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spacecowboy

First time making a bass, Singlecut NT 5 string

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19 minutes ago, spacecowboy said:

Honestly... I have no idea, I'll use the generic "stability" answer :). With a seven laminate neck of Wenge and Ovangkol, truss rod and 2 carbon fibre rods and a Wenge fingerboard it is definitely overkill, but the neck and board have been as straight as an arrow throughout the build so if they're doing anything they're helping with that. 

 

 

 

 

 

🙂 I do see it sometimes, but if the carbon rods are rigid then I don’t know what the rod is for, unless there is some give and it needs tweaking. 
(I’m thinking/musing out loud, btw...)

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1 hour ago, spacecowboy said:

Honestly... I have no idea, I'll use the generic "stability" answer :). With a seven laminate neck of Wenge and Ovangkol, truss rod and 2 carbon fibre rods and a Wenge fingerboard it is definitely overkill, but the neck and board have been as straight as an arrow throughout the build so if they're doing anything they're helping with that. 

 

 

 

 

 

It also helps against dead spots and ensures a quick attack ... blah blah :)

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Updates! 

The long sanding journey begins, I got my basic shape with my shinto and then cleaned the surfaces up with the orbital sander and worked around the edges of the front and back of the bass. 

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Once the 60 / 80 grit rough sanding was done I went around the bass to smooth some areas out ready for hand sanding. 

 

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I cleaned the dust off the bass with some white spirit and took the opportunity to take some photos while the white spirit was still wet. 

Lot's of hand sanding to follow and I'll tackle that during my evenings this week but I'm very very happy with how this is turning out. 

 

B

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I like this a lot. You certainly took on a challenge, but it is proof that if you are handy, take your time and put the effort in, you can build a bass ...... one that is all your own. It feels differently, as it is a part of you.

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Looks lovely, and I love that topwood! It reminds me of olive wood, with those wild grain patterns. Very nice! 

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17 hours ago, HazBeen said:

I like this a lot. You certainly took on a challenge, but it is proof that if you are handy, take your time and put the effort in, you can build a bass ...... one that is all your own. It feels differently, as it is a part of you.

Thank you Haz, definitely agree with that, what I'm finding is that half my mind is already on the next one...

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10 hours ago, spacecowboy said:

Thank you Haz, definitely agree with that, what I'm finding is that half my mind is already on the next one...

That’s how it works, rarely do people build just one .... 

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Updates!

Slow progress but progress no less! 

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Firstly I've got the frets installed, this was a steep learning curve, I actually uninstalled the first set of frets I installed and reinstalled a second set as I wasn't happy with the end product, the second set however I'm happy with. I've levelled them and filed them flush to the fingerboard, now I just need to crown them and take all the sharps off. 

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I got the pickup cavity routes done, and thankfully the pickups fit lovely. I also had the awful job of drilling from the control cavity in to the pickup cavity, luckily nothing went wrong. The bridge position was also triple measured and drill holes complete.

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Got the tuners installed, I wanted to string the bass to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes and again thankfully everything was ok there too. 

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I quickly half screwed the bridge in place and strung the E and D strings on to the bass, everything seemed great, not going to lie had a little 15 minute play with the strings on, and the neck feels really nice. 

Next!

Loads and loads and loads of final sanding, frets need dressing and prepared for final polish which will be done after the oiling of the timber. 

I think I'm on the final stretch of the build and can focus on the finish knowing there's no more machining to do! 

Just got to be patient and enjoy the sanding process.

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2 minutes ago, spacecowboy said:

Firstly I've got the frets installed, this was a steep learning curve, I actually uninstalled the first set of frets I installed and reinstalled a second set as I wasn't happy with the end product, the second set however I'm happy with. I've levelled them and filed them flush to the fingerboard, now I just need to crown them and take all the sharps off. 

For a first try this is some amazing craftsmanship, you have talent and/or woodworking experience clearly. I also think the design itself, especially of the body, is really rather good.

Love the fact you are using the roller bridge, in my mind still one of the best bridges out there. 

Mad props so far, cracking bass nearing completion.

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2 minutes ago, HazBeen said:

For a first try this is some amazing craftsmanship, you have talent and/or woodworking experience clearly. I also think the design itself, especially of the body, is really rather good.

Love the fact you are using the roller bridge, in my mind still one of the best bridges out there. 

Mad props so far, cracking bass nearing completion.

Thank you Haz, that's very very kind.

I absolutely love the Schaller bridges, I had one on an old Streamer bass and it was my favourite bridge to adjust, I've coupled that bridge with a Warwick Jan 3 too so adjustments are lightning quick on this bass. 

