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-   -   Sexauer/'17 (chapter 1) (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454830)

Nemoman 03-28-2017 09:21 AM

Initially, I was not enamored with the looks of Pernambuco.

But after watching your build threads of guitars where you've used it, I've really come around. You've built some incredible instruments with it over the years--I hope I get to try one of your Pernambuco guitars in the future.

That is a beautiful specimen of tonewood, Bruce!

iim7V7IM7 03-28-2017 11:26 AM

Forgetting Pernambuco's color (which I happen to really like), it is AMAZING tonally and sounds like no other tonewood that I have experienced. In Bruce's hands, it has a clarity to its timbre, but adds perfectly balanced supportive overtones throughout all registers. Below is the L00 Bruce made for me back in '014 before and after finishing.

http://i1238.photobucket.com/albums/...ps97f0hato.jpg

jmat 03-28-2017 06:04 PM

I like the look of that Pernambuco…
 
… and will confess to being the one who picked it out with Bruce.

I had a short trip out to the Bay Area and had a half day where I was able to come up to the workshop. It was fun to talk to Bruce, play his instruments and see his various toys. We have overlapping interests in a few of life’s cubbyholes including guitars and human powered bikes. I am sure I would share Bruce’s interest in internal combustion engine powered bikes and that is why I don’t ride them.

Being the erudite craftsman that he is Bruce can doubtless describe the tap of the top as if you were there yourself. I will simply offer: that was one resonate piece of wood.

Needless to say: I will be following this thread ;)

printer2 03-28-2017 06:20 PM

I have liked the look of Pernambuco the first time I saw it. From the look of the set you picked out, dare I say it, it looks Master Grade to me.

Bruce Sexauer 03-29-2017 08:26 PM

I liked pernambuco before I'd ever seen it, just because everything I knew about it screamed "Great Tonewood". It took me 3 years to find my first set, which I have not yet used, and then it started coming as fast as I could afford it. The stuff is expensive; over twice the cost to me of BRW for the best stuff like I am using here.

Here are some shots of today's position on the current build:

http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/backstrip.jpg

http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/backstrip2.jpg

http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/rosette1.jpg

I draw my bracing uniquely for each instrument, w/o patterns or templates. The idea it that I allow myself faster growth by promoting intuitive progress with each recreation. It is what I call the "art process", and I am very glad I threw myself off this particular precipice low those many years ago (about 20).
http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/bracingpattern.jpg

StillStephen 03-30-2017 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer (Post 5287136)
I draw my bracing uniquely for each instrument, w/o patterns or templates. The idea it that I allow myself faster growth by promoting intuitive progress with each recreation. It is what I call the "art process", and I am very glad I threw myself off this particular precipice low those many years ago (about 20).
http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/bracingpattern.jpg

I find this very interesting. I would have assumed that for a given size/shape, that one would strive for repeatability in the placement and then "tune" by the bracing itself. So how do you decide the pattern? Is it based on the tapping results of the soundboard or some other intuitive factor? Do you know if other luthiers follow this? Thanks.

Bruce Sexauer 03-30-2017 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillStephen (Post 5287513)
I find this very interesting. I would have assumed that for a given size/shape, that one would strive for repeatability in the placement and then "tune" by the bracing itself. So how do you decide the pattern? Is it based on the tapping results of the soundboard or some other intuitive factor? Do you know if other luthiers follow this? Thanks.

I am not into repeatability, I am into incremental improvement. Repeatability is essential for the factory approach, I seek mastery and that is the other end of the spectrum.

I choose to believe that my understanding of the functional performance of a guitar educates my eye by appearing to be beautiful (form follows function), and that I can manipulate and improve a guitars performance by increasing its subjective aesthetics (function follows form). I gave myself over to this approach to mastery many years ago, and have been harvesting the fruit ever since.

I have never heard of another guitar luthier approaching the work from the same angle as intentionally as I do, but I believe many handbuilders incorporate this kind of "tool", whether they know it or not. My first conscious move in this direction was when I read about Violin luthier Guarneri del Gesu's use of paper templates. He reportedly said he used paper because they wore out after several uses requiring him to to recreate the templates on a regular basis and therefore rethink his designs. I consider him, or his myth, to be my ongoing inspiration.

ZorroElite 03-30-2017 10:16 AM

Myth or not... I love that idea/story of using paper templates to force ongoing recreation and avoid stagnation.

StillStephen 03-30-2017 03:54 PM

Very insightful - thanks.

Bruce Sexauer 03-30-2017 07:31 PM

I wanted to send this pic to Jmat, but email's been down all day so I'm posting it here.

http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/1sttier.jpg

The brace stock started out 11/16" high, which it is still close to the X and in the middle of the upper transverse, but it is now 7/16 at the peak south of the scallop, and 7/32" at the depth of the scallop. I measured the work rather than working to the measurements. I intend the top itself to be slightly sturdier than my last 000, which was the one I made for Schoenberg to take to the Santa Barbara event last October, but the braces are intended to be slightly looser. My goal is a similarly sensitive guitar, but with a bit more solidity, or "wood", or focus; not sure of the words, but I know what I'm after. I may take another swipe out of the scallop.

Bruce Sexauer 03-31-2017 08:06 PM

Here is my all but completed top for the new 000 pernambuco. The un-finished brace is glued in, and is 11/16" tall, which can give some perspective for the rest if any of you are inclined to think about it.
http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/3rdtier2.jpg

Another perspective, if not as sharp:
http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/267P/3rdtier1.jpg

jmat 04-01-2017 09:23 AM

Hi Bruce - congealing nicely from the bits of wood we tapped a prodded!

- John

TEK 04-01-2017 09:35 AM

Looking great as usual Bruce.
If you don't mind sharing, When you are shaping your braces, do you go totally by feel on flexing or do you shoot for a certain deflection. This is one of the parts of building that I struggle with. Knowing just how far I can take the main braces down without going too far.
Travis

Bruce Sexauer 04-01-2017 09:52 AM

I brace in three tiers, and shape each tier before moving on to the next. If I feel I went a little too far, there is some recovery available in the next tier. At each stage I remove enough material from the braces to "free" the top. I doubt I could verbally quantify what I mean by that, though possibly I could demonstrate it if you were observing. Still, it is fifty years of experience speaking to you, and there may not be a short cut.

If you missed my explanation of "the top as a membrane", this is a good time to pick it up.

Bruce Sexauer 04-02-2017 07:24 PM

All the finish is on the Uke, and I have test fit the tuners. Having decided to stay with my "old" camera, it makes sense to me to more seriously explore its capabilities. These two pictures were shot using aperture priority and tweaking the focus by eye, a feature I had suspected existed, but only now found out where it is hidden. I hope to show improvement in my photog skills in short order.

http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/AcaciaUke/tuners3.jpg

These are Gotoh's 4-1 planetary Uke tuners. The binding, the headplate, and the fingerboard are Bocote'.
http://mojoluthier.com/LP17/AcaciaUke/tuners2.jpg


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