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Hammond Ashley Bass Restore

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by powerbass, Jun 1, 2018.


  1. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I purchased this bass to learn bass repair restoration. I quickly evaluated it while it was in the bag, the seller said it was all there just needed seams reglued. It was held together w/masking tape, I thought it looked like a doable project. After getting it home and out of the bag I saw it needs a fair amount of repair work - cracks, open seems, wood patched etc. Here are some initial pictures of work done so far. I am not a luthier, I do have extensive woodworking experience. I am not trying to restore this instrument but get it together and returned to decent playable shape. IMG_5713.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    tonequixote likes this.
  2. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Glueing cracks w/packing tape and clamping cleats on the inside
     

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  3. tonequixote

    tonequixote

    Feb 6, 2004
    Maine
    Nice. I'll look forward to seeing your process. Enjoy.
     
  4. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Cleat and linen repair work
     

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  5. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I had to take time out to make spool clamps
     

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  6. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto
    Your work looks good, and please keep us posted! Always nice to get a non-functioning bass back to playability....

    When I saw the subject line, I thought maybe you had a bass made by Hammond Ashley. He reportedly made 10 basses between 1970 and 1990.

    Cheers,

    Paul
     
  7. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    It's my understanding that the cleats' grain should be at an angle to the grain of the wood they're reinforcing. You might want to check that out before putting the top back on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  8. Correct. If those cracks want to open up again, cleats with aligning grain won’t put up much of a fight.

    Personally, I prefer much smaller and lighter cleats in much greater numbers set at a 45-degree angle to the top grain to provide adequate strength and also avoid weighing down and dampening the top.

    Flax will also work if you keep the patches small; soaked in hide glue it clenches as the glue sets. Too big and the top will buckle around the crack.

    Denim in a pinch.
     
  9. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Thanks for the feedback, I did one set of cleats 90º and the other set w/the grain - go figure! I'll go back and redo those 45º. I made the cleats 3/4" wide 1.5" long and 1/8" thick. I put the top on dry to see how it fits, I lined it up using the finish/stain line which is clearly visible. I checked the alignment w/a string (my plumb bob fits nicely in the end pin hole). I had to re adjust the rib/top fit to get the whole bass and neck straight.
     

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  10. Wait — did you take the top AND the back off the ribs at the same time? Some do that, but others of us feel that doing so allows the rib garland to wander around more than is preferable.

    Look at the neck joint carefully before you replace the back. The lighting makes it hard to see, but there appears to be significant empty space therein.
     
  11. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I
    I did not take the bass apart, I purchased it that way. Yes, I can see why it is not a good idea to take both top/back off at the same time. It appears that bass had a significant fall that caused cracks and damage to both top/back and one spot on the ribs. Yes the neck joint doesn't look pro. I'm trying to draw a line between making playable and not restoration.
     
    KUNGfuSHERIFF likes this.

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