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Posts posted by djobson101

  1. Gluing fretboard on, after a quick cleaning of the gluing surfaces.


    Cut some thickness from the back of the neck, moving toward shaping..


    I had really wanted to try this approach to shaping the neck after watching a couple fellows on YouTube use a handrail bit to profile a neck. All that was done was just copying the template that the neck was originally shaped with to a slab & add some little ramps to ease the bit into the cut. It went pretty quickly - a fair amount of TLC will be given to the heel once the wings are glued on, as well as up by the headpiece, but it was fun. 


    This is how it looks once initially done. The center of the neck will also get a little bit of smoothing out as the bit leaves a ridge:


    Which brought it to getting the wings glued on. Now I'm just looking forward to cutting the body shape so it will feel like it's (approaching) a further state of completion.


    The acetone was used only to wipe the gluing surfaces of the wings before applying glue - don't want to take any chances with the joining area between the katalox & the neck. I did the same to the fretboard beforehand. I don't have any other experience with gluing these woods where a listed characteristic is "gluing can be tricky". Are there any other approaches that can or should be taken for gluing them?

    • Like 1
  2. Moving along with cutting the lines.



    It was at this point that I made an ill fated decision to just fill the lines with dust from the fretboard and try to wick superglue down into them. It looked nice initially, but as I got along to radiusing the fretboard there were a large number of areas where it did not penetrate very well at all and chunks of dust came right back out. An important lesson learned on that.IMG_4519.thumb.jpg.69a8dc31161173477b59e815ec0af66f.jpgIMG_4529.thumb.jpg.6ac12037d7983c3809570e646b6176eb.jpgOne other unfortunate happening was that when I trimmed the fretboard to size, it threw a little piece off the treble side bottom corner, so I just sanded round ends. You can see in this next picture one of the culprits of the ill fated fret line filling job:



  3. Thankfully, by chance and not by design, the small walnut pieces won't live within the part of the neck that takes the tapered shape & I won't end up with weird little short walnut triangles at the heel.


    To my chagrin the thicknesses of the pieces in the body wings will not be identical because there is a little wormhole really close to the top of one of them, and I don't want to burn through it by sanding the top down. How I managed to get them this inconsistent is a mystery to me but I guess this happens with a fragmented work flow 😐 So before I glue the wings on I will have to run the thicker one through the drum sander to take material from the bottom. 


    Feel like it should have the ergonomic knee cut out thingy. Body template:


    Again lucked out with the neck blank, for now. When the neck profile has been done who knows what I'm going to have here.


    And rough cut the wings to get all the gluing surfaces next to each other. I kind of like the abstract look of it at this phase


    • Like 2
  4. Some progress from the last couple weekends. Decided to grab some extra stuff when I got the truss rod for some guitar ideas that are kicking around.


    Making of some slot templates. I'm using these with a pin router setup I made last year. I've found it's better for some things than others - it's not fully calibrated/aligned so there is some compensation that needs to happen, but it does work.


    Then transfered to a thicker MDF piece for the actual template to be used:


    I had to attach the template slightly off of the center line on the neck blank, but was able to get it where it needed to be. 


    It is however, a lot more trustworthy when the guide pin is taken out and I can just use it with a bushing bit. The truss rod access is going to be at the heel area.



    Did the same on a guitar neck blank that has a purpose in mind. The guitar one somehow got botched a little bit as far as keeping things perfectly centered... will have to figure out some way down the road to fix the alignment issues on the router but I can live with it for now.



  5. On 4/13/2020 at 7:32 AM, ScottR said:

    Welcome back!

    This is going to be fun.


    Thanks! I'm glad to be working on a project again 🙂

    On 4/14/2020 at 12:17 PM, Norris said:

    That's a lovely colour combination on the neck laminates 

    I have always wanted to do one like this. I would also like to try the opposite configuration with the same woods.

  6. I've been spending a lot of time sitting around planning to build something again & try to make some improvements from my last attempt. I actually have a couple things midway progressed right now, but documentation has been really spotty and I feel that maybe making a build thread will help me stay on track.

    Also who am I kidding, I have really missed this forum and getting to see everyone's projects for awhile. It has been especially nice to check in on build threads with all that is going on around us right now. But, before I derail myself even talking about any of that stuff, here is what I'm thinking for this project:

    Going to be a neck through, fretless, headless 5 string bass.

