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The BlazerRay... Now finished!


BassTool

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Well, after diligently following the build diaries of some fantastically talented folks on here, I've decided to have a go myself at a bit of a revamp.

Back in August 2017 I was given a 1980 Ibanez Blazer and posted on here asking, can this body be saved? I got some good replies, and have been inspired by @TheGreek amazing bass which was saved by the guru that is @Andyjr1515 in this thread below - quite an astounding transformation IMO.

I've always liked the look of the MusicMan Stingray, but never took the plunge and got one. So, I've sat and looked at the Blazer for a year and thought, what have I got to lose by trying Andys suggestion of gluing it up?

With it's big headstock, it's probably the only bass neck I could transform into a MM style head - Ibanez didn't skimp on wood in their oar like headstock design! The body shape could facilitate a small tweak of the horns, and refitting a MM pup should be feasible underneath where the P style pup sat.

Now, before I start, I am no luthier, but I like to dabble a bit DIY wise, me and my two sons built a large shed/workshop a year back, so refurbing a bass can't be that far removed can it? I'll be unorthodox most probably, and highly likely to give some of you a good laugh at my methods, but I'm going for it anyhow, and I'm determined to turn this into a usable instrument with the advice I've gleaned on here....😎 

 

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So, to start, I ordered some Tightbond as used by everyone on here, and set about removing the lacquer as my plan is a laquered ash look BlazerRay - providing the wood underneath is as good as it looks...

It took less than an hour to strip, and I know some will wonder why I stripped it before glueing, but curiosity got the better of me with that amazing grain waiting to be unveiled.....hmmm, turns out it's a transfer of some sort!

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Some serious clampage was required, as well as a lot of glue.

I actually brought in my 'persuader' - a length of pipe I use as a tommy bar - those clamps were going to get that split as closed up as I could get it.

And that, was it for an entire seven days. Yup, I took the whole rig into the living room for warmth - Mrs BT was over the moon as you can probably imagine - and I was determined not to touch it for a week, overkill yes, but this had to work...

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MMAN107-IW-10-07.jpg                          This is the plan, to replicate similar to this, the neck the Blazer came with is in excellent nick, and is a nice lump of maple which I will refurb with a TruOil finish, new brass nut, and re-styled headstock.

 

Stay tuned 😉 

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I found a perfect picture online of a MM headstock, and this is where I got 'creative' 😆

I enlarged the pic so it was exactly the same size as the Ibanez - even the tuner holes lined up when I put the headstock against the picture.

Then it was a simple trace around the onscreen image onto a sheet of white A4 and I had a lifesize template, which I could use to get the underside tuner position, as well as the shape of the new headstock design.

Using my newly acquired Forstner bits, I drilled out the new hole...

And checked position with my alternative 'G string' piece of string, dunno what I would have done if it hadn't fit mind 🙄

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Now to plug the hole at the top, as I now know I can get very close to the MM headstock shape after checking with my paper template.

I took a scrap of wood and went straight into it with my hole saw without the drill bit in to get a solid plug. Not right I know, and I had to commit to forcing the drill straight into the wood, but it achieved what I wanted. Glued it in place with a bit over for sanding to a flush finish.

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Well a week went by, and the grand un-clamping ceremony arrived. Aided by my eldest lad who thought it nigh on impossible to glue that body together, we tentatively removed the clamps...

 

 

WOW! How good is that Titebond?!

 

I didn't get too excited mind, that wood had been through some serious stress at some point, and for a good few weeks I expected it to start making splitting sounds 😞😞 I kept going back to The Greeks' bass transformation thread for reassurance ☺️

 

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Edited by BassTool
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In my original request thread it was mentioned how the body of this particular bass might have been put together, and now we know.

The front and back are veneers of some sort of wood, anyone care to guess? It's been laminated on top of a blockwood body that looks like strips of maybe beechwood? The amazing grain effect under the lacquer was simply some kind of dipped effect maybe? The body is quite heavy, but has been well disguised in its original condition, I've searched online for a similar finished Blazer but drawn a blank finding anything that looked similar.

So @TheGreek that's the reason for no natural finish - it's deffo gonna be white now 😎

 

The glue joint is holding nicely though.

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

It can be done...bass is still in one piece, as delivered by Andy..

Have faith...

Mick that bass of yours has been my inspiration, I have read and re-read Andys build so many times, and watched the video from the bass bash - WOW what a sound from those Sims, and from the refurbished woodwork of course! 😎

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The Blazer has a little extra inward turn on both horns, probably to keep Leo from the door at the time, so to make them more 'Rayish' I decided to take them off.

I bought three rasp files for under a fiver at our brilliant local DIY warehouse. Set up by a local guy around 10 years ago, Ability Supplies is now bigger then our local B&Q.

I'll go in there for something simple like masking tape and come out with a carrier bag of stuff that 'will come in useful sometime' and £20 less in my pocket, it's got almost everything at amazing prices, resistance is futile.

Anyhow, I digress.. I'm not on commission by the way.

 

Back to the rasps, one flat, one half moon, one rat tail.

 

One word...

 

Lethal 😮 

 

I was planning on putting a belly carve and arm carve in the slab body, and I've now found the tools to easily do the job.

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  • BassTool changed the title to The BlazerRay... Now finished!

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