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Andyjr1515

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

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41 minutes ago, Richard R said:

The first is straight though the body, starting from where the strap button will go

The jack socket hole is usually an ideal place.  Again, you need a long drill.

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IME it's best to drill the hole as straight as possible in one go. Wires are unusually resistant to being fed through holes with changes in direction, and the closer the diameter of the hole to the diameter of the wire the more resistant they become.

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Thanks both.  So a "plausible" idea,  but not as good as the established methods. Fair enough!!

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39 minutes ago, Richard R said:

Thanks both.  So a "plausible" idea,  but not as good as the established methods. Fair enough!!

Very plausible - it all depends where, how far, what angle and what's in the way.  The ideal is a straight line as @BigRedX rightly says, but sometimes that's not possible.

This afternoon has been about frets and fretboard.  Not finished but well on with it.

The frets had already been levelled with a levelling beam but, to be able to guarantee no buzzes at decently low action heights, it needs to be better than that alone.  So I use a rocker across a number of points for each fret looking for high spots:

l0tsh0El.jpg

There were around 7 frets that needed some attention in particular spots across their widths...but the 11th fret, hmmm I just wasn't happy with.  From halfway across the fret, the 'high spot' was more than I would have expected.  I had a real close look and came to the conclusion that it wasn't seated properly. 

Now, a decent whack from the rubber mallet might have sorted it...but I wanted something a bit more certain than that.  So, because I run a small bead of titebond along the fret tangs when I fit them, I first heated the fret with a soldering iron to soften the glue:

MOvaU1Qm.jpg

Then used the fret-removal pincers to ease it out.  These are just like any other end cutters, but the end is ground down so that the jaws can get under the tiny gap under the fret wire:

7t1duiHm.jpg

Tidied up the slot, checked it was deep enough and then detanged a length of fretwire so that I could leave the tang slot ebony fill at each side in place:

GKWLdiMm.jpg

A tiny bead of titebond along the tang, fret inserted and then judiciously whacked with the mallet and this is a good sign -  the glue squeeze-out means it's seated properly:

bIsHON3m.jpg

Wipe clean and then a radius block clamped on for 10 minutes for good measure:

1FmkGjrm.jpg

 

All of the remaining high spots were levelled and the fretboard edges rounded over a touch.  So tomorrow will be to re-crown /polish any flat spots and then scrape and final sand the fretboard :)

In the meantime, I've emailed Martin Sims to ask whether they advise shielding the pickup cavities or not.  The control chamber can be shielded while I'm waiting for the reply and the switch and pot holes can be drilled  :)

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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And one of the bigger of the remaining jobs done.  Frets are fully levelled, recrowned, polished, fretboard is polished up and fretboard edges are rounded off:

DzWnwxXl.jpg

I've done the fretboard the same way I do for my own guitars that have ebony boards - it's a variation of the tru-oil slurry and buff.  With ebony, you can just polish it up but I find that slurry and buff with fine emery (400 grit) gives a glassy smooth feel and stops the grot getting into the teeny grain lines of the wood with hard playing.

I got a pleasingly rapid reply from Martin at SimS and he says that shielding the pickup chambers themselves is OK.  An interesting reminder - the Superquad cases are carbon fibre and fully conductive and so are themselves fully earthed.  So next job will be drilling the holes for the controls and shielding all of the chambers.

But while the Tru-oil and rubber gloves are out, I'll just do the slurry and buff on @Fishman 's Wal save.  Oh - and that will give me time to check with @Jus Lukin what kind of jackplate he prefers  :)

 

  

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This is a fabulous thread and build. 
 

Thanks for sharing!

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This was the switch and pot layout I agreed with @Jus Lukin when I was working out the size of the control chamber.  We have some options for the tone, volume and jack, but this is basically where the switches will go.

OHdlvAsl.jpg

 

And this really was a 'measure 14 times, drill once' jobee!  Especially as the SimS switches are offset!

PZySfYDl.jpg

 

The twenty six more times measuring got me here:

XvYDpm1l.jpg

 

Tight!

ldqvRO9l.jpg

Pots and jack positions next and then it will be the chamber shielding :)

 

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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Re chamber screening ... The pickup holes won't really need it, and copper foil is hard to do in small spaces. Conductive spray paint works really well though, it's what Electric Wood and Warwick use (and what I use for work) and it does no harm to spray the pickup holes with it.

I mention this because I accidently ordered two cans of it from RS so have one spare ( and for free ) if you want it. PM me if you do and I'll drop it off on one of my essential work trips around Derby.