    I've slowly gathered some woods over the last couple years, mixed with some more standard hardwoods, with the intent of building so this is what I've come up with for the construction. These blanks were put together some time ago, so the pictures will start with what I have done at the moment. The neck is a 5 pc Mahogany (?) (Meranti?) (Have no idea as it was a reclaimed find) with Walnut.


    I think I added the shorter Walnut wings after realizing that it wouldn't be wide enough at the heel for 5 string spacing, whether or not it looks weird when the neck takes shape I will have to find out. The body wings, although I forgot to take a picture from the side are the same mystery-mahogany with a 1/4" piece of katalox on top & 1/4" of oak in between to give it some accent. I shaved a little of the top piece off on the upper right part of the top wing blank to see what it might look like.


    The fretboard is goncalo alves that I got a couple pieces of from this place near me that sells it as decking. I have read that it can be difficult to glue - same as with the katalox. I did the wings awhile ago and so far they are staying together - just gave the gluing surfaces a couple wipes with acetone before gluing & clamping up, one initial cleaning and then once immediately before applying glue.


    For whatever reason back when I cut these pieces out I thought it would be necessary to rough cut the fretboard blank to the tapered shape... Whether or not that is a mistake I suppose I'll find out when I get around to cutting the fret slots. Or rather the, line that's going to be filled in on the fretboard. It would probably look a lot classier with no slot cut at all, but I'm not really a bass wizard so I don't know how well I would be able to play it if I did that 😄

    • Like 3
  7. Yes... the expectations get the better of me all too easily :lol: I will say though to take away one good thing from that, it's that viewing the high quality work that makes up much of this site moved me enough to get started with this. I do feel better knowing that when I come across these areas again things won't be as daunting.

    My feelings on the coming winter, though, are another story :rolleyes: It shall be a time to PLAN a great many things, lol. Or invest in a sweet heater for my garage.

  8. I know it would be reasonable enough to go through a small checklist to try and get it up to snuff but I'm also kind of just hitting the wall with it mentally right now... I mean, it looks okayish enough as a decoration for the time being :rolleyes: believe me though I am certainly in the mode of thinking it's a disaster.

    I think you're right on with the fret situation, if you squeeze them even by hand you can get it to bottom out but then it returns to it's unseated position.. I'm pretty sure my technique in both bending the wire and installing it to the fret board left much to be desired. Probably badly chewed a slot or two :unsure: or five :lol: at some point this season I should give it a whirl with wicking some glue down in the couple troublesome slots.. 

    By the way that bass looks like it came out amazing, you really brought that thing back and then some. If I were the owner getting it back from what it came to you like, I'd be floored!

  9. Welp, work has been busy off the hook lately and I never did feel ambitious enough to yank the frets out of this thing and get it right. I'm thinking I might just leave the whole thing as it is and move on, since there are a number of additional things about it that would make me feel like it isn't worthy of being a "go-to" guitar... Here are my suspicions.

    • The body turned out pretty thin and since there aren't any contours where your arm rests on it, it feels a little awkward to play. It's also slightly neck-heavy
    • Using short and thin fret wire made it so that a lot of your finger is in contact with the fretboard and I feel like it has a smidge less sustain, sort of towards how a fretless guitar feels (not that I don't have love for fretless instruments :) but it wasn't what I was hoping for!)
    • The neck is pretty straight, just can't seem to get the action where I'd like, I'm convinced that the whole neck sort of bows a little from the heel when under string tension because of the excess of soft wood in the construction

    Overall though I'm happy with how it turned out and of course there is a lot to improve on... I have been messing around with a couple projects on my days off but have been a slouch with maintaining any kind of work flow and taking good pictures of things. I really want to get a proper build going soon!

  10. Thanks so much @eubie & @Prostheta. @ScottR I'm I'm fairly sure (or at least hope) that they're deep enough - squeezing pressure by hand is enough to get the bottom of the crown portion to touch the fretboard. I'm worried though that this might have been one of the frets that put up a fight on it's way in and chewed the slot edges some?

