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songofthewind

The MaybeRay Build

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Posted (edited)
On 30/06/2020 at 10:49, songofthewind said:

David Dyke's Instagram feed

Have you got a link for this please?

David Dyke's Instagram

Edited by Fishman

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Well, the drop top finally got here from Croatia. About two weeks wait. 

I'm very excited and nervous, because now I should press ahead. I've repaired the template, and i think I will make a copy from 12mm MDF just to be on the safe side.

Here's the new flame maple top:

IMG_0972.jpeg

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I will use the flush trim bit to square the edges that will be jointed. If anyone has an opinion about this method, speak now! I set about my various planes, to try to bring them back to a useable state, but I am not confident that they are up to the job. The maple cap is slightly cupped, so I have put some weights on it to flatten it off. I hope this is wise.

I'm going to re-thickness the mahogany core, and probably  chamber it for weight relief. I got a Shinto rasp, and I've been trying it on various pieces of wood to get a feel for it. i will use it to make the the belly cut.

With regards to the neck, I've been trying out different headstock outlines. I can't go 3+1 because it will look too short and stubby. I contemplated cutting down and adding wings to the headstock to go for a more Fodera style 2+2 look. Too much work and it would be weaker than the existing arrangement. At the moment I am very taken with the handsome Mayones Jabba on sale here, so I will likely go for a soft modern Jazz style. I installed the Ray 34 pickup from Dave in my SUB Ray 4. It sounds more polite than the OEM ceramic one. It will be interesting to see how it sounds driving its correct 3 band preamp. Much to do!

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Well, some progress and some disasters.

I’ve got the place to myself this weekend, so I thought I would have at it again.

I’ve been nervous about using the router again, after the silly mistakes I made before. My concerns were justified, because I managed to nick the template again, while using a bottom bearing trimmer bit to tidy up the outline. Firstly, the guide bushing dropped off the end of the bit, due to the Allen head securing bolt coming loose. This meant I was cutting deep into the outline before I noticed. Merde. The second stupid and dangerous mistake was to forget to tighten the bit collar. The bit started to oscillate as it came loose. Fortunately I noticed and stopped working immediately. That shocked me quite badly, because I’m on my own, and I don’t fancy finding my way to A and E by myself.

Sobered and thoughtful, I decided to take the gash wood down to the outline with my newly acquired Shinto rasp. Well, that was much better. I felt more in charge of the process, and it seemed better for getting a feel for the wood.

The rain came on, so I packed my kit away for lunch. I may continue later. I need to make a new sled for the planer bit, to thickness the body again, and also to thickness the new AAAAA maple cap. The cap is sitting on spacers with a sewing machine on top, to take out some cupping. I will joint the two halves tomorrow, hopefully.

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A bit more progress. I ordered a 12mm rounder bit from Amazon, which quick measurements tell me should come in handy to conceal the botched edges. 

Today I stuck some 180 grit paper on a straightedge, and trued the joining edges of the maple cap. They match nicely with no visible gap when held up to the sunlight. I'm encouraged again, having felt a bit down in the mouth about my router antics.

I then built a jointing jig from scrap, and screwed the whole affair to my Workmate. Non stick paper was applied to the floor of the jig, the edges of the cap were coated with Titebond and wedged, and clamps and screws were applied generously.

This process proceeded without any issues arising. I'm going to leave it until tomorrow, and we will see how it looks. I ended the day by sanding the edges of the body with a mouse sander and 240 grit paper. Looks better already. There is plenty of sanding and tweaking to do on the inside edge of the horns and at the waist, to get it all neat and tidy. 

Here are some pix:

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Getting there neebur👍...are you going for a standard front load with the plate or a rear cavity...a think that would look smashing one in the rear a mean, what you thinking about the finish aswell...coming on braw Stuart...p.s glad yiv got yur steel tae cap baffie on...😀

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21 hours ago, Dov65 said:

Getting there neebur👍...are you going for a standard front load with the plate or a rear cavity...a think that would look smashing one in the rear a mean, what you thinking about the finish aswell...coming on braw Stuart...p.s glad yiv got yur steel tae cap baffie on...😀

Fit like, Dave?

