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i was going to finish this before posting all the pics but the issue with my pc and camera dates being off leads me to post now as I come across the pictures. it starts with a plan- I try to find a pic- as "straight on" as possible of the whole guitar- that I know the scale length for. In MS Paint- i remove as much of the unnecessary as possible so as to save printer ink and paper using the eraser function. I already have a jig for a six string ritter neck- so- I just need part of the neck/nut to confirm I have the right scale when I blow this up. I measure from nut to approx saddle position on the bridge and a little math- I use the skew/resize function in MS Paint to increase both horizontal and vertical aspects of the picture. I print out a one page- usually of the bridge- to see if its in the ball park of being correct- My bridge has a 3.5" string to string spread- and from measuring the strings-this was about spot on- so I print out the whole thing- and check scale from nut to mid bridge adjustment travel- the plan isnt laying perfectly flat- but the measurement is about spot on 35" scale. I will be using a 34" scale for mine- but wanted the picto 35" scale as I know that is the scale for this particular instrument. cut it out (sort of) glue to mdf. I probably should quit being a cheapo and buy some spray adhesive- but I just use titebond and spread it oh so thin with my finger. If it gets too sticky to spread- I just spritz some water via very fine mist on my finger and it spreads like nothing. The half assed lines you see on the mdf was me roughly outlining where to spread glue. I must have been drinking- geez. 3 rd grader would do better. I use a roller to press out from the center. If any of the edges are not visibly glued down- I put some on my finger and go along the edge- I hate when you sand the edge and the paper comes loose. i debated between using alder for the body and poplar-I will be using a figured maple top- think I am going to try the poplar. Saving the alder for a more vintage type instrument. The body will be painted on this anyway. at least that is the plan.
you either think this is sexy- or fugly. either way, I had a chance to play one of these, and I knew immediately after playing it I had to build one. Heavy as hell, big as hell, but there was something about it that just drew me in. I had so much fun building a carl thompson copy a number of years ago- I wanted to build something that required carving. This puppy requires carving alright. creating the basis of my drawn out plans. the lovely 6 string TOM bridge that hipshot built me- thanks to Prostheta for suggesting I give them a ring. I ended up having to slightly increase the butt end of the bass due to the string spacing on this bridge. the 8/4 hondo mahog board that will become the body. ritter uses 3 piece maple for the neck so I will follow suit. body glued up, I will run this in my router thicknessing bed and bring it down to just north of 1.5" thick.
Hi In my Alder and Camphor bass thread, I've made reference a couple of times to one of my more unusual builds - Tom's African Fretless Bass It had some challenges quite new to me and forced me to re-evaluate what REALLY matters and, alternatively, where you can take a few liberties on a typical bass build. It also was one of those builds where the customer had quite fixed ideas on some of the things he wanted (which I always find quite helpful) but some of those things were sometimes at the very edge of the possible. It started with a meeting at my local railway station. Tom - a contact from one of the UK-hosted bass forums (basschat) - was mid travel between London and the UK Midlands and had asked if I could meet to discuss a potential project over a cup of British Rail coffee. Out of his large holdall, he pulled out this: Tom explained that he visits and plays in a number of bands in Africa and on one visit he'd talked to a guy who makes traditional african drums and they had mused whether you could make a bass out of the same wood. At his next visit to Africa, and to Tom's surprise, the guy presented Tom with this piece of wood...who then, on a rainy UK railway platform, presented it to me. Tom wasn't sure what the wood was. Tom wasn't sure how, or even IF, it had been conditioned. Neither Tom nor I were sure why the dark brown bits were as hard and brittle as glass, and yet the lighter bits as soft and open as balsa. The carvers clearly hadn't been sure what thickness is regarded as a normal minimum for a bass body...this one varied between 1/2" and 7/8". Nor were the carvers aware what width or depth a neck pocket would normally be...this one was 30% wider than a normal bass neck and had about 3mm of balsa-wood looking timber to bolt anything onto. So Tom's question was - pulling out from his holdall an old Ibanez GIO neck - could I make a bass out of those two pieces? You know those times when all of your instincts are 'No - walk away from this one!'... ...and then your mouth says 'I'm not sure - but, well, you never know... I tell you what ... I'll take the bits away with me and see what I can come up with....'
so i post this in electronics because i am working on my sustainer and it is going in the fretless guitar here which was a laughable first act guitar that suprisingly enough was actualy quite resonant. so i changed the scale length and made it fretless and started on the electroncis. i am actually working on the sustainer right now thought i would take a break and post this. a couple of pics for ya i know its a silly thing but i love the shape of this guitar and i am doing a gig soon where i run parallel delays into a master delay. the parallel delays are set for a ring mod freq specific feedback loop that you can set to a specific key. i am running them all wet since they tend to make the non feedback ones sound metallic hopefully the dry signal will drown out any non harmonic feedback. its pretty fun actually i get a huge boost when i play the note i tune too or if i get a variant of it. i was tuned to D in the next clip i am uploading to youtube and it also screams in f sharp. anyway ciao for now. ed