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slingblader

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slingblader last won the day on March 21 2023

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About slingblader

  • Birthday September 13

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    Male
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    Northern Indiana
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    Woodworking, reading, movies, beer, guitars and music.

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  1. Haven't been around much lately, and haven't done much in the way of building this year. But I was able to get one project completed this summer, so here are some pictures and an overview. I bought this 1978 Jazz bass from a friend of mine (who owned a music store at the time) back in 2000... I think. It had been refinished several times and it had a natural finish when I bought it. It is a typical mid-70's heavy-assed Fender with a fairly "gappy" 3-bolt neck pocket, but it sounds great. It has all original hardware and electronics, but 2 of the 3 pots are damaged. I never really cared for the natural finish and always wanted to change it, but keeping all hardware as original as was practical. Anyway, I stripped the body and started to examine it more closely. Someone (or maybe multiple people) had oversanded the body severely in several areas. The only way to fix it would be to take about 3/16" off the top, laminate on new wood, and reshape, etc. It was at that point that I just decided it wouldn't be much more work to just build a new body from Alder instead of ash. It would be lighter, and it would be less work to refinish since there would be less pore filing. This is the way I bought it (I added the pearloid pickguard, but I have the original black one as well as all the chrome covers. Here you can see in the neck pocket some leftover finish from a previous refin... and that someone sanded a nice divot in the pocket with some 80 grit on a random orbit sander. Very nice work. And here at the bridge end of the body, the contour is severely over sanded and shaped incorrectly. So, cutting to the chase here. I made a new 2 piece body from some alder that I had on hand. I duplicated the 3 bolt layout and other features of the mid-70's Jazz body as best I could. The original body was 5 pieces of ash, and from what I can tell, it left the factory with a natural finish. (the original markings are still in the bottom of the pickup cavities with clear poly over them. Here it is mocked up for a quick sanity check. In the booth shot was a sealer coat. Next was a black base coat. I decided to stray from standard mid-70s Fender colors and shot it with a color shifting pearl over the black. In the booth getting some clear over the pearl coat. After polishing, on the bench with a fresh setup. It got new pots, a new bridge, new strap buttons and some new screws, but the rest is original. I wanted to freshen it up and get rid of the rusty bits. Of course I kept all the original parts. And a few glamour shots on the sofa. It sounds great, plays great and is about 1.5lbs lighter, which is great. I may put this one up for sale next year, and of course the original body and parts would go with it. I have so many basses at this point, I need to cut down the inventory.
  2. It sounds very good. It is LOUD! This is the second time that I have used the Lace Alumitones and I really like them. The preamp is cool and I'm still getting used to it. I do like that it has two mid-frequency adjustments. Overall, this bass sounds very articulate and very precise, it's hard to describe it, but I think it can be attributed to the multi-scale aspect. The tighter E keeps things less flubby, especially when when drop tuned to D. Having said that, I have to renew my general distrust toward Rotosound, because yet again (and I know nobody here knows my history with this issue), but dammit, the E string is dead. In about 90% of the packs of Rotosound strings that I buy; one string, usually the A or the E is dead. So, that's it, I'm F'ing done with them for good. This has literally been going on for me since the 1980's, and I have gone for years without buying them because of this. I love the sound of their strings, but as soon as I let my guard down, bam, they bite me again. Fuckers. Anyway, I'll try to record a sound clip soon and get it posted.
  3. Hey thanks! Didn't realize there were any/many members in common.
  4. By the way, sorry that some of the pictures are not quite in focus. Every time that I use flake or pearl in a finish, it freaks out the auto-focus on my camera.
  5. And here it is completed. Recap of the specs: 36.25-34" scale Carved poplar body with quilted maple top and matching headstock 7 ply binding on the body, 5 ply binding on the headstock, single ply binding on the fretboard Maple, mahogany, bloodwood, poplar and ebony neck Dual action spoke wheel adjust truss rod Jescar Evo Gold frets Brass nut and gold hardware throughout Hipshot tuners Lace Alumitone pickups Audere 4 band preamp 2k urethane finish I'm glad it's finished, and I think it came out pretty well. Both from a design and finish color perspective, it's not everyone's cup of tea, and I get that. Myself, I really like the design, but I probably won't do that finish combo again. The biggest reason that I went that direction is that piece of maple was a complete disaster... I think there were more than a dozen wormholes in it, along with mineral stains, etc., so I had to do something to cover it a little bit. I'm very happy to report that it actually balances pretty well. Like any design similar to this, it isn't perfect, but I think because this one is pretty light, that helps. It came in at 7lb 10oz.
  6. The next day, I applied three coats of clear to everything. Following that, I let it dry for about 2 days. Then level sanded and buffed. Final pics in the next post.
