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bassplr19

Rickenschecter Fretless J

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All, I am new to the forum. I tried building a fretless bass back in high school 15 or so years ago. Started watching https://www.youtube.com/user/TomVictorChiiron and was inspired to try again. Without further ado...

With my first build I bought a fretless bass neck from Carvin - they no longer make bodies to mate with said neck, so I need to make my own body. Also bought replacement pickups for my MIM Jazz bass, but found out that they were both bridge pickups and MIMs only have neck pickups. The rest of the hardware is pretty much from Carvin as well.

Inspiration: I love the Rickenbacker body style, my Schecter 006 has somewhat similar bouts so I used that as a template extended it and added my own panache to it.

Here's the original I'm replacing:20140513_214915.jpg

Template I made from hardboard, along with my Carvin supplied chunk o' alder20140513_190516.jpg

Practice neck joint and template:

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Oooh, that's tight

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Then the rough cut:

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To be continued...

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I like your shop, reminds me of mine. I like a man that's not afraid of a bit of heavy sanding. That looks to be a very fine neck and board too.

Carry on, we're watching.

SR

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I love it. This is the sort of "backyard luthiery" that I hope I can spend this summer getting back to my roots on, and writing about. Feeding back the experience of working with expensive machinery in an environment intended specifically for woodworking back into the basics is something I really think a lot of people will benefit from. After all, that is where ProjectGuitar.com came from.

I built a sawbench for building instruments last week. Your photos reminded me of the importance of working on an instrument's sides. That's the only area where my sawbench falls flat I think. Since I don't have a WorkMate on hand, how is the stability when clamping a body like that? I presume it is a bit of a fight to put any heavy work into it without sending the whole lot sideways.

Yeah, I saw his videos too a while back. Simple common sense stuff done with good intentions and understanding. Well-grounded.

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Prostheta, what stability? Lots of manual handholding...

Continuing onward!

Final body shape

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Rounded the body and started on the armrest

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Pretty proud of this tummy cut, first time I ever did anything like this

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Lined up the bridge, and who am I kidding, gave it a test fit

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...and why stop there

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So far, couple screw up here, couple screw ups there, overall still happy with my progress. Next steps: make some pickup templates and a body cavity template, although, I may wing it freehand. The latter, definitely NOT the former.

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Bonus shot...actually, my awful attempt No. 2, circa 1999-2000:

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About the only thing I was happy with was the neck joint, it fell apart after that.

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Pickup Template20140520_200249.jpg

Neck pickup test fit - the routing turned out better than the template!! I'm going to assume that no one notices that the neck pickup is 1/2" closer to the neck than a normal jazz bass - measured the distance from the bridge on my Jazz at 4.75" to the bottom of the neck pickup went up stairs thinking .25 less than 5" than laid it out thinking .25 more than 5". Oh well, I mostly jam on the bridge pups anyway.

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Bridge pickup test fit

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More on the cavity20140605_212526.jpg

Second coat on the headstock, looking sexy if I don't say so my self

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Had kids birthday party, got a paint booth out of the deal. Priming:

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If I'm painting, do I need to worry about the checks?

I would wick some CA into them to stabilize them so they won't crack further. You've already primed so you can already see if they need filling to make them invisible under the paint.

SR

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Sanding the primer

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Clear coats level 2, how many coats should I do? 3-6 I'm at a standstill right now, due to rain an fog and generally crappy weather.

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Anybody else experiment with "metal flake"? So it is kind of textured and the glitter stands up in places, I haven't burned though during the wetsanding, but I've hit some of the glitter and instead of green, I'm getting some silver shining through. I'm not really seeing any green in my sand paper or water or wash cloth.

Should I have put on more than 3ish layers of clear coat?

20140615_102513.jpg

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Anybody else experiment with "metal flake"? So it is kind of textured and the glitter stands up in places, I haven't burned though during the wetsanding, but I've hit some of the glitter and instead of green, I'm getting some silver shining through. I'm not really seeing any green in my sand paper or water or wash cloth.

Should I have put on more than 3ish layers of clear coat?

Yeah. Most of the metal flakes out there are just tiny colored aluminium (Scientifically correct spelling!) flakes. So if your flakes start turning silver you have ended through the color coat of the flakes. And it doesn't take much and through for ti to be visible. You need to get the finish coats on really heavy, I sugest laying the instrument flat (or suspending it like you do) and getting extra thick coats on, making sure that you cover the sides too, let it sit extra long, flip it and get extra thick layers on the other side, once again shooting a "normal" layer on the sides. This way you will get extra thick lacers on the top and back for each spraying session and double layers on the sides for every "complete" coating. The surface need to feel more or less completely level before you shoot at least one or two final coats. then it might be OK to level sand. Metal flakes takes a bit of extra care to succeed with.

One way to fix the problem with the flakes turning silver is to shoot a green tinted layer and a few more top cots. That will tone down the silver effect.

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Thanks for the advice, it's actually pretty sparkly after my 6 coats. It feels very rough still, it's not like sandpaper but very textured.

I'm going to try to do 6 more coats (or till the can runs out) and depending on how it feels sand it. Or, I don't necessarily need a mirror finish with it and might just sand any drips or high spots with some 1000 grit.

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The unmasking

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Sprayed the cavity and pickup routs with a conductive coating and wired it up

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My basement at night is not conductive to pictures so view the rest at your own peril

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I'll take some better pics after I fashion a control cavity cover, probably out of maple from a failed guitar project.

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