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" A few of the plys are coming loose..."

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by james condino, Jul 10, 2018.


  1. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    This arrived last week from another TBer's shop:

    DSCN5924.JPG

    A bit of cleanup:
    DSCN6111.JPG
    A little bit of love and she's in the big vacuum mold getting two new inside plys:
    DSCN6150.JPG

    j.
    www.kaybassrepair.com

    facebook @ kaybassrepair
    www.condino.com
     
  2. James, just curious, what kind of glue do you use for new plys like that?
     
  3. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    4000 year old eye of newt mixed with extinct unicorn eyelashes, a bit of frankincense, an unknown substance recovered from area 51, and some polychromatic gutteral chanting in an unkown abandoned ancient proto language....
     
    pcake, Reiska, KUNGfuSHERIFF and 2 others like this.

  4. Isn't "extinct unicorn eyelashes" redundant?
     
    RSBBass and james condino like this.
  5. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    You do know most of the unicorn lashes available on the market are really narwhal lashes.
     
    pcake, robobass and Mister Boh like this.
  6. Mister Boh

    Mister Boh

    Oct 23, 2016
    Annapolis, MD
    Yeah a few coming loose just a lil' bit.
     
  7. Pretty amazing work there... i would have thought that was the end of that bass.
     
  8. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc

    Not $%#@!NG Narwhals again!!!!
     
    RSBBass likes this.
  9. jsf729

    jsf729 Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2014
    Central Maryland
    I
    In other words, you have a better chance of learning KFC's recipe. BUT- finally get to see pics of the vacuum press. Awesome work James!
     
  10. I knew it...
     
  11. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    'Apologies for the sarcasm. Originally, Kays were made with hot hide glue on the ply laminates; nice for repairs, but challenging when very large areas have to be done. I'm very good at doing 1/4 of a layer with hot hide glue. The full plys are more challenging, due to the huge amount of surface area- it usually gels or gets funky by the time you cover the whole surface area with the right amount of glue and then get it in position, get it all inside the vacuum, and then get the bag evacuated of excess air. I have a lot of custom silicon heat blankets, but one large enough for an entire bass top would likely cost around $4000 and shut down the power grid for about 30 miles....

    You can see my mold is made from solid 10/4 Honduras mahogany- stable, durable, and very expensive unless you happen to have a lot of it around the shop already paid for and a giant resaw to cut it.

    I use a pre-charge system in my vacuum just for evacuating the initial bag that is made from a 200psi custom made aluminum tank that was made for an LA lowrider shop. You know the ones they use in competition- pre-charge it and then hit the switch and hold on as your old Chevy bumps 8 foot into the air. Too much hot hide glue can also put up some protests in the vacuum until you get it worked out. I had a couple of failures two months ago with good hide glue and a solid Brazilian rosewood drop to Les Paul style new build that would not cure properly in the press; likely due to a couple of things. It is glued up now- and incredibly cool-yes a Les Paul with a solid Brazilian rosewood carved top!!!!

    American Standard used a very early resorcinol or eurea formaldehyde glue for their plys and they also had one of the first patented vacuum systems. Those tops and backs very rarely delaminate, but there are some rib issues. I believe Kay had those old custom made 50,000psi steel press hydraulic moulds. Eurea formaldehyde glue has a great long open time and no creep- both very important.

    I know of several places that use Titebond for new ply builds and repairs. I won't discredit any of them or their methods, but I chose not to use it anywhere in my shop except for the occasional jig building or non-instrument work. You should see what the vacuum does to it- a funky outerspace sponge like thing when it cures...

    When I rebuild a top, I try to use solid spruce veneers and hot hide glue, even when it takes a lot longer. This one came from another shop with the veneer already supplied in giant sheet form, and a fast turnaround request, so I chose to use eurea formaldehyde- with the big shop doors open and the vacuum vent outside.

    They are all a work in progress, so things are constantly evolving....'hope that helps.
     
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  12. Wow, thank you very much... It sounds like a lot of research and tooling preparation has gone into all you do James. Very impressive.

    Like you mentioned in another thread, this has to be a labor of love to some extent, the kind of money that luthiers charge cannot make a person rich, or in many cases compensate for the time it takes to learn the trade this well.

    Thank you for the clear and very interesting explanation!!!
     
    jsf729 likes this.
  13. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    OT: Can you show us the Les Paul?
    /OT

    That's the biggest vacuum fixture I have seen.
     
  14. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner KCNC Production and Design
    project K-top is under way, Mr Condino was kind enough to lend me his charts on the top and back arches of a K this is a couple of pix of the top negative being immortalized in MDF. Ill send it out to him and he can mess with it a bit and see if it has merits.
    IMG_1082.JPG IMG_1080.JPG
     
  15. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    RC,
    That's quite some dust collection fixture you have there!
     
  16. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner KCNC Production and Design
    too much of it still gets away, but without it...
     
  17. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Yup. I don't have a problem with hardwoods or most laminates making dust, but MDF? It's a monster.
     

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