Jump to content
Andyjr1515

Finished! It's a bass, Jim...

Recommended Posts

On 12/01/2021 at 16:11, Andyjr1515 said:

I still hate routers

Read a great article by two blokes who built a double bass with a fully carved maple back (https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328014-making-a-double-bass/).  Initially they didn't want to use a router, but then realised that even Stradivarius had a router ... called the junior apprentice (apprentissimo). 

"Take this chisel laddie .... see that 4x 2ft piece of wood over there"

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the dust rack has been in action again @Andyjr1515 was “dust (ebony)” just to left of “dust (magic)” and “dust (pixie)”? We never see posts starting “mr pink torpedo-up came to visit today ...” 😔 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

We never see posts starting “mr pink torpedo-up came to visit today

Still time...still time. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many tasks in guitar and bass building where I still haven't found the 'perfect' way to get things right or accurate.  One of those is the short area of body wood that the fretboard sits on in the way that I do through-necks.  If you remember, I cut a notch in the neck blank that the top slots into.  The top face of this area is at an angle to the top face of the main length of the neck - and that's what will give me my neck angle to the body:

mnrqPl4l.jpg

gl24X5El.jpg

But, because the fretboard extends over the body for a short distance - and is an an angle to the body - I have to take steps to make sure that the end of the fretboard doesn't end up with a gap.  And so I set the body a couple of mm proud of the neck top face.  And so I then need to cut an angle in the body wood to make sure that the fretboard is flat against wood all the way from neck to heel to fretboard end.

And the challenge is cutting that angle.

In the earlier days, I used to think just a levelling beam would do it.  But two things tend to happen - the beam does quickly remove the edge of the body wood - but then tends to ride high over the body and leave a lump but also starts to sand the neck (which I don't want - as that is already flat).

My present method is to take the bulk off masking the neck and pulling a fine microplane blade down gently across the body wood parallel to the neck top face, and then use the longest, sharpest chisel I have to go the other way - using the neck upper face as the datum for the chisel and slice away the excess, lumps and bumps in a sweeping movement up the body wood:

sYDlPSQl.jpg

 

It seemed to work.  And why do I outline this in so much detail?  Well, how else am I going to remember next time that this is how I did it this time??? :D  

The full length was checked with a straight edge, truss rod put in, back stop glued and it was ready to have the fretboard glued on:

Vp7WOzIl.jpg

 

And it's clamped up and glue drying as I type:

xCQhub7l.jpg

 

And that means that I can start carving the neck over the weekend.  And all guitar and bass builders will tell you that neck carving is the most satisfying part of the whole process.  Happy days :)

 

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 

And that means that I can start carving the neck over the weekend.  And all guitar and bass builders will tell you that neck carving is the most satisfying part of the whole process.  Happy days :)

 

 

 

You said neck carving was satisfying out loud!

*cringes as a large sack of potatoes is lobbed down the basement stairs by MrsAndyjr1515 with instructions to get that lot done by teatime*

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking great, Andy! I've had some rather irritating things to deal with the last couple of weeks, so it's nice to add some positive adrenaline to the fight-or-flight stuff!

Neck-carving- I'll get the tape measure out this afternoon!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

Neck-carving- I'll get the tape measure out this afternoon!

No rush, A.  Got lots to still do elsewhere on it that I can still carry on with :)

In the meantime, pleased to say that the joint looks good:

U7a1ns9l.jpg

 

No one panic about that dark line in the mahogany - it's a grain line, not a crack. :)

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next big step is sorting the positions for the tuner blocks.  

The only sure way I know of getting the bridge units (or even a fixed bridge!) in the right place is to fit some old strings to the headstock and try it for real.  It's relatively easy with this because the strings are clamped at the headstock

:OX4nu9Yl.jpg

Then, with the tuner units positioned with a minimum of 5mm back movement from scale length, it was a case of pulling the two tuner blocks tight and positioning to be even either side of the fretboard and 54mm apart to give @Jus Lukin his preferred 18mm string spacing.