Edited by NickA
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9 minutes ago, NickA said:

Re chamber screening ... The pickup holes won't really need it, and copper foil is hard to do in small spaces. Conductive spray paint works really well though, it's what Electric Wood and Warwick use (and what I use for work) and it does no harm to spray the pickup holes with it.

I mention this because I accidently ordered two cans of it from RS so have one spare ( and for free ) if you want it. PM me if you do and I'll drop it off on one of my essential work trips around Derby.

Nice for you to offer, @NickA (I just LOVE this forum :) ) but it's OK - I'm fine with copper foil.  I use it on all of my builds.

Ref the pickup holes I agree - generally I don't shield those and on guitars it is often a case that you absolutely don't because it can perceptibly change the tone if you do...but Martin SimS says that it is worth doing on these and so it's probably best to follow the advice. 

I'll be doing copper screening tomorrow - I'll let you know if I have to eat my hat (which wouldn't be the first time :lol: ).

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We're going for an oval jackplate, set into the body.  It's 6 of one and half a dozen whether this is best done before or after the main finishing.  For gloss, I tend to do any holes and cuts after because these kinds of features can tangibly change how well the coats go on the way I do it.  If I was doing a spray finish, I would do it before.

It never ceases to amaze my just how big a hole you have to drill to fit a standard jack plug! 20mm is pretty much the minimum and even then you often have to taper it to allow the tip contact the required movement:

9jiOlCHl.jpg

 

And these jack plates don't have a lot of leeway:

fcxdufIl.jpg

 

A carpenters mallet and two or three different radius curved chisels around the periphery and I can start paring away the wood with a standard chisel.  The criss-cross formed by the chisels is useful because it prevents chippings getting too large and deep:

zIQ7Uqml.jpg

 

And happily, no slips.  In the morning, I'll tidy up the edges with some fine emery and finish off with a quick sealing wipe of tru-oil:

xbsPZQ9l.jpg

 

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21 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 @Jus Lukinnnn

The twenty six more times measuring got me here:

XvYDpm1l.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason I was expecting all black hardware including switches and knobs to match the Sims and bridge parts 😳

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1 hour ago, BassTool said:

For some reason I was expecting all black hardware including switches and knobs to match the Sims and bridge parts 😳

The SimS switches are the SimS switches...they have the printed circuits on for the pickup options and the clever volume compensation so they are what they are.

But the temporary knobs are black :)

BihGudJl.jpg

But actually, I will be checking with @Jus Lukin whether he wants the nuts and washers in black (same with the nut and washer for the inset jack plate) - the sticks will be chrome whatever.

When I say 'clever volume compensation' , seen on @TheGreek 's Silk Bass then what SimS have achieved is actually very clever.  In electric guitar circles, multiple coil switchings are common, but  most suffer from a common challenge - that when you switch from a 'humbucker' to a 'split (single) coil' option, there is a major volume drop.  With these pickups, there is almost no volume change whatsoever between the three options.  You can hear Nick demonstrating this on @TheGreek 's bass in the Basschat video at the beginning of this thread.

These are the printed circuits attached to the chrome switches (you can see why, at least for the stalks, that they will have to be what they have to be @BassTool   ;)  )   :

HNSl29hl.jpg

This, by the way, is the neatest this will get - there are three 12-wire looms and the standard wires to fit in here yet! :shok:

It's why the hatch may well need to be fitted with screws rather than magnets...

This is how the whole thing is starting to look (presently with chrome nuts and washers for the micro switches):

UhtTaESl.jpg

Now all the controls holes are there, I'll start sorting the shielding.  The end is in sight!  :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 

This is how the whole thing is starting to look (presently with chrome nuts and washers for the micro switches):

UhtTaESl.jpg

Now all the controls holes are there, I'll start sorting the shielding.  The end is in sight!  :)

 

 

Wow Andy, that really looks like one of your best. Stunning now - can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. 

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The control chamber is now copper shielded:

bgYTY25l.jpg

And I've worked out the heights of the pickups to work out where - and what height - to put the fixing screw blocks.  Once I've installed those, I can copper foil the bottoms of those chambers too.  I won't need to do the sides as the carbon cases are also earthed through the looms.  All of the copper will be electrically connected with a wipe of solder across any joins between the different pieces within and across the multiple chambers and earthed to the same point as the SimS switches.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

The SimS switches are the SimS switches...they have the printed circuits on for the pickup options and the clever volume compensation so they are what they are.

