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Old 04-29-2013, 01:13 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Default Sexauer's guitars for HGF/13

There was a thread a while back asking what was in the pipe for the Healdsburg Guitar Festival and since there were still 7 months till the event at that point, I couldn't answer. We are getting to where it's time to act, so I am stepping up to the plate.

Schoenberg has commissioned one of mine for his table, and I have joined the plates and cut out the templates, though it is not the one I am building first. His model is known by him as a "Standard", but by me as an ES-000-C. It will be a Mahogany and Italian Spruce 000-30 with a cutaway. Style 30 means it will have an Abalone ring in the rosette and the binding will have a half-herringbone for which I will use what amounts to half of Eric's normal back strip. The Mahogany is going to be what I call Marohogany, which is because it comes from my friend Maro Buenostro's father's Rancho in Mexico where it was for many years the top step leading in the front door. Maro's dad was also a supplier of Brazilain rosewood to the lutherie industry in general, and Martin Guitars in particular, at least until 1968. The top is from Rivolta in Italy, and is one of the last remaining pieces from a stash of 45 tops Eric and I bought together in year 2000.

The guitar I am actually making right now is called an FT-15.5-Kerala. FT means Flat Top, 15.5 is inches at the widest point, and Kerala means 13 frets to the body. I have made several of this general configuration now and like it so well that I want to feature it at the show. This one will be truly quarter sawn Pernambuco back and sides with a noce Adirondack top. It will have a cutaway, but will likely be simply appointed in an effort to keep the cost down to a dull roar. Perhaps I will get carried away since there is no customer standing ready at this point.

I imaging there will be a third guitar as well. If so, I am currently leaning toward a single "0" (FT-0 "Companion") from Brazilian not unlike the one featured in the April issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. I am almost done with a very similar guitar made for one of my most frequent customers, and if it comes out even 90% as well as the first such, I'll just have to do another.

Here is the current 0 with half of the finish on:










I do not intend to make this a build thread, but I will look after pictures to some extent.
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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 07-17-2013 at 12:28 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:26 PM
pgilmor pgilmor is offline
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Very nice as always, Bruce. Just curious, if you are going to use a cutaway, why choose 13 frets as opposed to 12 or 14? I only ask because I enjoy 13 fret guitars because they allow great access to the 12th fret without needing a cutaway. Obviously the c/w would allow better access to the higher frets, but why not a 12 fret in that case?
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:16 PM
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I'm really looking forward to seeing you and your guitars at "the Healdsburg" again, Bruce. Your work is always inspiring.
If I may pitch in my two cents-- I am also an enthusiastic proponent of the thirteen-frets-to-the-body configuration. Every one I've made so far has brought me good luck.
And there's something beautifully proportional about the entire guitar when you build them this way.
I think thirteen-fretters are going to become a 21st century tradition.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:28 PM
geordie geordie is offline
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nice biy o' spruce Bruce, ok whats the secret - just how sharp it your cutter for the rosette circles ?
what do use to get it that clean
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:36 PM
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I may or may not be the sharpest cutter in the drawer, but I cut full depth in one shot and go really slow. 360 takes about a minute. If there is ANY doubt about the sharpness of the cutter (55 thou spun by a dremel in a Bishop Cochrane base) I put in a new one.

I find it easier to criticize the tonal balance in either a 12 fretter or a 14 fretter, and for opposite reasons, than in a 13 fretter, on average. About a third of my recent work, including my personal guitar, are 13 fretters. And as Cm7sus5 says, they just look right on steel strings.
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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 07-17-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:44 PM
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I glued the sides to the blocks on the Pernambuco Kerala 15.5 this morning. As many of you know, I eschew molds in favor of relaxed guitars and easy design variation. Some will say that symmetry is difficult to achieve w/o a mold, and there must be some truth it I suppose, but check out this shape and notice how little effort the clamps need to hold the sides in place! I really like this particular design.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:32 AM
needspeed needspeed is offline
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I was in San Jose early this week which allowed me to stop by and meet Bruce in person. What a great time had by all. One of the most engaging days I have had in a long time.

It is so cool to see where my guitar was made and what Bruce has in the works.

The O that he is working on is fantastic to look at and having played one of his O's, it is uncanny how big and balanced such a small guitar can sound.

I was thinking dred or mini dred next, but I got to get me an O from Bruce. They are that good. And Bruce's work literally speaks for itself.........Steve
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Kwasnycia: 2012 K-45 Coco/Sitka
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Razo 2013 #14 African BW/Sinker like #7 but not

Considering
Sexauer D45 Style Dred in BRW/TBD Traugott TBD - Olson TBD - So many others TBD
  #8  
Old 05-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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I closed the Pernambuco Kerala today, so I might be able to show you the body tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Companion is buffed and the neck assembled to the body. The fingerboard is prepared for the inlay, and it's time to go remind myself of what the customer has spec'd, 5 birds in the "short diamond" configuration, I hope.

Here are some tasty colors for you:













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Old 05-09-2013, 06:04 PM
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Here's the state of the 15.5 Kerala this afternoon:



Two minutes later:
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:52 AM
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Ahh, Bruce, that little 0 is really sweet. Very much look forward to seeing that!

Steve
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:45 PM
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I have been cutting these same birds, more or less, for almost 40 years now, and it amazes me how I continue to find new life in them. The little one are free-handed over a generic shape to keep them in the same size ballpark. They are about 5/16" wingspan.

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Old 05-10-2013, 05:17 PM
Leftyprs Leftyprs is offline
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Bruce, absolutely beautiful work on these guitars! I'll share a picture of my Sexauer birds, which I think are great! It's pretty amazing to me how each guitar w/ the birds share a common theme, while each having their own uniqueness! Keep up the great work!

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  #13  
Old 05-10-2013, 05:32 PM
needspeed needspeed is offline
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I love my birds to!!!!!!!

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Kwasnycia: 2012 K-45 Coco/Sitka
Gibson: 2012 Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty"
Sexauer 2013 JB-16 Pernambuco/Italian Spruce

On the work bench:
Razo 2013 #14 African BW/Sinker like #7 but not

Considering
Sexauer D45 Style Dred in BRW/TBD Traugott TBD - Olson TBD - So many others TBD
  #14  
Old 05-10-2013, 07:10 PM
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Thanks, guys!!!

Looks like I'll string the companion tomorrow!

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  #15  
Old 05-13-2013, 02:38 PM
Leftyprs Leftyprs is offline
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Nice Braz on the Companion! Doesn't get much better than that these days, or any other days!!!
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