Then I could mark the front screw hole positions for those 2 and then divide the remaining space for the other 2 :

0tDe924l.jpg

 

With all 4 front screws fitted, I could now string it up lightly and check the angular positions - they could be set straight (as, of course, fixed bridges are), but with single element bridges, I always think it adds a little to have them following the string line:

G9lA6ojl.jpg

Then I could fit the back screws to each of the four bases and...of course ;) ... do a mockup.  I've dampened some of the walnut to show broadly the colour it will eventually be.  The fretboard also will darken from this:

qhfhUhIl.jpg

Next job is levelling and recrowning the frets and then I can see what my action range is so I know if I need to sink or raise the elements at all.  

And yes - this above is actually tuned to pitch and actually plays acoustically.  Admittedly not a great sound...but, trust me, with my playing, a lot better than when it's finished, plugged in and louder xD

And I love that Nova system.  It just WORKS!

 

 

 

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming on nicely....

Somebody's going to be a lucky boy...

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

With all 4 front screws fitted, I could now string it up lightly and check the angular positions - they could be set straight (as, of course, fixed bridges are), but with single element bridges, I always think it adds a little to have them following the string line:

Nice one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Next big step is sorting the positions for the tuner blocks.  

The only sure way I know of getting the bridge units (or even a fixed bridge!) in the right place is to fit some old strings to the headstock and try it for real.  It's relatively easy with this because the strings are clamped at the headstock

:OX4nu9Yl.jpg

Then, with the tuner units positioned with a minimum of 5mm back movement from scale length, it was a case of pulling the two tuner blocks tight and positioning to be even either side of the fretboard and 54mm apart to give @Jus Lukin his preferred 18mm string spacing.

Then I could mark the front screw hole positions for those 2 and then divide the remaining space for the other 2 :

0tDe924l.jpg

 

With all 4 front screws fitted, I could now string it up lightly and check the angular positions - they could be set straight (as, of course, fixed bridges are), but with single element bridges, I always think it adds a little to have them following the string line:

G9lA6ojl.jpg

Then I could fit the back screws to each of the four bases and...of course ;) ... do a mockup.  I've dampened some of the walnut to show broadly the colour it will eventually be.  The fretboard also will darken from this:

qhfhUhIl.jpg

 

 

 

 

I want it.

 

 

 

Sorry, but it had to be said out loud 🤭

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

qhfhUhIl.jpg

This is now the background on my phone!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy?

Have you any plans to make the cut ends of the strings safe other than cutting them as close to the clamps as you dare?  I know from experience that, with headless, you can overshoot so easily if there's no volute and I'd worry about snagging myself on those as they appear in your recent photos.

I'm keen to see how you finish the neck end.  I'm gathering ideas for my own build down the line somewhere.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my latest headless I made the neck about 15mm past the string clamp. When I cut the strings they were still over the neck and somewhat protected. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point - I'm sure somebody makes rubber grommets that would fit, if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, SpondonBassed said:

Andy?

Have you any plans to make the cut ends of the strings safe other than cutting them as close to the clamps as you dare?  I know from experience that, with headless, you can overshoot so easily if there's no volute and I'd worry about snagging myself on those as they appear in your recent photos.

I'm keen to see how you finish the neck end.  I'm gathering ideas for my own build down the line somewhere.

It should be OK.  These are just rough cut old strings, I haven't finished sorting the intonation offset and the ebony end cap isn't sorted yet. 

Once the intonation positions are set, then I see no reason why the ends should poke out of the back of the clamp block at all.  Having now put them on and taken them off pretty frequently as I was sorting up the fixings, I have found that it is exceptionally straightforward to push the string ends into the block and clamp them and it won't be any more difficult once the strings have been pre-trimmed. 

