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Andyjr1515

Eude throws down the gauntlet

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Posted (edited)

I can even imagine what @eude was thinking.  

I'll bet he was thinking :

"OK clever clogs Andyjr1515.  So you can build 6 string electrics and you can build dreadnought acoustics but they are - well - NOT BASSES!  And, yes, admittedly you've made a bass or two and you've modded a few.  BUT I BET YOU CAN'T SORT THIS ONE!!!   Oh, and before you say you can, did you know it's a VI?  Bet you've never done one of THOSE!"  

:lol:

 

 

I'll let @eude fill in the background but the challenge is to take this body:

rPcwonpl.jpg

And put a shortscale neck on it and a Warwick two-part bridge.

"Oh...and did I mention the b****y big hole through the body?" 

oI2zizVl.jpg

 

"Oh - and the neck pocket might not be the right size for a VI neck but I'm sure a clever clogs like you will be able to sort THOSE trifling details!"

:)

 

So what could I do but accept the challenge! 

Besides, I've only got my reputation to lose.  @eude has this rather nice bass carve to lose ;)      

:D

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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Plug the gaps. Metal flake red. Job done.

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Thanks for this Andy!

I'm not sure it was a throwing of the gauntlet, more a seeking out the right man for the job.

I made this bass myself back when I was 16. As a huge Primus fan, I needed a 6 string fretless, in a Carl Thomson flavour, and growing up in South West Scotland was extremely unlikely to ever see one in the flesh, never mind be able to afford one, so I took matters into my own hands. For the record, I've still never seen one, and I'm unlikely to ever be able to afford one nearly 24 years on...

I built a 36" scale 6 string fretless at a workshop in a unique slightly hippy private school local(ish) to me. The wood working teacher there was a wonderful man called Richard Jones who made baroque instruments, renaissance viols etcs, on the side, something I believe he still does (in fact he absolutely still does >> http://www.rjviols.co.uk/ ) and he taught others to do the same. Well, when my father, who knew him in a professional capacity, told him I wanted to build a 6 string fretless bass but didn't know where to start, he welcomed me into his workshop with open arms. As a former bass player himself, he was intrigued as to what a beast like that might look like! He had a gorgeous 60's P Bass hidden away in the workshop by the way.

I didn't ever finish the bass off to the kind of standards Mr Carl Thomson would aim for, but it was enough to get me going and it was the only bass I played for a number of years, recording and live, but when a student loan paid for a Warwick Thumb Bass, I realised that there were better playing instruments out there and retired it.

Fast forward nearly 24 years, I'm still playing bass, albeit without a audience for now thanks to having young kids, but I keep my hand in and I'm extremely lucky to have a lovely collection of ACG basses, the dilemma is though, what to do with the beast sitting in a gig bag in the loft. It would seem such a waste to sell the bass off as an unfinished project, especially given how much time and effort I put into making the damned thing, so I contacted Andy to see what he could do.

Not being the tallest of bass players, and having a bit more experience under my belt, I know that 36" scale basses aren't for me, in fact I really don't know who they're for really, so this bass had to be of a shorter scale, 31.5" in fact, to match my other custom basses. Andy is going to make a new 31.5" neck, with a fretless ebony board and a headstock design tipping the hat to Mr Carl Thomson. As Andy mentioned, there will likely be a bit of jiggering and lots of planning required to make the neck to fit a pre-existing and likely oversized neck pocket, but he loves the challenge, right @Andyjr1515 ;) 

The MASSIVE hole in the body, was as a result of me routing out the control cavity, and a drill stop slipping tearing a massive hole through the front of the bass. Without stopping and thinking about what to do, I simply cut the whole cavity out, right through. I had no intention of having a pickguard, it was purely cosmetic to hide to bloody great hole! With hindsight, I'm sure something could've been done a little more subtly, the original hole was only about the size of a pound coin... The answer to this riddle is to thin the body down and pop a full face figure top on. This is also an opportunity to perhaps put the bass on a bit of a diet, as the body alone weighs more than the last bass Andy made in it's entirety!

