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4 Straight and 6 Fanned - #02 and #03

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MichaelOz, May 7, 2016.


  1. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Hi everyone,

    A bit of a hiatus after my first build but I suppose it's true what they say, and it's a little like Pringles. so here we go.

    My son asked me to build him a Stingray-inspired 4 with an inverted headstock, and I've always wanted a 6 and, because I really like my Dingwall Z2, I'm going multi scale.

    Basic specs:
    4: 34"; ash-silky oak-ash body, black veneer contrast layer, quilted maple top; maple neck and board, maybe with a contrast layer; black Hipshot hardware; Delano PU, not sure about preamp yet;

    6: 36 - 33"; ash-silky oak-ash body, 4 mm ziricote contrast layer, spalted maple top; one piece wenge neck (one truss rod, 2 carbon fibre rods) with ziricote board; black Hipshot hardware; Nordwall, or Dingstrand, FD3 pickups, and definitely Glockenklang 3 band.

    Couple of rough designs:



    Build%2002%20Sting.001_zpsov72iwpe. Build%2003%20final_zpsouvujrhh.

    For the 6 I "compressed" the length of the body resulting in the upper horn finishing pretty much bang-on at fret 12 level.

    Some body glueing:

    IMG_1764_zpsikmko61z.


    And the final products:

    IMG_1768_zps5dxytmz0.

    More in the next post.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    DevinWard369 likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Father and son bass builds. Just too cool. Best of luck with them.
     
    MichaelOz likes this.
  3. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Here are the bodies after sawing and some bobbin sander treatment, positioned right on top of the tops that are going on them:

    IMG_2441_zpsnxoaesmy.


    IMG_2442_zps6z1f99bt.

    Originally I was going to do just a standard veneer contrast layer on the 6 but felt I could do better and chose to go with the ziricote.


    IMG_2463_zpscyvhxrzo.

    Here's the ziricote layer on top of the body with the spalted maple top next to it:

    IMG_2461_zpsf6cndkzx.

    Jake's bass only received a standard 0.6 mm black contrast layer:

    IMG_2467_zps4cwmpsgc.

    To make sure the middle ziricote layer doesn't "float" away when glue and pressure are applied I used some doweling. No worries, in they went:

    IMG_2468_zps7b1y5z5g.

    All good, strategically positioned where the neck pocket and the pickup routes will be. In addition a couple of screws were put in place to hold everything in place - again, positioned where no wood will be present in a couple of weeks time.

    The glueing was flat-out: everything needed to happen quickly but fortunately we had a few people to help. Glue (titebond) rolled on, first layer in place, more titebond second layer, crews, and then into the big press:

    IMG_2469_zpsyogqwemw.

    That's where it's at. Feels good to be back in the workshop, and if anything I'm pretty sure I get two nice-looking instruments out of this "session".

    Oh, finish. Not sure about that yet. The 4 might end up blue, and I'm thinking green for the 6, or leave it "au naturel". Something to think about later.

    Thank you for looking, and as usual comments and criticism very welcome.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Randyt, Beej and Will_White like this.
  4. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    How about a silly comment? Something along the lines of:
    Man, reading the title I thought it was about one 10-string instrument with broken wishbone -shaped frets! :ninja:
     
  5. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Nice.

    IMHO, you should keep the spalted maple for your future build and go with the ziricote top. Obviously this only valid if you haven't glued the spalted maple on. :bassist::hyper::bassist::hyper:
     
    lbridenstine likes this.
  6. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Go hard or go home. All glued up.

    Would have turned out way too dark and coffee table (ziricote, top, ziricote fretboard, wenge neck). Might LOOK like a waste of a nice piece of timber but I am confident it's the right decision. Besides, it's MY build ;).

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Harry Cahyadi likes this.
  7. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Don't give people crazy ideas ... .

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  8. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Thats right. Almost forgot about it...

