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Everything posted by GarethFlatlands

  1. Bought a set of Tonerider Jazz pickups from Bagsie, he posted them out very fast and was generally great to deal with.
  2. I'm missing out on discovering that no bass (or other piece of gear) will ever make me sound like Geddy Lee or Chris Squire. I'm never buying one so I can hold onto that dream.
  3. More slow progress for a few reasons. Once everything was assembled, I decided I didn't like the neck. This led to a sanding down, re-shaping and then 6 or so days spent re-oiling it with gun oil. During the re-shaping, the post on the E string tuner fell clean out. No problem, that'll go back in right? It did not, and the main assembly is rattling around and seems properly broken. Now, I have some Fender style tuners, but they have no bushings. I could buy some bushings, but the existing holes are the wrong size. I could dowel and re-drill the tuner holes, but the Fender style tuners and bushings need a 3/4 inch hole and 3/4 inch drill bits are weirdly expensive compared to metric ones. Another option is try to find some tuners that will fit a 12mm hole, but that's also expensive. Lastly, and I think this is the route I'm going to go down; use the neck template to make a template of just the headstock, and use a bottom bearing router bit with one of my other bass headstocks to make some holes the correct size in this new template, then transfer these over. A wrong move and I've taken a chunk out of a perfectly good bass neck, but I think it's actually the easiest option, and the only cost is the new bushings. Also, there are some nut files on the way, kindly loaned to me by ForbiddenWytch. They should be arriving any day now, so at least that's a job I can get done.
  4. Thanks for the tips and tricks everyone, I've had a couple of offers of loans of Hosco files so I should be sorted. I'll invest in a set if I decide to do any further bass building in future, but this will get me over the finish line for now.
  5. I have a set of small files, and one of them was spot on for the low E so that slot is done! I keep thinking about trying the string trick and then dismissing it. I'm just very much a "right tool for the job" kind of person, and an improvised method makes me break out in a cold sweat. Maybe I should just give it a go.
  6. Morning all, I'm building a bass at home and am agonisingly close to the end. After cutting the nut slot and giving it a setup I'm done! I documented most of the build here. https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/401447-jazz-neck-build-now-a-full-jazz-build/ In an attempt to save some money on a set of Stu Mac files, I bought some nut slot files from the US via Ebay and.... they're not good. They dulled incredibly fast (the D string slot isn't even cut to 0.4mm deep, and the file is almost smooth when you scrap a nail down it) and they're not going to do the job. You can see from left to right, the files for the A string (unused and the file grooves just about visible), D string (almost useless now) and the G string (barely removing any material). Therefore, this is a plea to see if anyone has a set of proper files they know work and are willing to loan them to me for a few days while I finally finish my lovely bass off? I'm happy to pay postage both ways and a little extra for your troubles (or make a charitable donation). Mods, feel free to move this to another forum, but this seemed like the most appropriate. Thanks Gareth
  7. Looong time since the last update! Apologies for the blurry pictures, they look OK on my phone screen but like hot crap on my desktop screen where I'm typing this. The tearout was 90% fixed by building a masking tape dam around the edge of the tuner holes and using the glue and sawdust method. The face of the headstock was sanded up through the grades again to 400 grit, then given 8-9 coats of tru-oil. Looking OK if you don't get too close! I also used an old beer can to cut out some pickup shaped plates and a thin strip of aluminium. The plates will go under the pickups (largely pointless as the cavities are already shielded with copper tape) and the strip will run from the bridge to the neck pickup cavity and make contact with the plate. A ground wire will then be soldered to the plate for grounding purposes. Time to level the fretboard. A piece of square edge steel should be dead straight, so I cut and stuck several strips of 80 grit paper to one of the narrower edges of the beam using double sided sticky tape. I alternated between the raidus block and my new straight edge sanding beam, using pencil marks over the fretboard until it was all sanded off evenly and checking using the non-sandpaper covered edge of the beam until I was happy it was dead straight. This took a long time, but should be worth it in the long run. The 'mwah' sound from fretless bass comes from the fretless equivalent of fret-buzz, and needs a dead straight board to sound. All done. Now for the side dots. I clamped the neck to the fretting template and used a 90 degree square to mark off the location of the dots. Then I used a 2mm bit to drill a few mm into the side of the board, inserted the plastic rod dipped in a tiny amount of superglue into the hole, and then cut it as close to the wood as I dared using a small pair of cutters used for delicate electronics. All done, I sanded the dots level with the wood using 400 grit paper. Why not put 2 dots where 12th fret should be? Because my sleep deprived brain forgot that was a thing. All done, I used the radius block again and sanded up to 400 grit on the fretboard, wiped the dust off with a damp cloth and then gave it a coat of lemon oil once the water had dried. The lemon oil dried pretty unevenly which told me I'd have to do another coat or 2. Turned out to be 2, but the oil looked great and dried evenly after the third coat. Time for assembly. You can see the grounding strip installed here, along with an annoying scuff I stupidly did while re-drilling the hole between the pickup and control cavities, as the first one wasn't wide enough to pass the wires through. Everything is soldered into place here. Time for some strings. Without a set of nut files, this is as close to finished as I can get for now. Nearly there though!
