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Andyjr1515

Another Swift Lite Bass

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Hi

This is a bit of a catch up.  With the distraction of newly acquired grandparenting duties and a couple of fairly tight build deadlines, I'm afraid that my forum posting has been a bit lax. 

This, of course, will have been to the great relief and delight of all of the forum members who struggle, understandably, with the crazy world that is Andyjr1515's ramblings.  But, in the same way that Mr Kellogs believed that too long a break from colonic irrigation was no good at all for his followers, I think you've had a good enough break from my projects and it's time to get out the warm water, funnel and rubber tubing and get back to peeping through the windows of the madhouse. :D 

Another Swift Lite Bass.  Hmmm, OK - I can let everyone back in gently.  There is no point in me doing an overly detailed build diary because it's pretty much the same as the one I finished earlier in the year for Neil (below) and for which there is already a tortuously long thread on the forum:

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After the No Treble 'Bass of the Week', I got a number of enquiries for similar builds - probably because of the lightweight aspect.  One enquiry - a player in Hawaii - came to fruition and this has been progressing over the past couple of months.

It is the same basic spec, but a just slightly different shape for the horns and cutaways and it will be P-J rather than J-J pickup configuration.

A quick photo story up to the present status:

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The above picture is the present state of play - and it's not as complete as it looks.  I've only lightly fitted the strings to check the spacing and get the positioning for the next scary bit - cutting the P-J pickup chambers.

However, it is complete enough for me to be able to estimate the final playing weight - around 6.5lbs :)

There - that wasn't so bad, was it... :D

 

Andy

 

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

This, of course, will have been to the great relief and delight of all of the forum members who struggle, understandably, with the crazy world that is Andyjr1515's ramblings.  But, in the same way that Mr Kellogs believed that too long a break from colonic irrigation was no good at all for his followers, I think you've had a good enough break from my projects and it's time to get out the warm water, funnel and rubber tubing and get back to peeping through the windows of the madhouse. :D 

<_<

:killinme

Bring 'em on Andy. I always look forward to your most recent observations.

And congrats on the newly acquired grandparenting duties. I'm rather new to that myself.

SR

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This is still bubbling along in the background. 

James - the customer - had sent me an Aero P-J set from the States - don't think they are on the UK radar.  He took them out of a bass he particularly likes the sound of.  No pressure there, then.

I cut the chambers in my normal way - no template and only routing to smooth and deepen the bottoms once the basic chamber has been cut.  Basically, I:

  • draw the pickup outline in pencil on the bass top taking care to square up and get the poles in exactly the right place for the string runs
  • drill at all corners and lugs to full chamber depth
  • forstner inside the pencil line to 3/4 depth
  • chisel the top c 1/2" deep, following the pencil lines and joining up the previously drilled corners
  • use a bearing-guided trimmer bit - now completely captive in the chamber - in the router to tidy up the sides and deepen to final depth

_MG_7166.thumb.JPG.764e449e59f98220c85009c84bb8db94.JPG

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Then took a slice off an offcut from the top to create the control chamber hatch:

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Then started the carve of the neck / body transition and upper fret access:

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So at this point, it's starting to look like a bass:

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Next, the debate about fretboard / neck colour and the commencement of the finishing process - which I'll cover in the next post and which will get the thread fully up to date :)

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5 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Then started the carve of the neck / body transition and upper fret access:

_MG_7276.thumb.JPG.15b5fca58946b1a301e91e05bf247987.JPG

 

Bravo! Very nicely done.

I love this!

SR

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14 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Bravo! Very nicely done.

I love this!

SR

Thank you, Scott :)

I have to say it's great in terms of access to the top frets :)

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One of the things that James, the prospective owner, wanted was a strong amber stain for the neck and fretboard and also a complementing stain for the back and sides.  For the fretboard, he sent me a photo of the type of shade he was looking for which I was able to match using a mix of spirit stains (Chestnut Stains light mahogany/yellow/orange, all thinned with methylated spirits) 

Because of the different hues of the ash (brownish) and maple (yellowish) I had to also do a few more trials to get a mix that coordinated with that colour.

This is where I ended up - happily coinciding with where James was wanting to be :)  :

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The 'knobs' are just loosely positioned at the moment while we discuss his preferred positioning.

The 'slurry and buff' coats of tru-oil will continue over the Christmas period and then the final tasks can be tackled.  

I'm planning on ready to ship mid-Jan.

For those who celebrate Christmas - have a great Christmas and see you the other side!

:)

 

Andy

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By the way...

_MG_7440.thumb.JPG.f5b621facd6c00e7da1e2f4b9333c370.JPG

...it isn't too much Christmas spirit getting into me -  the neck IS parallel and the hatch IS straight (just had to check it for the 14th time to make absolutely sure).  It's just the camera / viewpoint distortion... :thumb:

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On 12/24/2018 at 6:40 AM, Andyjr1515 said:

By the way...

_MG_7440.thumb.JPG.f5b621facd6c00e7da1e2f4b9333c370.JPG

...it isn't too much Christmas spirit getting into me -  the neck IS parallel and the hatch IS straight (just had to check it for the 14th time to make absolutely sure).  It's just the camera / viewpoint distortion... :thumb:

For some reason, that happens to me all the time. And one never notices until after posting.:blink:

SR

 

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Well - pretty much on the final furlong with this.  I'm progressing up the tru-oil slurry grades of wet and dry - next one at 1500 and last one at 2000.  They should be done by the weekend.  In the meantime, I've been knocking jobs off the 'to do' list.