I think a rear load this time, and an oil finish. If I add the Jazz

pickup then I need to incorporate a pan pot. The router bits are here, so I will have at it again tomorrow! Appreciate your support and the odd baffie in the erse!

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Aye Dave! Planning my next move. I think i'm going to make the body slightly assymetrical, which means more router activity, which means panic.

Also, i've just acquired another Jazz style neck, which I am testing on my Jazz bass.

It's quite large for a Jazz neck, but still with the narrow nut. Plays very well.

 

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I realise quite a lot has happened since i last posted on progress. We've been away in splendid isolation in lovely Dumfries and Galloway. The Cotswolds with coastline.

I jointed the top, but discovered the edges did not meet, having bowed up along the centre seam. Since I was intending to thickness it, I ignored this. I made a rig for the router, as before, to thickness the top, and once more things went agley.

Amazingly, without my noticing, the guides were not level, so the routed thickness was not constant. Taking more layers off merely compounded this.

I decided to build a humungous sled that would not flex or warp in any direction. Once more, old IKEA furniture donated the materials. I flatted the contact surface of the sled for good measure.

I was still having problems, and the top is now down to 4mm thickness without being of the required flatness. I am turning my attention back to the rails next, to make damn sure they they will not be the problem. Steve press has offered the use of a surface sander, but that feels like admitting defeat. As I said above, I am thinking of losing the bad cuts of the outline, by making a new, slightly asymmetric shape. A semi Jazz or Sterling, if you will, or a bit Sandberg Marlowe DK.

The new cuts should only be varying about 7mm from the original Stingray outline. I have drawn a paper outline to see what this will look like. Also, I am considering  two MM style humbuckers, very close together, instead of the proposed Jazz neck pickup.

Anyhoo, here are some stills from the disaster movie: 

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1 hour ago, songofthewind said:

I made a rig for the router, as before, to thickness the top, and once more things went agley.

Amazingly, without my noticing, the guides were not level, so the routed thickness was not constant. Taking more layers off merely compounded this.

I decided to build a humungous sled that would not flex or warp in any direction. Once more, old IKEA furniture donated the materials. I flatted the contact surface of the sled for good measure.

I was still having problems, and the top is now down to 4mm thickness without being of the required flatness. I am turning my attention back to the rails next, to make damn sure they they will not be the problem. Steve press has offered the use of a surface sander, but that feels like admitting defeat. As I said above, I am thinking of losing the bad cuts of the outline, by making a new, slightly asymmetric shape. A semi Jazz or Sterling, if you will, or a bit Sandberg Marlowe DK

Well this all sounds depressingly familiar! I had the best results using 2 lengths of right-angle steel as rails, although it still wasn't perfect and required a lot of sanding to flatten up after thicknessing. If I do it again, I'm going to either;

a) build a better jig, using 18mm MDF as a base and then use rectangular tube steel as side rails. Pricey, but possibly worth it in the long run. Or, you know;

b) actually order the body wood at the right thickness in the first place. This may or may not be possible, depending where your wood is sourced from.

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4 hours ago, GarethFlatlands said:

a) build a better jig, using 18mm MDF as a base and then use rectangular tube steel as side rails. Pricey, but possibly worth it in the long run. Or, you know;

b) actually order the body wood at the right thickness in the first place. This may or may not be possible, depending where your wood is sourced from.

Yep, sounds like a good plan. I think I will make a base from two layers of 12mm MDF, a sheet of which I have on hand. I now actively loathe the router, and I’m very reluctant to deploy it again, except for the round overs.

I may accept long suffering Steve’s offer of his surface sander instead.

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You will have seen in many of my own threads, @songofthewind , my 'I HATE routers' declarations ;)

That said, for the top thicknessing, I think you've done well.  That is a BIG area!

Question - as long as the top is flat on the back for gapless gluing, does it matter that the thickness is on a tilt?

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20 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

You will have seen in many of my own threads, @songofthewind , my 'I HATE routers' declarations ;)

That said, for the top thicknessing, I think you've done well.  That is a BIG area!

Question - as long as the top is flat on the back for gapless gluing, does it matter that the thickness is on a tilt?

