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Reverendrally's rolling cavalcade of luthiery horror

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Up til now I've had multiple threads for builds etc, etc. But with everything going on at the mo, I'm going to roll everything into one terrible place for you all to frown and laugh at. I've got too much wood, too many ideas, too many broken guitars and not enough time to do everything (and a car project) so we'll chip away at things a little at a time.

    Having said all that, I'm a firm believer in throwing more wood on the fire. So on a trip to Bunnings yesterday I bought a 1.8m piece of Meranti. My luthiery mentor told me some time ago it's a lot like mahogany and I've always wanted to build a mahogany neck bass. I had to go through the pile to find a nice straight bit. This was the heaviest, straightest piece so I brought it home and ripped it into quarters.


    I learned something important (and embarrassing) about my table saw, but no one got hurt and the wood was ready for glue up.


    There was one small split in one bit. But most of you know I care nothing about that coz I just fill splits up with superglue. There is a veneer stripe of Tassie oak down the centre of the blanks, coz you know how I love the stuff... and it aids all manner of measuring later on. So for about $20, I've got two neck blanks. Their all dry now and I'll break this bad boy out on them soon enough...


    Old No.7 Stanley plane! Monster of thing. Love it. Then they'll get thickness to 18mm (or whatever my disasters leave behind).

    In other news I'm fixing this thing on the left. Epiphone Dot.


    The original plan was to graft the headstock from the cream guitar on, but I've changed my mind. After a buying a headless travel guitar on my US trip, the 335 will go headless too. I'm just waiting on the tuners from Aliexpress. Should be a sweet little repair for a different guitar. I've got the rest of the hardware here or on the way. I just need to make a locking nut. I already have the aluminium.

    P.s. sorry for all the unintended puns. o_O
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
    Bobro, Duder, Haroldo and 5 others like this.
  2. I have no doubt the content will be interesting and entertaining but, if nothing else, the thread title is great.
  3. OK, you can't just roll that Matzah ball out there like this and then not expound. :)
    pcake, rtav, Haroldo and 3 others like this.
  4. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    He not only can, he did...

    Make sure the car project gets in here too, for thread title completeness (I'm sure you can toss some strings and a pickup on it so it's not off topic)
    reverendrally and Will_White like this.
  5. I may be in love...


    Man, this thing is AWESOME. Had to sharpen some missing chunks out of the blade, but then. Oh the ribbons of glory!

    And another thing, why has it taken up to now to pick a neck timber that doesn't destroy my tools or chip out so easily? #fool :oops:
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    I-Am-The-Slime likes this.
  6. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    A truly sharp blade in a handplane is a thing of glory, remarkably effective, and you can listen to music while you work. Depending on the wood, it may even smell good, too.

    As for neck wood choice, there's a lot of glorifying PITA woods to get past before you figure out that not being a PITA is kind of a nice aspect for a wood to have, and in many cases the end result looks just as nice if you can get past the "it's not ex-ot-ti-que" and appreciate it for the beautiful wood it is. Might even look better for not having to be reworked 12 times or have chips glued back in... If you need a dose of ex-ot-ti-que, it would be here, so go right ahead and enjoy it throughly.
    Bobro and Haroldo like this.
  7. This evening I was able to fire up the thicknesser and dust extractor for a few minutes to run these through. I'm pretty happy with them I have to say.


    Wetted down the grain looks pretty good and the pinstripe of Tassie oak really highlights the combo. One came out at 17mm and the other 18mm. So I guess I have a slim neck and thick neck depending on what I want to use them for. The only downer was this split.


    It goes all the way through the timber to the other side of the blank, which I'd already started filling with superglue any. I started wicking glue into it just after I took this pic. It's on the thicker of the two blanks, so now it's filled it should be fine. Superglue is stronger than the timber anyway and with a multi-laminate like this, there's little risk of it moving around. I'll put both blanks away now and let them settle for a while before I use them. I briefly looked at a piece of Tassie oak I have in the corner tonight and thought, "I should make some blanks with that". So that might happen in the near future... or not. If I do, I'll use the table saw properly this time. ;)

    In other news, this turned up today for the broken 335. Not bad for $10.

  8. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    You're supposed to jam the crack full of crushed opal (given your location) or jade or turquoise and then add the superglue, making it a "feature" not a "defect." :D
    reverendrally and bkbirge like this.
  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    All my builds have “features”. Thank god for paint.
    Bobro and Microbass like this.
  10. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm a man that takes pride in funny thread titles but today I have been humbled.
  11. mark5009


    Feb 17, 2018
    Sydney, Oz
    I love using my No 7. For a real treat, get on to Ron Hock and get one of his blade/chipbreaker combos for it. Amazing! And meranti is fun to work with. I'm also getting some good mileage out of merbau (a similar, though different) timber. Ironwood in Annandale has shed loads of the stuff, 1000 x 70 x 19, 25 off for $20 or so. Great value!

