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mhoss32

Experimental Prototype bass... I hope

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And passive. Steve Wishnevsky will rather sell you an external "Wishbox" (a wooden case with a passive varitone) than build a tone control into a bass, let alone active electronics :lol:

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1 hour ago, binky_bass said:

@Hellzero - You sir, are a big old box of wrong! In fact this clearly looks like the bass @mhoss32 has modeled his build on! 😂

20210219_144347.thumb.jpg.8dffe63ab83fe6189234751bb9ba3aca.jpg

This was supposed to be a standard fretted. How lucky is the owner that the body is not fretted too. Looks like a joint venture with PCGC...

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Im not sure im familiar at all with wishbass? not one ive come across before, although as you can probably tell im a big fan of basses for an "acquired taste"

Im getting straight on with the leaf inalys as well off the back of getting the branches in :)

IMG-20201219-WA0003.thumb.jpeg.5e5354493dd00d4b014ca74d01ee5a40.jpeg

These are just laid on the top, but will give you an idea of their final positions. the plan is to use some evo gold fretwire, so lots of gold on this neck!

IMG-20201219-WA0005.thumb.jpeg.102c23404aeca7627470c4b30755ae49.jpegIMG-20201219-WA0007.thumb.jpeg.33f6c15ce7e0c8003197ff4d14abf4cd.jpeg

Im hoping these wont take me too long, but im enjoying the process as i go. woodwork that you can do in a comfy chair in a nice warm room is the kind of woodwork i like most :)

IMG_20201130_163559.thumb.jpg.87fd66da81261decaa173b29127b0e68.jpg  IMG_20201130_155016.thumb.jpg.0afb98b81be9466a6e0478119c636ef8.jpg

Meanwhile ive cut the neck blank down to the rquired thickness front and back. i first glued an extra block to the back of the same pattern as the ends of the marquetry beam, and then cut the back off so that its nice and flush. this was another job that wouldve taken 20 seconds on a bandsaw, and instead took 20 minutes of elbow grease. keeping me fit during lockdown though!

for the ffront i used 2 aluminium beams as a flat and stable guide for the router, and slowly took it down to the correct depth (well nearly, i left it a few mil proud of where it needs to be so that i can plane it flat to the wings once theyre glued in place). this depth is to accomodate the redwood top that will be on the front of the bass.

speaking of which...

using the 2 laser cut templates you saw in the last post i got the 2 pieces cut and routed to the exact shape they need to be, and started adding the veneer strips

IMG_20201122_144727.thumb.jpg.1b7dfb3857a65aacc19cfce5f23c492a.jpgIMG_20201122_144729.thumb.jpg.1a579c2d9ced033f2c9d9abd29d6e989.jpg

as you can see the curve here is pretty tight, so its a matter of soaking the veneer in hot water to get it to bend round and behave. i did have a little help however, mitre bond now make a pen for superglue activator! genius stuff, just apply to one surface and the CA glue to the other and they bond instantly. need to be a bit careful with it but it works like a charm:

IMG_20201123_150525.thumb.jpg.ccb7f0151a5739785e39c9cd7e211062.jpg

after the first white layter was on, i repeated the process with a black dyed veneer:

IMG_20201123_150402.thumb.jpg.f37db570fbe61409c8cf4537ae2ef269.jpg

soak first, then apply with glue and activator:

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and then again with a third white strip:

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this came out fairly well, and fit perfectly together with the other side, giving me this:

IMG_20201204_153911.thumb.jpg.7f4b855730d70b8eeeb4649da4e7780f.jpg

one redwood "Swan matched" top! albeit with a couple of cracks. overall though im chuffed, and i think itll look really good when shaped with the rest of the body:

IMG_20201201_163135.thumb.jpg.e10edb347887ca42d4835ba7e23ba103.jpgIMG_20201202_123613.thumb.jpg.24dc3c2736bc6ecf0a4ecc542645a015.jpg

starting to look like a bass a little more now! this will all be glued up and then the neck area routed around the bottom of the neck template, ready to accept the top, and i can't wait. once its all together i can start shaping it and thats when the personality starts to come out :)

in the meantime though ive got plenty to keep me happy, ive now got both pickups and preamps all finished, although a few of the components may change once ive got them into the bass and tested them for real. these component values soung great on one of my other basses, but that might not be the case for the multi coils. i bought plenty of spare PCB's though, so no worries there.

IMG_20201126_180029.thumb.jpg.7a2eb87ff66afd544cdc747827ff2bdc.jpg

and my little sticker for the bigsby arrived!

