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ADFinlayson

build #11 - Snuffy's Billy Bongo bass

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On 10/10/2019 at 9:27 PM, ADFinlayson said:

So in the meantime, I’ve been worrying about these tuners. They require a 14mm hole for the shaft and 17mm hole for the bushing. Can’t find a 17mm Brad bit anywhere but I have got a 16mm flat bit that has a point and I’ve managed to find a 17mm hss bit which I’m hoping to use to fettle the hole up to size. Tried on a test piece and it worked, bushing went in fine. 

You could always use a hand reamer, as I did on my current build. You can take it to whatever diameter you want, although bear in mind it will be a tapered hole

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On 10/17/2019 at 10:17 AM, Norris said:

You could always use a hand reamer, as I did on my current build. You can take it to whatever diameter you want, although bear in mind it will be a tapered hole

My reamer only goes up to 16mm unfortunately and I struggled to find a larger one. I had success with the 16mm flat bit and the 17mm hss bit, my new drill press has made jobs like tuner holes a damn sight easer, however holding a bass neckthrough blank up to the drill press while at the same time manning the drill level was not very enjoyable. 

Still some tweaking to do on the final shape and some tidying up to do but really happy with it.

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I've made some good progress on the procrastinator too :) really enjoyed carving the f-hole, I cut most of it out with a coping saw and finalised the shape with a carving knife. I've routed the hollow chamber in the mog too, he asked for the back not to be carved because he wants a deeper acoustic chamber, so I shall just roundover the back of the guitar, no belly carve eaither (makes building the body a big quicker. I was going to go larger on the chamber - more around the bridge to end much closer to the control cavity. But I am concerned about how light it's going to be (not a problem I've had before).

Now I have a question to ask: On the previous semi-hollow build I did, I oiled the inside of the f-hole cavity to add protection, make it look a bit nicer, but that was closed grain ovangkol. Should I leave it unfinished? fill the grain and oil? or just oil? 

I've got lots of tidying up to do with the orbital sander now, especially around the burnt pot recesses before  I can consider sticking the two pieces together. I also need to sand the underside of the cap so it's completely flat as it's currently far from flat and the joint is just not going to be good enough with the reduced glueing surface. 

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Been meaning to do an update a few days ago but I (along with rest of my house) have been struck down by the flu season. I got a new tool last weekend, and it's changed my life :D 

I saw an ad on Facebook for it, apparently I responded to the ad within 5 minutes of it going up last Saturday :P so borrowed the Mrs car on Sunday morning and went across to Worcester and picked it up.  The chap I bought it off is a classical guitar builder, I spent a little while with him and got a lot of insight on sound boards, bending sides etc, got to see one of his finished guitars and one in the mould and in turn her quizzed me about carving. It was a real treat to see how another builder works in person.

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I haven't done a huge amount on the builds, but the stuff I have done has been made a lot faster with the new toy (I wish I had it before I started working on the quilt top as levelling it off would have been a much quicker job). I got snuffy's top through the sander and cleaned off all the excess epoxy

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Adrians neck had been sitting roughed out for well over a week so I planed the headstock and stuck some ears on - which was stupid because I forgot to route the truss rod while the blank was still square, and to use a router bushing and a straight edge, which as it turns out is not a great way to do it, just made the process awkward because the bushing makes visibility very poor around the bit and it was difficult to see where to start and stop routing.

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Bookmatched a quilt offcut to make the headstock veneer and put it through the sander too, At this point, it occurred to me that 80 grit on the drum sander, is great for removing material, bit it leaves a lot of fairly deep scratches (at least much deeper than and grit hand sanding). Pretty sure the roll on the drum was spend anyway, even after cleaning it with a rubber bar, it was still not in good condition - apparently the sander is 5 months old and he never changed the paper on it. So I changed it out for a cheap roll of 100 grit that I happened to have in the garage, which worked a lot better and gave a perfect glueing surface.

That I think is where the sander really provides benefit, I find the quality of a joint from the thicknesser is not good enough for glueing, but anything off the sander is perfect.

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Prior to changing the paper over, I also put a ziricote fretboard through it, which didn't do as well. I had read that hard woods should be run through slowly with light parses, but actually running the ziricote through slowly caused it to get hot (I'm guessing to do with the oils in the wood) but the dust was burning. So I got the majority of the material off with the thicknesser and then went back to the sander to finish off with feed motor set as fast as it would go, which worked much better.

Also made some quilt binding strips from offcuts, again sander made this job a doddle :) So fretboard is on, slots are cut and I glued the binding strips on too.

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I used a paintbrush to apply wood glue for binding this time, results were much better - much less glue used, so less squeeze out meant I could see the joint much more clearly and tape accordingly and crucially, far less glue to clean out of the slots! I also used proper binding tape for the first time, which is far better than painters tape

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Need to glue in an end piece which I'll attempt to mitre, I've done that before a couple of times, but it's never come out perfect. Then I'll be on to inlays, he wants a monkey at the 12th fret, so will do dots for the rest of the neck.

back to the bass, I've radiused the fretboard - I was going to do a 12" radius and bought the extra long crimson radius beam especially. But annoyingly that beam is no wider than the fretboard at the bottom so radiusing with the beam just didn't work. After some swearing, I decided to get the no7 out and put in a compound radius which came out 9 1/2" - 12". Happy with that, but I'm going to have to come back and make the nut slot a bit deeper.

