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About Rubis

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  1. The next step was Dr Fakenstein's acid bath! I bought some concrete cleaner and some plastic tubs and put the metal parts in to tarnish them. You put a bit of the acid in the larger container which needs to have an airtight lid, then you float the smaller tub on the acid, with the metal parts in, it and place it somewhere safe outside, checking on it every 30 mins or so until you get the desired look. The process definitely works better on nickel coated parts, rather than chrome, and I resisted the temptation to soak them in the liquid, as I had noticed on the pre-relic'd bridge I bought that the baseplate looked a bit blotchy, as if some sort of liquid (etching fluid or acid?) had been put on it and globules had formed and left to dry. It didn't look all that authentic to me, anyway so I polished it up and put it in the tub and (to me anyway!) improved it a bit. This was before I re-did the baseplate This is after. I got a bit 'acid happy' and put in the brass pickup plate and the pots, just to take a bit of the shiny newness off them!
  2. I've been having a bit of fun with the hardware, making it look 'less new' I took the pickup covers off and rubbed them down with fine wet and dry and then 0000 steel wool to give them more of a matt finish like this Then I read about using this stuff on the polepieces of alnico pickups On the photos of vintage P basses I have studied, some have rusted polepieces, some are blackened, I decided that blackening them would be both easier and kinder to the pickup! Here is a sort of before and after comparison
  3. I've now done the aluminium pickguard shield. I worked out the wording from various photos available, to be 'ALCLAD 2024T3 Q' and '2 KAISER' ………...like this.Still got no idea what KAISER refers to though! I found some letter and number stamps online which looked to be near enough the same size and font as the old Fender ones.Bought some red enamel spray paint, a plastic clipboard and one of them roller things for getting dog hair off your trousers!After sticking down some masking tape on the underside of the shield at what looked like the same width of gaps, I sprayed the paint onto the plastic clipboard then spread it out a bit with the roller and dipped the stamps onto it.I applied the lettering and I'm quite pleased with the results.
  4. Thank you for your comments, I will carry on with the jig (probably in a few months time when it's warmer out in the garage) and I will be sure to post something showing how the results turn out, I am stubborn in nature!
  5. Right.....how time flies! I haven't been entirely idle for the past couple of months, but I haven't been as busy with this as I had hoped to have been. I have been experimenting with a router jig to get that troublesome veneer fingerboard radius, and got part of the way there. I have used some parts from 3D printers I got the12mm bar for the bearings to slide along, as it needs to be quite long to fit a bass neck onto, and have been trying to make a holder for my laminate trimmer (for lightness, so it doesn't bow in the middle while travelling lengthways. I'm pretty sure it will work (eventually!) but there is a lot more trial and error than I had thought. I had envisaged a device which would allow the trimmer to travel side to side on a curved holder, as others had done, which would give the required radius, and hoped to have been able to have it reversible so that it would do concave and convex, but that might be a bit ambitious! I haven't abandoned the idea, but I have put it to one side for now and taken the easy/sensible option of ordering an aftermarket neck from Musikraft. I have heard good things about their necks and they seem to be the only ones to offer the period correct veneer board, the price is reasonable too. The only problem, of course was getting a rosewood fingerboard as there are problems exporting it, so I had to make one compromise. They offer a great service where you can spec pretty much anything you like, so I went on their site and was able to order a neck which will exactly meet my needs. These are the options I have gone for Options:ORIENTATION: Right for Right Handed PlayersHEAD SHAPE: J/P StyleHEEL SHAPE: Rounded J/P Style NUMBER OF FRETS: 20 Fret (Standard)NUT WIDTH: 1-3/4 P Style (44.45mm)HEEL WIDTH: 2.4375 (61.91mm) Vintage FenderTUNER HOLE SIZE: 2 Step 11/16 X 9/16 Vintage FenderTRUSS ROD TYPE: Single Acting Adjust at the HeelFB RADIUS: 7-1/4NUT SLOT STYLE: 1/8 Standard Fender StyleSHAFT WOOD: Rock MapleFINGER BOARD STYLE: Veneer Vintage Fender (20 Fret Only) Will Come With 50/50 Side Dots + $80FINGER BOARD WOOD: Brazilian Walnut - Reclaimed Lumber from The Coney Island BoardwalkTOP DOTS & INLAY: Imitation ClayBINDING: NoneSIDE DOTS: Imitation Clay 2mmFRET WIRE SIZE: 6230 Vintage SmallFB EDGES: Semi Rolled StandardBACK PROFILE: Fat C 1.0 X 1.0FINISH: Raw (No Warranty)MOUNTING HOLES: Do Not Drill Mounting Holes All vintage spec and with the fattest neck possible, exactly as I would have hoped to have built it myself. This way will also mean I will not have the headache of fretwork and fettling to get it acceptable. The fingerboard material is a little unusual....."FINGER BOARD WOOD: Brazilian Walnut - Reclaimed Lumber from The Coney Island Boardwalk"...……..sounds quite cool coming from the Coney Island Boardwalk but from what I can gather, it's a very similar colour, and I had intended to try using brown dye to darken the fingerboard for a more aged look anyway (apparently brown leather dye works well).  The build time is 6 to 8 weeks, which is perfect, as it's going to be my birthday present. Hopefully it may arrive early enough to get it finished in time for St Patricks Day, when I can wet it's head with a Guinness or two! Here are a couple of pics I found of a relic'd Musikraft Jazz neck which gives a pretty good idea of what they do
