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Project Iced Bongo #5

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by earlysecond, Feb 20, 2016.


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  1. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    It was suggested that I share this build here. I am finalizing finish and often hop on TB between coats of finish.

    I shared that I am addicted to re-finishing and building kits. I have shared a couple of pictures of the projects I have completed and am averaging a finish/re-finish project about every 10 days or so. You see I have this little problem. . . .I struggle to do anything just a little bit! HAHA

    I did some research and it seems that when Music Man Brand launched the Bongo Bass it was a bit different than anything on the market. I have not built anything with MM pickups to this point so I decided to give this kit a try. The kit is reasonably priced from BYOG guitar.com for $174 plus shipping. When I opened the kit I was pleased. I believe that this is my 5th kit since late October. I have purchased kits from several manufacturers. All have been pretty decent to work with. Since the Bongo Bass was fairly radical in design an sound, I wanted to stick to the theme and turn it up another notch.

    I began by radically re-shaping the kit body. I used a new luthier tool I found to be handy. . . a $2 hacksaw with the blade rusty from my last plumbing expedition! haha. I carved angular notches in the horns and reshaped the end of the head stock to keep the angle theme while trying to create as many different surfaces as I could find because I was on a mission to create in "ICE" project. Blues and whites heavy with pearl to shine with a lot of sparkle. My other finesse tool for shaping is a Harbor Freight belt sander crazy but fun. I want to share that I shaped this body so aggressively that I blew right through the top into the control cavity underneath. Before I taught myself to paint I learned some bodywork skills. I fixed the hole with auto body supplies which live in my garage then some basswood dust (I had a ton from reshaping) and epoxy.

    From the beginning I was chasing an Ice theme, as I had mentioned. After finish sanding I sprayed the all of the basswood and the maple on the neck with dark blue dye in denatured alcohol. I then sanded back to allow blue to remain in the grain. Finally for step one, I applied 3 coats of catylized polyurethane. I dry sanded that with 320grit paper until it looked, shaped and dyed like this.

    P2190005.JPG

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    The modified head stock with blue dye and come sanded clear
    P2190015.JPG

    Next step was the addition of white base coat from my automotive paint stash. My goal was to apply it in translucent coats to allow the dark blue grain to show through but only in a muted way.

    P2190013.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  2. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Sorry for the double pictures and the multiple threads. I'm still learning, and appreciate the software which powers TB.

    In the top, front bevel, the part that is next to your belly, I removed some of the white. I also stripped back the white on my re-faceted horns for more of the effect I was seeking which was an attempt to allow the grain to be always visible, just a bit.

    After the basecoat I mixed some of the many white, silver and blue pearls I have in powderform into a thin, clear intercoat and set out to get a heavily pearled center of the body which faded to more blues on the edges. Sadly the effects are hard to see from pictures.
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    P2200020.JPG
     
    Will_White likes this.
  3. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    I then applied 2 medium wet coats of clear.

    In the meantime, the mailman delivered the final touch to this icy project, my shipment from paintwwithpearl.com which contained my final 2 coats. . . .blue ghost pearl for the side bevels and holographic blue metal flake for the edges. I am just about ready to finish the edges then apply more clear which does not have any additional effects. I hope to have this finished up on a couple of hours.

    Here is the fist coat of holographic metalflake:
    P2200021.JPG


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    Will_White likes this.
  4. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    Very interesting. I can't wait to see the final product.

    Of all the kits you've purchased, which has been the best value for the money?
     
  5. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    wintremute- I'm going to have to reserve judgement at this point. IMO the easiest way for the sellers of kits to cut costs is to include less than desirable overseas pick ups. I am anxious to see what these sound like before I give an overall. I bought 2 kits from Bargain Musician and they were really nice, well organized and packaged. I was told who manufactured their pickups and they are not bad BUT none of them are great. If you are up for a project and find finishing fun but are not yet ready to start from scratch. . . . all of the kits I have build are a fantastic value. Yes, there are a couple of bargain brand or lesser line basses you can buy from major sellers BUT they are not of any higher quality than these kits. If you really think about it, and you are going to use bargain basement overseas parts then you may still struggle to buy all of the hardware and wood to make a guitar for any less. One thing I have found is that the strings which come with these kits are NOT my favorite!! Just changing the strings out for a decent quality set makes a pretty good difference. Not that it will necessarily be Iced Bongo but when I complete a kit that I love the looks and feel of but struggle with the sound, I would be willing to invest in some medium quality pups, some good electronics and some great strings.

    Hope that helps
    Brent
     
  6. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Here is the last effects coat. I hit the entire guitar and front of the head stock with blue ghost pearl. Viewed straight on, it is invisible. Viewed at any side angle it pops. The trick is to not get too much on or it would totally obscure any muted grain pattern I have left. Overall, this is not exactly what I had envisioned BUT that almost always happens. The only way to nail these effects and the combinations of them it to spray out, from start to finish all coats and inter coats.

    P2200027.JPG


    Once that last coat dries I will continue to pound more clear until it is all leveled out and glossy. That way there is plenty of clear to bury the flake and lots to aggressively finish sand.

    Thanks for looking. I will update after I wetsand and buff but before I start assembly.