    Looking forward to seeing how these puppies come out, Rev.
    reverendrally likes this.
  12. I'm not worthy! You're builds are my favorite bits of TB! :wideyed:

    I'm along way from Annandale so I'll stick with local stuff for now. One place I won't go again is Annagoat. Sold me green rock maple. :thumbsdown:

    This headless string tuners turned up today. I'm pretty happy with them. I'll have to come up with a tailpiece to go with them. Shouldn't be too hard.


    One of the kids said, "all you spend money on is guitar parts!"
    Me; "No, that's not true."
    Kid; "Well what else do you spend money on?!"
    Me; "You."

    Not so many smarty-pants accusations with that realization. :smug:
    speyer, ituobrey, Microbass and 5 others like this.
  13. Which system is that? I need one for my next build, the Mera system I used on the last one works great, but way too expensive.
    Beej likes this.
  14. yes, they look just like the ones in the Stienberger I just got. Is the slot big enough for a bass ball end? I learned today that the ball ends on a double ball end string are not the same diameter, the ones for the head end are guitar sized, the ones on the bridge end are bass sized.
  15. No, they're way too small for bass ball ends. Sorry.

    In other news, There are two different things I've been thinking about...

    1. Meranti necks

    I went through some of my supplies thinking, "dang, gonna have to buy some trussrods for these blanks." Well, I knew I had a spare Stewmac spoked hotrod in there. I didn't realize I had another TWO different rods. So that's 3 different double acting trussrods looking for a home. LOL. I usually buy 2 of things when I order something, I guess that explains it. I also found a bunch of old blueprints/designs from old basses I built. The nicest one was this one...


    And I don't usually want to repeat builds, but I think one of those two necks is going to be a repeat build of this bass. My cousin's wife now owns it and loves it. Personally though, it was probably the bass I most liked to play. Light, resonant and so comfy. The tone was next level too. If I built it again it will be with a radical difference of course. I also found 2 of these strings...


    Brite flat 27s (C strings). I've got some others so I might try and put together a set and build for them. Fretted. Highly chambered. Not sure what else yet. Maybe a spruce top from the piano I pulled apart.

    2. Broken 335

    I now have all the parts needed to put this back together.


    I've been trying to figure out what to use on the end of the broken neck. I went through my wood pile and I have hardwood or Kauri pine. And nothing in between really. So, I've chosen this offcut from the last 6 string I built. It's got some writing on it from the guys who made the table it came from. It's super solid, so it should hold screws well for the headless setup. That's my biggest concern.


    It says, "Bellevue". Who knows what that means...

    Hang on, what's that boost control valve doing there?

  16. I've got the fanned fret 6 string on the bench today. I made the mistake of using furniture wax on it a few years back and I HATE the tacky, grippy feel on the neck. So I'm cleaning that off and hoping to refinish it with wipe on poly. As much as I love tru-oil style finish on the neck, I find they get grubby and sticky. The wipe on poly on the other hand is much better and never gets gunky.

    The 39" three planks fretless 6 string got some action last night at jazz club. I think I'm finally happy with the tone after feeling very disappointed with it. Wouldn't you know it, it was all down to pickup height. I wound them close to the strings and got a HEAP more bottom end and a lot less noise (relatively). I also found out the noise issue I was having with the neck PU was down to electronics pulses from the powerboard, that's right behind my office wall. So while I'll need to come up with a sneaky way of shielding the PUs better, in the majority of places, that silly noise won't be an issue.
  17. BTW, is titebond (1) effected by paint thinners? I'd like to use it to strip the neck effectively. Thus far I've been using auto wax/grease remover.
  18. I've never had trouble with Titebond reacting negatively to paint thinner.
  19. Put the second coat of wipe on poly on the fanned fret neck. Overall, it's looking better than I expected.


    I've found drying under a heat lamp can speed things up nicely. Looking forward to playing the bass again without the sticky neck. While I have it pulled apart, I'm considering an upgrade...


    I've wondered for a while if it would be more flexible with a neck PU.


    I've got these Barts (G66CBJD) I was going to using on a 6 string. I'm not going to build another 6 string now, so I'm thinking this might be a good candidate for this bass. I'd just change the kill-switch config around to include a second PU instead of different coils. What do you all think?
    BritFunk, Chuck Chill-Out and JIO like this.

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