These are the printed circuits attached to the chrome switches (you can see why, at least for the stalks, that they will have to be what they have to be @BassTool   ;)  )   :

HNSl29hl.jpg

 

UhtTaESl.jpg

 

 

 

Aha! That explains that then 😖 thanks @Andyjr1515 👍🏼

 

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On 12/02/2021 at 18:25, Andyjr1515 said:

We're going for an oval jackplate, set into the body.  It's 6 of one and half a dozen whether this is best done before or after the main finishing.  For gloss, I tend to do any holes and cuts after because these kinds of features can tangibly change how well the coats go on the way I do it.  If I was doing a spray finish, I would do it before.

It never ceases to amaze my just how big a hole you have to drill to fit a standard jack plug! 20mm is pretty much the minimum and even then you often have to taper it to allow the tip contact the required movement:

9jiOlCHl.jpg

 

And these jack plates don't have a lot of leeway:

fcxdufIl.jpg

 

A carpenters mallet and two or three different radius curved chisels around the periphery and I can start paring away the wood with a standard chisel.  The criss-cross formed by the chisels is useful because it prevents chippings getting too large and deep:

zIQ7Uqml.jpg

 

And happily, no slips.  In the morning, I'll tidy up the edges with some fine emery and finish off with a quick sealing wipe of tru-oil:

xbsPZQ9l.jpg

 

I've always wished more builders would do this. Nice detail Andy!

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Yesterday was all about working out the pickup heights to put spacers for the adjustment screws to bite into and then shielding the bottoms of the pickup chambers.  With all shielding, a simple ohmmeter check for electrical continuity is pretty essential, and for the sticky backed copper, running a trace of solder to bridge each panel join is also a must - you can't rely on 'conductive glue'  ;)

BhYgCOSl.jpg

 

All of this took most of the day yesterday, but by the end, all three pickups are fitted and have the required adjustment range:

E7NWw0Il.jpg

 

You can see why I'm not certain that magnets will keep the hatch down...and remember, none of the other stuff if in place here yet.  :lol:

l6KHiP1l.jpg

Oh...and remember that these connectors go in vertically at the very top of the switches:

HNSl29hl.jpg

So, while I ponder on that particular houdini challenge, I'll buy myself some thinking time by spending a few hours on a much less mentally taxing task of adding the copper shielding to @Fishman 's Wal - assuming I haven't used up all of my foil :)

 

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@Andyjr1515 : You can gently heat the wires near the connectors and bent them gently at 90 degrees, this way they won't push the cover. You can also shorten them a lot. This way it will be a perfect assembly.

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2 hours ago, Hellzero said:

@Andyjr1515 : You can gently heat the wires near the connectors and bent them gently at 90 degrees, this way they won't push the cover. You can also shorten them a lot. This way it will be a perfect assembly.

Yes - good tip about bending the wires out of the connectors.

I'll see how I fare with the rest of the mass.  Luckily they are pretty fine wires but twelve Andyjr1515-quality solder joints per loom wouldn't be pretty - however much shrink tube I used xD

 

Mind you, not as bad as Schaller's 'thick unbendable shroud and cable coming straight out of the back of a non-standard pot' that features in the top-level Flagship EQ/piezo-mag mixer.  Clearly no one at Schaller (and usually I am a BIG fan of Schaller) had actually tried to fit one into any conventional instrument...   Not their finest moment...  ;)

brAwGQrl.jpg

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NOW what's he doing??????

TqPI2Ekl.jpg

Well, starting with the reason - two phrases sum it up:

- one of the 'not essential but if it could be done' requests from @Jus Lukin was that it would be nice if it could stand against a bass speaker without the need for a guitar stand

- one of the things on my 'what I would do differently if I built another one of these' is to make the body a cm or so longer at the tail and deepen the cutout for the tuner knobs

Because 'it's a little bit tight' :lol:

With the bottom E fully intonated (ie the furthest back of the tuner cylinders) it was clear on a hard floor, but the tuner was touching the ground on a carpet.

So I needed some slightly longer strap buttons.  Now there maybe some somewhere...but I couldn't find any.  But with a teeny bit of ingenuity...and a much bigger hacksaw blade...and longer fixing screws in the post - hey presto, strap button extensions! :) :

lmcjCgHl.jpg

And the acid test.  Hard floor almost vertical:

L0Cv94gl.jpg

sTBB4ERl.jpg

Clear! :)

Carpet at a more normal 'leaning against the speaker' angle:

31Bg8bKl.jpg

Well clear.

Phew!

:)

 

 

 

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I don’t know why two strap buttons like this isn’t more widespread.  Makes so much sense.  Had it on my Hohner Jack (maybe it’s just a headless thing?)

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2 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

I don’t know why two strap buttons like this isn’t more widespread.  Makes so much sense.  Had it on my Hohner Jack (maybe it’s just a headless thing?)

Had them on my Ibanez GWB35 and they are standard on some makes.

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