The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Bruce West Classical Guitar Brazilian, 2021


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This Bruce West Classical guitar, bearing the serial 213 IHS and built during 2021 in Sterling, Ontario features a hundred year old Swiss Alpine Spruce top and Brazilian Rosewood sides and back. These guitars tie into an interesting and pivotal period of Canadian luthiery history.

Bruce West has been involved in musical instrument building for most of his life, starting at age 12 with a bench at Geo. Heinl’s workshop in Toronto. In his teens he also played guitar for Ronny Hawkins! Friends with Jean Larrivee, Bruce built relationships with all the now-prominent builders who went through the Larrivee Toronto shops. He was also friends and partners in some wood ventures with Darryl Williams, who specialized in baroque instruments and classical guitars. I worked with Darryl Williams for some years prior to The Twelfth Fret, and met Bruce during those times. I was helping around the shop during the re-sawing of these Rosewood and Spruce sets, and days of Ebony fingerboard and bridge billets.

This Bruce West Classical features an aged Swiss Alpine Spruce top.

Here’s Bruce describing how he acquired this wood, which he has been using for many years:

“Back in the 1970’s when I had a few bucks in my pocket, Jose Romanillos came to Toronto for a guitar making workshop. That’s where I met him and he told me about a Mr. McCurdy who was a retired cello maker in the south of England. When Alex McCurdy was an apprentice, his mentor took him to the alps in Switzerland and they selected the most promising spruce tree they could find. they cut it into billets and shipped it back to England. McCurdy’s job as an apprentice was to hand split and sticker the prize to air dry..

I immediately got in touch with McCurdy and found out that he had some of that batch of wood left so I bought it all.
The bottom line is, the wood is about 100 years old and is from the same tree as the one that Romanillos used for his finest guitars, as played by Julian Bream.”

For the back, sides bridge and head plate, this Bruce West Classical uses a Brazilian Rosewood set harvested in the 1960s, and purchased in Quebec in 1977. CITES permits are available. At some point, the back developed a split that has been repaired. The body blocks and neck are Mahogany and the fingerboard is Ebony. The finish on this guitar, like most others Bruce West builds, is hand-applied violin varnish. The varnish itself likely made by Bruce, a practice he developed with Darryl Williams. The bridge uses a 12-hole tie block, which makes re-stringing easier and improves downbearing on the saddle. The tuners are excellent Gotoh models with gold finish and faux-pearl buttons.

The original Everest hard shell case is included.

Price: $6,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Classical Guitar
  • Year: 2021
  • Finish Natural Varnish
  • Class: New
  • Serial Number: 213 IHS, built during 2021 in Sterling, Ontario
  • Country of Origin: Canada
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 10/01/2023

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.124lbs 1.42kg
  • Scale Length: 25.59in 650mm
  • Nut Width: 2.095in 53.21mm
Bruce West Website

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