Brune method of construction

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
TomBeltran
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Re: Brune method of construction

Post by TomBeltran » Mon May 07, 2018 2:45 am

"he was a bit too late for Segovia" Are you talking about Richard's son?

Segovia died in the late 1980s. I saw Segovia at the master class at USC (Bovard Auditorium) and while he was having some difficulties, he was generally going strong. Jim Smith (or maybe Ron Purcell) prepared a handout for all of us and we sang Happy Birthday to Segovia. In any case, Richard had been building guitars for over 20 years at the time Segovia died. But to the point, Segovia did own and play at least one of Brune's guitars, albeit, perhaps not in a major concert.

Peter_T
Amateur luthier
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Peter_T » Mon May 07, 2018 3:33 am

Podobin wrote:
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.

This post reads super weird to me and I'm not sure if it's your intent, language or otherwise.

Brune is a tremendous contributor to the luthier community at large and an excellent builder. I never met him, but he seems to have been remarkably willing to share theories and learnings from the field. As a learning builder, I find I reference his writings as much as Elliot, Ruck, Humphry, and others of that rare air. From my POV, his prices on the used market are comparably reasonable (a good deal, even), and I'd personally hope to see them rise over time.

Perhaps it's an era or a generational thing, but the name R.E. Brune will be included when I consider the "historical Pantheon of the greatest luthiers." Easily.

Rosewood
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Wed May 09, 2018 4:22 pm

Peter_T wrote:
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.
I looked at the GAL online article search, and the most likely candidates seem either ‘A Survey of Seventeen Luthiers’ (1990 - established luthiers were asked to…determine the most essential tools) or ‘Meet the Maker: Robert Ruck’ (2008 – the usual profile). Do either of these sound like the likely candidate?

Seeing as the topic has gone in a slightly different direction.......I don’t want to encourage the conversation further, but I think it would be hard to argue that Brune hasn’t had a highly successful career. As for ‘pantheon of the greats’, I think, regardless of what is being ranked, those kinds of things are far too subjective. Plus, they are often decided by the whims of collector’s, and being dead many years is often a prerequisite!

Peter_T
Amateur luthier
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Peter_T » Wed May 09, 2018 5:42 pm

I recall reading the article in person - I'll do a quick check tonight to see if I have a hard copy I can reference, so I can post the actual source.

I was specifically thinking of the neck-fitting jig. I recall Ruck's direction of sanding was in the direction of the side grain, or perpendicular to the belt direction in the Brune video. Either way, it's basically a specialized/templated form of "stroke sanding," as they used to do by hand with bigger belt sanders.

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Paul Micheletti » Thu May 10, 2018 4:07 am

Hi Folks,

I chatted with Richard Brune about this topic, and here's what he told me about this neck attachment method. He said it was OK to share it with you folks since he is not on DelCamp:

"My machine is based on the one that was used by the Asturias shop in Japan, and I published an article ('The "Belly Art" of Japanese Lutherie')about this shop in American Lutherie # 15, Fall of 1988, based on my 1988 lecture for the GAL.

Actually I began using this neck system back in the 70's. In the 60's I became aware the Japanese were using something like this because it is much more efficient when in a production mode vs one or two at a time. My first machine was a four roller contraption with the belt running across the neck in line with the grain of the side wood, around the circumference of the guitar body, but only touching the body where the heel needed to be sanded. It was cumbersome, hard to perfectly align the neck and the sanding belt tended to make the heel deflect a small amount in the direction it was running, but it was still a pretty fast system once you knew the pitfalls. I showed it to Bob Ruck who made a similar machine and started doing his this way, too. When I visited Japan back in 1985 to meet the Asturias folks who were making two models for me at that time, and I spent time in their shop which the article I referenced covers. When I saw their neck machine the light went off and I said I've got to make one like that. The 3 roller wheels are from Woodmaster who also made the long stroke sander I use. The secret is having the roller wheels all crowned significantly which helps to keep the belt tracking to the center rather than trying to walk. The rest of the hardware is off the shelf shafts, bearings and such from Grainger, with a plywood frame designed to hold everything in alignment. Its totally trouble free, works even faster than Marshall's demo and is so reliable we never even have to check the centering nor neck angle projection before we glue them up. Never had a neck come loose. We glue them on with hot hide glue, although realistically I never intend the neck to be removed, gracefully or otherwise. We've never had a Japanese guitar in the shop needing a "neck reset" due to neck angle problems, including steel strings. They just don't creep."

There you go... straight from the master himself. I'm very privileged to be able to consider Richard a friend.

