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Thread: Bracing (or lack thereof) question

  1. #1
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    Default Bracing (or lack thereof) question

    Did the Larson brothers ever build mandolins with no bracing? Did anyone, other than Orville, use this build technique?

    Phil

  2. #2
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bracing (or lack thereof) question

    The only carved instruments the Larsons made were the violin bodied mandolins and mandolas they made for William Stahl. They had quite an idiosyncratic approach to carving the soundboard and backs with no recurve and quite steep arching. I was not able to get a good look (or feel) inside the couple I have seen to offer any information about bracing, but there would not have been much. The idea of carving a soundboard without bracing has been discussed here a few times over the years. I think the general consensus is that you could make a soundboard without bracing that would work, but that by using parallel or X bracing a lot more control can be had over the soundboard stiffness, which is what you are trying to achieve anyway.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Registered User Bill Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bracing (or lack thereof) question

    The "The Loar" LM 700 has no bracing.
    Bill Snyder

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    Default Re: Bracing (or lack thereof) question

    Quote Originally Posted by goaty76 View Post
    Did the Larson brothers ever build mandolins with no bracing? Did anyone, other than Orville, use this build technique?

    Phil
    I have a Stahl, Violin shaped Mando.

    From what I can see there are 2 braces. One runs across about half an inch behind the centre of the sound hole. The other runs off it at 90 degrees, parallel to and a bit out side of the E strings, to about where the bridge sits. These a very small light braces, probably less than a third of the size of a Gibson oval hole cross brace. I'm not certain that they are original. Unfortunately, I can't find my small torch, but I am pretty sure that is all they have. The top is very thin and light also. They are a historically interesting Mandolin. A bit fragile and not necessarily the best sounding.

    I think Paul Ruppa, knows quite a bit about these Violin shaped Stahls.

    There is a carved top Mandocello in the Cafe Classifieds right now in California. It has had work done on it, but maybe some more light could be shed by the owner.

    I also have a "Smurf" shaped Stahl Mandolin, the same shape as the 'Cello. It has a canted top, not a carved top as the 'Cello is described as having. The 'Cello was made for Bruno and, I think at an earlier time than my "Smurf" was.

    I hope this has been of some help.

    All the best
    Alex

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