  6. I have recently got myself a new 'winter project' to fiddle about with on those dark evenings while the current Mrs Rubis watches "I'm a celebrity" etc I've always fancied a 12 string for a bit of jingly jangly Johnny Marr action, and I spotted those Gear 4 Music kits online, which seem to get quite good reviews for the low cost involved, perfect for tinkering with! The problem is, they look to be maple fingerboards, and I prefer rosewood, but I did see an assembled one (they have the rosewood board) which was advertised as B stock or returned goods with £20 knocked off, so for the very reasonable price of £79 I snapped it up. It arrived very promptly, all nicely double boxed and still with the cellophane on the scratchplate, the allen keys, strap, leads gig bag and even the plectrums were all still in there. No signs of damage at all...………..better than a Black Friday bargain! Excellent service from Gear4Music, I might add. I must say that for the money, the quality is very good indeed, the body is ash (European I should imagine) but it's not heavy, the neck is nice and chunky, which I prefer, the fretting is all good and the neck joint is better than on a very expensive Strat I once owned Obviously it's not perfect, at this price I would be foolish to think it would be, but I was happy to note that all the little things which would need fettling are the ones I was expecting to find, having read reviews of them before buying, mostly set up and minor cosmetic things, such as (oddly) one of the string ferrules doesn't match the other 5 on the back! As I said at the start, this is just a little winter project, to see if I could make something decent playing and looking out of a cheap online bargain bucket. My intention is to turn it into something which looks more like this...……. ……....continuing with my love of Fenders' pastel colours, I will be respraying it in Surf Green nitro, with a matching headstock and amber neck tint. At the moment the finish is all clear, a thick poly on the body and a very anaemic looking satin on the neck, and although the finish quality is excellent, I want it to look more retro. So that's the plan, I shall try to sort out any little issues I find on the way, although having had it for a couple of weeks, I must say there is nothing wrong with these guitars as they come, and if the other stuff is like this I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them....check out the double necked Tele Jangle on Wayne ! Edited 4 minutes ago by rubis
  7. Thank you, I'm looking into that because I have a feeling that whilst spending hour upon hour (!) researching for this, I read that that was how Fender did them, I could be wrong of course, but it would make sense. I guess you would be better off with a flat sawn fingerboard rather than quarter sawn, which may split?
  8. The next step I suppose, which I’ve been putting off because it will be a challenge for a ‘garage enthusiast’ with very limited facilities, is making a neck with the proper curved veneer fingerboard rather than a slab board. I know you might be able to get one made by Musikraft but by the time you add import taxes to the purchase price it can get a bit silly I also thought of taking a neck and fingerboard blank along to a local firm with a CNC machine and have them do the radiusing work, but I’d prefer to do it myself if possible. The idea that occured to me lately was to make a router jig using those clever linear bearings and rails which are used on 3D printers for the lengthways movement https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2Pcs-8x300mm-Linear-Rail-Shaft-Optical-Axis-4x-Bearing-Blocks-3D-Printer-CNC/152600768642?hash=item2387b6f082:g:JiQAAOSw5T9aveVS and the some version of this kind of thing to give the sideways movement at the appropriate radius, and set to either a convex or concave radius to achieve the veneered fingerboard curve? https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=guitar+fingerboard+radiusing+jig&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#imgrc=FZMgdEXEOuBLwM: I hope that makes sense, it does in my head but that’s by no means always a good thing! As always I would love to hear any thoughts, suggestions, warnings or ideas for this thanks in advance again Harry
  9. Next step was the hot and cold treatment. I used a heat gun and plumbers pipe freezing spray because the freezer is full of food and the wonderful long hot British summer seems to have ended. One fairly small area at a time seems to be the best way with this, and as in the article the cracks and crazing seem to emanate from the little dings and dents, moving off in a random pattern, which is how it would go naturally I should imagine? I used the recommended wood dye, but it seemed a bit too thick and dark for my liking, so I diluted it with white spirit and it went in the cracks nicely and is still quite visible.