IMG_20201214_133747.thumb.jpg.a248a4a30e4e6d4ef79f30904b07b54a.jpg

not the biggest or most important part i know, but little touches are what help make the bass my own creation top to bottom. :)

 

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@mhoss32 - Wishbasses are basically terrible lumps of driftwood that claim to be a custom bass! I was just having a little joke as you're bass is so far at the other end of the scale (wishbass being about a -236 on a scale of 1-10 on quality, and yours looking more like a 10, if not considerably higher!)

Can't wait to see yours finished! I'm quite jealous of your ability to build such a thing!! :)

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15 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

@mhoss32 - Wishbasses are basically terrible lumps of driftwood that claim to be a custom bass! I was just having a little joke as you're bass is so far at the other end of the scale (wishbass being about a -236 on a scale of 1-10 on quality, and yours looking more like a 10, if not considerably higher!)

Can't wait to see yours finished! I'm quite jealous of your ability to build such a thing!! :)

You take that back, that plywood was never driftwood!

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1 hour ago, mhoss32 said:

little touches are what help make the bass my own creation top to bottom. :)

This entire bass is quite obviously one man's unique creation top to bottom. And a gloriously over the top fabulous creation it is!

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Exciting update time :)

IMG_20201205_134252.thumb.jpg.de0adc9628549080a02945f99a3107c4.jpg

With the top glued up (and with a thin layer of white veneer glued to the back of it), its time to get the body glued together and start doing a bit of shaping! you can probably see from the redwood top and my pencil lines that i was pretty conservative with the jigsaw first time around, so there will be a fair amount of material to remove around the edges.

IMG_20201205_173756.thumb.jpg.1fcc8e27e7af136e84c48e7bb0ac6d74.jpgIMG_20201206_125551.thumb.jpg.e88e7adbc635f5471525cdc3c608667a.jpg

More clamps is best clamps :) this all went plenty smoothly, and after a few very careful passes with the router:

IMG_20201206_152835.thumb.jpg.c31463cdb53e387f983e3375a0e374e2.jpg

ta da! one body ready to start shaping. im not cutting the neck down to size just yet, mainly because i dont want to put any big nicks in the area around the heel until im sure what im going to be doing with it. there is a lot of material to remove and im really just going to be doing the shaping by eye. no roundover or other router bits used here, just a lot of rasping and sanding.

IMG_20201206_155343.thumb.jpg.572d93d4ae8cef5cd30325f1d26697be.jpg

as i start to remove some of the material, you can see the colours that will be on display. redwood, maple, cherry, walnut padauk.

IMG_20201206_165102.thumb.jpg.e57da1f58cc81def470fc7b66f05b2c2.jpg IMG_20201206_173237.thumb.jpg.b9b007fae093496fbcd8b354b1cdb1cf.jpg

The areas where the redwood is missing are where there are going to be some very tricky transitions to carve. its a matter of moving around a lot so that you see the transition from a lot of angles, to make sure the right amount of each colour is exposed.

IMG_20201207_184815.thumb.jpg.b94d58461dfc6a728d51e79818c65a3e.jpg IMG_20201207_184812.thumb.jpg.aa5642c7707566b1837a8489d4cf5b82.jpg

and its the same story on the other side, only moreso. the angles need to be carved so that they not only blend together perfectly, but also catch the light in the right way, tall order. so far, just taking it nice and slow and taking a lot of breaks seems to be working pretty well. this is not going to be a short or easy process!

IMG_20201206_175214.thumb.jpg.ac5534232d2a769f6a6b884b57e52f51.jpg IMG_20201207_184809.thumb.jpg.7793c8958bb8653a91a072ab3d8c5061.jpg IMG_20201207_184820.thumb.jpg.3f09b87138b6f24065063f353cd77d26.jpg

the upper horn is going to resent a bunch of its own challenges. carving this shape isn't all that difficult, but normally you get to sort of "choose" where the high point in the carve is. with this one its defined by where those veneer stripes are, and so again theres a lot of walking around and looking at it from funny angles to ensure the shape and colours are all correct. it might be TMI, but on that workbench with the neck sticking out, its all to easy to get hit in the Junk doing that. at least it makes sure im taking lots of regular breaks!

IMG_20201207_185616.thumb.jpg.9447b130b1d210154c39890132a309e8.jpg

after a couple days of work im starting to get an idea of how i want the shape to end up, and how i want the lines to flow. but its still a long long way off.

in the meantime, ive started working on the bridge. one thing i found on the last bass with a bigsby was that in order to accomodate the bigsby and the bridge, the body needed to be unweildingly long. so to address this on this bass ive made a couple of changes. firstly, 26 frets instead of 24, this decreases the space needed between the end of the fretboard and the bridge. secondly, a 33" scale length instead of a full 34. this will also shorten those distances and i find it more comfortable overall. Finally, the use of a much shorter bridge. this reduces the space needed beyond the bottom of the scale length and leaves more space for the bigsby.

