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Andyjr1515

One or two interesting smaller projects

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Hi

Just one or two interesting projects some of you might be interested in that I have been fitting in around the present main build (the 'Psilos Phoenix' dreadnought acoustic documented elsewhere in the 'Build Diaries').

Two of them are for @wwcringe and are similar to a couple of small jobs I did for him last year.  Tom, like myself, is a great fan of the present-day fantastic base quality of many entry-level brands.  With a relatively small amount of tweaking, many of them can be turned into excellent pro-level instruments.  Squier and Ibanez are high on this list! 

This time round, Tom asked me to tweak an Ibanez Talman TBM30 and his trusty Squier Deluxe V Jazz.  I finished the Talman a few weeks ago (Tom sent me a Soho Radio 'live lounge' clip playing it with the fantastic singer/songwriter Nyah Grace :) ) and am on the finishing steps of the Squier V.

In both cases, Tom wanted the necks stripping down to wood and 'slurry-and-buffed'.  I used Danish Oil this time but using the same method as do for tru-oil.  I had a couple of veneer offcuts left from @TheGreek 's recent veneering job and used them on this, adding a MoP swift for good measure.

For the Talman, Tom wanted to swop the J-bridge p/up for a humbucker and then move the jazz to a new high neck position.  These were the resulting amended routs:

vimYk9xl.jpg%20

Ordinarily, I don't shield the pickup chambers - usually just the control chamber - but I noticed the original p/up chambers were indeed shielded and so I followed suit for the mods.

I modded the electrics to Tom's requirements which, interestingly, is 100% rotary switches, and finished with a full setup.  Here was how if finished up:

HOB4Oddl.jpg

MbszqGxl.jpg

 

And then onto the Squier. 

Same treatment for the neck, and the last offcuts of @TheGreek 's veneer used up:

95zzRNKl.jpg

Tom sent me some Hipshot tuners to fit.  Presumably, they are imperial sizes - certainly, Hipshot bushes tend to be just slightly smaller than Squier bushes.  Little tip for what it's worth, I use maple veneer, bent round the chamber to produce a snug fit.  Maple is hard, too, so won't crush:

miSvgDKl.jpg

 

Again, Tom's preference is rotary switches.  So the plan was 4 rotaries, including: 3 position pickup selection; series/parallel; tone on/off; signal/kill.

I'm not bad with electrics, but transposition is always a challenge to me - so transposing the logic of DPDT switches to rotaries took some time sitting in the proverbial darkened room!

I used a guitar humbucker diagram as the role model and worked my way through in pencil to convert it first to two bass pickups and then from vertical DPDT to multi-pole two way and three way rotaries:

8SmCnjyl.jpg

 

And here is the finished result:

xTJDBF4l.jpg

To my complete astonishment, it all works!

Last job before the set-up was to cut a couple of sycamore covers from some offcut from @TheGreek 's Psilos bass (I think you should be charging at least one of us royalties, Mick :lol: ), add a few magnets and then slurry and buff those too:

BEV7sTil.jpg

 

When I've done the set up for this, I've got another small job to start for one of our esteemed Basschat members - but more of that anon  :)

Andy

 

 

 

 

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Lovely work - questione though - presume @wwcringe provided the H pickup - it would have been cool to have exposed poles like the others: was one not used due to preference of quality of pickup or not wanting a headache at all the extra poles?

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12 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Lovely work - questione though - presume @wwcringe provided the H pickup - it would have been cool to have exposed poles like the others: was one not used due to preference of quality of pickup or not wanting a headache at all the extra poles?

I'm pretty sure it was just a handy humbucker from Tom's bits box ;)

Sounds great!

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29 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I'm pretty sure it was just a handy humbucker from Tom's bits box ;)

Sounds great!

Oh well that's bargainous then! I love the contrast of the back of the headstock and the neck. 

Also  - I do not envy you the electronics exam. I'd have melted trying to remember my pre-GCSE physics.

Edited by Daz39
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While I'm waiting for the knobs to arrive for Tom's Squier, I've kicked off the initial work for another small job - this time for @Sibob

Those of you who follow the Yamaha BB thread will know that he's had a problem with the neck on his BB415.  Some kind soul suggested that I might be able to do something with it and so he sent the neck to me a week or so ago.

