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Old 12-15-2016, 08:11 AM
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iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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Default BRUCE SEXAUER: FT-0-C (German Spruce/Brazilian Rosewood)

The "fun" should begin after New Year’s and the actual build will be chronicled by Bruce no doubt in a “Sexauer/’17” thread that will likely journal all of his work next year. I will provide a link in this thread once he puts a new thread up next year. (Jan 2, 2017 update, here is the link: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=454830). I will use this thread to review it, record it etc. once it gets delivered next year.

I had the unusual pleasure to visit Bruce’s workshop on December 10th. I had visited his shop once before to see the space and sample some of his fine guitars. I have twice commissioned custom instruments with Bruce before and I am absolutely delighted with both guitars. But this time, aside from a social visit, I was there to select top, body and side wood sets in person for an upcoming commission vs. remotely working with Bruce.

For this commission, Bruce is making me a "custom" 12-fret single 0 style guitar. Using Bruce's guitar model nomenclature the guitar will be a FT-0-C or a Flat Top (FT), 12-fret - 13-1/2" lower bout width (0) with a cutaway (C). It will incorporate traditional Nazareth influenced aesthetics but with a number of custom "twists" to suit my personal playing preferences. The traditional elements being incorporated into the guitar are the trapezoid slot head headstock and the Style 42esque decorations. The non-conventional design features to suit my playing needs are the cutaway for upper fret board access, a slight wedge for comfort (single 0s are deeper), a longer scale for added power, a slightly smaller sound hole to adjust for the additional surface area of a sound port to enhance my listening experience while retaining the bass response.

After discussing my playing style and sonic goals for the instrument, Bruce selected about a dozen Adirondack, German and Italian spruce from a shelf containing >100 top sets. We laid them out on his workbench and looked at the sets aesthetically for grain and medulary, felt their weight, flexed them to evaluate their cross grain stiffness, carefully assessed their end grain orientation to see how on quarter the sets were and tapped and listened to them. A conservatively graded AA/AAA German Spruce set from Martin Guhl that he purchased about 5-years ago stood out from the rest. My Bigleaf Maple/German Spruce JZ/2-15-C (http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=382788) by Bruce using this top wood and it is fantastic!

Next, we went into Bruce's Brazilian Rosewood wood locker to go through about >50 back and side sets. It smelled wonderful! We went through them all (what fun!) and found 8-9 sets that were aesthetically possibilities. Some were the wavy stump wood variety but quartersawn and other sets were more traditional straight-grained sourced as part of the “stump wood project” about 15-years ago. It was interesting to feel the differences in their density when handling them and hear the profound distinctions in their tap tone. We also scraped off the wax from both ends of the sets to carefully examine how close on quarter the sets were and if they were twisted. There was one particular quartersawn, flitch matched, back and side set that really "spoke to me" so we ended up choosing that one. It is one of the nicer sets that I have ever handled.

I think when you see the picture below, you will see what attracted me to it...



In this photo, Bruce has skimmed one side of the set below and applied some shellac to the piece on the left to indicate what the set might look more like a bit more under finish.



Here are the preliminary specifications that Bruce is working to.

DIMENSIONS:
Body Length: 19-1/4"
Lower Bout: 13-1/2"
Upper Bout: 9-1/2"
Neck Depth: 3-3/8"
End Depth: 4-1/4"
Sound Hole Diameter: 3-1/2"
Sound Port: 5/8” x 2” ellipse
Nut Width: 1-3/4"
String Spacing: 2-5/16"
Scale Length: 25-3/8"
Fretboard Radius: 16"
Comments: Bruce’s single 0 bodies are about 1/8” longer than the Nazareth namesake. The scale length is longer for added power and the sound hole is slightly smaller in diameter to allow for some extra surface area opening for a sound port.

MATERIALS:
Top: German Spruce
Body: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck: Honduran Mahogany
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fretwire: Jescar EVO 43080
Bridge: Pyramid Bridge, Ebony
Nut and Saddle: Bone
Truss Rod: Single Action, Sound Hole Accessed
Comments: We used very traditional construction materials of premium quality.

DECORATION:
Rosette: Style 42, Abalone
Head Plate Veneer: Brazilian Rosewood
End Graft, Heel Plate, Body, Neck and Head Plate Binding: Cocobolo Sapwood
Backstrip: Style 45
Top Purfling: Style 42, Abalone
Body Purfling: Black/Maple/Black
Head Plate and Neck Purfling: Black/White
Head Plate Inlay: Abalone, Flower Pot
Position Markers: Abalone, Diamond and Squares Long Pattern
Comments: I have never been a big fan of ivoroid, albeit a very durable/practical material for edge protection so we have substituted Cocobolo sapwood which is more interesting in its character to me. We have incorporated some aspects of Style 42 (rosette, top purfling, neck and head plate binding/purfling and head plate inlay) but have kept simpler on the finger board position markers based on my personal preference.

