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headofire

420 Neck Through Precision

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So I had this old satellite precision lying about for ages thinking it would be cool to cut it into a slimmer thunderbird type body.
It sounds brilliant..like a piano.
And.. it was heavier than an average piano.

Always loved the body length thumb-rest ridge on the wings of thunderbirds and thought it would be fun to get the weight down and make a precisionbird bass.

Then extreme boredom lockdown fever kicked in. Remembering the idiom ‘start where you are, use what you have..’ 

well, you’ll see the pics... 

posting this for a laugh so don’t be too cruel eh? 
 

Obviously lots of tidying up and finishing off but it’s a gorgeous weight, and the reprofile of the neck feels great. There’s a few nice touches to come, devising in tuners and bridge. Next job headstock profile.

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Edited by headofire
Typo
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Tell you what, that looks an interesting idea and approach.

Nuts to what we think, are you happy with it? That's the important bit 🙂

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24 minutes ago, Si600 said:

Tell you what, that looks an interesting idea and approach.

Nuts to what we think, are you happy with it? That's the important bit 🙂

Thanks mate, but of fun really.. the idea is you look down and it looks like a P bass but the body’s lost about 1/5th of the weight. The thumb rest is the best bit though, feels really good so far

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Just now, Beedster said:

Ah, my first bass was a Satellite. Nice to see one still being used :)

I’ve almost bought one of these a bunch of times over the years, I finally scored this for £120 in March. They scream project at you.. 

 

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Even today they look very well built, but I don’t remember that feeling from the time? 

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Just now, Beedster said:

Even today they look very well built, but I don’t remember that feeling from the time? 

I heard they where 2nds from the fernandes ones, I think you had a two pickup one? I just missed that.. 

They are well made just not quite ‘finished off’ and all the hardware was cheapo. 

no joke, though it was so heavy..back breaking.

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image.png.f267cb5e349346be80d29ec76b6b3666.png

Wrong word, should say IMPRESSED!!!

Not just with the balls to start slicing a bass in half lengthwise, but also that you seem to have done it without waving all over the place and varying the final thickness by ¾"

Watching with interest 👍

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38 minutes ago, Richard R said:

image.png.f267cb5e349346be80d29ec76b6b3666.png

Wrong word, should say IMPRESSED!!!

Not just with the balls to start slicing a bass in half lengthwise, but also that you seem to have done it without waving all over the place and varying the final thickness by ¾"

Watching with interest 👍

Agreed. Only thing that worries me about this is whether the neck is weakened at all? 

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On 24/10/2020 at 21:20, Beedster said:

If they’re as good as Fernandes that’s some compliment :)

I would think it would compete after the reprofiling and fret dress etc. 
Getting the weight similar to a normal bass was the big issue. 
It was a two man lift 🤣

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7 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Agreed. Only thing that worries me about this is whether the neck is weakened at all? 

Thanks Buddy! Also.. Fair point... The neck is rock solid.. it’s 7 pieces of flame maple and hardwood ply. I am a reasonable carpenter.. I just had at it with my site tools in lockdown out of boredom and funny cigarettes. I had planned to do a much finer job with a luthier friend. It’s currently in his workshop and I’m learning about the finer tools etc. 
Even with the wood removed it’s still thicker on the body than a rickenbacker or Thunderbird. 
 

Edited by headofire
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Just now, headofire said:

Fair point... The neck is rock solid.. it’s 7 pieces of flame maple and hardwood ply.
Even with the wood removed it’s still thicker on the body than a rickenbacker or Thunderbird. 
 

Lovely, and good points re Rics and 'Birds :) 

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Any plans to Spector-ise the body to lose a bit more weight?

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On 26/10/2020 at 18:53, TheGreek said:

Any plans to Spector-ise the body to lose a bit more weight?

I did think about it but I don’t find them that comfortable, rib contour has been exaggerated and smoothed out a lot but I won’t take any more off the thickness.  Final sanding will take a fair bit off too.

I just kept going till it felt like a ‘nice’ weight and the thunderbird idea had some point to it. It’s really light now, and all the hardware is very minimal weight. I’ve got hipshot ultralites and those pickups. The headstock is slimmed right down, slopping in towards the opposite edge. The bass looks almost like a normal Precision in thickness looking you look down as if playing. 

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Getting close to a finish and finally found time to carve the relief into the headstock face. Really getting there now.. I’m happy with how it’s coming along. 

The P-bird.. BC78A6C5-09B5-43F3-AC2A-168CE66E617A.thumb.jpeg.53812e0946837ebc3f444d4195193782.jpeg

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What was the original weight and the weight now? 

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I’m just messing about with an old clunker.. I don’t have any scales. It always sounded great but weighed a tonne, now it’s really light. I’ll post a weight when I get it finished and the hardware on. It’s just a bit of fun really 

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On 26/10/2020 at 08:00, Beedster said:

Agreed. Only thing that worries me about this is whether the neck is weakened at all? 

It shouldn't have weakened the neck at all. It's no thinner than anywhere else along it's length and it has two extra laminations in the form the body wings for additional strength.

I think sometimes we under-estimate the inherent strength of wood. After all people build whole houses with it!

Edited by BigRedX
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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

It shouldn't have weakened the neck at all. It's no thinner than anywhere else along it's length and it has two extra laminations in the form the body wings for additional strength.

I think sometimes we under-estimate the inherent strength of wood. After all people build whole houses with it!

Very true, in one of the picks the finish has come away at the top of the neck where the line of the thumb rest is but it’s all on the Ash wing, which is two pieces laminated. It’s laminated wings and neck so I’m not concerned though it does look a bit thin at the neck. I might not be an experienced luthier but I’ve built a few houses 😂

The sen ash it very hard and the maple particularly is very, very tough. Cutting through it was hard work. 

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

It shouldn't have weakened the neck at all. It's no thinner than anywhere else along it's length and it has two extra laminations in the form the body wings for additional strength.

I think sometimes we under-estimate the inherent strength of wood. After all people build whole houses with it!

Yep, agreed, and aircraft, boats and bridges :)

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