The only issue is that tune-o-matic bass bridges dont come with low friction saddles, and the string spacing is 19mm, instead of the 18mm i need.

so heres the plan:

IMG_20201127_131950.thumb.jpg.9d98d1b21b575d3e6c7eb496488c2da8.jpg

remove the metal saddles and replace them with new, TUSQ graphite saddles. this allows me to have narrower spacing and much lower friction. a single TUSQ nut blank is enough to do all 4.

IMG_20201127_132451.thumb.jpg.27a8e2ffca8ffdca809220e9c6790e98.jpg

ill be using some brass threaded inserts to keep the intonation adjustable, just as it would be with the standard bridge.

IMG_20201127_141407.thumb.jpg.dd19355cbb4b6913b8412645812b8cf3.jpg IMG_20201127_142221.thumb.jpg.fcfb17c3c938e088f4a2b2aaaaa10707.jpg IMG_20201127_143909.thumb.jpg.1b27e49c9bff49cdca710251b5885199.jpg

 

The nut was cut into chunks for each saddle, and a hole drilled to accept the insert. the insert is then glued firmly in place with some CA Glue. once all 4 are done, its just a matter of putting them in place and putting the adjustment screws back in. i then used the same 16" radius block to shape the saddles so they will follow the contour of the fretboard perfectly:

IMG_20201127_151406.thumb.jpg.451ca62a6d0a6c6cc29ea7094b689f52.jpg  IMG_20201127_153727.thumb.jpg.bdc46ac1707930a536957aeb0bbe5127.jpg

speaking of the freboard, ive managed to get all the inlays in!

IMG_20201227_130429.thumb.jpg.4688658ccd0eef3c7a6389c9efbae7b0.jpg IMG_20201227_130433.thumb.jpg.f062e20b633c263bc1d63f73cf39f1e5.jpg

These are far from perfect, but im still very pleased with them. if i ever do decide to start doing this semi-pro, i will certainly need more practice before id attempt this on someone elses instrument.

IMG_20201227_170417.thumb.jpg.96dd14f31f868e355877948f89f448fd.jpg

and there are the first 24 fret slots! ive got 2 more to do, these were done with a fret slotting jig i treated myself to as an early birthday present. absolutely great piece of kit and fantastically made. GMC luthier tools!

and finally for today, the gold screws for the pickup adjustment screws arrived:

IMG_20201203_173808.thumb.jpg.45969e9edd746144a9fc2e6a237478d5.jpg

i like these a LOT more than the black, really makes the pickups stand out a bit. there will be 3 more gold screws holding them in place, and i think im going to buy some gold enamel paint to colour in the little MH logos as well, opinions? too flashy?.

and, as  ive done a bit of carving and got my nice gold screws, lets have a gratuitous mockup and spread sawdust through the house!

IMG_20201208_105936.thumb.jpg.feac96c54c88108ae40637715b387d8e.jpg

its going to be a tight squeeze! but i think ill get it all in. the wires between the batteries and the preamps will just run through the bottom of the lower pickup cavity, and im pretty sure ill need to muck about with the preamp positions a bit. the master volume control will be on the lower horn, so in total 6 knobs and 2 toggle switchs, plus the two 4 way switches on the pickups. if theres one thing i won't be short of, its tone options i hope!!

 

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Absolutely amazing. I’m sure you’ve thought of it already, but bigsby tuning stability is often helped/ hindered by the break angle over the saddles... May be a factor to consider when deciding placement of bridge and tailpiece.

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"...this is not going to be a short or easy process"

Um, take your time. Art takes time, and this is as much a sculpture as a tool for making music. Wow.

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Thanks Guys!!

@roman_sub, its certainly something ive considered. the new string tension bar holds the strings a bit higher than a normal bigsby, and hopefully with the bridge sunken slightly into the body the break angle shouldn't be too bad. we shall see!

@PlungerModerno, don't worry, i will :) this stage is actually pretty enjoyable and im generally doing an hour or so at a time, a couple of times a day. i've not shown the back in this post, but there is an awful lot of material to remove there as well!

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Busy week this week, but been having a whale of a time, coming down to the garage to this:

IMG_20201211_124922.thumb.jpg.87674eb86348033ce64eb87839a95e5d.jpg

having done a little more shaping to the body, at the end of last week i ended up here:

IMG_20201209_165356.thumb.jpg.e2dd0714f41d1fc900bf1be0c7144149.jpg IMG_20201209_165346.thumb.jpg.5adfe88a8edef871589902531ac239d2.jpg

in terms of actual shape and lines, its getting fairly close here, so its time to start work on the neck. :) there is an awful lot of material to come off.

