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Jig for painting a bass body

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jcanderson, Jul 28, 2014.


  1. jcanderson

    jcanderson

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    After having had some issues when I painted my first body last year, I decided to build a jig to hold the body this time.

    Here's last year's technique:

    blogger-image-1581755606.
    (Described here: http://k6jca.blogspot.com/2013/09/building-bass-guitar-kit-part-2.html)

    That technique, well, it had issues. So here's the jig I came up with for my next body-painting attempt:

    photo+4.

    All parts (less bass body) were available at my local hardware store.

    If you're interested, the details are here: http://k6jca.blogspot.com/2014/07/bass-guitar-body-painting-jig.html
     
    JIO likes this.
  2. This elegant technology is a nice variation of the 1950's Fender "paint stick". I like the rotisserie modification!
     
  3. jcanderson

    jcanderson

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    Thanks! In my case, perhaps more inelegant than elegant. But easy to build.

    Here's a photo of the jig in action. Rattle-can spraying a base coat of Volkswagen "Mellow Yellow".

    photo+3.
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have a t shaped piece of wood that hangs the body from a wire. The neck gets two hooks in the bottom of the heal.
     
  5. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Nice! I have a similar setup, though it involves a metal table base 1/2" EMT and PVC. I paint the front edge and sides of the body holding the EMT in my hand. Then I slide it into the horizontal 1/2" PVC to do front, back, and end. The vertical has a connector on the end of the EMT, usually it's just as a place to set a drying body. I've used this setup for around 70 bodies and the duct tape is holding up fine. I use the same setup for necks with shorter EMT handles.

    P1060575P_zps774d1324.

    Here's my drying rack, 3/4" speedbored at an angle into 7/16" OSB. EMT is handy stuff.
    P1050805_zps10d48a47.
     
  6. jcanderson

    jcanderson

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    I really like your use of electrical conduit as the neck stick. Very nice. I may need to make a mod to my design!
     
  7. Are we having a "share your creative paint booth setup" discussion? If so, here's my contribution:

    (first introduced here)

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    A75A9D5A-00F4-4D79-BF26-F5AA534D162B_zpsyvpjrt9e.

    1C766085-F6AA-446F-8080-3D889198567B_zpsmaqylmaq.

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    1C766085-F6AA-446F-8080-3D889198567B_zpsmaqylmaq.

    I am using an articulating tabletop bike repair stand, which is attached to a pallet. The pseudo-neck I have attached to the body that is being clamped in the vice is a 2" diameter dowel that I bought at Home Depot for a few bucks. I have some machine screws with washers and nuts holding the body to the dowel. The bike repair stand was $30 here.

    The rotisserie aspect of this is key, man! I can't tell you how awesome this setup is for painting. Not that I'm some sort of expert painter or anything (yet), but I've found that it works really well.
     
  8. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Thanks! The EMT makes it easier to shoot the front area, doesn't get in the way as much as a bulkier piece of wood. At $2 for 10 feet it's very economical.

    I use a 3/8 " thick mdf spacer to get more clearance with 2 dry wall screws into the neck pocket.

    P1040095.
     
    Rano Bass likes this.
  9. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    I use a small DIY downdraft paint booth. It is big enough to do basses and acoustics. Vented outside with a 12v boat bilge fan
    August2009001.
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  10. jcanderson

    jcanderson

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    These various jig and paint booth ideas are great!

    I've been thinking about making a paint booth, because painting outside is problematic (e.g. the neighbor's gardeners showed up unexpectedly with their mowers and blowers while I was spraying my color coat, and suddenly all kinds of small debris was floating over the fence into my yard).

    Praisegig -- very nice looking booth. I like its size. If I make a booth, I'd like it to be both small and collapsible, for easy storage and transportation.

    Given its size, how well does your setup work at keeping the fumes and paint out of your workshop? Do you get fumes bleeding around the edges of the opening, or does the bilge pump suck them all in?

    And Brett -- I was wondering what paint you shoot and where you get it? I'm over the hill from you in the south bay, but I've been buying rattle-can urethane custom-mixed color from an auto-paint store in Sacramento (it's on the way to my girlfriend's place, so it's a trip I make anyway). I also get a rattle-can two-part clear coat there, too (Spraymax 2K). It'd be nice to find some place a bit more local.

    Anyway -- great ideas and pictures, all! I love seeing how people solve problems and invent solutions. Very creative.
     
  11. I get my stuff (so far) from ReRanch. The paint color is apparently pretty authentic to original manufacturer specs, so that's what drew me to them originally. I would also like a better resource eventually. There's an auto parts store here (in Santa Cruz) that mixes paint and they said they could do any color as long as you have the code for it. This paint is for use with spray guns, though, which I do not yet have.

    I'm really digging @praisegig's setup above. I may try to make something of my own in that same vein.
     
  12. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    JC. I have the paint booth in a 8'x10' room in my shop. I have 4"dryer vent tubing running from bilge blower to a modified through-the- wall dryer vent mounted to a piece of lumber and set in the window opening. When spraying I usually wear a respirator, let the blower run for a couple minutes to evacuate fumes, then shut off. When working in other part of shop, the smell is minimum
    8B138448-9438-4453-8C89-FE5045077E9F_zpsrrjtn9ji.
     
  13. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat.

