Go bar deck alternatives?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by pypa, May 10, 2021.

  1. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I am making an acoustic guitar. All videos and tutorials seem to use a go bar deck to clamp things to the surface of the back and top.

    Is there anyone just using cauls and clamps to do this?

    It seems like it'd be easy to use a flexible caul on top of the radius dish to snug down the braces.

    The go bar deck seems like a giant jig that I won't have much use for after. It feels wasteful. But a million people can't be wrong.
     
  2. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    A go-bar deck usually can be repurposed easily. Break it down and use the parts...eventually.

    No matter what you do, the process requires pressure...and the flexibility of a go-deck trumps having to make a caul for every stick you need to glue down.
     
  3. P Bill

    P Bill Tele-Meister

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    I have the room for a big permanent one (25mm ply) in my shed but for a work-for-the-dole uke class I taught, we got by using the underside of my bench.


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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I just use deep c clamps. It takes longer to glue braces but I have the time. Braces get shaped after they are glued on. A couple of these and a couple regular ones gets the job done.

    8 in. Deep Throat U-Clamp (harborfreight.com)
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    As I told you in other discussion, I built my first few by clamping the top and back plates against curved cauls when gluing the braces on. When I switched to clamping against radius dishes I found that I didn't have enough deep clamps and it was pretty easy to put together a small go bar deck.

    IMG_4899.JPG

    I make up for not having a lot of go bars by putting little blocks on things I'm clamping - also helps spread out the pressure.

    Between building guitars I take it apart and store it in the attic of my garage/shop
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  6. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a 15 and 25 inch radius caul and clamp each brace separately. It takes more time, but works well. I made the cauls. You can’t see the caul, but you get the idea.
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  7. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I've seen lots of creative ways of getting around not having a dedicated go-bar deck :).

    Different types of tables used for either the "floor" or the "ceiling" of the deck.

    One guy used an end table that had a low shelf to it for his deck.

    Look around your place with a critical eye, I'll bet you already have something that will work ;).

    If you shop around a bit on the net you can find some good deals on the fiberglass rods too.

    .
     
  8. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for the tips. Freeman, some of your posts are so rich and anticipate future steps. I will be more diligent about reading back.

    So I looked around my shop with a critical eye and have a solution. I will use the bottom of my workbench and it’s lower shelf (about 20 inches) and a set of fiberglass tomato stakes that I can repurpose in 2 weeks for vegetables.
     
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  9. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you have overhead wall-hanging cabinets in your shop, place a workbench under them and you have an improvised go-bar fixture. Simple/cheap (but 100% effective) sticks are Fiberglas snow plow markers. Wear PPE when cutting them short.

    You can easily make a go-bar deck with two pieces of 24"x24" 3/4" ply, four pieces of 24" all-thread in 1/4-20, 16 matching nuts and 16 washers.

    This is the idea:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  10. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    I found some locals who also did one-offs or kit builds and had invested way too much money into tools. I offered to pay for the "rent" of clamps, but they were so nice that they kitted me out with a lot of 1-time tools.
     

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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is basically the idea of mine. I have piece of 1/2 EMT conduit over the all-thread - they determine the heigth of top plate. I used four pieces of 3/4 MDF, two top and two bottom but playwood would have been better. Its pretty dramatic how much clamping force those little fiber glass rods can apply - look at the the top of my deck

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  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Freeman, that is a great idea--putting the rigid conduit over the all-thread. Not only does it stiffen up the structure, it will also protect guitar wood from inadvertent scrapes on the all-thread as I'm bumbling around in my shop.

    I'm stealing that :cool:
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Steal away, I'm sure I did from someone else.
     
  14. P Bill

    P Bill Tele-Meister

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    The clamping force increase is incremental but consistent. Put in a new stick and the old ones start falling out. The top and bottom of this one are are beefed up a little, it still moves. Radius dishes and molds are stored in the deck when not in use.The dentil molding is purely decorative, I'm a cabinetmaker and can't help it. lol


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    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  15. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Here’s what I ended up doing. Thanks everyone for the help. The tomato stakes are working well.

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  16. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Wow, go bars exert some amazing clamping force. As I placed the 7th bar in place one would pop out. It kept happening until I realized that the force has raised the legs of my bench off the floor. The bench weighs about 150lbs.

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  17. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Glad that you found success :).

    It's really such a simple way of applying force, that it's a little bit deceptive as to how much force you can actually apply.

    You can easily apply force in spots that are otherwise a genuine pain in the hind end to clamp.

    For a more nuanced effect, you could try some 3/16" rods.

    I hesitated for way too long before trying this way of "clamping" because I thought it looked kind of unwieldy - I was wrong ;).

    .
     
  18. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I think the "GO BAR" is a hangover from the old days of the original violin builders of the day when the ability to melt and manufacture modern things that we now take for granted such as steel clamps, Bundaberg Rum and the internal combustion engine! (just getting in a plug for the local brew!;))

    I think that using the old methods pays homage to the ancient masters, but I myself have a ship load of steel clamps and no room for such things as a "GO BAR" assembly.

    DC
     
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