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About Rubis

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  1. Perfectly well said Bizman62, thank you very much
  2. Well, this is it, pretty much finished now! I made a bone nut, put on some flatwounds and after a little bit of fettling, I christened it with a quick blast through "One Step Beyond" I have to compliment Musikraft on their necks, beautifully made, this one is an absolute beast, the fattest option they offer, which suits the size of my hands perfectly, and yet it's still comfortable to play, and it needed very little truss rod tweaking. I have tried to take some gratuitous, arty shots, but it's not really one of my strong points, so I'm sorry about the quality.
  3. I've been doing a little bit more on this build, some things more effective than others. I used the same method of heat and cold to give the neck lacquer a bit of crazing, as I did on the body. I must say I was a bit nervous of damaging or warping the neck, so I went about it quite cautiously. It may be due to the fact that I deliberately put a thinner covering of lacquer on the back of the neck, than I did on the heel and the headstock, but the crazing is very faint. It's most noticeable on the front of the headstock, which I'm quite pleased about, I'll quit while I'm ahead! I also gave the fingerboard a coating of boiled linseed oil and tried to 'miss out' that small area just south of the nut, which I notice doesn't darken as much with sweat and schmunga on fingerboards over time. I did the same thing at the top of the neck where I don't tend to venture much. Again, the effect is subtle, it doesn't get much darker, but it does give it a bit of a shiny, greasy look. I also did the neck plate 'serial number' which came out ok, but you will notice that the number 7 got double stamped, and I have to admit it was operator error with the hammer which was the cause! Believe it or not, my first job when I left school in 1980, was as a blacksmith. I loved it, and it was only thanks to Margaret Thatcher killing off heavy industry in the North East, that I packed it in after 9 years. Anyway, despite gaining those valuable life skills, I can still hit my right thumb with a hammer now and then, and that's exactly what happened when I was stamping the numbers on the neck plate. It hurt like f*** and I tried to re-stamp the number, but it looks a bit obvious. Never mind, I can always replace it later if it bugs me enough. I've began to do some of those little jobs, like adding bits of hardware and beginning on the wiring etc, and it's starting to look like a guitar! I finished off the wiring and added the all the hardware. Not much to talk about really, I had to cut down the screw on the 'hootenanny' strap button, as the screw supplied was obviously intended for the body itself. Looks good now though. I also changed the little jumper wire between the two halves of the pickup, it was black on the Bare Knuckles pickup, but white on all the photo's I have seen, so it was an easy enough job for even a wiring novice, such as I.
  4. I rounded the fingerboard edges off a bit more than Musikraft did, at the business end where I think it would wear more, and then used some of this leather dye, which others have recommended for darkening the fingerboard. It also darkens the 'clay' dots down a bit which I prefer the look of now.I may add some boiled linseed oil later to give it more of a shiny, gunky old look. I also rounded the end of the fingerboard off a bit at the neck pocket end, as they also seem to wear down there. I have done the date stamp on the heel of the neck, as I said at the start I purposely made it to show my date of birth, rather than copying the manufacturing marks Fender would have or still do, put on their necks. The Fender decal was given a light coat of amber, the instructions advised doing it, but I have noticed that the decal on old Fenders is often slightly darker than the headstock Then I give the neck a light dusting of amber lacquer before masking off parts of the neck, the same way I did on the body, that would discolour differently, due to not getting exposure to light, and then applied a bit more amber. Again, I know it's not going to be seen, but a big part of the enjoyment for me is seeing how these little touches are created and applying them to something of mine. It makes a difference to me. I also made a decal with 'Rubis' on it, my date of birth and a little shamrock, in plain view and to be clear coated over to permanently seal it in, a bit like Limelight do on the back of their headstocks.
  5. Went on a trip to Ostend and found this cheeky little tipple, well...… if it's got your name on it, you have to try it, right?Very decent it was too, god bless the Belgians and their beers!
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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?
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