  8. 1 & 2 sounded a little too dry for me. 5 was doing well until the clipping on the last note. 4 was more phaser than flange to my ears! I'd stick with 3 personally, if I'm using a chorus then I want it wet sounding and 80's. I'd be interested to know what they were too.
  9. Hi Phil! It is indeed me. Old username seeing as Flatlands the band split up years ago, but I can't be bothered changing it. Who else you know is doing a build? There might be some good tips if there's a build page for them.
  10. So I think I'm going to try, in order; 1. Sawdust and glue tearout fixing, then tru oil. If that doesn't hide the repair, then; 2. Black painted headstock. I still have some primer spray left and there are some acrylics on my wifes crafts shelf I can help myself to. I wasn't sure about any other colour than the purple, but the black might complement the pickguard/pickups well. 3. If that all fails, then the veneer will cover everything up nicely.
  11. I'm leaning towards a veneer, mainly to cover the multitude of sins you can see on the previous batch of pictures. With that in mind, I've ordered a 325*200mm sheet of Crown Walnut veneer that will hopefully complement the rest of the neck once glued and oiled. I didn't do any research into the wood before I ordered it, so hopefully I won't find out that it's notoriously un-gluable or something equally catastrophic 😄
  12. I've had mixed results with sawdust and glue on other DIY projects around the house, but it's probably the simplest option. I'm sure I did something wrong before. Sadly, the spray can of purple paint ran out while doing the body. Shame, as a matching headstock would have looked great.
  13. The bone nut blanks finally turned up, as did the 12mm drill bits I ordered, so I have everything I need in terms of materials and tools. The template I have had holes marked out for the tuners, so I clamped it to the back of the headstock and pused a 4mm drill bit through the holes to mark out the centre points. Once done, I clamped a piece of scrap ply to try and stop any tearout. I ordered 2 12mm bits, a standard wood bit and a forstner bit so I had options in case one didn't work. First, I drilled a pilot hole with the standard bit a few mm deep which would then act as a guide for the forstner bit. I've tried using a forstner with a hand drill before, and it wandered so this seemed like the better idea. My scrap ply bit sadly did not prevent tearout, and it was bad enough that the tuner bushing wouldn't cover it. I then tried drilling through from the back until the centre point had come through, then flipping it over and drilling from the front. My first attempt did not go well, and I went through the full thickness by accident. The tearout here was even worse (G string). My next 2 attempts went much better, and the holes were nice and clean. Any suggestions on how to fix the ugly tearout? The headstock has already been thicknessed so taking more material off it's really an option. Part of me is thinking maybe a veneer would look OK, possibly in a similar colour to the fretboard.
  14. Thanks for the feedback and the congratulations. Caleb passed his hearing test today so it's a steady diet of chin-stroking music for him from now on. I've had a day or so of the bass looking more assembled, and to quote King Crimson's 'Indiscipline', "The more I look at it, the more I like it", despite my reaction to the colour yesterday. I made the mistake of flicking through Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass and I think that made me want to do every other colour other than the one I'd chosen. I also keep thinking how cool it would look with all-black hardware, but one of the points of the build was to transfer the parts from the original Maya and keep costs down, so that's not happening for now, if ever. Eagle-eyed readers might note that I forgot to drill a hole for the ground wire to go to the bridge, so I'm debating on whether or not to try and do that now the finish is on and done, or whether to run a strip of metal from the bridge to the pickup cavity as per the 60's Jazz basses. If you're not sure what I mean, it's on page 11 of this thread (which is a goldmine of bass building info. if you've not seen it already). https://www.tdpri.com/threads/1960-jazzbass-build.169606/page-11 I saved a beer can from last weekend's Zoom pub quiz, but have no tin snips so I'm thinking about a good way to cut and shape the aluminium. I'll check the diameter of the tuner bushings, and if I need to order another drill bit, then I'll just get some tin snips too. I'm also still waiting for my nut blanks to arrive. Annoyingly, I ordered some months ago and now can't find them, so had to order a fresh batch. At least that's the last bit of hardware I need. My second choice was Ford Highland Green, but the band around the top of the spray can in the shop looked like a really anemic pistachio colour rather than what I'd seen on Google images, so I discounted it. I mean, look at this slice of fried gold.
