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I am still gathering parts for my scratch build but in the meantime I have found myself in possession of enough spares to build a bitsa.

My request for unwanted bass bits resulted in several members giving me stuff free and in some cases it was free of postage too.  I've got some goodies stashed away for the big build but I also have extra bits of hardware that lend themselves to side projects.

Most recently, @Shepster8316 kindly brought me some parts as in the photos he sent me below;

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What Paul had sent me was essentially an Encore P bass minus neck with hardware stripped out and the body and neck of a Yamaha BB1100s with hardware stripped out.  The Yamaha body had suffered a whack that damaged the thin wood over the control cavity.  Rather than try to make an invisible repair I'd probably put a plate over it and make it a feature at some point.

The Yamaha neck fits the Encore neck pocket though.  It is a slightly loose fit but not bad.  The Encore body is very heavy but I am happy enough about that.  I may put a piece of veneer in to tighten it up with a little fitting to make it snug.  I am even considering doing the Billy Sheehan thing and putting in two draw bolts to pull the neck into the body as well as the standard fixings.  The bridge will be moved inboard by about three quarters of an inch because of the slightly longer neck.  Interestingly the two basses have the same bridge design so I picked the better of the two, the Yamaha.  Tuners from the Encore will fit the Yamaha neck.  The Encore pickup should be okay as is and I have a control loom in the spares I mentioned at the top of this post.

I just need a pickguard.

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The parts are used and have a good patina.  The body has some dings and scratches but nowt serious.  Some of the screw shanks have stayed behind after the heads were sheared off.  I am not one for relicing but I see no reason not to build this without refinishing as the wear is genuine and it is a bitsa.

Just a mock-up photo;

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Should be a laugh...

Edited by SpondonBassed
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Looks like you've been busy.  I popped some more stuff in the post for you this morning that may be of use...... an assortment of pickups (P & J) along with a bag of pots, looms and bits of looms.  If no use feel free to pass them on to someone else...... or lob them in the bin 🙂 

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2 minutes ago, Shepster8316 said:

I popped some more stuff in the post for you this morning

Nice one, thank you.

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Sounds like a very cool project. It will be interesting to see what difference the bridge-move makes to the tone, in terms of the new pickup position.

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31 minutes ago, Rich said:

Sounds like a very cool project. It will be interesting to see what difference the bridge-move makes to the tone, in terms of the new pickup position.

I've thought about that.

I have a bit of wiggle room because of the large area that is routed out.  I will try to compensate by moving the pup towards the neck a little.  Not having heard it before though, I have nothing to compare it to.  It will make it interesting trying to fit a pickguard unless I make one from scratch.

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If it was me, I'd leave the pup where it is and see how the tone changed. Life's more fun with the occasional leap into the unknown. If it turns out to be absolute pants, you can always move it and do the pickguard faff.

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3 hours ago, Rich said:

If it was me, I'd leave the pup where it is and see how the tone changed. Life's more fun with the occasional leap into the unknown. If it turns out to be absolute pants, you can always move it and do the pickguard faff.

I'd consider it if it wasn't for the broken-off screw shanks at the original site of the pickup.  In this case, it's easier to redrill at the new location than to try and extract what's left of the old screws.

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Oh damn, I'd forgotten about the busted screws. :( that's a shame.

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Just a modest start but I had a minor chip out of the headstock to repair and then fit the ferrules for the tuners.

HeadstockRepair.jpg.59070b1d0cd4a54a79f5e1b34dc59bfe.jpg

You might just be able to see where the crack is.

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The ferrules are serrated and they are a press fit.

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I used my vice to keep the ferrules square to the headstock as I pressed them home.

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Job done.  I have to find sixteen tiny screws for the tuners next.

Time for a cuppa.

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I found some screws but they are a little oversize and countersunk, oh, and cad plated.

Tuner1.jpg.687cabd012040bab282756d6272a5f81.jpg

Dremel time.

Tuner2.jpg.70042e48e49191b977345d181008db4e.jpg

Then make pilot holes for screws.

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All screws fitted and tightened.

