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Everything posted by slingblader

  1. According to the rear panel on the pack of strings... 418lbs!!!! I can absolutely say that I'm glad I used 2 truss rods. They handle the tension with authority, only tightened about 3/4 of a turn past the point where they were snugged up enough not to rattle.
  2. Totally forgot to post this "family" picture of the three iterations of this design so far.
  3. Thanks, guys, I appreciate it! I'm super happy with this build. It plays so much better than I had hoped for, it's pretty amazing actually. Although, this is the first 12 that I've played, so there's that...
  4. Well, I just finished this one up. Here is a summary of the details... Specifications: Scale: 34" Neck-through contruction: 13 laminates in the main neck beam with dual truss rods, heel adjust Neck material: Hard maple, padauk, black poplar Headstock: Claro walnut burl face with ebony accents Fretboard: Heart and sap cocobolo Fretboard radius: 12" Nut: Stainless zero fret and Tusq nut Frets: Stainless jumbo Side position markers: Mother of pearl Body wings: In order from top to back; Claro walnut burl, black poplar, alder core, black poplar, mahogany, katalox with matched inlaid control cover Body thickness: 1.5" Finish: Rubio Monocoat over epoxy seal coat Tuners: Gotoh Resolite bass tuners, small and medium 510 series guitar tuners Bridge and tailpiece: Sung Il Strings: D'Addario Nickel Wound XL .018-.100 Pickups: 2 Lace 3.5" Bass Bars Electronics: Aguilar OBP-3 preamp, additional stereo passive output Electronics layout: Stacked volumes, stacked bass/treble, mid with push/pull select. Coil split switch for each pickup and output jack selection switch (one output from OBP-3, one passive stereo output) Weight: 8lb 12oz It turned out pretty much how I had envisioned it. Surprisingly, the weight is not bad, but of course it is a bit head heavy as all 12 strings are. It plays amazingly well with very low action. I'm still getting used to the technique required and I sometimes struggle to mute all of the strings when necessary. I think it sounds fantastic. There are a lot of sound options with 2 output jacks. I can bypass the internal preamp and use a stereo cord to run each pickup to separate amps for a cool clean/dirty sound. I couldn't find a way to do this with active output short of installing 2 preamps... I'm am including a couple of sound clips. I apologize in advance for the sound quality, my digital interface starting making strange noises and I didn't want to bother with troubleshooting, but I think you'll get the idea. Here are some photos and sound clips. Of course this one has to be included with a 12 string build.
  5. I've spent all of my spare time this past week working on this project. The honey-do list beckons, so I want to get this one wrapped up ASAP... so here are a few photos. I spent a good deal of time going back over the contours and facets, refining curves, radii, etc. I like to weigh these after I'm done carving and sanding (with no hardware, obviously). This one came in at 6lb., 0.6oz, which is only a few ounces more than the previous 5 string fretless that I made. So I guess the headstock and frets could account for that. Yesterday I began work on the finish, which is Rubio Monocoat over an epoxy sealer. This is the same finish that I used on my last bass build and is a very "close to the wood finish", so wood pores are left exposed (although they are sealed). Here are a couple of teaser preview pics. I love the way this finish just makes the wood glow. I should have full shots in a few days.
  6. Loved this, but man... as a bass player, that drummer really bothers me. Very on top of the beat... I'd be givin' him the stank eye.
  7. Thank you very much, you just made my day.
  8. Mission accomplished today. I used some figured Gabon ebony to highlight the winglets on the headstock. That took a lot of fiddly template making and fitting. But I think it came out pretty well. I also got a nut rough cut and ready to go. I few more details need to be taken care of like electronics layout, control and truss rod cover screws, etc. But I think at this point I'm ready to go back over the carving one more time, then start sanding up through the grits.
  9. Here's a little update on the 12 string bass. I've been busy making templates and getting all the routes completed on the bass. I've also cleaned up and fitted the truss rod door. Headstock winglet routes. Body routes are complete. And everything fits, which is a bonus. Today the goal is to get some accent wood glued to the headstock winglet areas and to fit a nut. More soon.
  10. I'm not really sure how it will balance, to be honest. I have built 2 other basses with this same design and they both balance great... but, this 12 has a long headstock and extra tuners. So, that will make a difference for sure. Most 12 string basses have some neck dive, and I'm just sort of planning on it. I'll just break out the suede backed wide leather strap if that happens.
  11. Today I completed the initial rough carve. I'll leave this for now and move on to pickup routes and other various tasks that need to be completed. After a couple of days, I'll circle back, fair the curves and start rough sanding. This is straight off the rasp work, so don't get all judgy about my scratches.