FEATURES:
Cutaway: Venetian
Sound Port: Elliptical
Manzer Wedge: 5/16"
Headstock: Slot head, Birds Beak Construction
Comments: We are adding a cutaway to enhance my ability to access to the upper regions of the fret board. Bruce felt a sound port would enhance my playing experience being that 99% of the time I am playing for myself. Single 0 bodies despite being small in their lower bout width are actually somewhat deeper than their larger 00 and 000 cousins, so a subtle wedge adds to the player’s comfort. Lastly, Bruce want’s to employ the traditional two-piece birds beak construction to create the volute and attach the slot head headstock.

HARDWARE:
Tuners: Waverly 3 on a Plate Tuning Machines
Buttons: Cocobolo Sapwood
Bridge Pins: Cocobolo Sapwood with Abalone Dots
Pickguard: Tortoise, Teardrop Shaped
Strings: Phosphor Bronze, 0.012"-0.053/4"
Case: Visenut Classical Guitar Case, Black Pearl
Comments: We were able to have matching custom tuner buttons and bridge pins made by luthier Burton LeGeyt to replace the traditional Ivoroid ones, keeping in the theme of the rest of the guitar. We are going to try one of the new cases from Visenut that Bruce was impressed with at SBAIC (they are about 1/3rd lighter than a Hoffee case).
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Last edited by iim7V7IM7; 01-31-2017 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Spec. Change to Bridge
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:21 AM
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Congratulations on your new project! The BRW looks wonderful and with the German Spruce top you have a classic pair.

Mark
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:55 AM
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Thanks Mark...

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Congratulations on your new project! The BRW looks wonderful and with the German Spruce top you have a classic pair.

Mark
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:36 PM
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Beautiful Brazilian, holy cow...
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:42 PM
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Those lines are so straight they may never converge . . . speaking of straight lines. . .
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:10 AM
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My gosh Bob. Awesome project. And the woods and specs are fantastic. Thanks for having us along for the ride.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:39 AM
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Hey Mark, You did that the right way. I enjoyed it, and thank-you for sharing your experience. Tom
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kinnaird View Post
Beautiful Brazilian, holy cow...
That was my response when I saw it as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Those lines are so straight they may never converge . . . speaking of straight lines. . .
And the scraps should make a nice head plate veneer!

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Originally Posted by cigarfan View Post
My gosh Bob. Awesome project. And the woods and specs are fantastic. Thanks for having us along for the ride.
The woods are indeed beautiful, but the most important element is of course Bruce himself. After playing Bruce's Pear/German FT-0 during my visit (someone should grab that one!), I know it will be a fantastic guitar!
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:44 AM
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Wow. Will be following this thread.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:49 AM
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Wow. Will be following this thread.
That makes two of us...
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:02 AM
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This should make a terrific addition to an already distinguished collection
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:38 AM
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Bravo! Nice choice...I will enjoy following your thread. I own this Sexauer FT-0-13 and it is absolute perfection. I've had it for a year and still get a thrill every time I pick it up. Bruce is an extremely gifted artisan. http://www.sexauerluthier.com/FT-0-2009GuitarGal.html
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewyatt View Post
Bravo! Nice choice...I will enjoy following your thread. I own this Sexauer FT-0-13 and it is absolute perfection. I've had it for a year and still get a thrill every time I pick it up. Bruce is an extremely gifted artisan. http://www.sexauerluthier.com/FT-0-2009GuitarGal.html
Yes, Bruce's single 0 guitars are something quite special and they punch way beyond their weight. Aside from his general mastery of the craft, his use of extra body volume and a longer scale length differentiate these guitars from their Nazareth inspirations.

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This should make a terrific addition to an already distinguished collection
Thanks... I currently have 00, L00 and 000 sized guitars. Adding a 0 will be great!
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:36 PM
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Looks great Bob. I bet you can't wait to get this one in your lap.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:15 PM
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While I do look forward to its delivery and where it will take me musically; for now, just watching Bruce work from afar converting these exquisite natural materials into a profound instrument is exciting enough...

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Looks great Bob. I bet you can't wait to get this one in your lap.
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