After the top was thickness planed, I cut out the basic shape about an 1/8th of an inch oversized using the rim as a guide. I used a paper template to line up and center the sound holes and draw out where the bracing would go.
Cutting the Soundholes
I drilled a hole and then rough cut the sound holes with a coping saw. I did the final shaping and smothing of the holes with files.
Notching the Bracing
I cut the bracing from the larger spruce bar meant for guitar bracing and then fit the two braces together. I fit the bars length to fit within the outline of the kerfed lining. Usually the bracing would run all the way to the sides, but that didn't seem to practical with this design due to its size.
Glueing on the Braces
I glued the bracing to the top while uncarved and very oversized. I did the glue up on a thick board (happens to be the planing sled form earlier) to ensure a flat top.
Carving the Braces
This little fingerplane was very helpful for carving the braces. I could easily take them down quickly or remove small amounts of material for precise shaping.
Here is the finished top. To complete the bracing, I rounded over the edges. The finished height is somewhere around 3/8ths of an inch in the middle, and less than a 1/16th of an inch at the tips.