Brune method of construction

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Rosewood
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Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:28 pm

I’ve seen in various sources that Brune builds his neck and bodies (including the binding and purfling stages) to completion in isolation before joining them. I’m intrigued as to the process of how he achieves this, and the supposed advantages.

Does anyone know he goes about this? I know he is contributes considerable material to GAL – maybe there is an article on this topic that I’ve missed.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:07 pm

Sometimes called plug in necks. I prefer them. Don't know what Brune uses but I guess it's either the dovetail or spline.
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Paul Micheletti
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:23 pm

Here you go. Marshall Brune demoed this process on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iXaR-86es4

Rosewood
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:10 am

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the video - that's very clear in showing how it's done.

He makes it look like a simple method, but, like everything, I'm guessing that's only once you've settled into the process and overcome all the gremlins. Has anybody got experience of building both this way and the typical Spanish heel in a solera process, so knows of the comparable advanatges/disadvantages?

I get the impression Brune has developed some processes that help turn over a higher volume of guitars, whilst still retaining that small shop attention to craft and detail.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:51 am

The Spanish heel has the advantage of the alignment and neck angle being built in. With plug in necks you usually have to fettle the joint until the alignment and neck angle is correct. Brune has obviously mechanised this aspect, at least to a certain extent. If you have the room for such jigs it obviously speeds up the process. It can be done with chisels and files though. The advantage of plug in necks becomes apparent much later on in the instruments life when the neck angle starts to be lost.
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Brian McCombs
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Brian McCombs » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:17 am

I've never seen a neck fitment done as such.
Nice tool.

Rosewood
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:33 am

I'm not building on any kind of professional scale, but I like trying different methodologies to see what suits me from both a design/sound perspective but also construction efficiency.

I didn't know much about this plug in neck method so wanted to know more. Having now seen the fundamentals it looks like it's a reasonable commitment that probably requires a more long term outlook than "I'll try it for my next guitar".

mqbernardo
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by mqbernardo » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:43 am

As Michael says, the biggest advantage of the Spanish method is that once you have your geometry (neck angle, action, top dome, etc.) figured out you are pretty much settled in as it allows reproducible results from them on. It´s also pretty easy to align the fingerboard between nut and saddle and to the soundhole. Nice method, actually.
The disadvantage, at least to me, is that it makes binding work cumbersome in the heel areas. Applying your finish of choice is also much easier if you do body and neck separated. Neck carving in the solera method is not as easy as carving it freely without the sides getting in the way, but you can pretty much get it close to completion before attaching the neck to the top so you get best of both worlds in that regard.
That´s what can remember without thinking to much into it.

gjo
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by gjo » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:04 pm

Paul Micheletti wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:23 pm
Here you go. Marshall Brune demoed this process on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iXaR-86es4
What a lovely method :bravo:

:merci: for posting this link

Rosewood
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:27 am

Are there any kind of existing plans/drawings for this contraption? Or is it too niche, so it’s more a case of watching the video and figuring out your own version?

printer2
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by printer2 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:57 pm

Just a long belt and a jig to hold the neck and body at the preferred angle. You could do the same thing with the box and neck in position and rather than the belt a sheet if sandpaper that you hold on either end and pull back and forth. Or the top of the sandpaper clamped to a spring and the bottom on a foot pedal that you step on to get the sandpaper to ride up and down. The important thing is to have the two lined up. From then it is just flossing, powered, manual, doesn't matter.
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Alan Carruth
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Alan Carruth » Thu May 03, 2018 2:43 pm

I've used and taught both methods, and each has advantages and drawbacks. The method of plugging in the neck is actually the older tradition, being used on practically all necked instruments once they gave up carving the whole body and neck from one piece. It requires some skill, sharp tools, and a bit of time, but allows for easy adjustment and repair down the road. In the newer 'solera' method you put in the time making the fixture, but you only have to do it once. After that all the necks will be properly aligned when you pull the guitars off the fixture so long as you're reasonably careful. Carving the heel, putting on the binding, and finishing are a bit harder. Beginning students usually find the solera easier, simply because they lack the tool chops and experience to do a good job of setting a neck and staying within tolerance. I find it hard to get them to take fine enough shavings, partly because they don't stop to sharpen the chisle as often as they should.

Brune's method gets around a lot of that. He has essentially embodied the neck angle feature of the solera in his sanding fixture. The 'floating' tenon is certainly strong enough.

It's also possible to make a removable neck on the solera. You simply make a neck block with the grain aligned with the neck wood, and the usual slipper foot, and plug the neck into it using whatever sort of joint suits your fancy. The trick is to use a removable spacer 2mm thick, or however thick you like to make the sides, when you fit and glue up the neck and block. Once that's assembled you go on with the solera method in the normal way. You do need to remember to cut away the top over the neck joint so that it can be removed later, of course. One advantage of this method is that the surfaces of the slot can be made really smooth, and the slot width exact. You can also 'size' the end grain surfaces of the neck and block that will be inside the slot before assembling the two, and scrape off the excess glue. Plugging in the sides is a real snap. If the neck block is laminated up of the same wood as the heel it's very hard to tell that it's a removable neck.
Last edited by Alan Carruth on Thu May 03, 2018 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Peter_T
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Peter_T » Thu May 03, 2018 8:56 pm

Rosewood wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:27 am
Are there any kind of existing plans/drawings for this contraption? Or is it too niche, so it’s more a case of watching the video and figuring out your own version?
Apologies for the vague answer, but I recall an article in GAL magazine written by Robert Ruck where he shares his process and tools. I believe he mentions that he and Brune co-evolved their techniques over many years.

GuitarsWeB
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri May 04, 2018 2:30 pm

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Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:07 pm
Sometimes called plug in necks. I prefer them. Don't know what Brune uses but I guess it's either the dovetail or spline.
I think, he uses a double mortise and spline. Oribe uses this. David Schramm on HIS on models has used it. Don’t know the advantage, but it must work well, Oribe has built over 2500 instruments. Maybe someone has a photo of this method.

Podobin
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Podobin » Sun May 06, 2018 8:31 pm

Brune’s guitars are priced high, sort of like what economists call a Veblen Good. Interesting because no one currently who is a world class guitarist is playing his instruments anymore (or really ever did for that matter, (he was a bit too late for Segovia)). It seems that while he has encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the classical guitar, at times it seems he seeks to be included in the historical Pantheon of the greatest luthiers, which unfortunately, he will never achieve. Too bad. Too much haughtiness in the classical guitar world in this regard.

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