    Jul 10, 2013
    I use the closet in my spare room. I hang the bass from a flat wound string or an old wire hanger. It's pretty easy to turn also. Though, i don't think that's creative at all.
     
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Is it difficult to get your gun in the box to get at the inner parts of the horns with that setup? That's the only possible issue I could see with it, other wise that's a really neat set up.
     
  15. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Here's my rig:

    IMG_2378B. IMG_2377B. IMG_2379B. IMG_2376B. IMG_2373B.

    For years I'd been fussing with a good method for holding my Scroll Bass bodies and necks while painting them. I had maple sticks that bolted to the bodies and necks. I hung them from swiveling hooks, and played around with clamping them horizontally.

    As I've gained experience with spray painting, I've learned how important it is to be able to hold the painted surface up in line with a low-angle light source, and to be able to easily move it around while spraying, to be able to really see how the paint is laying down.

    So I came up with this contraption. The holders are made from square aluminum tubing, 3/4" square x 1/8" wall. A 1/4" aluminum plate is bolted on the end, which has both threaded and clearance holes for my standard neck bolt patterns. The same holders can bolt to a neck or a body. The holder stalk is 16" long. I found that that is a good length to be able to handle a body or neck one handed. With a spray gun in one hand, I can grab a neck by the holder, and plug it into the swiveling arm. I don't have to set the gun down and use both hands. That's a surprisingly big time saver in the spray booth.

    A key part of the whole idea is using the small size square tubing. Notice that the openings in the swiveling arm are also square, but larger (1 1/4" square). When you plug the 3/4" square tubing into the square hole, it snaps right to 90 degree intervals, just by gravity. But the larger square is big enough that the aluminum tube will rotate inside it. Grab the tube between the neck and the swivel arm and turn it, and the neck snaps 90 degrees.

    I've seen other guys' holder rigs that use round tubing. But I saw that, if the part was offset much from the centerline of the tubing, the body or neck wouldn't stay still, and would slip and rotate. It required fumbling around with some kind of a clamp. The square tubing eliminated that problem.

    Note that the 1 1/4" holes in the swiveling arm are inclined upwards a small amount, so that the square tubing sits level when it's resting in there. The arm is made of 1/2" plywood and some maple blocks. There are three horizontal holes that the holders can plug into, to get different heights. Plus I added one down at the bottom that stands the holder up at 45 degrees, to get those edges at the bottom end.

    The swiveling arm has a vertical aluminum shaft that plugs into maple bearing blocks that are attached to the corner of the bench. It easily spins 360 about the vertical axis. I worked out the offset of the arm so that the necks and bodies spin approximately around their center.

    That works really well. I can rotate a body all the way around, spraying the horizontal surface, moving every square inch of it in line with the light to be able to see exactly what I'm doing, right where the paint is laying down. Note the vertical 24" flourescent lamp. That's a big help in getting that reflected light off of the surface, so that I can see the texture as I spray.

    Same with the necks. Now I can see every bit of it in the right light, while I'm spraying all those surfaces on the headstock.

    I also have drying racks nearby which have similar square holes that the holders plug into, with one hand.

    This rig has really improved the quality and efficiency of my painting. It was well worth the investment to build it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  16. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    Hopkins. I can spray all areas with no problems with my HVLP gun. The left side and top open up to allow for spraying the ends and loading into booth. When spraying the horn area, I slide the body out on the conduit and rotate as I spray. Doing sides and faces are a piece of cake. It works for me, glad I built it
     
  17. jcanderson

    jcanderson

    Apr 13, 2013
    Los Altos, CA
    Bruce, very nice design! Clever use of rectangular tubing, and I especially like the lamp. I've been painting outside (which introduces its own issues) and using sky light reflection to judge the quality of my painting as I'm putting it on. I'll keep your idea in mind if/when I move the painting indoors.

    You're absolutely right that if the body centerline is offset from the centerline of the tubing, the body will want to rotate to put its center of mass is as low as possible. This is the case with my jig, because the tubing is significantly offset from the body centerline, due to the materials I used to make the jig (see first pictures in this thread, or better yet, use the link to go to the web page).

    But using a clamp isn't as awkward is it might seem. I only adjust the clamp two times during a paint cycle: first, when I insert the neck-tube into the jig, and second, when I pull it out to hang the painted body to cure.

    When I first insert the tubing into the jig, I tighten the clamp so that there is enough friction to hold the body at any angle that I rotate it to, but not so much friction that it is difficult to rotate. And then I rotate the body during painting, without touching the clamp.

    And as I mentioned, I only touch the clamp again when I want to remove the body and hang it elsewhere for drying.

    Anyway, I find that the clamp works quite well and for me it isn't clumsy at all. It allows me to put the body at any angle that I might want (I find that I prefer about 30 degrees off vertical when painting front or back, and flat when painting sides).

    photo+1.

    That little piece of "vertical" PVC to the left (and attached to the neck stick) is a handle that allows me to more easily rotate the body (and counteract the friction of the clamped joint).

    And the note is to remind me not to adjust the clamp too tightly. If I do, the body will rotate but not the clamped pipe, which means I'm actually unscrewing the pipe from the Tee (although they are screwed together pretty tightly). Best to be avoided, if one prefers not to have the body unexpectedly fall to the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

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