I've put the Luminlay dots in:

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I've done the knobs (still got to put the 2mm black-pearl marker dots on):

 

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Recessed the jackplate:

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Put magnets on the truss rod cover:

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And magnets on the copper-lined control chamber cover:

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With luck, this will be all complete by the weekend :)

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And another job off the tick list - the frets levelled, re-crowned and polished. 

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I'll fit some strings temporarily later today to check if it frets properly all the way up the board.

Only a few jobs left before the 'grand assembly' :)

 

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wow, looking great!  noticed some details I didn't catch b4... recessed football, magnet-truss cover... very professional.

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20 hours ago, mistermikev said:

wow, looking great!  noticed some details I didn't catch b4... recessed football, magnet-truss cover... very professional.

Thanks @mistermikev !

 

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Sorted the nut height and then put my 'see if it all fits together' set of strings on.

At my action height starting point (medium) there are no buzzes at all so I think the basic levelling job was OK.  When the proper strings are on, I'll set it up properly and do a double check with the fret rocker and the buzz check at low action in case there are some high spots anywhere.

This is how the tru-oil slurry and buff has ended up, finishing at 1500 grit.  This is an oblique shot to the light so you can see the surface finish:

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...and then face-on to see the figuring:

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It's LOVELY to the touch. :)

Still got to do the final 1500 slurry and buff on the back - and I've still got to do the final buffing of the fretboard and neck - but this is how the whole thing is panning out:

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All being well it should be finished by the end of the weekend

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That's an absolute stunner Andy, one of your best. I love how the black fret markers and hardware work together, and the void fills in the burl even add to that look. As well does the black inlines and borders you've used in the details.

Bravo!

SR

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3 hours ago, ScottR said:

That's an absolute stunner Andy, one of your best. I love how the black fret markers and hardware work together, and the void fills in the burl even add to that look. As well does the black inlines and borders you've used in the details.

Bravo!

SR

Thanks, Scott

Means a lot... :)

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Just doing a couple of tweaks and the final checks and it'll be pretty much ready to go!

It sounds great.  James asked for heavyweight strings to be fitted and, with his supplied Aero pickups it sounds really good - even through my non-bass rig!

Here are some of the obligatory finished pics (except one change in progress):

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The one change is that James asked if I could try a coordinating control chamber cover with back wood rather than a contrasting one with top wood - this is what he's gone for and is being finished at this very moment :)

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Should be shipping very early next week :)

Andy

 

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Here are some of the obligatory finished pics

Obligatory indeed!

We all lust after wood porn.:D

SR

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Well, it got to Hawaii in one piece and in less than a week...and he loves it!  :)

Pleased and relieved in equal measure :D

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On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 7:45 PM, Andyjr1515 said:

Well, it got to Hawaii in one piece and in less than a week...and he loves it!  :)

Pleased and relieved in equal measure :D

Was this REALLY only a month and a half ago!  It seems like years!

Because there was a problem. :rolleyes:

And all of my own making

In short:

  • I'm really not sure how - and how my suite of double and triple checks never picked it up - but, while the neck profile was perfect, once James got to play it properly he realised the thickness was completely wrong!
  • After weighing up the risks of Customs and CITES etc etc of shipping it back to me to fix, and James worried that he wasn't sure of any local luthiers on his island that could do such a job (not only a re-carve but matching re-stain too), I asked someone I knew COULD do the job AND was in USA, avoiding the customs and CITES challenges - our very own @ScottR.  
  • Of course the bass was in Hawaii and Scott was in Texas, so airfreight again!
  • And what a super job @ScottR did too!   :
 
  • So was that all OK now?
  • Well...no.  Because now it had been on 6 trans-ocean flights (13,000miles or thereabouts), countless van and lorry trips, moved between around 18 transit and customs warehouses...and sort of inevitably, the box had probably been dropped heavily on more than one occasion.  Because the neck had now finally flexed, splitting a small length of the fretboard joint at the heel and lifting three of four frets.  And the bridge pickup had stopped working.
  • And we were still in the situation of limited luthier skills on the island.  So I sent James a detailed phot0-tutorial on how to protect, clamp and what glues to use to fix it himself, and sent a radius block for him to seat the frets with.  
  • And - at last - a bit of luck.  Ref the electrics, it turned out that the pickup manufacturer (Aero) is on James' island!
  • So yesterday he took it over to Aero and, once they had recovered from their giggling fits at my wiring job, they fixed it.
And James is, at long last, a very happy bunny :)
 
It's a great relief.  And only a mere 10 years has been taken off my life expectancy... :)
 
 
 

 

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6 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

And James is, at long last, a very happy bunny :)

Great news Andy!

SR

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looks like congrats are in order... lemme be the first!  CONGRATS ON GOTM March 2019!

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Andy, congratulations on your unanimous GOTM victory, well deserved. I will be starting on my first bass when the V is completed so I hope I can pick your brains when I get stuck

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