Snuffy being a culinary enthusiast, want's a skull and cross bones at the 12th, but the cross bones to be a knife and fork, and I'm thinking about inlaying some googly eyes into it for a laugh.

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Some more progress though not much as I'm still full of the lurgy. Finished shaping the body template, so it fits around the fretboard. Then routed the top to final dims, then fettled that to fit around the fretboard too. Fret slots are also cut now.

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Can't remember if I mentioned earlier on but I stuck some bog oak veneer under the top for a bit a of a contrast between the pheobe and the limba (did the same on the back of the headstock). I'm tempted to do the same between the neckthrough and the wings, if nothing else it will mask my amateurish joinery :)

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I need to recess the neckthrough now so the top/bridge sits low enough in relation to the fretboard, though I'll probably wait until inlays and frets are done for accuracy. I've ordered some jumbo stainless steel wire for him, which I'm sure I'll regret when it's time to install them.

Side dots and binding mitre is also done on the other one, looks fantastic if you don't look too closely :D 

Also ordered some wire for this one, decided to go for jumbo but nickel silver instead of stainless, only really because I haven't found a nice way to nip the tangs on stainless wire yet and I know getting the fret ends down over the binding will be a pita with stainless. 

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looking good bruther.  esp like whatever-the-hell is going on with that fretboard grain (the two blonde streaks on the bass fretboard).  Good choice in wood that. 

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7 hours ago, mistermikev said:

looking good bruther.  esp like whatever-the-hell is going on with that fretboard grain (the two blonde streaks on the bass fretboard).  Good choice in wood that. 

Ta, that is Macassar ebony, often just listed as figured ebony on ebay etc,  It's the hardest variety of ebony I've used so makes for a great feeling fretboard, pain in the arse to slot and inlay though!

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51 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

Ta, that is Macassar ebony, often just listed as figured ebony on ebay etc,  It's the hardest variety of ebony I've used so makes for a great feeling fretboard, pain in the arse to slot and inlay though!

right on, have some macassar on a fav bass... has some blond streaks but not quite that 'over the top'.  gonna look nice.

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On 10/27/2019 at 11:50 PM, ScottR said:

 

I'm right jealous of your drum sander.

SR

Me too!

I simply don't have the room for one but another builder I know got one recently and it has simply transformed his efficiency and quality.  His headstock plates are to die for!

Even though I am intensely envious...I'm very pleased for you @ADFinlayson    ;)

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Me too!

I simply don't have the room for one but another builder I know got one recently and it has simply transformed his efficiency and quality.  His headstock plates are to die for!

Even though I am intensely envious...I'm very pleased for you @ADFinlayson    ;)

It takes up quite a small footprint actually and the previous owner bought the casters for it so I can move it if need be - not that there is anywhere in my garage to move it to haha. But yes, it doesn't do anything that I couldn't do myself before, just makes a huge difference to time and joint quality.

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On 10/27/2019 at 11:30 PM, ADFinlayson said:

 

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Nice acquisition on the drum sander. Wish I'd bought mine much earlier than I did at the time, and you wonder how you managed for so long without one.

Is the next purchase going to include a slightly more manly dust collector? ;):D

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3 hours ago, curtisa said:

Nice acquisition on the drum sander. Wish I'd bought mine much earlier than I did at the time, and you wonder how you managed for so long without one.

Is the next purchase going to include a slightly more manly dust collector? ;):D

Yep, it’s bliss to use. The vac actually works surprisingly well, but yes I am looking into a dedicated extractor, something with a 100mm shoot that I can use for this and the band saw, 

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I think I've got procrastination down to a fine art. I got as far as starting the inlays on the bass, didn't want to tackle those, and I was also on the inlays for the lp, didn't want to tackle those either :D So I had a good week off guitar building and built my website. That's all finished now - http://www.adfinlaysonguitars.co.uk. So back to building and, procrastinating. 

did some more work on the LP, finished carving the underside of the top and got it glued on to the body. Both the top and the mahog had moved slightly (again), so thank heavens for the drum sander :P 

Anyway, pics

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Planed in the neck angle

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Go the heel to correct thickness and square

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and got the pocket routed

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I also routed in a little recess for the toggle switch, it was a real PITA to sand the finish safely on Lukes hardtail, but It looks cool so I'm sticking with it,

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I've got to blast over the whole thing with the random orbital now. You can see there is lots of quilt appearing on the top side but not a lot on the left, that's all covered in scratches/divots from my thumb planes so the figure is hard to see. I was hoping to get the sanding done this evening, but my garage is a pig sty and I couldn't find my soft sanding pad for the orbital. So I spent a couple of hours tidying. I think I'll do some tidying and a bit of a garage overhaul before I do too much more. It'll get me out of doing those inlays anyway.

