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routing and filling

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ariwax, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. ariwax

    ariwax Insonating the acoustic window Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH

    i am new to the world of modding, but i have an ambition to rerout a fenderesque P/J homemade 4-string to accommodate dual dark stars. i understand that there will be a great deal of filling in the old routs in addition to digging out new ones. the main question is, is this project feasible? if so, what would you fill in the old routs with?

  2. Depends on wheter you have a scratchplate or not. If you have, it'll cover a multitude of sins!! If you want to fill the olf holes then blocks of the heaviest wood you can find.....
  3. ariwax

    ariwax Insonating the acoustic window Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I can certainly throw a pickguard on there. However, that won't cover the sins committed near the bridge. Should I just carve a piece of wood to the shape of the J pup, glue it in there, and then be forced to finish the bass in opaque paint? Also, why must the wood be as heavy as possible? (The body was made from a 100-year old piece of swamp ash.)
  4. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Ideally you'd want to fill the routes with exactly the same wood as the rest of the body. That way any expansion/contraction due to temperature or moisture would behave the same in both the body and the plug, minimizing the effects (usually just a bit of finish damage, though plugs can work themselves loose in extreme situations). I'd say you should look for a piece from the same species that's about the same density, then be sure to cut your plug so the grain has the same orientation as the rest of the body. From there it's just a matter of gluing it in, filling any holes, and sanding 'er out.

    Keep us posted on how it works out, and be sure to post some pics.

  5. No need at all. After all, had the routs not been made, there would be a light wood in there. Adding mass to the bass in areas that have no function doesn't do anything but add weight. Put a piece under the bridge and it might change the tone - at least it would hold screws well, but nothing's going to happen if the dense wood is used a pup rout filler.
  6. I just had a goofy idea...:rolleyes:

    What if you were to fill the routs with something white like poplar or maple. Then take you digital camera and take a 1:1 scale pic of the grain - on the back maybe. Make a decal from the photo and put it on top of the blank area where the white wood fills the pup cavity. Viola', a "matching" piece of wood with the same tone and color of the original.
  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    heh, home made photo-quilt! :D

    I think what I'd do would be to fill the routes with whatever, and then do a shallow routing to cover the stripe down the middle of the bass (leaving solid wood intact under the bridge) and essentially inlay a 1/8" thick piece of some nice wood. It would give you a look like a neckthrough with wings.

    just a thought.
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I'd do a pickguard, for sure. Filling in the old routs with wood is going to be a pain and chances are it will end up looking like you filled the old routes with wood.

    What are the "multitude of sins committed by the bridge"? I don't think we've heard about those.
  9. ariwax

    ariwax Insonating the acoustic window Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    DIY photo-flame... crazy, man.

    As far as the sins committed by the bridge - well, the J-pickup rout by the bridge was already dug out. So, even if I use mounting rings for the Dark Stars, there will still be a little gap poking out both sides of the rings, as the J-pups are longer than the DS's perpendicular to the strings. So I'm talking about whether or not it would be necessary to fill in that space, and what medium would be best to do that with... both from a tonal perspective, and from a structural stability perspective (I don't want the bridge pickup just cracking out of there one day).