    Either way, I have plenty of leftover wire so I guess it'll be pulling the fret and taking care to check the slot and get the replacement right. By the way for pulling frets is it not recommended to use regular flush cutters and order the fret pullers that are specifically for this?

  11. Went back after all this and painted flat black inside the humbucker cavities & bridge recess. Will have better pics later on but this is where we're at:


    I have a couple more things to do before I'm going to feel like it's "done" ... have to tame the wires a little bit inside so they are not as loose/visible from outside. Not totally visible in this picture but they are.

    That and, there is a couple of horrendously improperly seated frets... makes for some false and buzzy notes. I'm otherwise mostly happy with how it's playing at the moment but I would really like to fix this if I could. Is there any way of approaching this without going too crazy?596e9ed540e97_image1(8).thumb.JPG.2318feecd64ab16eaa10d2ced611c844.JPG


    • Like 4
  12. Finished up some things, & found out more things to do..

    I applied some finish product - decided to order some Sutherland Welles stuff since I had used it for a customer's floor earlier this year and thought it was neat & easy to apply. They have a hard sealer that is sort of like a primer for the topcoat. Here's after some brushed coats - not sure which one this was, but I did 2 coats of the sealer & 3 of the top coat ("Uralkyd 500").


    Then realized after waiting to put hardware on it that the bridge sat too high.


    Some rigmarole of pulling the post threads out...


    And reluctantly slapped another template on the thing :unsure:

    (Here can also be seen that I attempted to string it up once without the top ferrules installed... taught string vs. cedar = <_<)



    • Like 1
  13. I loved going through this thread. And as with your last one I saw, the effort put forth into documenting and explaining the processes is invaluable to a beginner like myself.

    Absolutely stunning guitar and a beautiful tribute to your son. He will always be within you, your family and those whose life he was a part of. 

  14. I had gone a little gung ho in cutting the nut slot, meaning it wasn't done very nicely or with a plan so I decided to take an offcut from the fretboard and glue in back on behind the slot.

    5942f64b29a29_PhotoJun1454321PM.thumb.jpg.998d96167c1b817c3b9aec2f28fc92d4.jpg5942f65974256_PhotoJun1520833PM.thumb.jpg.271f7d991f9521fe66f9b018b85c1f19.jpg5942f6656e517_PhotoJun1521825PM.thumb.jpg.21a29a407bf7a2f10b5b157d026f37e2.jpg I'm looking forward to this setting up so I can set the nut in and start cutting slots. After that, it's 

    • Need to screw in/sand down the control cavity cover
    • Test mount humbuckers
    • Drill for input jack

    Really getting excited to cut those string slots in the nut though, I want to hear what it sounds like unplugged! :rock

  15. Getting settled into the new garage, almost fully set up:


    I finished pressing the frets in and got to work trimming and dressing. I had made a fret wire bender that I think I got my measurements wrong on because some of the frets appear to be improperly seated. So maybe they are smaller than 20" radius? It also took me about halfway through the neck to get the hang of pressing it in straight without popping sideways out of the caul. There is room for lots of learning here for me.


    • Like 4
  16. On 5/19/2017 at 7:17 AM, mattharris75 said:

    Nice save on the headstock! Loving the Languedoc vibe, it's really coming through.

    I sent a letter to Paul Languedoc, probably around 17 or 18 years ago, to see if he would build me a guitar like Trey's. At the time he wasn't building professionally, and wrote me back a nice letter saying that he was just swamped with other stuff at the time, but maybe one day.

    That's pretty awesome :) I can imagine though he probably didn't have much time at all to be building back then, going on tour and doing all that work with the band. But cool nonetheless, it's stories like that that only add to the allure of those guitars. Seemingly impossible to obtain a real one!

  17. The thing I couldn't live with though, and forgot to photograph the evidence probably out of frustration, was having similar problems getting a nice set of tuning machine holes drilled. Trying to act as a jig while putting the angled head stock up on the drill press just wasn't the way to go it at all. Next time I won't wait until the body is all glued up maybe so it's not so clumsy to maneuver. Despite the lack of picture, take my word for it they looked terrible. 

    Had some free time this week to fool around with the guitar, and decided to cover up the abomination. By chance I had bought some rosewood veneer a couple years ago with no specific purpose in mind, and I thought this was just begging for it, so I glued one on either side of the headstock and got the holes right.