Agree with @Andyjr1515 here, as long as the glue join is good a little wayward thicknessing should not be an issue, and one you could (to a point) address post glue up by sanding. I certainly was not 100% flat on both the body I did for the fretless Status neck nor my current 5 string full build. There is about 1mm difference front to back in both.

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Well thanks very much for your support, Andy and HazBeen. I appreciate you checking up on me!
I’m a bit of a perfectionist in some areas, and I’ve got quite a clear picture in my head of what this bass might look like, and I feel like I’m deviating somewhat from the image. Back when I was a designer, I worked in exhibitions, and everything had to be just so. My BIL, who’s an architect, says I’m a lot more finicky than he is, which is saying something, lemme tell ya.

However, I think I’m ready to have at it again when the rain goes away and I can get outside.

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Well, a bit more progress.

I decided to alter the outline to something more asymmetric, like a jazz, in order to eliminate some of my routing errors. I used the trusty jigsaw to cut the outline roughly, and then had at it with the Shinto rasp. You can see the body on top of the original template. I've taken about a centimetre off at the obvious Jazz type locations.

This was very satisfying to do, and so much more controllable than the router. (I am going to modify my routing rig, more info on that later.)

Some more pix:

 

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On 23/09/2020 at 15:59, GarethFlatlands said:

Well this all sounds depressingly familiar! I had the best results using 2 lengths of right-angle steel as rails, although it still wasn't perfect and required a lot of sanding to flatten up after thicknessing. If I do it again, I'm going to either;

a) build a better jig, using 18mm MDF as a base and then use rectangular tube steel as side rails. Pricey, but possibly worth it in the long run. Or, you know;

b) actually order the body wood at the right thickness in the first place. This may or may not be possible, depending where your wood is sourced from.

Plan c) find a friendly local woodwork shop that has either a planer- thicknesser or sander drum of a suitable width, ask nicely and you may get lucky.

Back to an earlier question, the Artec pre-amp is just fine.  I used one to replace a dead vintage Aria pre-amp (I would have repaired it but the pots were unusual values and impossible to find).  Does what it says on the tine, low noise and well made. 

 

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On 03/10/2020 at 09:41, Andyjr1515 said:

You will have seen in many of my own threads, @songofthewind , my 'I HATE routers' declarations ;)

That said, for the top thicknessing, I think you've done well.  That is a BIG area!

Question - as long as the top is flat on the back for gapless gluing, does it matter that the thickness is on a tilt?

Andy, I just noticed your question.Thanks, as ever, for your encouragement.  I think the answer is that it doesn't matter, since i should do as you say and flatten the back only. Then glue her up and see what it looks like to the eye. Much of the overly thick edge area will in fact be lost when I cut to the body outline.

I have a plan to modify my router sled, giving it a long slot for the router bit to slide in. This is instead of my practice hitherto, which was to move the whole contraption from side to side.

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2 hours ago, 3below said:

Plan c) find a friendly local woodwork shop that has either a planer- thicknesser or sander drum of a suitable width, ask nicely and you may get lucky.

Back to an earlier question, the Artec pre-amp is just fine.  I used one to replace a dead vintage Aria pre-amp (I would have repaired it but the pots were unusual values and impossible to find).  Does what it says on the tine, low noise and well made. 

 

Thanks for these comments.

I do have a local woodworking firm I can ask if necessary. Steve has used them, and says he thinks their machine won't go thin enough. But Andy on here has made a couple of points which I responded to above.

The Artec preamp sounds useful. Dave fae Anstruther (Dov65) has kindly gifted me a Ray 34 preamp which I hope to use. I just need to find a way to add a separate blend pot if I go with two pickups. 

Hopefully the weather will let me work outside tomorrow!

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1 hour ago, songofthewind said:

Hopefully the weather will let me work outside tomorrow!

Ditto, plus in my case, some motivation.

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The rain held off so the following occurred: I set about modifying the router sled so as to reduce the amount of inaccuracy-inducing movement.

I used the router itself to make a lengthways slot in the sled base. This was easy peasy and got me back into appreciating the router. So, that's good.

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95B13A05-C01F-499A-957C-21AB94B8C098_1_105_c.jpeg

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