    You wanted it :D:D:D
     
  9. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    I did indeed but that doesn't mean I just roll over - and there's smilies all around ... .

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  10. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    :D
    And subscribed: I already know I'm gonna love both!
     
  11. tubedude

    tubedude

    Jan 19, 2015
    Ga
    The spalt looks great, in fact all the woods look good. Where did you source the Salt and Ziricote?
    Great looking builds so far, nice clamping table. Even pressure and lots of it!
     
  12. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    The tops (spalted, quilted maple, and ziricote) are from Bow River Wood in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. Not all that expensive even when including postage. Ash and silky oak are from a local supplier, and the wenge is as well.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  13. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Funny, Bow River are a favoured supplier of mine... :)
     
  14. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Bit of an update.

    After some consideration and a short consultation with David I decided to extend the neck all the way to the pickups. Bit of a "signature" move smile2. .

    Trimmed the excess top and contrast layer with band saw and sander, routed the neck pocket for Jake's bass, and rounded over the edges (most of the way). Starting to look like basses now.

    Here's Jake's:

    IMG_2481_zpswokvnvat.

    I won't do a lot of extra shaping except tummy cut on the back and a little for the forearm on the front.

    Sideview of mine:

    IMG_2480_zps2kuuuuqb.

    LOTS of shaping to be done on mine, I'll be fairly aggressive and I thing the spalt will come up nicely in the forearm cut. Love the ziricote layer smile2.

    Here's a mockup with the pickups and the bridge pieces in place. I am soooo happy and excited.

    IMG_2479_zpsshtih39e.

    Before I go back to the workshop next time I'll be doing a lot of filing and sanding icon_mrgreen. .

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Randyt likes this.
  15. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Spent about 4 hours today in my free air workshop and am reasonably sore from the rasping, filing and sanding. Worth it though.

    General comments:
    1) this is definitely a step (or two) up from Build 01. The contrast layers mean much more accuracy is required with all the filing and sanding;
    2) while quilted maple and ash are great to work with they also tear quite easily and extra ca renews to be taken not to rush;
    3) both of the above mean: this is going to be "sanding central".

    Anyway, here's a few updated pics:

    IMG_2482_zps4xjcihzy.

    This is where the 4 mm ziricote contrast layer "shines" with changes in width:

    IMG_2483_zpseabknf0s.
    Yes, I'll do the funky scallop again icon_mrgreen. - needs more work but you get the idea.

    Here's a side view - still SOOO much sanding to do:

    IMG_2484_zpshxr1hwzf.

    Top view. Neck pocket will go all the way to the pickups (again, bit of a signature thing). You can just see the pencil line indicating the forearm cut which will be fairly aggressive to feature the ziricote:

    IMG_2485_zpswokimcro.

    The back - again, there'll be an aggressive tummy cut, and of course the bottom of the neck pocket will be streamlined to end up as close to a neck-through feel as possible:

    IMG_2486_zpsh2blifhb.

    Here' she upper horn of Jake's bass. Two things you can see: the quilt (but this pic doesn't do it ANY justice, it's spectacular), and the requirement for sanding, sanding, sanding:

    IMG_2487_zpsbacm4cmb.

    Planning to rout everything next week, and use the bobbin sanders in the workshop for the forearm and tummy cuts.

    As usual comments and questions welcome.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    I-Am-The-Slime likes this.
  16. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Hi all,

    Update after some time in the "Melbourne School of Guitar Making" workshop.

    Spent a few hours routing yesterday and did control cavities for both basses and pickup and neck pocket on mine.

    Today there was a lot of rasping and filing. I could have done a lot with the machines in the workshop but I don't feel I know well enough what action gives me which result. I'm reasonably confident working with hand tools so I simply put in the zen time instead. All good.

    Here's my control cavity (Jake's looks exactly the same):

    IMG_2521_zpstmrw4mo2.
    Please note that I'll remove part of the divider to run the leads - just couldn't be bothered to make a new template so there'll be a little Dremel time. All good.

