Tonight I put linings in the first side of the guitar. I do this differently than anybody else I know: I use bent wood strips, instead of saw-kerfed linings like the big makers. The big names all use those notchey cut-through strips and it’s what everybody else does too.

Above: strips readied.

I don’t. I bend a slat of wood on the bender (or use a side that cracked, so it isn’t wasted), cut it into strips on the bandsaw, and then glue them in. I’m sure somebody somewhere must do it also — there is nothing that hasn’t been tried in luthiery — but so far I haven’t encountered any guitars but mine that do it. The only really tricky part is getting the slats the exact right length– it’s harder than you might think.

The only reason I can think that other people don’t do it that way is because bending wood is always a dicey process.

 

Above: the strips dry fitted.

The result looks great (I think), and I can state of a certainty that the guitar winds up with more longitudinal rigidity than a guitar with saw-kerfed linings. I have had 2 side by side , one body with kerfed linings and one with bent linings, and the bent lining guitar body deflects a lot less in compression. Since I want to prevent as many different types of stresses from affecting the top/sound board, this is valuable.  I don’t want the top under compression OR tension when it’s strung up. I just want it to vibrate up and down at the bridge, like the membrane of a reflex speaker moves at the magnet.

I sometimes alternate the colors on the linings (dark with light sides, light with dark sides) and it looks awesome. On this guitar, everything inside will be walnut.

 

Above: glued up. Tomorrow I’ll flip it over and put the linings in the other side.

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