It'll look better too :)

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I get time tomorrow, I'll pre-trim a couple of the strings and take some photos of how I string up with this system - it'll double as the 'How-to' that I would normally be doing for @Jus Lukin anyway :)

Before I used these, I had the same questions in my mind, but now having seen how the Nova system works, it takes all the guess work out of it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Good point - I'm sure somebody makes rubber grommets that would fit, if needed.

No grommets necessary...well, other the ones that are filling all of the holes I drilled in the wrong place xD

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For completeness and as a 'How To' guide for @Jus Lukin  I'll confirm all of this when the real strings have been fitted, but this is how I would do it with what I've done with the test strings.

Below assumes that the bass has already been intonated and therefore the tuner holders are already clamped in their playing positions:

1.  Normally, the ball-end socket blocks are going to be in the right place - because normally you will have recently loosened the strings.  But assuming that I'm starting from scratch, I would unscrew the brass block, then reattach and screw it on around 3mm to ensure that enough thread is in the block to start off with:

VH2a9Vll.jpg

 

2.  Then the ballend of the string is pushed through the tuner holder:

hDKOucOl.jpg

 

3.  The ballend is hooked into the holder and the unit pulled into the holder:

KjrgSLZl.jpg

V2TRUVjl.jpg

 

4. The string is pulled straight, the position to the end of the clampblock noted and the string is clipped at this point:

z0Lf1tOl.jpg

T0UG2FCl.jpg

 

5.  The string is fed through the clamp block until the string is straight and then clamped:

pg0FicCl.jpg

 

6.  String is tightened to pitch:

57l80uEl.jpg

SIIaopVl.jpg

 

I trimmed and fitted all four strings in less than two minutes.

Oh, did I mention that I love the Nova system...? .:party:

 

Ref intonation, if you were, say, fitting a different gauge or make of strings, you would leave them overlength, tune up, check and/or adjust the intonation, then, when the tuner block was secured in its final position, just loosen, unclamp, shorten and reclamp.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

For completeness and as a 'How To' guide for @Jus Lukin  I'll confirm all of this when the real strings have been fitted, but this is how I would do it with what I've done with the test strings.

Below assumes that the bass has already been intonated and therefore the tuner holders are already clamped in their playing positions:

1.  Normally, the ball-end socket blocks are going to be in the right place - because normally you will have recently loosened the strings.  But assuming that I'm starting from scratch, I would unscrew the brass block, then reattach and screw it on around 3mm to ensure that enough thread is in the block to start off with:

VH2a9Vll.jpg

 

2.  Then the ballend of the string is pushed through the tuner holder:

hDKOucOl.jpg

 

3.  The ballend is hooked into the holder and the unit pulled into the holder:

KjrgSLZl.jpg

V2TRUVjl.jpg

 

4. The string is pulled straight, the position to the end of the clampblock noted and the string is clipped at this point:

z0Lf1tOl.jpg

T0UG2FCl.jpg

 

5.  The string is fed through the clamp block until the string is straight and then clamped:

pg0FicCl.jpg

 

6.  String is tightened to pitch:

57l80uEl.jpg

SIIaopVl.jpg

 

I trimmed and fitted all four strings in less than two minutes.

Oh, did I mention that I love the Nova system...? .:party:

 

Ref intonation, if you were, say, fitting a different gauge or make of strings, you would leave them overlength, tune up, check and/or adjust the intonation, then, when the tuner block was secured in its final position, just loosen, unclamp, shorten and reclamp.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, next bass build will need the Nova system. This is a really smart solution.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used ABM, ETS, Hohner and Nova headless tuners. Nova is by far the smoothest and easiest to tune. They are also the lightest. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, MPU said:

I've used ABM, ETS, Hohner and Nova headless tuners. Nova is by far the smoothest and easiest to tune. They are also the lightest.

It is very good to know, thank you for the feedback.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what is Andyjr1515 up to now??

lSW8gNjl.jpg

I will reveal tomorrow (assuming it's worked ;)  - or in a day or so if it hasn't xD )

 

And polished frets and rounded fret-ends:

1MMsM20l.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member



×
×
  • Create New...