As noted by Andy, we're losing the weird Wilkinson bridge, and replacing it with a 2-piece Warwick effort, I posted 6 Gotoh GB7 tuners along with the body, and we're keeping the EMG DC pickup and the simple vol/tone controls, for now - don't worry though Andy, if I do change my mind about the preamp, I'll be sure it only requires two hole in the body!

That's basically it really, on the surface, a fairly simple job, but underneath, probably a complete and utter mare!

Thank you @Andyjr1515 and apologies for making life more complicated for you...

Eude

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9 hours ago, owen said:

Plug the gaps. Metal flake red. Job done.

I do quite like fancy paint jobs these days, if only you'd chimed in before I'd ordered the new top... ;) 

Eude

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I must add that, apart from the unintended chasm in the top, it's a very nicely carved, sanded and finished piece of timber.  Clearly, Mr Jones was a good mentor @eude

I'm really looking forward to this project :)

@eude has sorted what sounds to be a lovely piece of top wood that should be arriving today or tomorrow.  The neck wood and fretboard woods are here, as is the bridge and also the other pieces that @eude sent.

I'll outline my thoughts of the plan of action shortly, folks :)

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1 minute ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I must add that, apart from the unintended chasm in the top, it's a very nicely carved, sanded and finished piece of timber.  Clearly, Mr Jones was a good mentor @eude

I'm really looking forward to this project :)

@eude has sorted what sounds to be a lovely piece of top wood that should be arriving today or tomorrow.  The neck wood and fretboard woods are here, as is the bridge and also the other pieces that @eude sent.

I'll outline my thoughts of the plan of action shortly, folks :)

Very kind of you to say mate :) 

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Ooh - tinkering and amending, sounds good!

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3 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Ooh - tinkering and amending, sounds good!

Don't forget the jiggering too!

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Is this why you have loads of ACG basses, because you live in the same vast forested bit of Scotland? (You do have a few don't you?)

Jiggery and pokery is the backbone of bespoke ingenuity.

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24 minutes ago, eude said:

Don't forget the jiggering too!

Ooohh - I've got some great jiggering coming up.  A new home-made jig I've not used before and has been just waiting for this very project! :)

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11 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Is this why you have loads of ACG basses, because you live in the same vast forested bit of Scotland? (You do have a few don't you?)

Jiggery and pokery is the backbone of bespoke ingenuity.

I actually live in London now, so the wood has to be shipped down at great expense!
I do own a few yes, there's no denying it, 4 to be precise. This bass via Andy will take me to 5, 4 of them being 6 strings!

I agree totally regarding the jiggery and pokery, sadly, there's a fairly big gap between my skills in that department and Andy's ;)

Eude

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1 minute ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Ooohh - I've got some great jiggering coming up.  A new home-made jig I've not used before and has been just waiting for this very project! :)

Perfic.

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..Tis a fool who challenges Mr Rogers to repair a bass..." Didn't you see what my Silk Bass (pig's ear/silk purse) looked like when I gave it to him??

I was going to bake you some Humble Pie before reading your explanation.

I can tell you, from experience, that Andy is the man for the job. Expect great things - cos that's what you'll be getting. 

Looking forward to following another AJR build (which is actually in the way of my next one...)

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

..Tis a fool who challenges Mr Rogers to repair a bass..." Didn't you see what my Silk Bass (pig's ear/silk purse) looked like when I gave it to him??

I was going to bake you some Humble Pie before reading your explanation.

I can tell you, from experience, that Andy is the man for the job. Expect great things - cos that's what you'll be getting. 

Looking forward to following another AJR build (which is actually in the way of my next one...)

The "gauntlet" was very much Andy's idea not mine, I've got every confidence in him taking this and making it awesome, we've all seen what he's achieved here on BassChat :) 

So you've got another on the cards then?...

Eude

Edited by eude
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8 minutes ago, eude said:

The "gauntlet" was very much Andy's idea not mine, I've got every confidence in him taking this and making it awesome.