TunersInstalled.jpg.7d6e79c379ec21a5e51f5d5856f2e596.jpg

The fair side (I didn't mention but I've taken the string tree from the Encore as it is a slightly more pleasing piece of metal) -

TunersInstalled2.jpg.d8972ab9c369277c5d89b6a4154930b7.jpg

There you go.

My challenge now is to make the neck fit snugly in the pocket.  The curvature of the neck root is different from that of the pocket.  It's a big enough difference to make me want a better fit.  Especially as I am going to pull the neck into the pocket with two additional screws a la Billy Sheehan.  I shall shape the neck end to achieve this.

NeckPocket.jpg.b5c6305e34e61d9df5628794c362cd59.jpg

Edited by SpondonBassed
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All I did this evening was shape the neck end and grind off the screw shanks that were left in the body.  As a respected BC member often says; this is not how to do it but this is how I do it.

ShapeNeck1.jpg.9fb75ee2d22f640eb5fff9f6db5a7647.jpg

I found that a medium engineer's file worked well with the neck.  It felt remarkably like filing brass!  I was quickly able to get to this:

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The gap is negligible now -

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Then it was time for the Dremel again...

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That quickly took off the snaggy bits of screw shanks;

GroundShanks.jpg.6aaa03528c40f8413c2356954fad3e35.jpg

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I mentioned wanting to put two extra screws in the neck joint to pull the neck into the body towards the bridge.  It's an easy mod to do if you get your angles right...  gulp.  Time to have a go;

Our Dremel pedestal can be angled.  This is how I planned to keep the drilling angle fixed in both the neck and body.

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For the clearance holes in the body, I could only drill to a certain depth before the Dremel itself fouled against the body.  I used the Dremel's flexi-drive attachment to drill deeper.  For this I had to follow the drill angle by hand.  Not too easy without experience but fortunately it's a bodge I've done before.

DremelFlexiDrive.jpg.70dbeb33074e70e29e9c586c19f40cfd.jpg

Once through I flipped the body and countersunk the holes to a depth suitable for the required depth of bite in the neck.  Of course the heads need to be under-flush else you'll snag your strides and other bits on the back of the bass.  Nasty.

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Using the angle set by the drill pedestal I drilled pilot holes in the neck.

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It's always worth putting a bit of candle wax on the screws.

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All done up, this is now a six bolt neck.

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The neck joint is as snug as a bug from the front.  The assembly of body and neck feels secure.  I can't wait to see how it sustains.

SnugFit.jpg.e5eb7479aab77e571b87c3a885dc5926.jpg

Edited by SpondonBassed
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That looked like something that could become catastrophic quite quickly. 

Nice work. 👍

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Just now, Maude said:

That looked like something that could become catastrophic quite quickly. 

Nice work. 👍

Quite right.

But that's the great thing about this.  All of the parts were free.  Whilst not wanting to ruin any of the parts, nothing is lost if it goes wrong but if it goes right, then I have repurposed something of value.

I have to say though, this seems to be building itself so far.

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Time to fit the bridge in the new position dictated by the Yamaha neck.  I wind out the G saddle to its max and then measure 34 inches to the nut from the saddle centreline.  I mark the distance with a pencil line on the body.

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Then I centre the bridge using twine.  I mark that off with pencil.

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Having centre punched the hole positions directly from the bridge, I drill out pilot holes.

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Mustn't forget the bridge needs an earth connection.  Best done now.

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Again, using candle wax as a thread lubricant, I fit Posidrive screws and tighten the bridge down.

BridgeSecure.jpg.a6cf1cfe6076afa11c4926af80e8d8e7.jpg

I used four strings out of a crap set of five that came with my Pit Bull kit a couple of years ago.  For a laugh, I've strung it BEAD.  It has tuned up with zero setting up already.  I'm well chuffed with the acoustic sound so far.  There is tweakage to be done however and I shall work out where the new sweet spot for the P pickup is going to be another day.