  7. Well, I actually brought this one across the finish line yesterday. So, I'll make a couple of progress posts to document the last of the finishing, then get on with the final pictures. I wanted transparent white over the maple parts, so I mixed up a little white into some intercoat clear. Then shot a few misty coats until I got the coverage that I was looking for. The rear of the body was shot with opaque white. Next up, I mixed a tiny amount of gold interference pearl. This will show flashes of gold in the finish when viewed from an angle. The effect is pretty subtle, and even more so once the finish is top coated and smooth. I'll carry on in another post.
  8. In the past, I've sprayed nitro lacquer for gloss finishes. Starting with this project, I decided I'd try my hand at automotive 2k urethanes. I went with the Tamco brand, because frankly they had a big sale back in November... so I pulled the trigger. Part of the motivation for this is the quick drying times and very little wait time to cut and buff. This is especially important to me in the winter. My garage is heated with a largish electric heater and I can deal with a little higher electric bill for the few days it takes to shoot a 2k finish (even shorter with a simple clear finish). So, now I don't feel like I have to reserve gloss finishes for warm weather only. With nitro, it would take weeks before the smell diminished enough to bring the parts in the house to finish drying. With 2k, the smell is nearly gone in a day. Additionally, if my thinking is correct, 2k requires far fewer coats as the clear that I'm using is 45% solids compared to less than half of that for nitro. (I could be off on that, but that's a ballpark estimate ) My spraying setups have been janky to varying degrees over the years, so I made a few changes this year. It's not a pro setup by any stretch, but much more efficient and not quite as janky. I bought one of the large Wagner spray tents, some flex duct and an inexpensive explosion-proof fan. I simply placed the exhaust fan behind the tent and cut an undersized hole. When running, the tent sucks right to the inlet of the fan and exhausts right out of the window. This thing moves some serious air, so I actually open a window on the opposite side of the house and keep the door from the house to the garage open while I'm spraying. If I open a window in the garage, it drops the temperature too quickly. I also added an LED light hanging from the bug net at the opening, which works fantastic. I also invested in the 3m PPS 2.0 system, which makes mixing, measuring and cleanup a snap. So, back to the finishing process itself; I sanded back the dyed areas of maple. I actually sanded back farther than is pictured here, but my concerns were growing about the black not really staying black. It actually looks a little better in these pictures, but in person it is firmly in the blue-gray camp. I used Transtint black and had heard that it was not a true black, so maybe next time I'll use some Lockwood powder or maybe Fiebings. What is irritating is that I had BOTH of those options in the cabinet and completely forgot about this issue until the sand back. Ah well, moving on. What was really shocking was after the sealer coats went on. Gadzooks, man, that's ugly! Or maybe it's cool, but to me it's pretty awful. I'm was hoping the white would neutralize some of that weirdness. I masked up the bindings and prepared to shoot. More soon.
  9. I wasn't planning to show much of the final details or finish work, but to be honest, I'm literally waiting for paint to dry at this point. So while I'm drinking coffee on a Saturday morning, why not make a few posts to catch things up? The finish that I have planned involves a transparent white finish on the guitar top that will allow the figure of the maple to show through. I used big leaf maple for the top, which is a lot darker than eastern maple and also has odd reddish brown staining and other defects, such as wormholes. I was afraid that the coloration of this maple would show through the white and impact the overall color, so I bleached the top. This is what it looked like afterward. You can see a sample of the original in the upper right. To highlight the figure I'm dying the top black, then I'll do a hard sand-back afterward. Here is the dye going on. Yeah, that's actually pretty cool. One of these in black with a maple board would look pretty sweet. Next up, I processed some ebony down to about 1/16" thick and carefully fitted it to the winglets on the headstock. After gluing them in place, I scraped them flush. And done. I don't want this to get too long, so I'll put more stuff in another post.
  10. It's been a while since I've updated this thread, so here we go. I routed the pickup cavities. I used my little Bosch Colt for this. If you have a Colt, get the plunge base for it. It is absolutely the best upgrade. Oh, and get the overpriced dust collector adapter also. Remember that little notch for the truss rod spoke wheel? Yeah, that's gone. Getting the nut fitted and roughly shaped. Tuners mounted and rough string spacing marked. Bridges mounted, strings strung and nut is in the process of being slotted. I liked this angle, so I took a picture. String slots cut, refining the nut shape in-situ. Moved the nut over to the nut vise, finished the shaping and polishing there. All polished up and installed. So much work to go, but at least its a BSO (Bass shaped object). More soon.
  11. Today I got the fret ends filed flush. Next I installed 1/8" brass tube for fret markers. I filed those down a bit, then glued in 3/32" MOP dots inside the brass tube and filed everything flush. Also had enough time to bevel the fret ends. Some filing and cleanup needed, but the fretwork is in the home stretch. More soon.
  12. Yeah, I didn't come up with that one, I heard it on YouTube or something. I thought it was hilarious, so I stole it.
  13. Yet more work on the neck.... I drew out the profile that I wanted, took some measurements and transferred them to the neck to start the carving process. Primary facets being carved here. After more facet cutting and subsequent ensmoothening, the neck is roughly carved. Got the volute and heel transition going. Started to install frets. Using Jescar Evo 47104 fret wire. Punch 'em down. Fretting complete, now those need to be cleaned up! More soon.
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