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Tales from my workbench


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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.
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Next I glued up some black poplar and walnut veneer that I had prepped earlier.
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The entire neck went into the bag to clamp the headstock veneers.
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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. :D

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.
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I trimmed the headstock very closely to the template, then routed it with a pattern bit.
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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.
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I finalized the position for the fretboard, then trimmed up the "ledge" with chisels. 
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I cut recesses for truss rod adjustments and drilled through holes into the end heel end of the neck. 
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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.
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I laid out the access cover on the rear plate, then cut it out on the scroll saw. 
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More soon. :)

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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. 
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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. 
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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. 
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I drilled all the holes for the tuners and temporarily installed one "group". :)
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I glued the fretboard to the neck using HHG this evening. 
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More soon. :)

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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.
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The rough carve is essentially finished here. 
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Drilled for side dots. I'm using MOP dots on this one. 
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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.
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Frets have been masked. Ready for a very light level, crown and polish.
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Done. :)
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I trued up the glue edges of the wings with a jointer plane.
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This morning I glued the wings to the body using the offcuts as clamping cauls. 
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More soon. :D

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You’re one talented dude!  🤘😝

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6 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

It cannot be soon enough!  This thread has been fun!

 

48 minutes ago, cmatthes said:

You’re one talented dude!  🤘😝

Thanks guys, much appreciated. :)

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On 8/29/2022 at 7:32 PM, a.bandini said:

This is super-impressive.   I shake my head in admiration.  

 

Thanks! My wife just shakes her head. 

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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.
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I transferred that to the Claro walnut top.
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I cut it out at the band saw and did the final fitting with files. 
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Nice, snug fit. :D Of course I still have to cut the truss rod access door. 
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I laid out and cut the poplar veneer which will go under the walnut top.
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I used UF glue to assemble and used tape to hold everything in position. The whole works went into the vacuum bag overnight.
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Today I removed it from the bag and cleaned up the excess top overhang a little bit. 
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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. :D

More soon.

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On 8/31/2022 at 9:59 PM, slingblader said:

Thanks! My wife just shakes her head. 

Tell her she got lucky, being married to a rock star! 😂

Mad skills, dude.

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6 minutes ago, DaveH said:

Tell her she got lucky, being married to a rock star! 😂

Mad skills, dude.

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. :D

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It's carving day! (probably going to be carving days, but who's counting? :D )

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.
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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.
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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.
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Laying out some rough lines for the rear carve.
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Belly carve in progress. I need to make this waaaaaay bigger. :D
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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. 
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Sighting down from the end of the body is a quick way to see how much material needs to be sent to the floor.
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This is the stage that I enjoy the most!

More soon. :)

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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. :D

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Did you already have an idea how it will balance on a strap? Where to locate the strap buttons?

So much detail and thinking ahead how to implement I can’t begin to comprehend. Fantastic!

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3 minutes ago, BoogieMKIIA said:

Did you already have an idea how it will balance on a strap? Where to locate the strap buttons?

So much detail and thinking ahead how to implement I can’t begin to comprehend. Fantastic!

 

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. :D

 

 

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13 hours ago, RobB said:

Pearloid (or ebony) buttons on the octave string tuners will take some weight off the headstock, but that may not be a look you’re going for. 

Not a bad idea... I may look into that. :)

 

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Have you tried Foredom tools? I found them to be a great asset when I was carving/sculpting wood projects such as my rocking chair. Especially with carbide burrs you can make quick work of sculpting pieces so they flow together smoothly......Much more substantially built than the Dremel tools. It DOES require  a steady touch......I stopped way short of the final point so I could clean it up progressively with rasps, scrapers and sandpaper.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/foredom-5200-deluxe-kit?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt5m937OB-gIVcgF9Ch31KQKZEAYYBiABEgLXfvD_BwE

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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.
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Body routes are complete. 
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And everything fits, which is a bonus. :D

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Today the goal is to get some accent wood glued to the headstock winglet areas and to fit a nut. 

More soon. :)

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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. 
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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.

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