 

FirstStringing.jpg

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I downloaded a spreadsheet from somewhere that detailed the positions for pickups on a variety of bass guitars.  For the split P it specifies 295mm from the twelfth fret.  As the Yamaha neck appears to be about three quarters of an inch longer than the Encore's, I expected to run out of room to move the pickup by the same amount.  This was confirmed when I got the measurement of 295mm.  I could almost get there but not quite.

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I really wanted to get the best from the pickup placement so I decided to remove sufficient wood for clearance at the correct position.

DamageUnderway.jpg.488bf0ac7aba16fea0104f5b241a9b45.jpg

I used a Dremel to hog out the worst of the job and finished by hand with a chisel.

ClearanceAchieved.jpg.eec15c0d6d8c5e8b56c0224e4cd94557.jpg

I am very happy with the result.

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I can now put the pickup where it is supposed to be with the centreline at 295mm from the twelfth fret.  Time for a cuppa.

Edited by SpondonBassed
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I drilled the pilot holes for the pickups.  I measured and tried to get a good position for the pole pieces several times and when I was satisfied, I went for it.  Measuring up after... nailed it!  295mm on the knob.

SweetSpot.jpg.7a5814995112965316f2a9c62528218e.jpg

Next task, shielding.  As if there hasn't been 'nuff of that this year!!!  I am still using some self adhesive tape that my late mum bought to keep slugs away from her plant pots.  It's good stuff for shielding too.

CopperTape.jpg.f6190d33d3fbb28c7b1bd5b712934e59.jpg

Doing it all now means I wont have to worry about it again.

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Pickup mounting springs and screws.

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I've restrung it and it's looking good.  Pole pieces are aligned as best they can be and the copper shielding hides my chiselling marks.  Controls and loom ready to fit tomorrow, all being well.  I think it's one of @KiOgon's that a fellow member donated to me.

TomorrowsTask.jpg.f11435fd922269d001e13f94a9015802.jpg

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does it make much difference to sound? I've used threaded nuts in bits builds before and to my ears, it makes a difference vs screws. (I prefer screws) 

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4 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

does it make much difference to sound? I've used threaded nuts in bits builds before and to my ears, it makes a difference vs screws. (I prefer screws) 

The pickup screws?  I have no idea.  I wouldn't be able to compare it to anything anyway as the only other bass I built also had screws.

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All that copper tape will keep the slugs from the pickups too 🙂

So you won't be able to play any of these songs.

 

 

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No photos this time, sorry.

There isn't much to see.  All I've done is to connect the controls and loom and tape them up to the body in the absence of a pickguard upon which to mount them.  The solderless loom gives me the option of trying a couple of different pickups with relatively little hassle although I don't find soldering a problem.

It plays!

@Shepster8316 had dressed the frets on the Yamaha neck already.  This must have helped because I only had a little bit of setting up to do.  The neck was fine under tension.  I got the action low enough to play easily and then all that was needed was a slight adjustment to the intonation.  When I connected the controls and plugged in I got an immediate response.  Nice.

The output with its original pickup is low as you might expect.  It's a little lacking in top end too.  It does however give a nice fat tone.  The B is okay but not great.  I may well restring it to the standard EADG yet.  I t might be more to do with the pickup though.

I ran through a couple of numbers off my set the other evening and found I was enjoying it despite having to be careful with half its guts hanging out.

I need a suitable sheet of material from which to make a pickguard.  Prices are prohibitive for what is essential a bass made from donated spares.  Hopefully, I will find something soon.  More then.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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On 16/09/2020 at 20:38, SpondonBassed said:

For the split P it specifies 295mm from the twelfth fret.  

Interesting, I didn't know that. If you don't have a tape measure handy, an A4 sheet of paper is 297mm long, so basically an A4 piece of paper minus a couple mill. 👍

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Just now, hooky_lowdown said:

Interesting, I didn't know that. If you don't have a tape measure handy, an A4 sheet of paper is 297mm long, so basically an A4 piece of paper minus a couple mill. 👍

Yes.  I forget where I got this from but it details several makes: PickupPositionsForManyMakesOfBass.xlsx

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I had another play on it this evening.  It sustains as long as any of my other basses, including the neck through ones.

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