IMG_20201211_115609.thumb.jpg.16115541825c303f682012d536662958.jpg IMG_20201211_115607.thumb.jpg.c24d3c7ba5630efbbda9191925775bb0.jpg IMG_20201211_121754.thumb.jpg.6f888bf6de830c5c36ab8052b9ca05b1.jpg

using the laser cut templates and some careful routing, the neck is brought to the correct width and alignment with the body. as you can imagine, this caused a huge mess, but the closer i get to putting the router back away for good, the better.

with the neck closer to its final width, i can start work on the transitional areas where it meets the body.

IMG_20201211_124926.thumb.jpg.94e2d386b10afd8ec1706b75d3e69c95.jpg IMG_20201211_124928.thumb.jpg.49db486e7122b87b8d84c36ad8a5a4f9.jpg

on the front, this means carving into the areas around the bottom of the fretboard. i had orginially intended that the white maple stripe would follow through from the upper horn to the lower, but now im leaning towards having it how it is in the picture above, curving up toweard the fretboard where it transitions. it just looks a bit more organic to my eye :)

IMG_20201211_132942.thumb.jpg.e5474f0a7c3f769bce3369408dccc86a.jpg

Meanwhile, round the back this should give you some idea how much material ive got to remove. thankfully a lot of this can go without losing much in the way of stiffness or leaving a weak area, but its going to be a big old job.

IMG_20201211_132947.thumb.jpg.4db92e048b9a4b1583a4d43d7a7538f6.jpg IMG_20201211_144213.thumb.jpg.fe77bad06841b005d6dd1efcfa091ea1.jpg IMG_20201211_144215.thumb.jpg.ba5de239d44aea5f986014a26039acbf.jpg

But starting to remove some of the material from the back of the neck is super satisfying. its starting to let me see how the pattern is going to look, and the gorgeous grain of the namibian rosewood. theres a hell of a lot of wood left on up at the headstock end, but this is mostly because i want to get the neck profile down to where it should be to test the stiffness before starting on the headstock. this way i can add additional carbon to the neck if needed.

at the moment it feels ridiculously stiff, but we shall see what happens as more is removed. ive got some plastic templates cut out to make sure i dont carve too far. up at the headstock end there is not a lot of wood between the carbon rods and the outside of the neck, so need to take care up there especially.

IMG_20201212_132251.thumb.jpg.e69a77db969b30377baf68b52291d1ca.jpg IMG_20201212_143114.thumb.jpg.513c2f5def932d63b70a2d4d5973a0fc.jpg IMG_20201212_143116.thumb.jpg.e5df7b658e677fa2095c3f9cbb205bf4.jpg

one of my big worries with this build was that the neck marquetry wouldnt look as good once it had been rounded over, but thankfully im starting to see it come together and i like what i'm seeing. it actually helps to keep the neck profile symetrical, as i can use the pattern to judge how much to take off.

IMG_20201212_143118.thumb.jpg.08bf9c97695d0b0e4fc899557b23224f.jpg IMG_20201213_180754.thumb.jpg.899141f2a0b77415f88fb63bc0f7beee.jpg

and this is where i got to. theres still a huge amount to take out of the bottom of the neck to get the transition looking nice and smooth, and i haven't started the carving on the back yet either, but im happy with this progress so far. honestly the first time taking a rasp to that marquetry to start shaping the neck felt terrifying, but you soon get into a rythm and start enjoying it. it will be interesting to see how it looks, and how heavy it is once the shaping is all done and the cavities are routed out as well, so stay tuned! :)

 

 

 

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I was really worried that shaping the neck would result in a lot of splintering and tear-outs as you shaped across the grain of the marquetry, but it looks to have gone really well!

What a fantastic job. 👍

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I'm late to this build and having just followed it from start to where things are now, well, it's almost total overload! I'm sure I'll have to read it all again...

Hat's off for this, so much going on and obviously so much planning must have gone into the concept.

Keen to see it all work out for you.

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Thanks guys! its good to be far enoughy through that people can start to see in reality whats been going on in my head!

@Simon., you and me both. I was aproaching it really gingerly, but switching to the tighter grained woods for the marquetry was definately the right way to go. for the most part its been pretty painless so far :)

@durhamboy welcome to the thread :) there really was not much else to do during lockdown 1 than come up with zany schemes and daft ideas, and then lockdown 2 has given me the free time to actually try them out

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On 28/02/2021 at 17:53, Andyjr1515 said:

I am even more speechless than I was before!  :)

 

Gulp 

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I’m really excited to hear your pickups and filter preamp. 
Good work

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