there who know more about vintage Gibsons than I could ever hope to absorb into my noggin.

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I'll do that, z, and thanks for the lead. I'm trying to locate my AWOL luthier, who I hear has been let go due to a shortage of repair work coming into my local 'mom and pop' music shop. He was going to do the brace work AND reset the neck for $600 a year ago. Now he seems to have gone Kaczynski on me. I should have jumped on it then. He has done many expert underpriced repairs on my old acoustics over the years and I now have to shop the unknown. Steve Kovacik is nearby but his prices are steep for me. He's given me plenty of free advice though, so maybe I owe him.

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  • 6 months later...

Probably no one still tuning in to this topic, however I'm giddy to find out my luthier has put my little geetar back up on the bench. The neck is off, and he has some nice spruce replacement bracing pieces that he's going to shave and feather to improve the tone. He'll flatten the belly, after popping the top. It already has a nice demur BRwood bridgeplate, probably partly responsible for it keeping a good tone despite the 'carpentry' underneath, and once it's rebraced I think I'll have a gem.

 

I'm going to leave him a point & shoot camera and ask him to record the progress. You'll laugh, or cry, when you see the crap that was glued to that top.

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