It's been said that the best sound comes from the instrument that’s on the verge of collapse. To put it another way, the art of stringed instrument building is a balancing act between providing structural integrity and allowing the front and back panels to vibrate freely. A small box is inherently stiffer than a larger box, so the bracing in this guitar will be intentionally minimal to get the most pleasing sound out of it. The bracing pattern I chose is similar to a design by Ettienne LaPrevotte from a guitar he made in Paris, ca. 1835. LaPrevotte participated in numerous international competitions to improve the sound of his guitars. Here is a picture during the build of a modern copy of a LaPrevotte by Ian Watchorn.
Tacoma was a modern-day company known for innovations, such as non-traditional sound hole locations and minimal bracing patterns. The bracing in some Tacoma models resembles the design by LaPrevotte. In the Tacoma bracing below, two relatively deep main structural members run in the long direction of the guitar with a transverse member notched into the main members. A small bridge plate sits just in front of the bridge plate and between the two longitudinal members.
Borrowing elements from LaPrevotte and Tacoma, the Flat Top Tele will have an H-shaped bracing pattern and an oval-shaped sound hole. Here are scaled drawings of the final bracing and top panel layouts.