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procrastination... jeez - hold my beer.  I've been doing a lot of that lately.  Dream all day about guitars and what I'm gonna do when I get home... then promptly not do it!

checked out yer website... if you clear your cache and go there there is quite a delay till that first pic loads.  might want to preload those or consider smaller rez.  I've got a 5mbps connection and was thinking your first page was empty for a sec.  (firefox and chrome: just telling you what I'd want to know with a new website build).  makes up for it with some beauty pics tho.  Odd that none of the other pages had that issue.

did a nice job on pic scaling... or is that canned?  either way should work great on a phone.

love that fretboard there... some really nice grain.  have I said that before... well I really like it so.

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On 11/17/2019 at 2:31 AM, mistermikev said:

procrastination... jeez - hold my beer.  I've been doing a lot of that lately.  Dream all day about guitars and what I'm gonna do when I get home... then promptly not do it!

checked out yer website... if you clear your cache and go there there is quite a delay till that first pic loads.  might want to preload those or consider smaller rez.  I've got a 5mbps connection and was thinking your first page was empty for a sec.  (firefox and chrome: just telling you what I'd want to know with a new website build).  makes up for it with some beauty pics tho.  Odd that none of the other pages had that issue.

did a nice job on pic scaling... or is that canned?  either way should work great on a phone.

love that fretboard there... some really nice grain.  have I said that before... well I really like it so.

I expect there is a delay because it's loading all the images at once. Short of having some sort of progress bar to say the site is loading, not sure what I can do to actually speed up the loading process other than use low res images which I wouldn't want to do. The pics aren't scanned, some where taken by a photographer who knew what he was doing, the rest are just iphone. But they're hosting on photos.google.com which do all the conversion - they seem to do a good job of keeping good resolution with a smallish file size.

I've made a start on inlays, though managed to superglue 3 fingers to a piece of mop on wednesday night, had to get the mrs to rescue me with some acetone, she had a good laugh. Got most of the pieces roughed out with my coping saw - I could really do with a better saw/blade for cutting shell, this one is useless and I end up wasting a lot of material, if anyone can suggest a saw, I'm all ears. Will be filing them all to final dims over the weekend.

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I've been informed that my wood pile is getting out of control and that I have a problem, told the mrs I would stop hoarding when it's level with the desk

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" I expect there is a delay because it's loading all the images at once. Short of having some sort of progress bar to say the site is loading, not sure what I can do to actually speed up the loading process other than use low res images which I wouldn't want to do. The pics aren't scanned, some where taken by a photographer who knew what he was doing, the rest are just iphone. But they're hosting on photos.google.com which do all the conversion - they seem to do a good job of keeping good resolution with a smallish file size. "

well, I did stay at a holiday in last night so... (hehe).  maybe this is or isn't what you want, but as I understand preload will make the page show nothing at all until all images are loaded, and so in theory it all comes up at once.  Probably not worth effort, just was my usual unfiltered impressions - you know... respond before you think... how I roll.

" managed to superglue 3 fingers to a piece of mop " man I wish you had THAT on video.  Seriously would probably get some hits.  Nothing like that has EVER happened to me (spock). 

afa saw... I got a $14 jewelers saw with about 9 million blades.  it is easy to cut to the line (I have never sanded anything on the logos I make... not that they are great).  The thing with those is they break pretty easy... very thin.  work great tho once you figure out how to not break them as long as possible.  this is basically the sm one I got: https://www.amazon.com/HEYMOUS-Jewelers-Adjustable-Jeweler-Cutting/dp/B07VVQ4HPR/ref=asc_df_B07VVQ4HPR/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=385272107002&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10615900205752875859&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030154&hvtargid=pla-830229724711&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=78829231656&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=385272107002&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10615900205752875859&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030154&hvtargid=pla-830229724711

 

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@mistermikev interesting, those blades are very different to mine (I expect that is what the problem is) the blades for my coping saw are about 1/8" so do not turn corners well. The link you posted looks like just the ticket so I'll see if I can find an EU equivalent, thanks.

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2 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

@mistermikev interesting, those blades are very different to mine (I expect that is what the problem is) the blades for my coping saw are about 1/8" so do not turn corners well. The link you posted looks like just the ticket so I'll see if I can find an EU equivalent, thanks.

yes, they are like wire.  also...  I too love the monkeys.

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Ive got the pearl cutting saw from StewMac. Theres probably many available elsewhere, the key is that its a jewelers saw and uses those blades. They are TINY and break very easily if you torque it. The key to those, is to use pearl cutting lube - frequently (I think maybe its just paraffin?). It really helps. The blades are so tiny, that you can easily cut very complex curves right up to your line so you will have very little filing to do after.

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55 minutes ago, komodo said:

Ive got the pearl cutting saw from StewMac. Theres probably many available elsewhere, the key is that its a jewelers saw and uses those blades. They are TINY and break very easily if you torque it. The key to those, is to use pearl cutting lube - frequently (I think maybe its just paraffin?). It really helps. The blades are so tiny, that you can easily cut very complex curves right up to your line so you will have very little filing to do after.

I expect lapping fluid or anything similar will work like that to lube up the blade, I'll ask Santa for a suitable saw and blades because filing pearl sucks.

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