    It's far from perfect of course, but to me just nicer to look at than the dowels. They would've shown much more here than the ones under the ferrules will I think... So it's kind of a bonus in that it's covering a mistake I know is there, but looks sorta cool too. I would've liked it if I could've trimmed the laminate more uniformly with a chamfer bit or something, but I don't have a small router that I would feel more comfortable doing that with, and don't know how to approach going around the volute & fretboard end. So I just hit it with a file and will leave all that for "next time".

    Now though it does have a sort of theme, even though the walnut and rosewood don't exactly match:591e1847f0e2b_PhotoMay18113256AM.thumb.jpg.8dc7b9db5cd4d9eafb4f02a5cff4a84b.jpg

    I started installing the frets only to find out that I had enough wire for 22 out of 24... so I will wait until they're all in to update on that front when I start doing some fretwork. There will be lots of tutorial reading and video watching when I get there...!

    The next couple weeks we will be moving to a new rental, so this will be the conclusion of guitar building in the old Perry St. Garage. The good news is the next place has a similar garage, and this one even comes without the complimentary pile of "landlord's old stuff that hasn't been utilized for decades"! So I will be very excited to set up the floor and get rolling again.

  18. Got the electronics cavity underway. The total lack of planning here made for some crude but functional development. Cut up a quick template shape to start the rout, and then following taped some pieces on the inside to finalize it. I have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to leave out a tab on the top end for a fastener, but I did and regret that decision :lol:


    ...And those who are a regular gumshoe will be able to easily figure out what this was from...591e13c5256d6_PhotoMay1094830PM.thumb.jpg.cca954449a48cb4d1f0a6e5c4b48a1b2.jpg

    So as to keep the common theme of this build going, I ended up with something that was not in line with the original idea, but thankfully I didn't get totally screwed. After the part locations were figured out I shaved off some of the underside of the top with the router.591e13e86a440_PhotoMay16112815AM.thumb.jpg.7809bbffa5069228cc7c4cce9c28ef94.jpg591e154cdaa95_PhotoMay1614658PM.thumb.jpg.681d256159e30a950a4a5e688d158bb3.jpg

    Not as planned but I'll live with it.591e1567b072f_PhotoMay1614644PM.thumb.jpg.2d40a955fd19d6d6a9311d12dc4fedc9.jpg591e1591eccfb_PhotoMay18113322AM.thumb.jpg.a06041e243bf6858ea19b7993a5c65ac.jpg


  19. Back tracking just a bit with this update - this was the original run of ferrule drilling. As mentioned, while they came out okay enough on the front...591e1128134c6_PhotoMay04115112AM.thumb.jpg.77b29e9dc81a850de6b6ccff42fb86c1.jpg

    The back, was another story.591e11982eb1d_PhotoMay04115123AM.thumb.jpg.ff365f798983ce97503b45584b31bfe7.jpg

    In the end, I plugged both sets and did it again.

    Redo of the front (and compensating for the TOM bridge post, to make for the 3rd attempt..):591e11ccc2294_PhotoMay1075558PM.thumb.jpg.d17bf6d1482c93a707ed3924f20d5d2a.jpg

    And after employing the old bit-in-the-box-o-matic, got the rears much more acceptable:


    • Like 1
  20. Been doing some window shopping for a couple woodworking machines to think about for the remainder of the year. However I have not been looking much at table saws. The one I have now is an old, probably 80's Makita (either 7 1/4" or 8" can't remember) little contractors saw that runs obnoxiously loud, has a clumsy fence mechanism and so forth...

    I was wondering about a few things on it. For one the brushes haven't been replaced in who knows how long. Not sure if that contributes at all to the loud running or if the motor itself is just tired. Is it feasible in anyone's estimation to install a similar, maybe slightly more powerful motor? Or is that just opening a can of worms...

    After watching some youtubers do the sort of thing, I was debating on trying to fabricate some things like a new top and fence system that'll be much nicer to operate than the original. The back end of the fence doesn't even really have a guide and if you're not careful when setting it can easily invite kickback. I know the best solution is just to buy a better machine :lol: but I would enjoy doing these things if the end result was worth the labor!


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