After glueing the sides to the back of the guitar body my next step was completing the bracing on the underside of the top. The X-bracing pattern is important not only for support but also for movement and flexibility. The top is really the key piece that determines the overall tone of the guitar. It will have a strong affect on sustain, volume, and balance. As you can see in the photo below, I carved scallops in the braces in an effort to remove excess material in key places to allow the top more flexibiliy without compromising the reinforcement that the braces provide. Scalloped bracing isn't found on all guitars, and it's one of the reasons that pre-war Martins are so popular.

After the braces are finished the top is glued to the sides and back, creating a box. You can now get a sense of the overall look and feel of the body, but it's still in a very rough form. The wedge and binding is installed next, followed by sanding and scraping to clean the wood up before the pore filler and finish is applied.