  15. My wife successfully popped out our first baby, Caleb (named in part after the late Caleb Scofield of Cave In), hence the lack of updates/sleep. I've been spraying the bass while they were either out on walks or upstairs so the fumes wouldn't reach them and so the house would have a good amount of time to air out, so it took a week plus to get a total of 5 coats on there. Here she is after 48 hours drying time on the final coat. The clear coat was more satin than I expected. I also realised that it's the exact same colour as the Ford Fiesta that was my second car. I had a few regrets on the colour, wishing I'd gone for something like Frost Gold, or Burgundy Mist Metallic, or left it as bare wood and just finished it with tru oil. Too late now. I still like it, but it's the same as a car I used to barely tolerate and was glad to see the back of after it could have potentially killed me*. Anyway, using copper tape, I shielded the pickup and control cavities and that was about it for today. However, I couldn't resist a quick test fit of everything to see how it was all looking. The masking tape took some of the paint off around the bridge pickup, and the fit on the scratchplate around the bridge pickup isn't good. The holes for the pickup wires aren't quite wide enough so I need to either file the holes or just go back and forth with the long drill bit to widen them a little. Once that's done, I need to sort out the nut slot and the nut, drill the holes for the tuners, finish the headstock somehow (no more purple paint so no matching headstock sadly; it'll probably be tru oil). Once that's done, I'll see if the thick fretboard is an issue and needs lowering. It's been radiused and will need flattening, but we can see after that what the deal is. Then wiring up, stringing and hopefully done! *the brakes failed while I was driving. Thankfully, I was on a motorway slip road with a pretty steep gradient upwards, and it was about 2am with very few other cars around, so I just kind of rolled up the hill to a stop. Had I stopped at the services for a toilet break like I was considering, it could have been much, much worse.
  16. Nothing to add but another "that looks great!" Nice work.
  17. Ooh, maybe a finger ramp for my fretless... I'll message you later!
  18. Unfollowing this thread, your bass already makes mine look like it was put together by a blindfolded golden retriever 😬
  19. Is it just me who loves their router? With a good template, they're fantastic! Nice and fast at getting jobs done.
  20. I have a homemade template for the body and a paid-for one for the neck, I was mainly held up by lacking the proper skills and jigs for certain jobs as it's my first home build. Also, I have a hard time concentrating sometimes which is a bad mix with power tools, so there have been long stretches where I've not made any progress. I'm making a Jazz too, there's a build thread here.
  21. Post #1 and you're at the same point I'm at, having been at my build since February 😄 Looks fantastic!
  22. I first saw it on Spectre Sound Studios Youtube page where Glen doubled the bass track, and then applied a horrendous distortion sound to a very narrow frequency range before sweeping it to find what worked best. Presumably it's one of those tricks that works great in a mix but doesn't always sound very musical on it's own. I guess once you notice it, you can't unhear it and it might start to grate, like how I get annoyed with pop music where everything but the vocals gets compressed into oblivion once the vocals come in and the band sounds like it's been relegated to in another room.
  23. Thanks, that explains a lot! Why the stain was so bad, and why the painting is going so well (hopefully that hasn't jinxed it). If I weren't trying to keep costs down so much, I'd get black hardware rather than have all the plastic parts black and the metal parts chrome. As it is, I'm just trasnporting all the hardware from the old bass to the new one bar the bridge, which is a £5 job from Facebook Marketplace. There was a Shuker bass on here years ago that was orange with black hardware, but I can't seem to find it. If you remember it, that would be the look I would go for. Edit - Found a picture of it, or one very similar anyway.
  24. I have a black plate from the old bass, but it's not well cut around the pickup so I'll see if I can live with it. What would you go for out of interest?
  25. So the paint primer was left for 24 hours, given a quick rub with 400 grit paper, and 2 more coats applied with a 15 minute gap between each. After waiting another 24 hours, I rubbed the paint down again with 600 grit paper, wiped the whole thing down with white spirit and once dried, put 2 coats of the final colour on, again waiting 15 minutes between sprays. It's a purple metallic paint, Ford Purple Velvet. My second choice would have been Ford Highland Green (check out the fit 1968 Ford Mustang on Google Images when you look up the colour 😍). I'll do the same process again tomorrow. I'm getting all my spraying instructions from a Youtuber called Brad Angrove if anyone is curious on the reasoning behind my methods.
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