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songofthewind

The MaybeRay Build

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Procrastination being a particular gift of mine, I've taken ages to get round to this build. I've been acquiring bits and bobs over the last six months, and now I'm going to have at it.

Dave (Dov65) has donated a Ray 34 pickup and loom, and various screws, tuners and plates. I am indebted to you, Dave. I also have a no-name Jazz neck pickup, which may or may not find its way into this build.

I have a slab of salvaged mahogany like wood, formerly a coffee table, and a Jazz bass style neck which I have used in various bitsas.

I have an Aldi router, and I'm not scared to use it, also a new Bosch jigsaw, so mayhem is assured. I borrowed some Ray templates from ace classical guitar builder Steve Rees. Steve is an old pal of Pino Palladino's, from Cardiff, and the templates are from Pino's fretless Stingray of legend. Let's hope some of the mojo is transmitted from the templates.

Firstly, I need to thickness the coffee table, so I've made a couple of sled rails from an IKEA bed base. No expense too great for this one. Utilising a £9.99 planer bit off Amazon.

Behold!

 

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Well, that was fun, and I never thought so much sawdust could come from such a shallow cut.

I'm taking it down from about 45mm to 41mm or maybe a bit less. My Yamaha BBG's are about 40mm, and they feel nice on the strap.

Unfortunately it's pissing down today, so I'm not able to work outside.

Amassing the parts:

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I need a sexy modern bridge, and also I want to use ferrules instead of a neck plate.

Any input from the Basschat hive mind on bridge style and other parts is welcome.

I am wondering about making this an HS configuration, utilising the Jazz neck pickup. The controls donated by Dave are four knob as per the Ray 34. I would need to add a pan pot to mix the pickup inputs, presumably only possible before the volume control. Any thoughts, folks? I know NOTHING about electronics. The other option is to go passive and VVT style controls. I have an old Jazz loom to hand.

The donor neck is a twenty fret, so too short for a proper Stingray. There will be no chance of using the donor pickguard if I stick with the Stingray sweet spot pickup position.

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It’d be a shame not to use the jazz neck pup.  Love the background and the tools - I will enjoy this one!

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30 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

It’d be a shame not to use the jazz neck pup.  Love the background and the tools - I will enjoy this one!

Yep, I would love to try the HS combo. There is another build thread on here showing an additional Jazz pickup, but much closer to the bridge than normal. That caught my eye. And, yes, it's very pleasant working in the garden just now. If I make a mess Frankie will straighten me out. He's got an opinion about everything, the wee gobshite.

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Aboot time yi got yur baffies aff..😉 sure you'll get there neebur. A bit glaikit about wiring meself mind but i did try the ray passive with a 2 and a 3 pot loom but wasn't for me thought it sounded very quiet. Sounds good adding the Jazz tho you can always try it & add a pre like the Sandberg 2 band one if needed i dunno. Have fun 👍

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3 minutes ago, Dov65 said:

Aboot time yi got yur baffies aff..😉 sure you'll get there neebur. A bit glaikit about wiring meself mind but i did try the ray passive with a 2 and a 3 pot loom but wasn't for me thought it sounded very quiet. Sounds good adding the Jazz tho you can always try it & add a pre like the Sandberg 2 band one if needed i dunno. Have fun 👍

Aye well, Dave, ah like take think afore ah dae onything. Ah’m no’ Speedy Gonzales at the best o’ times. Ah cannae even find ma baffies. Anyhoo, it’s a’ stracht furnent if the rain keeps aff. Ah dinnae want tae get drookit, ken!

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Not much progress since the last post. Took off the sled and checked the slab for flatness. Pretty good. I will sand to final thickness.

I spent this afternoon anxiously measuring and re-measuring to align the neck, so I could locate and draw out the neck pocket. I was set to rout it (before cutting out the body outline) when I realised my trimmer bit had the bearing at the bottom, not the top. Gah! I’m going back online to buy a top bearing bit, which will take a while to arrive.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 18/06/2020 at 22:34, songofthewind said:

Aye well, Dave, ah like take think afore ah dae onything. Ah’m no’ Speedy Gonzales at the best o’ times. Ah cannae even find ma baffies. Anyhoo, it’s a’ stracht furnent if the rain keeps aff. Ah dinnae want tae get drookit, ken!

