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Headless four string ”Brucefied”

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MPU, Feb 24, 2018.


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  1. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I always glue in my frets. I don't think it makes the neck more solid structurally. The main reason is that the glue seals up the bare wood inside the slots, preventing moisture from seeping in and causing swelling and neck movement.

    I use LMII Yellow Instrument Maker's Glue with some black pigment added. I use a small plastic syringe to lay down a thin bead in the slot, then press the fret in. Let it cure for a couple of hours before clipping the ends.
     
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  2. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    The Cult of Bruce? Better living through Mad Woodworking? o_O
     
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  3. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I try to do my part of spreading your ideas on this side of the pond. I’m planning to take this bass to a Finnish bass player discussion board gathering on April. There’s sure some bassists that are willing to try something else than Fenders.
    Oh, I too have my share of teenage girls in my shop. I have around fifteen girls in my classes that have chosen woodwork as their handcraft studies. I hope that they have found my somehow new ideas and way of teaching ( no more similar birdhouses for everybody, instead they plan and design their own ideas and I teach and show how to make them) inspiring.
     
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  4. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I assume Titebond would work as well, right? Or even epoxy?
     
  5. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I glue in my frets with CA. Just run a bead down the fret slot and press in the fret. Seems to do the trick of sealing the bare wood and keeping the fret in place.
     
  6. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I got the neck tapered and neck pocket routed. Next I’m making the headpiece. It will be somewhat similar to Hipshot headpiece minus the double ball end hole. Strings will be bent and clamped from the end of the clamp instead the top of the clamp. I’ve broken too many strings and had slipping problems with top clamp headpieces. This clamp also has the cut string ends inside the head so no sharp string ends are visible.

    7AD2C0F2-040F-49C1-B72F-3D8C3B4F9947.jpeg
     
  7. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Beautiful fretboard :)
     
  8. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    CBAB99D5-A227-4871-ABF5-4CA74AB826F7.jpeg A9A5C24F-C1CF-489C-983B-24821E7E5C85.jpeg

    Headpiece is machined. Width will be trimmed after I’ve mounted the headpiece on the neck.
    I have to make the brass mounting plates under the bridges. I have 3mm brass plate that I’m going to use.
     
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Looks like a piece of jewelry... :thumbsup: drool
     
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    That headstock block looks great! How are you going to attach it to the neck? Just the three screws from the top, or is there something else?

    It's too late now, but on the next one you could inset an aluminum block into the end of the neck, with the truss rod end anchoring into it. Then, your head block would attach to the aluminum block with three machine screws. Metal to metal connection between the head block and the truss rod.

    I did a batch of custom necks for a client back around 2005, where I made the Brucebars go crosswise across the heel. The end of the truss rod went through the Brucebars and was pinned to them. Solid connection between the truss rod and the neck bolts. They also had an aluminum spine in the center of the body, which the neck bolts went through. Those guitars had some serious clarity. Those were the Rockits. We built 25 of them total.
     
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  11. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    77CD3C46-ED42-4F85-9DAB-DC6A969D704F.jpeg

    Pickup cavities routed. P2-shape. It’s easier to try different pickups in a bigger than J size.

    3D9F9A90-6BB2-48FD-AE1B-823FA1FA0111.jpeg

    Fretboard radius planed and sanded. 12” radius.

    443EC03D-89A0-4942-88BC-60B633F3BC03.jpeg

    Neck shaped. Again the same ”sound” as on the first Brucerod-neck I made when sanding. I have to finish sand the fretboard before fretting.

    FA65206B-D03C-4E5E-B2B8-7D745D29D826.jpeg

    And control cavity routed.

    I may have to make another headpiece as I like to attach it different way than first planned.
     
  12. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    You said it! I hate having to deal with the "traditional" eared pickup shapes. And if it's for a bass that you want to experiment with by using different pickups, you're completely stuck with those AND they aren't always standard.
    The P2 shape can do so many different types of pickups, including the standard J. So why not use it?!?!

    This build is looking great! Keep up the fantastic work.
     
    reverendrally likes this.
  13. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    I wish I had the time/resources/experience to do projects like this.

    Noob question: The fretboard has beautiful grain character, is that b/c of something you did, or just the luck of the draw in wood cuts?
     
  14. MPU will answer I'm sure, but you can order that fretboard from LMII.
     
  15. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    It’s Pao Ferro fretboard, just sanded. I was lazy and ordered a preslotted board from a local luthier.
     
  16. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    Well it is gorgeous!

    What kind of finish are your planning for the body? I'm not often a fan of blonde, but the contrast against that fretboard would be pretty striking!
     
  17. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I’m leaning towards classic sunburst.
     
    MovinTarget likes this.
  18. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yeah, my suggestion is to attach the head block with two screws going horizontally into the end of the neck, right on either side of the truss rod anchor. If you can, drill straight holes and epoxy in short slugs of brass or aluminum round bar stock, with drilled and tapped holes in the center. You could even use some aluminum threaded standoffs, as used in electronics. Then you can attach the head block with machine screws. Is that what you are thinking?

    You could save this head block by gluing short flat head machine screws into the three top holes, just to fill them with something. Seriously! Then drill two new horizontal holes from the end.
     
  19. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Something like that, maybe threaded inserts epoxied into the neck. I may make the new headpiece out of aluminium.
     
  20. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    FB503DCD-CA0A-4EA7-A1F0-F7F3751929EA.jpeg 4FBBC107-594A-4619-8567-4FE9DB5CE708.jpeg

    Roundovers routed and belly cut and right arm cut made. I sanded the body to 100 grit. Nut end of the neck needs routing, then I’m ready to finish the bass at home. At home I’m working in my garage which is full of vehicles during winter. There’s only one table where I can work so only sanding, drilling and other small things can be done there.
     
    lbridenstine and MovinTarget like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 18, 2021

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