    Brent
     
  7. Looking good!
     
  8. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I didn't think of strings, but yeah, I guess they would be part of the kit. Since I prefer flats I'd probably just ignore what was sent anyway. As for pickups, if I was to make my own kit I'd probably get custom tuners, so that's not that big of a deal.

    So, based on the body, neck, bridge, tuners, and the rest...which kits have you been happy with? Can you put some links?
     
  9. INTP

    INTP

    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I certainly lack experience, but the vision to see how these layers will play out in the final product amazes me. I hope it turns out stunning!
     
  10. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Sure,

    Although I have no pictures of some of them, I have built:

    From Bargain Musician these kits:

    BargainMusician.com - Warehouse Direct DIY Guitar & Bass Kits, Finished Guitars and Basses - 5S Bass Body Style
    Which I built as a bass I leave at church since I play every week and don't want to drag one. It is finished in a starburst from natural spalted to maroon to rose pearl to black edges

    BargainMusician.com - Warehouse Direct DIY Guitar & Bass Kits, Finished Guitars and Basses - PJ Bass Body Style
    This one is upstairs and I can get a picture I goofed the finish up on this by wetsanding epoxy primer. It is finish in black holographic metalflake but needs a do-over! I quite like this kit and for slapping and practicing on a 4 string, this is my go to

    I built 2 kits for a joint business venture where we sell them as entry level instruments a Strat copy and a Les Paul, I have posted the pics previously. I am not sure from where those kits came, I did not buy them and both were 6 strings

    Finally, the Bongo I am working on came from BYO Guitar.com


    Electric Bass Kit - 5-String Style - Guitar bodies and kits from BYOGuitar

    For what any of these is an for the price, I'm not sure you can go wrong. The bongo kit comes pre-wired except for adding the pups and the jack which will save some electronics work (actually it will save my business partner time as he is doing final assembly and set up)

    A kit I plan to order this week is the least expensive I've seen

    Super Lightweight Vintage Cut P-Bass Kit Rosewood or Maple Fingerboard

    You would struggle to buy the wood to make the neck and body of this one for less than $100!

    Is there one that is better than the others. NO both companies I dealt with so far had fantastic customer service. Props to Bargain Musician for helping me to learn how to wire. Really it is as easy as a quick google image search!

    If you have never done a kit, it is fun and addictive. You will not turn out and American deluxe anything but you can build serviceable bass guitars suitable for your enjoyment for little money and totally customize what you get. Add some better Pups and upgrade the electronics etc. and who knows, might end up being one of your favorites!

    Hope that helps.

    From kits, I'm moving to bodies then to scratch builds but I am having too much fun refinishing and building right now to be bothered to set up a workshop! haha

    Brent
     
    wintremute likes this.
  11. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    INTP- nah, I just make it up as I go. Often I am defeated but often pleasantly surprised. Its only paint and wood. . . .you can start over from scratch just like a dry erase board!
     
    Bassist4Eris likes this.
  12. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I am "a fan" of GuitarFetish, so I'm quite excited to see you getting their kit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  13. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    "of" like in a carnal sense or you work there?? HAHA If you work there,or own the business, count on me for some significant contributions VERY soon. I never came upon fetish for kits. I am often frustrated by search results on google. Bargain Musician has an add that trumps the next 3 companies and all of the organic results- they ponied up the extortion money to the big G.

    I am anxious to try some GFS Pups and will likely get the fetish P bass kit, make it a P/J with GFS pups and active preamp of some sort.

    In fairness, I will review all the kits as soon as I can. My preference, regardless of price is to deal with a company who knows how to take care of customers! Let me know if you have a secret shopper program, I'll sign up before my first order. I will say I have found more reasonably priced kits and building supplies on guitarfetish than on other sites but have only been shopping since late Oct.

    have a good one. More Mongo #5 Ice pics in a couple of minutes. I just put badging on my headstock and cleared over it, coat 1 of 3.

    Brent
     
  14. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    I fixed my statement. I was typing too fast for my thoughts!
     
  15. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    OH, OK I can see how you would do that. Just thought I found a connection! HAHA
     
  16. Volunteerk9

    Volunteerk9

    Oct 20, 2015
    Subd
     
  17. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Just finished and cleaned up! I could not have asked for a better weather day today. Since I am working with auto clear coat, I have to spray it outside. I think it probably mad 55degrees today in Central PA. Perfect timing, that and the mailman showed with the final 2 products I needed at lunch time.

    One of the final things that I did was to bury my headstock logo and guitar name in the final coats of clear.

    This project is nearly complete for me. I will wetsand, buff mount the tuners and faceplate and my business partner will give me back a bass that is set up and ready to play. I might have him order me a good set of 5 strings and then I will play this creation. It was NOT exactly what I had envisioned but I'm gonna venture a guess that there is not another one like it. . . .that makes me pretty happy!

    Thanks for reading. I'll get some more pics up after the next steps are complete. This was my 5th kit and may just be my favorite because it is so different.


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  18. Rugmaster

    Rugmaster

    Dec 6, 2012
    Can't wait to see the end result!
     
  19. Nice!!! I too am a refinishing/modding junkie....buy cheap, tear it down, rebuild it to my liking. Really, I just enjoy a good project.
     
  20. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Burning- haha, I found a brother in arms! AT least its a healthy addiction. What kind of stuff do you get into. Pictures?
     
    spaz21387 likes this.

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