Is this “google translate” at work ? 
 

 

nice work though :)

 

 

Edited by Geek99

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8 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Is this “google translate” at work ? 
 

 

nice work though :)

 

 

No, we actually talk to each other like that. Dave is channelling Doric Scots, and I’m channelling my maternal grandmother, who spoke an Ayrshire dialect. 
be fun to try Google Translate on it, though.

Thanks for your encouragement, I’ve been meaning to get this going for a while!

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I knew someone from Dundee, so I picked out the odd word here and there ... :P

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Well, the trend template bit arrived yesterday. I am not allowed to make any noise, so progress is slow. But under Frankie's supervision it all went well.

I did a test cut with the new bit and the neck pocket template. Very satisfactory. I didn't relieve the pocket since I was not going all the way down, just used the cutter from the free edge of the wood.

I am considering a book matched cap. Can anyone advise on a reliable source?

 

BTW the butt of the neck is a slightly different shape and width from the template, so I will final shape the butt, and I will have to reposition the template for the cutaway side.   

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Well, a bit more progress, and a disaster. Makes me want to give up right now.

All went well as I cut out the outline with my trusty new jigsaw. I decided to press on as my wife and daughter were, unusually, out of the house. Freedom! Noise! Wood shavings!

I clamped the template very carefully to the blank, and commenced to rout the outline and neck pocket. The neck pocket went well, but with a wee bit of snipe..

I set the depth far too low for the outline, thus making a very ambitious deep initial cut. Mostly it went well, but I was beginning to tire, and soon chunks were flying. Bad enough they were out of the blank, but worst of all they were also out of Steve's precious template. I am so annoyed that I rushed and didn't think it through. 

I will repair the template with epoxy based wood filler, but I am very embarrassed, I can tell you. I will leave it for a couple of days until I've simmered down.

A further annoyance is that I can't seem to find a reasonably priced bridge with a 20mm string spacing. Anyone got any ideas? Gratefully received.

Pictures of the proceedings. You can see Frankie scrutinising my dodgy efforts:

 

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Hopefully the 12mm round-over and (necessarily substantial) belly cut will hide some of the disaster.

I was looking at David Dyke's Instagram feed, at Steve's suggestion, and saw a nice myrtle drop to for £35. I was going to order it, but now I'm not sure. I may regard this build as a proof of concept and make better job of the next one.

I'm also wondering about using an Artec SE3P preamp on this one, because it comes with a pan pot, instead of the Ray 34 preamp. Anybody got a view on the Artec?

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58 minutes ago, songofthewind said:

 I may regard this build as a proof of concept and make better job of the next one.

 

You'll get there neebur, remember the second moose gets the cheese 👍

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Literally the first time I routed using the fretboard template I bought, I misjudged the router bit depth and took a big chunk out of the template. You live and learn! I'm sure every builder has done it at some point to some degree.

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There`s a Hipshot bridge with 20mm string spacing on this very forum, not mine I may add I`ve just spotted it after reading this thread.

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4 hours ago, DarkHeart said:

There`s a Hipshot bridge with 20mm string spacing on this very forum, not mine I may add I`ve just spotted it after reading this thread.

...and I broke down and bought it. Now I’ve got TWO 20mm spacing bridges to play around with.

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Not much to report, because i'm waiting for this 5A book bookmatch maple cap to arrive from Croatia. It's 8mm thick, and I'm looking forward to jointing it and gluing up. Hopefully this will give a bit of bling, and solve some of the cosmetic problems associated with routing errors.

I now have two bridges to choose from. I need to plan the chambering and control routs next.

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Love that top! I'd go with the first bridge. Gives a bit more character and feels heftier.

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54 minutes ago, akabane said:

Love that top! I'd go with the first bridge. Gives a bit more character and feels heftier.

Yes, the first one was the initial purchase. Then the Hipshot example came up on this forum, so I decided to go for it. It has a longer throw, which might prove useful given my proven repeated tendency to mis-measure things by 10mm or 100mm.

I came upon the top by chance on eBay, so it's bit of a punt, but it certainly looks nice in the pic.

Looking forward to getting on with it!

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