Basically, @Sibob couldn't get enough adjustment on the trussrod to achieve a decent flatness of neck.

I love Yamahas, but I'm not keen on the trussrods they tend to use.  The love comes from the fact that ALL of their instruments are just, well, right.  I play a Yamaha sax - and that is as good as every Yamaha guitar and bass I've ever played.  Just look at the carve on this neck:

ruLX2tpl.jpg

It is as smooth as silk and it feels great!

But - the trussrods are single acting and have a relatively small adjustment range.  So they rely on the neck being flat with the trussrod loosened and no strings, then the adjustment is enough to counteract the bow resulting from the string tension.

So - full loosened, it should be flat

This is the centre section against my flat beam of Sibob's - fully loosened and no strings:

3jB9HpRl.jpg

I checked with some feeler gauges:

DgBHSdIl.jpg

It's bowed to a gap of 0.7mm.  

So, yes - the trussrod can be tightened to make it flat...just.  But then add the strings and it bows some more and there is no adjustment left in the rod to counteract it.

In cases where there is a relatively small amount of extra movement you can sometimes sort it by adding a washer under the trussrod adjuster, or by levelling the frets.

But with frets at 1.3mm high and a gap of 0.7mm to flatten, there wouldn't be any fret to speak of left either end once it had been sanded flat.

So the action is:

  •  Remove the frets
  •  Flatten the fretboard itself
  •   Refret
  •   Level and recrown

So that's what I'll be doing over the coming week or so :)

 

 

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When taking frets out, a bit of heat helps

rQ0O0iTl.jpg

 

And then an essential item - proper fret removal pincers.  They are flat ground and the edges are sharp so go under the fret and lift without damaging the fretboard:

uSSKJSVl.jpg

You basically nibble down the length of the fret and let the pincers do the lifting.  Doesn't take long before they are all out:

kDDpdDOl.jpg

 

Then is the turn of the long levelling beam:

4oqDxo7l.jpg

I use a 2m piece of aluminium box section with emery cloth stuck with two-sided tape.  My GP would be delighted...Andyjr1515 is at last getting off his fat a*s and doing some hard physical exercise!  Hand sanding even a 1mm bow is bloody hard work!

u5xAmxtl.jpg

I use the old school chalk trick to see how it's progressing and making sure I am sanding the nut end and the heel end at a similar rate (because the heel is twice as wide as the nut, it is VERY easy to end up under sanding the heel end and over sanding the nut end):

4CGUowxl.jpg

 

After a couple of hours (yes - really.  If this was ebony, it would be a couple of days!), we have it flat and re-radiused:

zVjN6rgl.jpg

 

Here is the 'before' against the straight-edge, laid from nut to heel.    The gap you can see is from the nut at the right to around the 7th fret at the left:

gj5CTq7h.jpg

 

And this is the 'after'  - which is what it should be like, ie, no gap:

AU792UZh.jpg

 

Next job will be re-fretting.  Probably tomorrow if I've got enough fretwire in my bits box...

 

 

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Very cool! Possibly a stupid question: Were you not a little bit worried about sanding through the inlays?

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33 minutes ago, Danuman said:

Very cool! Possibly a stupid question: Were you not a little bit worried about sanding through the inlays?

What inlays?

Zoiks!!

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4 hours ago, Danuman said:

Very cool! Possibly a stupid question: Were you not a little bit worried about sanding through the inlays?

Not at all a stupid question. 

It was one of those calculated risks.  I could see that the inlays were Mother of Pearl which usually starts off as blanks of between 1.5 to 2 mm.  I was going to take off maximum 0.7mm either end so it was then about how much had already been sanded away when the neck was originally finished.  And whether the original blank had been closer to 1.5mm or 2mm!  

Where you can get caught out is that for a wide inlay, a fretboard radius can quickly lose you that thickness.  But this has a very flat radius (quoted as 23 5/8" which is a very un-Far East measurement).

So as I was sanding, I just kept my eye on the 1st fret inlay and the upper fret ones.  You can generally see if they are getting thin because they start going bluish quite a way before you break through.  These were fine :)

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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By the way, I once did run into the radius issue with inlays.  This SG-ish electric 6-string I built for our band's bassist (yes, I know) had that problem...which is why at the upper frets, the trapezoid frets become square frets - the spiky curved bits simply sanded away!:

99QWUX4l.jpg

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4 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Not at all a stupid question. 