Well... for my day job I'm an industrial designer, I design mass manufactured consumer goods, at uni my degree was in furniture design and I worked as a furniture designer for 5 years before switching out to industrial design which I've done for 10 or so years. 

An instrument is easily the hardest thing I've ever designed and made, hands down, there are so many details and skills required at every stage, you've got to learn on the job as you go and the job lists never end!

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Looks absolutely first class.  Great looking bass on any terms...but as a first build it's astounding!

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Looks absolutely first class.  Great looking bass on any terms...but as a first build it's astounding!

Thank you Andy, your help and advice so far has been great, looking forward to getting the bass to the finish line.

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Did I miss something? When did you abandon the wooden bridge you'd made and opt for the Schaller instead?

Awesome build, by the way. I tip my hat to you.

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2 hours ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

Looking really nice and not too far to homie!! Are you planning to use an EMG preamp with the pickups?

Thank you Jabba,

Yeah I'm going to use the supplied active EMG VVT setup with the pickups.

One addition I do want to make on this bass is to perhaps add the BTS circuit which allows individual bass and treble controls, master tone and blendable pickup volume, so I'd need to add an extra knob but that's a system I loved on my Stage II streamer bass, thinking about it again it might be the perfect time to order one...

Have just seen that I can get the Bass / Treble controls on a stacked knob too... that might just seal the deal.

Edited by spacecowboy

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1 hour ago, Rich said:

Did I miss something? When did you abandon the wooden bridge you'd made and opt for the Schaller instead?

Awesome build, by the way. I tip my hat to you.

Thank you Rich. 

Yeah I'd prototyped a couple of wooden bridges but I never felt confident that they would be strong enough on this build.

It's something I'm definitely going to come back to though on a future build! I love how they can look.

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4 hours ago, spacecowboy said:

Have just seen that I can get the Bass / Treble controls on a stacked knob too... that might just seal the deal.

I like the EMG preamps and they are really easy to install and very compact. Just get some new knobs though - the EMG ones look a bit cheap and would take away from a lovely build!

Cheers

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Updates!

Really excited at this point! Got the final coat of tung oil on the bass this afternoon so got to leave this coat on for a final 24 hours before I put some wax on the bass and polish it up tomorrow. 

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This is the 4th coat pre-excess wipeoff but it looked so tasty I had to take a photo while it was "glossy".

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This was after the first oil coat which I applied with 1500grit sandpaper dried so nice and matt and created a great surface to  wire wool and re oil.

Next!

Wax and polish on the wood tomorrow and then I'll polish the frets, time depending I might get the hardware on the bass and get it strung up but might call it a day after lining the cavities with copper tape. 

Not going to lie, measured up some timber ready for my next build too... what have I got myself in to!

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Also!

Mrs Cowboy wanted to contribute to the build so a coat of oil on the back of the bass was done by her... the best coat obviously ;) ... wasn't around to "help" with the sanding though...

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Updates! 

If you're of a technical mind you can help me out massively by checking out this thread here which has questions about my electronics... 

 

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Updates!

It feels like years ago since I started building the bass... yet here I am completely surprised that it's almost finished.

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With the last coat of oil fully cured after a 24 hour soak it was time to get detailing. This is an area I enjoy, you'll notice above in the pic I have Autosol, Maguires Ultimate Black and G3 scratch remover polish all from my car detailing kit... figured they'd help me out cleaning up the hardware which has been on and off various redwood builds while I try and work out what I'm doing... the pickup casings on the EMGs had little scratches and looked like they'd been in and out a few basses... now they look brand new. 

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I have all these polishing head attachments for my drill so I set about giving the oil finish a quick buff before slapping on the Warwick Wax...IMG_20200913_113525.thumb.jpg.deba432e7951eac19214a1a14126901e.jpg

I absolutely love this stuff, I've used it on all my Warwicks, always give's an awesome look, smell and feel to the wood.

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I installed the Schaller...

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Installed the tuners...

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Then buffed the frets with this little polishing rubber from Thomann works a treat with little effort.

Next! 

Some tech genius will help me suss out my electronics and I'll get them installed, I managed to buy non adhesive copper tape so I have a roll of adhesive copper tape coming tomorrow so I can shield all my cavities. Almost done. Don't know what I'm going to do with myself...

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Updates! 

It's a beautiful day so I thought I would treat the bass to a little bit of sun before I retire to the garden for a sunbathe myself.

 

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The Wenge grain on the neck and finger board is insane, I'm really happy with how this timber has come out.

Now to enjoy this sun. 

B

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