Recent evenings have been spent in the garage preparing the braces for the back. When I made the neck I kept the off-cuts for this purpose and I managed to have just enough scrap to complete the task. However, the off-cuts had some slight movement in them which made me somewhat nervous about their suitability. More so, it also made me wonder how well the neck is going hold up down the road. Time will tell.
First I cut the brace stock to proper length with my dovetail saw and miter box set-up. As one of the pieces was quite larger than the others, I ran that through the bandsaw first to get it close to the final dimension. Each brace was then attached to the bench with double side sticky tape and planed flat and straight to 6mm thickness.
Because I don't have a 'real' bench, I don't have the facilities to properly clamp down the braces as well as I would like to, and though I did get there in the end - sort off - it made these relatively thin pieces unnecessarily difficult to plane. As usual double sided sticky tape was called in to save the day (I thank the higher powers for double sided sticky tape!!) and with that, each brace was attached to the bench, butted up against a bench dog. Last they were jointed on the shooting board to a width of 15mm.
Once the brace blanks were done I scribed a 15' radius on each of them, using a template I made for this purpose and an ordinary scalpel, and planed the corresponding curve on the bottom with my block plane.
In Bogdanovich' book he suggests to profile the braces before gluing them onto the plates. This, he states, naturally cuts down on the amount of carving needed once they are on and thus limits the potential damage to the plates that might occur during the process. I don't know either way, but I it somehow appealed to me, and this was the way I did.
I approached the 'carving' the same way I did when I carved the heel for the neck - with bevels. The good thing about bevels is that you can quite easily monitor you progress by holding the work up to a light-source so it reveals each bevel very clearly as the light falls upon them. I planed two primary bevels on both sides of each brace and once they were as even and symmetrical as I could get them, I evened the profile out with secondary bevels.
In retrospect it proved to be more difficult to achieve a consistent and symmetrical outcome than I had anticipated. Again, it was hard to secure the work to the bench, in particularly when it came to do the second side, and double sided sticky tape only goes on and off a few times before it has to be replaced.
If I were to do this again I also think I would do the bevels in three stages instead of two: First, one primary bevel, then two secondary bevels and a third and pass smoothing it all out. But, so far so good.