I build in a similar method (neck separate from body), but use a very different contraption for the neck joint. I learned from Peter Oberg who learned from Ruck, so I guess I'm a fourth generation builder using this method from Richard. Peter modified his jig to use a sanding drum on a drill press with a neck holding jig that is profiled to put the correct curve on the heel to match the body, and I use that method as well. It requires a few additional minutes of flossing to get the final fit to handle minor body variations. But at our low production rates and tiny shop spaces, it makes sense to save the large area required by this neck jig for something more compact.

Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 am

Many thanks to both yourself and Brune for the direct and thorough response! I think I’ve now got a good understanding of the overall concept, and what Brune does to achieve this. I haven’t read it cover to cover (so was unaware of it), but it looks like I should already have a copy of the aforementioned article in The Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Two (1988-1990), so I’ll give it a read.

Obviously I’m not turning out guitars at the rate Brune does, but I do want to give the ‘plug in’ neck build technique a go. Would the Oberg approach therefore be more accessible/advisable? What does this ‘profiled neck holding jig’ look like?

Rosewood
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Rosewood » Fri May 11, 2018 3:39 pm

I've searched back through old threads on this and other forums and have found good info on how Oberg approaches this neck join (specifically the drill press/sanding drum jig). The only part that seems a bit vague are how people accurately route the body and neck mortises to ensure that everything is correctly aligned.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri May 11, 2018 4:01 pm

Podobin wrote:
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.
I guess it depends on the definition of world class. I know that Julian Gray and his duet partner and wife, Serap Bastepe, both play Brune Instruments. They are both associated with Peabody and Julian is currently the Chairman of the guitar program at Shenandoah Conservatory. Christopher Berg, the chairman of the guitar program at the University of South Carolina did perform with a Brune Artist. I haven’t looked (recently) at the list on Delcamp of guitarists and their guitars, but I imagine Bruné will be mentioned. I recall a GFA winner playing a Bruné but don’t remember the name.
In terms of American Luthiers I think Bruné is included with the likes of Elliott, Ruck, Humphrey, Velazquez,,,
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

ellenymita
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Location: Costa Rica

Re: Brune method of construction

Post by ellenymita » Fri May 11, 2018 4:46 pm

Someone has some pics of this type of neck assembly?

GuitarsWeB
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri May 11, 2018 5:41 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:I guess it depends on the definition of world class. I know that Julian Gray and his duet partner and wife, Serap Bastepe, both play Brune Instruments. They are both associated with Peabody and Julian is currently the Chairman of the guitar program at Shenandoah ...........................
I’ve been playing guitar since 1957. I think players, even in the past, but more so nowadays, put way too much stock in what some world class player uses. Brune makes a great guitar and as far as I am concerned, Richard is the last word on woods. I can name a number of guitar makers who make world class instruments and no BIG NAME plays them. Remember, 90% of these “World Class Players” don’t buy their instruments. They usually have some agreement with a maker. Many times, if not most, they are just given the guitar or at a very low cost. So, point being, don’t worry about who plays one, how the neck is attached, French polish, Brazilian Rosewood, scale length, etc. Just find something that works well for you and play it. Hell, it might even be a Hirade or Alvarez.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri May 11, 2018 6:05 pm

Well said GuitarsWeB!!
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

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Michael.N.
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Michael.N. » Fri May 11, 2018 6:08 pm

It's a lot of nonsense. What does it mean this 'world class'? How do you define it? it can't possibly be technical proficiency because these days that would perhaps mean many hundreds of luthiers would fall into that category. Both aesthetics and sound are highly subjective. So you are left with exactly what I said: nonsense. I mean you really shouldn't fixate on these superlatives. It's far better to view each instrument on it's own merits.
Historicalguitars.

GuitarsWeB
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by GuitarsWeB » Fri May 11, 2018 7:30 pm

“World Class,” I’ll take a stab at it. Let’s say, a touring and recording musician who’s sole income is derived from performing with their instrument world wide and naturally, any endorsements of products. Now, this doesn’t include some erudite type university professor teaching their method of music to young glassy-eyed urchins. Although, I’m sure there are some touring world class players who have university gigs; off the top of my follicly challenged head, Martha Masters comes to mind. I’m sure many of you could include others, but in general, not the professor types.

Paul Micheletti
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by Paul Micheletti » Mon May 14, 2018 4:37 pm

I've had it on my to-do list for a while to photograph and write a blog on this method of using a sanding drum and spline for neck attachment. I'll make sure to document the process when I do it on the next guitar and post up a link to the blog here. I hope to have this together in a couple of months.

mlau
Posts: 68
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Re: Brune method of construction

Post by mlau » Mon May 14, 2018 5:22 pm

I think of Brune as world class.

I also think of Al Carruth as world class too...hell, there's a number of "amateur" builders here that are better than many pros.
Brad Heinzen comes to mind.

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