It was one of those calculated risks.  I could see that the inlays were Mother of Pearl which usually starts off as blanks of between 1.5 to 2 mm.  I was going to take off maximum 0.7mm either end so it was then about how much had already been sanded away when the neck was originally finished.  And whether the original blank had been closer to 1.5mm or 2mm!  

Where you can get caught out is that for a wide inlay, a fretboard radius can quickly lose you that thickness.  But this has a very flat radius (quoted as 23 5/8" which is a very un-Far East measurement).

So as I was sanding, I just kept my eye on the 1st fret inlay and the upper fret ones.  You can generally see if they are getting thin because they start going bluish quite a way before you break through.  These were fine :)

 

 

This is why this is such a great community. Thank you for the in-depth reply and for taking care of such a beautiful instrument. 😊

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And onto the fretting of @Sibob 's neck.

One of the wiser investments in recent years has been a pair of proper fret tang-cutting pliers:

fOwLeIQl.jpg

There are many ways of fretting, but what works for me is:

  •  Cut the tangs and length
  • Check the slot clearance and depth
  •  Lightly triangular file the top of the slot
  •  Run a small bead of titebond along the tang
  • Hammer one side, then the other side, then the middle
  •  Wipe off the squeezeout
  •  Clamp a radius block over the newly hammered fret
  •  Move to next fret 

You get into a routine, but it's still a bit of a tedious job, so time for a coffee with 12 done and 9 to go:

7U6xhsEl.jpg

 

What was nice about the way the frets came out is that the tang-slot filling, done when the neck was made, survived on all frets, so one less job :)

JiEWIoRl.jpg

uEfphBsl.jpg

 

Once the frets are all in, they will be left overnight for the glue to fully harden and then the ends clipped and the bevels filed.  Then it is just a case of levelling, re-crowning where necessary and polishing up.  Finally, the fretboard will be polished back up, the nut lowered and refitted (remember, the nut fretboard end is now 0.7mm lower than it used to be) and then it should be able to go back to Si.  :)

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

Very Clever stuff,👍 I’m guessing that it’s not as easy as you make it sound 🙂

When you watch @Andyjr1515 demonstrate some of his techniques, he makes it look very easy, but don't be fooled, he's a very talented guy. My P-bass needs a re-fret but, even after seeing this, I don't think I'm brave enough to tackle the job 

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 Clamp a radius block over the newly hammered fret

Where did you get a radius block with a 600mm radius Andy? Just curious

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50 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

Very Clever stuff,👍 I’m guessing that it’s not as easy as you make it sound 🙂

Like a lot of these kinds of thing, it takes a lot of trial and error until you find out what works for you.  For me, the trick of clamping a radius block on after hammering in made all the difference to the ease and quality of the seating.

Once you've gone through the learning curve, and got the one or two tools or jigs that make the difference, it isn't difficult - just a bit tedious in that you have to do it 21 times or so! :)

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2 minutes ago, MoJo said:

Where did you get a radius block with a 600mm radius Andy? Just curious

Couldn't find one.  The flattest radius from the people who seem to have the widest range (G&W) only go up to 20" and this is 23.5". 

So I've taken my 20" blocks (I have an extra wide one, perfect for sanding the wider 5 and 6 string fretboards) and flattened the radius a touch on both of them with a few strips of masking tape, progressively overlaid towards the centre.  According to my calipers it's as close as makes no difference.  As I said earlier, it seems an odd radius for Yamaha to pick - 500mm /20" would have been perfectly fine to play.  I would defy any player to notice the difference.

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And trimmed.  Next job is levelling, recrowning and polishing the frets and resetting the nut.  And then...well then I think it's done  :)

PI2r9vBl.jpg

 

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Just now, Reggaebass said:

What a superb job 👍

Thanks.

It might be...but only if it sorts the problem :lol: 

 

Fingers crossed!

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7 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Frets all done. Just have to reset the nut, pop back the tuners and this can be shipped back to @Sibob 

ctSvKPcl.jpg

Amazing 🙌

Si

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