  12. It's carving day! (probably going to be carving days, but who's counting? ) I generally start things off with a roundover all the way around the front and pack. The first step for the roundover is a fairly chunky bevel. That gets blended to the mid-line of the body thickness. This is a good start to soften up the body profile, but this curve will get deepened later. I have to say, that katalox is some of the hardest wood that I've ever worked with. Some of the finer rasps just skate off the edge without removing much material. Laying out some rough lines for the rear carve. Belly carve in progress. I need to make this waaaaaay bigger. Here I'm de-bulking the neck/body transition. It's an awkward angle to get at with my rasps. I do have some riffler rasps that I'm going to pull out as I get closer to the final shape. If I were braver I'd break out a carving burr on the Dremel flex shaft... but that scares me, and I'm fearless... or stupid. Sighting down from the end of the body is a quick way to see how much material needs to be sent to the floor. This is the stage that I enjoy the most! More soon.
  13. Oh, she knows man... she knows. Problem is, once someone is in the inner-circle, the mystique is gone forever and the rock star status holds no sway over her.
  14. Here's the latest progress on the 12 string bass build. I made a template for the neck heel in preparation for gluing the top. I transferred that to the Claro walnut top. I cut it out at the band saw and did the final fitting with files. Nice, snug fit. Of course I still have to cut the truss rod access door. I laid out and cut the poplar veneer which will go under the walnut top. I used UF glue to assemble and used tape to hold everything in position. The whole works went into the vacuum bag overnight. Today I removed it from the bag and cleaned up the excess top overhang a little bit. At this point, I need to finish up the headstock wing details, get the body carved and route for the electronics and bridge. It's getting to the exciting stuff now. More soon.
  15. I'm curious about this as well, I've seen the service, but haven't tried it myself.
  16. I took off the clamps this morning and started the cleanup process. Looking good so far.
  17. Here's a little progress update on the 12 string bass project. I started carving the neck using the "facet" method. In a nutshell, I draw out the neck profile to scale, then draw in straight tangential carve lines at the 3rd and 12th fret. I transfer these measurements to my neck blank and connect the dots and carve away the waste. I create additional facets and eventually fair it all together. Works great for me. On my last couple of builds I've taken to using tape to mark my guidelines. I've found this really helps on multi-lam necks, where all of those lines can confuse my eyes very easily. Here, I'm working on the secondary set of facets. The rough carve is essentially finished here. Drilled for side dots. I'm using MOP dots on this one. I mounted the neck in the neck jig and got it as straight as possible. I then did a final fretboard level. After that, I installed undercut stainless frets and will eventually fill the end of the fret slots with matching dust. Here I've filed the fret ends and MOP dots flush. Frets have been masked. Ready for a very light level, crown and polish. Done. I trued up the glue edges of the wings with a jointer plane. This morning I glued the wings to the body using the offcuts as clamping cauls. More soon.
  18. I made a little more progress over the past few days. I glued the rear plate to the treble side wing blank using HHG and the vacuum bag. The HHG will make it very easy to clean up the squeeze out around the lip of the control cavity. The next day, I rough cut the wings on the band saw, then pattern routed the wings. I leave the straight glue edges long so that I can true them up later with a hand plane. This ensures that the sides stay full width. I mounted a piece of plywood to the top of the body area of the neck beam. I used that surface against the fence at the table saw to remove the excess thickness from the back of the neck beam. This operation will bring the rear face parallel to the top face, which was routed away earlier on the pin router. The overall thickness is left a bit oversized and will be trimmed flush to the back of the body wings later. I drilled all the holes for the tuners and temporarily installed one "group". I glued the fretboard to the neck using HHG this evening. More soon.
  19. Haven't updated this in a while, but I've gotten a few things done. After the headstock overlay had dried for a couple of days, I thinned down the headstock at the band saw. I trimmed the headstock very closely to the template, then routed it with a pattern bit. After the routing operation, I cleaned up the inside corners with chisels and files. The wood block on the back of the headstock was to hold everything square while cutting at the band saw and drilling the pilot holes for the tuners. I finalized the position for the fretboard, then trimmed up the "ledge" with chisels. I cut recesses for truss rod adjustments and drilled through holes into the end heel end of the neck. I made a new control cavity template with only 1 battery compartment and also deleted a couple of extraneous screw locations. I routed the control cavity using a 1/2" bit, then chased it with a 1/4" bit to get into the corners. I laid out the access cover on the rear plate, then cut it out on the scroll saw. More soon.
  20. I didn't get much accomplished today that "shows" on the bass. But, here's what I was up to. I got the headstock face cleaned up after gluing the wings. I planed it back to right around where the nut will be placed. After the veneers have been glued, they will get flushed down to the fretboard plane and the nut will sit on top of the veneer. Next I glued up some black poplar and walnut veneer that I had prepped earlier. The entire neck went into the bag to clamp the headstock veneers. While operating the leg vise on my bench today, I noticed that it was squeaking and not operating as smoothly as it should. So, I spent a little time cleaning and lubricating the acme screw. Works like a champ again.
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