So you've got another on the cards then?...

Eude

Can't say too much...you know..."Lose lips.." and all that...😎😎 Anyway if I did tell you, we'd have to kill you and you wouldn't get the benefit of Andy's handiwork.

The less said, at this stage, the better. 🙈🙉🙊

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3 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Can't say too much...you know..."Lose lips.." and all that...😎😎 Anyway if I did tell you, we'd have to kill you and you wouldn't get the benefit of Andy's handiwork.

The less said, at this stage, the better. 🙈🙉🙊

Your message has sent my mind wandering down a nautical theme, I may be gone some time...

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20 minutes ago, eude said:

The "gauntlet" was very much Andy's idea not mine, I've got every confidence in him taking this and making it awesome, we've all seen what he's achieved here on BassChat :) 

 

Yes - I confess.  The thread title and  opener all came out of my strange imagination.  @eude was, in fact, very flattering and polite in his enquiry.  Worked a treat :)

 

 

Of course, that might be part of his dastardly plan!

Just sayin'

 

 

 

;)  :lol:

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Anyway - back to the project :)

OK - the objectives are:

  • To end up with a 31.5" lined-fretless bass, 6-string B to C with the same pickup, controls and hardware as the original incarnation, except a change to the bridge, which will be a Warwick 2-piece.  In fact, this specific one, bought at ridiculously good value from Warwick themselves :

_MG_6440.thumb.JPG.d061a1d17dd3f24083af89ce2ceecc5c.JPG

  • It will have a 54mm nut and the neck will be a mahogany / walnut 3-piece
  • We will have a figured ebony board, flat profile.  Specifically this one:

_MG_6429.thumb.JPG.2d088501fb4ccb3136971f20f2ecc648.JPG

  • @eude is getting a lovely piece of katalox top wood sent to me by Alan at ACG
  • The headstock will be in the style of Carl Thomson's 6-er
  • We will lose some weight along the way
  • It needs to be finished and delivered before a certain special date in December

So the main steps are going to be:

  • Build a neck
  • Slot the fretboard at 31.5" and fill with light veneer
  • Rout the top 10-15mm off the body
  • Chamber to save weight
  • Cut, fit and carve top
  • Cut new neck pocket
  • Fit neck (prob recessed machine bolts)
  • Tidy up old neck fixing area
  • Build headstock
  • Finish
  • Set up

I'm sure I've forgotten something but that's the broad plan.

First proper job - tomorrow, hopefully - is to draw it out full-size and decide the best area of fretboard to use, then start marking out the fret line positions ready to cut the slots :)

Andy 

 

 

 

 

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I had no idea what Katalox looked like - googled it..

Image result for katalox

It's very dark...

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Just now, TheGreek said:

I had no idea what Katalox looked like - googled it..

Image result for katalox

It's very dark...

It is indeed.

 

And it's very heavy... ;)

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That's brilliant @Andyjr1515, I didn't expect you to chamber it too!
That will certainly help with the weight.

The Katalox is indeed a very dark, heavy wood. It usually has some lovely subtle figuring too, quite a beautiful and rare type of wood.
Here's the actual piece in question, which has since been bookmatched and flatted out to the prescribed 10mm and should be arriving today!

received_229409557929046.thumb.jpeg.74a79dcb0b29d132af2e218a9de8c244.jpeg

Cheers,
Eude

 

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Here's a lovely bit of Katalox on the back of a Fodera >>

Katalox Imperial 5 Elite (MG Shape)

Eude

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10 minutes ago, eude said:

Here's a lovely bit of Katalox on the back of a Fodera >>

Katalox Imperial 5 Elite (MG Shape)

Eude

There are so many wows in that shot, of which the Katalox is only one of them!

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Oof - do you think I can get a discount off Fodera if I only want to buy the back of a bass?

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15 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Oof - do you think I can get a discount off Fodera if I only want to buy the back of a bass?

Anthony Jackson only wanted one pickup and a single knob and look where that ended up ;)

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