The Brace Maker

A whole new concept in making top and back braces!! This jig is so simple, safe and fast to use, you will wonder how you did without it.

This design is based off of a jig created by John Mayes of We have taken this jig and made many wonderful enhancements to it to allow it to work faster and more accurate. This jig will allow you to radius your top AND back braces from one jig.

During testing of the prototype we were able to make a radiused brace for the top or back in less than 60 seconds, and we did it using a belt sander! With this jig, you can use a belt sander, a hand plane, a jointer, a table saw, or just sandpaper laid on a flat surface.

You probably wondered how guitar builders get perfectly radiused braces with such precision and quickness. Most use a jig designed to work on a router table. This is not always the safest method because of blow out and the danger of this machine. This jig will give you the alternative to have your friends or family help you make braces without the worry of losing a finger!

The Brace Maker

We start with 1/2" thick 13ply birch to make 3 rectangular pieces of wood. We sandwich all 3 pieces together and cut a radius down the middle of the jig on the top and bottom. This allows you to do your top and back braces at the same time by just flipping the jig over. The star knob and see-through plastic allows you to clamp the brace while you are able to see if contact is made in the center of the jig. As you unscrew the knob a spring allows the clamping mechanism to return to its original state. We then round the edges and finish it with a light coat of Lacquer.

With this jig you can radius braces that have a maximum width of 1/2", and a minimum with of 1/4". We also put big letters on the front of the jig to let you know what radius is on the top and which is on the bottom. We make this jig in ANY 2 radius sizes you want. Just put the 2 radii you need in the white box below when ordering.

To use it, just put your brace in the center slot and push it down with your finger, tighten the knob and sand, plane, table saw, or jointer it! In less than a minute, after releasing the knob, you will have a perfectly radiused brace. See directions below for more details.

Dimensions: 22" L x 3 1/4" H x 1 1/2" W

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Price: $67.00 (plus $10 shipping)

Usually ships in 2 business days

Shipping price is for the US 48 lower states, please contact me for a quote on shipping outside of this area

(When added to the cart, the price includes shipping)


Radius Sizes

To clear the radius box, right click over the box and select Undo

More Pictures:



--Star Knob and clamping mechanism

How to Use This Product

Video Instructions in Windows Media Player format (3:54 min, 14.4MB)


**This jig will not accommodate brace stock that is wider than ½(.50 inch) in size or a height of more than 1. When cutting your brace leave the height about 1/4 taller than necessary. This will give you plenty of extra room for putting the radius on the bottom of your brace.

1. Mark the center line on your brace.

2. Turn the black knob counter-clockwise to unscrew and loosen the plastic clamping mechanism.

3. Place your brace in the appropriate slot. One side is for the top radius and one side is for the back radius. If you are not getting enough clamping pressure to keep the brace in the slot, then put a dummy piece of wood in the opposite slot, and this will allow tighter clamping.

4. Line up the center line on your brace with the black knob.

5. Push down the middle of the brace with your hand until it makes full contact with the center radius board. You can view the contact through the plastic clamping mechanism. Turn the knob clockwise to tighten the brace in position.

6. At this point you will notice that the brace that is exposed has a slight concave arc to it. This is the radius that corresponds to the slot. The object is to make this exposed concave edge perfectly flat.

7. You can use a straight edge to draw a line across the top of the brace. If you are unsure if you will have enough brace height when you are finished, then remove the brace from the jig and measure the height from the line just drawn to the top of the brace. Make sure the height is acceptable. Place it back in the jig. You could also just use a pencil to make shade in the center of brace, and when these marks are gone, the brace is complete.

If you are using a table saw, then you may want to measure the distance from the edge of the jig that will ride against the fence to the middle of the brace. You then set the distance from the fence to the middle of the brace.

8. At this point, you can use a jointer, a belt sander, a small block plane, a table saw, or just sandpaper laid on a flat surface. Using a block plane, just plane down to the line as to create a flat surface removing the concave arc. When the concave arc is removed on the outside of the wood, when you release the knob, this flat surface will now have a radius.

Using a table saw, push the jig against the fence and make the cut. You will notice that this brace will be flat on this side.

To use a Jointer, just hold it against the fence and slide through until it is flat.

9. Release the knob by turning it counter-clockwise. At this point you will have a radius made in the top of the brace(the area that was outside of the jig). If need be, you can always touch up the brace in one of our radius dishes with sandpaper in it. You can also use one of our Contour Radius Gauges to check for the correct radius.


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