  10. I began the relic-ing process on the body by following this article from Guitar magazine, which was very clear, useful and pretty much tallied with all the other articles I had read or watched online. https://www.theguitarmagazine.com/diy/relic-nitro-finish/ It's easy to get a bit carried away when dropping keys onto the finish and picking bits off with a nail file and dentist's style pick, and the paint chips very easily. I didn't want it to look pristine, but I also didn't want it to look like Rory Gallagher's Strat! I tried to stick to areas which would naturally get worn, like the forearm contour, and places that always seem to chip and damage from the dozens of photo's I have looked at!
  11. More hardware to finish off the body. Strap buttons, neck plate and I was lucky enough to find an aluminium pickguard shield on Ebay Germany which has saved on yet more import taxes as they don't seem to be available in the UK Next challenge is the aluminium pickguard shield. The red lettering on the back appears to say 'ALCLAD' but I can't make out what the rest of it says so I will probably just copy the lettering verbatim
  12. This shows a bit of yellowing on it now, it was great fun once I got going, in fact quite difficult to hold back and not go over the top with it, this is addictive!I fitted parts onto the body to provide natural masking, leaving the un-aged sonic blue underneath, and didn't screw the scratchplate down tightly so that I wasn't left with a hard line, as it would be (and in fact is) warped with age and so there would be a softer line between the yellowing and the clean colour. I hope this looks more realistic. I know it's only really visible when the scratchplate is removed, but I might as well do it if I can. I did a bit with the bridge cover on and then removed it and did a bit more, to try to make it look like the cover has been on and off 'over the years' I will tweak it a bit to rub back a little bit of the yellowing on areas that, from what I've seen in the dozens of photo's I have looked at, seem not to yellow. I can only imagine that this is down to some sort of continual wear pattern from contact against your body whilst playing. I mean on areas such as the forearm contour, the belly contour and the lower curve where it rests on your leg when you are seated, but again, I need to remind myself……..less is more!Sorry the photos don't show the colours or detail up very well, but the natural light was fading and i had to take them indoors.
  13. A few shots of some of the parts including the Spitfire guard (after clearing customs.....ouch )
  14. I've managed to get a little bit of work done on the body, I have sealed the body then applied white primer and then a coat of sonic blue. I appreciate that although the finish will be aged, or lightly relic'd, it would make sense to start with a good finish before 'attacking' it, as that would have been how it started out, so I will aim to get the best finish I can using just rattle cans. I have a compressor, but as I'm not aiming for a showroom finish, I can compromise a little bit. I this heat, the paint from a rattle can goes on quite well as the paint and the body are warmed up nicely. Bit more work to do though, when I'm happy with the colour coat, I'm planning on a clear coat, then a bit of subtle yellowing with light amber neck tint, avoiding the areas that would not be affected, such as under the pickguard, bridge/cover and neck plate, then another clear coat. This is the sort of look I'm aiming for, a sort of slightly yellowed with age and lightly relic'd look , a bit like this bass shown below.
  15. As an example of the kind of ‘fun’ detail I will be fussing over, I shall try to replicate the date stamp on the end of the neck, of course, to say 17 MAR 64 (it would be silly not to!) I shall also try to stamp my date of birth on the neck plate as a serial number I know that the date stamps on the neck heel do not refer to the date the neck was made, so for example the neck pictured above was not made on 7th March 1965. I was informed on another site that in that case the 7 actually refers to the model of guitar. I also realise that the serial number aught to begin with a letter L followed by 5 numbers, but I am not making a clone, and so the 'serial number' on this will read as 170364...……..obviously! I have been collecting a few bits to make a start with, it will have a Bare Knuckles ‘65 pickup which I love. I got an alder body from a popular online body parts supplier, which was sold to me as a second because of a couple of very small knots in the wood, but they are in areas where a lightly worn bass would still have intact paint anyway.  It came routed and sanded for less than the cost of an alder blank, so it seemed rude not to, it will be painted over and then lightly relic’d anyway, so it certainly doesn’t need to be perfect. I compared the appearance of it to some of the photos I have collected of pukka 60'sFender P basses, to try to get things like edge radius and routings to look as close as I can to a ‘64 body before finishing it, and I must say it was a good buy, saving me a lot of work. I did buy a decal like the lower one here, but was informed that although the decals changed in 1964, the correct one for March would have been the earlier 'spaghetti' logo, such as the top one, and this is where sites such as this, and the first hand knowledge come into their own. I will no doubt find a use for the later period logo