    Neck "pocket" and pickup routes.

    IMG_2507_zps7jxwkspw.
    Again the neck will extend right to the pickups. It's touch and go with regards to the length of the neck blank but it'll work - just. Please note the relatively small number of router burns - I feel much more comfy with everything, and took may time with everything. There is still a little bit material left on the bottom side of the neck pocket, that will obviously go the way of the dodo.
    Also note that I have a direct connection from pickup to control cavity route smile2. .

    Here's the back:

    IMG_2505_zps4xlmpre3.
    The tummy cut is still a work in progress but gee, that ash grain did come out nicely smile2. . Still needs a fair bit of work, still not rad enough. I have about 5 mm of spalted maple left at the control cavity.

    Here's the full frontal after some shaping:

    IMG_2508_zpsybxgbwnp.
    It's getting there. You can see how the forearm cut features the ziricote layer. I am also in the process of rounding off the whole outside (except for just behind the bridge) so the ziricote stand out a little more - you can just see that on the right hand side and the bottom horn but there's a fair way to go.

    The spalted maple is a weird material to work with. In places it's really soft (I actually pulled out small pieces off when removing the sticky tape that held down the routing template) and it's very easy to leave marks and yet I feel that I have to put a lot of work into it so this will be a bit of a labour of love (but then, which build isn't?).

    Here's the mockup with pickups and bridge pieces:

    IMG_2527_zps4qsfnca3.
    Pickup route is very snug, might have to "clean up" the corners just little.

    Overall I'm not really happy yet with the flow of the tummy to the forearm cut. Nailed it (I think) with the Red Baron and it's just not quite there yet. Plenty of time to refine and make it work.

    There is also still a fair bit of "flat area" on the sides along the perimeter so lots of filing and sanding to go.

    Already developing plans for Build 04 - stay tuned icon_mrgreen. .

    Comments and questions - as usual - welcome.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Dark Horse and bastav like this.
  17. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    looks good!
    are you going to have to glue in some little chunks of wood inside the e-cavity so you have some material to take the screws on the right side of your pickups?
     
  18. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Nope, worked out just OK. Phew :)
     
  19. MichaelOz

    MichaelOz Commercial User

    Sep 10, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass
    Rasping, filing, sanding, rasping, filing, sanding, rasping, filing, sanding, rasping, filing, sanding, ... .

    You get the idea. Time is the price you pay for not being quite comfortable with using the power tools in the shop. Anyway, nothing wrong with a not too strenuous upper body workout wink. .

    Comments before the pics:
    Northern ash is interesting to work with. The xylem (open-pored part, used by the plants to transport water) is VERY open-pored which means that it's very easy to tear parts off. Particularly when the "grain" is flat. Even filing it back results in more "damage" so it's sanding, sanding, sanding. A lot of filler will be required but I might make that black to highlight the grain.

    Spalted maple is very interesting to work with. Some bits are very soft and brittle, others are rather tough. Makes rasping, filing and sanding quite the experience. And of course you can see every little imperfection - just check the pics.

    Silky oak is very predictable to work with. Made finishing the body part of the neck-body transition an enjoyable experience.

    Drilled the guide holes for the 5 neck-mounting screws - yes, I'll be using threaded inserts again. Should be a little more straightforward with the previous experience and some reading up.

    Took out a little bit of the "great wall" in the electronics compartment. Will do more, that thick thing is nor really necessary all the way, and there's nothing wrong with saving some weight.

    OK, here's the pics:

    Back:
    IMG_2544_zpsz3ppykcp.

    Front:
    IMG_2545_zps0z9rqtxo.

    As usual, comment welcome.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    I-Am-The-Slime and DevinWard369 like this.
  20. DevinWard369

    DevinWard369

    Apr 30, 2012
    Utah
    I'd give anything for a father.
     

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