Build alpha: Rob Allen inspired

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Beauchene Implements, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    Sanded the body to 600, the top to 800, and now she's getting her party dress.

    Tacked up a dust containment. Looks like that scene from E.T. "stop, you're hurting him!! E.T.!!!!"

    Mixed up a batch of epoxy, and laid it on. This stuff is runny like warm real maple syrup, holds no bubbles, and water-clear.

    Last photo looks like it's bumpy like the grain, but it's not. It's glassy. More pics later. This stuff is easy to work with, and it only took about 3 ounces total to coat the body (I mixed up six ounces, used half.)

    I'll bind the body, sand this coat out, then put on the hot coat. Once that's polished out, I'm hoping for an ultra shiny, indestructible finish. Excited!!! :hyper:
  2. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish Inactive

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Subscribed. Very nice.
  3. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    HAHAHA good call... I'm really curious to see what the final product of this resin looks
  4. looking good! don't worry about the neck pocket thing, the support for the neck comes from the screws/bolts not from the sides of the pocket.
  5. Bassisgreat


    Feb 23, 2008
    Dallas, Tx
    Wow, great bass! Can't wait to see how that finish turns out!
  6. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I just love this bass... and that was a pretty slick patch in the neck pocket.

    I routed a neck pocket too tight once, and thought I'd route to enlarge it, and it also didn't turn out so well... SO... I added contrasting bloodwood "binding" to the neck pocket. :)


    It's just right, now!
  7. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    More progress!

    I Decided, about halfway through this project, that I was going to bind the top in lignum vitae. I had originally planned to use white plastic. Lignum is a pain. Long story short: after several steaming disasters (including my steam box exploding and my first set of lignum binding strips turning into an oily, resiny mess) I found that lignum bends best if wet with a rag, formed gently with heat (I used a woodburning iron, yeah, I know, ghetto), and kept moist with a rag during the forming process. Even then, this stuff tends to do what it wants.




    I like this set of of binding strips more than the first ones I had. I cut them out of a piece that had both heartwood and sapwood, so there's a cool contrast between the body and the top. It was really hard to fit this stuff, I'll put closeups of the filling I had to do, once the body is finished.

    Next up, routing a saddle channel, and wiring the electronics!
  8. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    Great build thread, can't wait to see and hear it when it's finished!
  9. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Inactive

    Dec 20, 2006

    AAAAAWWW!!! Best closeup shot of wood grain EVAR. That looks so tasty. Mmm mmm mmm. Excellent choice to tung oil your neck. Oh this is making me so jealous!!!

    How did you apply your epoxy clearcoat? Brushed, sprayed, sponged, rag-wiped?
  10. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Very nice in deed!!!!!
    You gonna post sound clips once it's done, yes?

    Very nice!!
    The program you used is Rhino?
    Does it run on mac?
    And if not, do you have an idea what program one may be able to use?

    Another thing
    I read somewhere that lignum vitae is on the indangered species list.
    If that is so, I'd be careful when travelling with the instrument as I hear the wood can not be "exported"...

    and again...Very nice
  11. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    OK, pretty much done!

    I screwed up my original bridge when the router template slipped. Made a new one, I like it a little better:

    After a few hangups (including severing the little wire to the piezo pickup...took me forever to fix that one...) I get her all put together, strung her up, and she works!


    Couple little issues in the epoxy finish I need to work out, you can see the big one on the upper horn. Otherwise it came out pretty good after sanding and polishing:


    And now starts the final tweaking. I still need to get the action dialed in, and I already want to thin the neck a little bit. Otherwise it sounds pretty good, sound clips soon.

    When my wife gets back from her trip to Maine, I'm hoping to get that custom electronics grate!
  12. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    To answer previous questions:

    -The epoxy finish was foam brushed on. I sanded it 220 through 1500, then buffed it with a foam buffing wheel and meguiar's cutting compound, then wax.

    -Rhino does have a Mac version in beta right now, you can get it for free if you request it and provide feedback. It is a little bit limited compared to the windows version, while they work out the bugs. I run both:

    -The neck pocket repairs were mostly just for aesthetics, and to see if I could pull it off.

    I've been daydreaming about building a bass since high school (I'm 33 now), it's nice to have finally been able to do it. Next build is already in the works!
  13. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Lake Forest, CA
    Very nice, so that finish is just epoxy that has been sand down? I might have to try that on my own build; is it very glossy when there's no light shining directly on it?
  14. CapeBass

    CapeBass Guest

    Nice job! I really like that fretboard.
  15. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    It's a special surfboard epoxy, a lot harder than regular epoxy. Most epoxy doesn't buff well. It cost 90 bucks for 3 quarts (enough to do probably 20 basses.) I posted a bit about it earlier in the thread.

    It's quite glossy, here's a shot of the body right after I finished buffing it:

    It's at least as glossy as my MIM jazz bass. The epoxy also does a nice job of bringing out the tiny bit of chattoyance in the spruce and mahogany.
  16. doesn't epoxy effect the tone?

    what kind of epoxy did you use?
  17. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Thankthank Youyou Veryvery Much uch uch uch ( monday night echo impression) :hyper::D

    So you fill in the application form and wait for them to send you the download?
    Or did I miss anything on the Rhino website...?
  18. Bassisgreat


    Feb 23, 2008
    Dallas, Tx
    I LOVE the bass. So classy! The only thing I'm having trouble getting used to is the paddle headstock, but that is personal preference. The wood choices and shape are outstanding! I really dig the finish too. I think I'm going to try that on the bass I'm building now. :hyper:
  19. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2007
    Technician at NS Design
    I hear you. I spent about a week trying to design a headstock that looks congruent with this body, and The mini-paddle is what I thought looked best. (The original models at the beginning of the thread show a tapered paddle, I ended up making it straight because of the size of the tuners.)

    Update: I'm thinning out the neck profile, and the saddle and nut will also be lignum. Saddle's done already, it sounds similiar to the tusq one, only a little rounder in the highs (kind of tones down the piezo quack, so not a bad thing in my book.)
  20. Bassisgreat


    Feb 23, 2008
    Dallas, Tx
    I know what you mean. Harmony between the headstock and body shapes is very important. I don't think it looks bad at all, just the weak link on an otherwise nearly impeccable bass. :smug: