Dan Duffy's Corner

Dan, what is the history of “waffle” bracing?

1

Dan, I'm curious about the history of the so-called "waffle" bracing. First I ever saw it was in a Super Chet back in the late '70s or early '80s, and in a double cutaway Country Gentleman with open f-holes. I know that the current 6122-59 uses waffle bracing. When was that style bracing introduced? Was it with the first 6122s or some time later? Thanks.

2

My '92 7594B also has the waffle bracing.

3

I'm curious about the use of the waffle stuff too. I've never seen it in any of the 50s or 60s Gretsch guitars I've poked around in.

4

I thought waffle bracing came about with the Japanese reissue Gretsches and was not found on the original Brooklyn guitars.

But it's possible Baldwin used before then.

Very curious to see when and where waffle bracing was developed. It certainly does the job on my 59 and 62 RI Country Gents.

5

This is difficult. I don't remember this, My 1960 CC doesn't have it. I would ask the guys on this site to inspect their guitars and see what you come up with. Dan

6

Is there a photograph of waffle bracing readily available anywhere? I may be confusing this with kerfing.

7

Glue a few strips of kerfing side by side in an uh; Waffle Pattern, and ya pretty well got it!

I also seem to remember reading something about Masao Terada being a key player in the development and the Art of waffle bracing.

EDIT: But since I just did a search and couldn't find anything....

8

Wasn't waffle bracing staggered solid and not kerfed?

9

I definitely saw this type bracing in a Super Chet and in a Country Gentleman from the Baldwin era. Several possibilities occur to me: one, that Baldwin originated it and it was "resurrected" for some of the Terada-made models. Or, two, that it may have originated in the Country Gentleman model in the late '50s--Chet mentioned in an interview that he tried to get Gretsch to put a solid plank down the middle (like in the Gibson semi-solid model) but that they never could; he went on to say that, still, they were able to make a fairly solid guitar without it. I can't tell whether he was referring to the trestle bracing, or perhaps referring to an "improved bracing" that some sources have mentioned for the C.G. This especially since Paul Yandell tried to copy Chet's '59 model 6122 as closely as possible, resulting in the 6122-59 that has waffle bracing. Perhaps he knows something about the bracing that isn't obvious to the rest of us since it's hard to get a look inside the C.G. with no soundholes.

The waffle bracing I saw consisted of a solid piece of timber, perhaps 3/4 inch thick by 3 inches wide that had been kerfed both longitudinally and transversely at about 1 inch intervals all over, leaving only a thin solid section that was glued to the inside of the top. If memory serves (my notes are not handy at this moment) another such brace was glued to the back; there was a solid block right beneath the bridge connecting top to back--kind of like a big soundpost.

10

Good thing there's that access hole on the double cut 6120's. It's much easier to get butter and syrup in there!

11

If or when the archives become active again, someone posted photos showing the waffle stuff through the pickup routes of a 6122-59.


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