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soldersqueeze

HipShot tremolo, Precision Bass, total hack. Beyond help ;)

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Posted (edited)

I've dreamt of having a bass with a tremolo since I saw Les Claypool as a teenager. Obviously they don't show up often and I've never had much money, so never had a chance to even play one. However, after seeing a NOS scuffed up HipShot on eBay in the USA while drunk on my birthday, that dream has been kicked into gear.

Lucky for me, and the budget, I have all the parts of an abandoned P bass project- super light swamp ash body, Mitey Mite neck with Schaller BM4 light tuners and (somewhere...) a black 3 ply scratch plate.

IMG_20200615_211305.thumb.jpg.778023c564cdfa815e53589334003ca9.jpg

Body is barely finished in dusky pink milk paint and due finishing post routing. Might stick with dusky pink and get a gold anodised pick guard, but I have other things to think about first....

IMG20200615211531.thumb.jpg.e727a0709d9c1b53e798c46ceb7f5b5e.jpg

This is my new bridge. Despite initial efforts, just pushing it into/ taping it to the body yielded poor results. I think I'm going to have to make an actual hole for it. To this end, I have bought a Triton JOF001 plunge router and a good template cutting bit.

I have never used a router. I'm sure it'll be fine....

Stay tuned for disaster. Any advice/ thoughts/ prayers are welcomed. Anyone with tremolo experience please speak up if you feel you have any guiding words.

Edited by soldersqueeze
Way beyond help now
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I like those Triton routers. Measure twice, measure again and again. Make yourself a decent template, remove the bulk with a Forstner bit, practice routing to your template on a spare piece of wood taking a little off at a time then go for it!!

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1 hour ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

I like those Triton routers. Measure twice, measure again and again. Make yourself a decent template, remove the bulk with a Forstner bit, practice routing to your template on a spare piece of wood taking a little off at a time then go for it!!

This, to the letter 👍

Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

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On 15/06/2020 at 22:59, Jabba_the_gut said:

I like those Triton routers. Measure twice, measure again and again. Make yourself a decent template, remove the bulk with a Forstner bit, practice routing to your template on a spare piece of wood taking a little off at a time then go for it!!

Exactly this. A good template and removing most with a Forstner is the way to go. You can do it without drilling, but the chances for chip out increases. Do it in 5 mm passes if you do.

I also have a Triton, they are excellent. I have the bigger version, but was contemplating buying your model. Just make sure your bit and the collet are the correct size, potentially you need to buy another collet.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement! 

So, I have my router, a 1/4" collet and Whiteside template bit. This all cost a pretty penny, but I'm still under the cost of paying someone else to do it, and this way I get to keep the router :)

Finally had the time and the nerve to get to work on this today and I must say, so far, so good!

IMG-20200630-WA0011.thumb.jpeg.ff63b0fbc2b5331ef1a806a8203d78f6.jpeg

I love this router to bits. I went super slow and followed all the advice I could find online.

There will be a few days before anything else is attempted, but I'm feeling good about it all right now!

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Well, today was surgery day.

I have a big old hole in my bass now.

IMG20200706145634.thumb.jpg.d8861e7f00f2c798f66f1f2bba67c262.jpg

The little nibble on the top right is leftover from the old bridges ground wire, not a router disaster :)

IMG20200706145653.thumb.jpg.f0646b08a2ab28030fc05d18f190f811.jpg

So far I don't think I've destroyed/ ruined/ killed anything, but won't know for sure for a while yet.

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Posted (edited)

Decided to route the spring cavity a little deeper today, and while I had the router out I decided to add a little touch to (hopefully) make the trem installation look a little bit factory spec and less DIY

IMG_20200709_185931.thumb.jpg.ce33a47ceb112ca13cef4352ca962b46.jpg

IMG_20200709_185913.thumb.jpg.e29f77132295df93ccd7592a74f55755.jpg

Taking the time to cut a custom plate and countersink it seemed like a good use of my day off. 

I officially love my router. It's a wonderful bit of kit and I'm very happy with the investment. It cuts through wood like butter, and it's incredibly important to give every cut a huge amount of thought and attention.

Painting hopefully should be done in a week or so, then comes the fun bit!

Edited by soldersqueeze
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Well done so far!

 

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IMG20200706145634.jpg

Are you going to put (back) a Jazz Bass pickup ?

Very nice job so far. 👍

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19 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

IMG20200706145634.jpg

Are you going to put (back) a Jazz Bass pickup ?

Very nice job so far. 👍

No jazz pickup, it's gone for good cos I think they're ugly ;)

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I think your bass looks somewhat shocked at the prospect of what is about to happen to it! 😲

Cool idea, though. Interested to see how it works out.

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I've gone back to look at the pictures again. It looks like a non locking floating trem?

Definitely interested to see what happens, and equally, how it sounds. Full on bass dive bombs would be fun 😉

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3 hours ago, Si600 said:

It looks like a non locking floating trem?

It can be set up like any two point Strat trem, either floating or flush to the body. I'll try floating though because it sounds more fun/ ridiculous!

3 hours ago, Si600 said:

Definitely interested to see what happens, and equally, how it sounds. Full on bass dive bombs would be fun

I'm as curious as anyone to see how this turns out... According to reports, full on dive bombs are on the cards, but these seem to be rare and there isn't much info out there.... Perhaps anyone foolish enough to fit one are killed when the bass inevitably explodes and that's why there are so few user reports...

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After much messing around with milk paint and briwax, I'm happy with the colour and finish of the body...

IMG-20200731-WA0009.thumb.jpeg.52ed2b06c6e732181348631eb8fc4bb4.jpeg

Great if you can't use spray paint for whatever reason!

Going to give it a week for the briwax to at least start curing before I do anything else. In the meantime I made a custom thumb rail for the scratchplate out of some old offcut material

IMG20200731172953.thumb.jpg.2ee22b54dadb3be9b7bd7745d790a691.jpg

Really happy with this, it's all but invisible from a few feet, but is super effective!

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