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Andyjr1515 last won the day on June 30

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  1. Yes, @Maude - @briansbrew is right, that is beautiful.
  2. This job is a little bit like the modern masterchef trend of 'deconstructed dishes'. Basically, the sequence that I need to do things is quite different to a 'normal' build. The challenge is that, ideally, we are trying to get a solution where @Happy Jack can unscrew the fretted neck, screw on the fretless and everything (intonation, saddle heights, etc) is pretty much unchanged. And so the sequence of what I do when has to be pretty specific. And the next job in that sequence is sort the neck pocket sides, even though the neck heel depth hasn't yet been calculated or cut. It's fine work because it not only has to fit well, it has to be also pointing in the right direction. Slow, but a job for my little disk sander that will keep the sides absolutely square as I edge close to the fitting line: I'm sure it wouldn't get me entry to any Master Builder society, but probably 'close enough for jazz' : ...and, according to the middle string, at least it's straight: Next is going to be to fix the screw holes. I use a brad-bit drill as a punch to give me accurate drilling holes and I fix two of the screws on the diagonal, check the straightness and then mark the centres for the other two screws : And all four in. The screws' positions won't be affected when I finally reduce the neck heel thickness to the correct level further down the sequence as long as I keep everything square and flat. And so the next job is going to be to determine the exact position that the nut-end of the fretboard needs to be at to intonate with the same bridge saddle positions as on the fretted neck and that will let me plane the fretboard down to its final taper and then glue it to the neck. But before gluing that, I will have to get that small angle planed on the headstock. And then (at last) I will be able to work out how deep the heel needs to be. Told you it was an unusual sequence.. And, because that means putting the fretted neck back on to measure it, that's a job for tomorrow
  3. Hmmm...I know that I veneer anything that stands still for more than a few seconds... ...but I'm with @Maude on this one. To me, the joy of these basses is the visible neck-through. And, as @briansbrew says, the body finish is original. Personally, I think it would be nice to find a solution that retains those elements.
  4. Not necessarily This afternoon was Buxton's (relatively close to home) sterling effort to get to the next round of the FA Cup (they didn't ) Those who've seen my previous builds will know that I detest routers. But - there are some jobs where, really, only a router will do. And one of those is the truss rod slot. And done: So next will be planing a small angle for the headstock and then doing a Fender-style carve on it. The billet isn't deep enough to be able to do a proper angled stock and dispense with the break angle compromise of the Fender design but it will probably give me a couple of degrees of help which might mean that I can more easily fit a Wal type or bar type of string retainer rather than the button type fitted on the fretted neck. Visually, it will pretty much look the same as the Lull. And then hand-fitting the heel end to the body neck pocket, after which I will fit the fretboard and start the neck carve.
  5. It is well recognised in guitar and bass building circles that hand radiussing ebony fretboards is: - the quickest way to insanity (takes days but insanity is assured) - likely to result in a tapered or skewed profile down the board however hard you try I built myself a router rig a few years ago - better but not perfect - then invested in the excellent G&W router jig a year or so ago. It's b****y wonderful After about 25 minutes, I'd got the shape roughed out over two passes Then another 15 minutes with a radius block to just remove the router cutter lines: And done
  6. Two things have happened that should speed things up a bit. First is that the main build that is running alongside this job has got to the "apply finish and wait for it to dry" stage (isn't self-promotion a wonderful thing ). The second is that the truss rod has (eventually!) arrived and I can now cut the slot: It is a modern two-way rod and will be fitted with the hex adjuster at the rear in the same position as the fretted neck. A note for the observant, by the way - the rod when fitted will be the other way up, with the steel plate side uppermost otherwise there is a frequently suffered scenario of tighten rod, hmmm...still too much relief...tighten more...hmmm...doesn't seem any better...tighten...BANG (as the rod energetically bursts its way through the fretboard ). I say this because - for the same reason that I've photo'd it this way up as it won't balance on its correct side - many of the sales web sites (including much respected ones) show the rod the wrong way up and almost none provide fitting instructions...so often new builders fit them the wrong way round, at which point 'righty-tighty' becomes 'righty-CRIKEY!' The fretboard blank has been cut and planed to size... ...and next job is the radiussing. We are going for 12", the same as the fretted. The dastardly plan is that both the slot cut and the radiussing will be done before the footer comes on
  7. Steinberger holes drilled - so time for a gratuitous mock-up When sanded and buffed, the fretboard and headstock plate will polish up to the same sort of satin finish as the ebony on the body. The remaining visible neck laminates will darken with the application of the Tru-oil but will buff up to a similar sheen. They don't do the Steinbergers in nickel but I think they are far enough away from the main body. Only a few jobs left on the basic build and then I can move onto the final sanding and finishing.
  8. And so to the headstock plate. Before gluing, a vital thing not to be missed - cutting the access to the trussrod: The cunning plan is to use the cut out above as the cover, fitted flush with magnets: There will be a shallow scoop at the apex as a finger-nail access (this will be a snug fit!) And no, you can't have too many clamps! The plate is presently oversize at the edges and will be sanded flush with the headstock once the glue has fully cured.
  9. OK - I think we are on the final furlong With grandparenting duties done for a few weeks I have a fairly uninterrupted run to finish this off. Jack and I have been doing some work on the headstock arrangement and he has come up with a shape that I think works beautifully. It gives a respectful nod to the original but is its very own. This is a mockup, but later today I will be cutting and gluing on the actual ebony plate. At the same time, I've been experimenting with some ebony offcuts from the top wood to see how well a 'no finish, just sanding & buffing' approach (think violin fretboard) works. The trials went well and so I did a quick and nasty to see how it works on the whole top. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but...I reckon it works
  10. Well, it doesn't half make it easier when you have an exact scale template to hand The maple is AAA (top) grade from David Dyke - it's important for a single piece neck, especially a 5 string, that the grain is completely straight and the timber length is aberration-free. I've lined up the neck exactly to the grain direction - the green line at the top on the above photo is where I will plane the slight angle off so my datum is also exactly in line with the grain: With around a mm oversize, all except that datum length is cut out on the bandsaw. The extra lines you see here are David Dyke's pencil template lines for them to position and cut the blank to. Happily, I know which one's are mine (and hence the green pen!) : So why that datum face? This, being parallel to the centre line, is what I will use - running along the guide fence on the router table - to cut the truss rod slot Well then, pretty much done. Agreed it's a bit on the chunky side, but I think @Happy Jack will soon get used to it once I've hammered those 6" nails in...
  11. And so, back from grandparenting duties, back to the necks and back to bare wood! And a second go, this time with the inks. Colour match isn't quite as close but it is much, much more even and still feels just as silky smooth: Time to move onto the fretless!
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