The Mediocre Builders Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MirandM, Apr 30, 2021.


  1. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    ButcherBass? Is it good for metal? :rage:
     
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  2. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Really? Check this place out: Inventory

    TS-1 "Kelly Green" Buffalo Trace (Serial # 20001)
     
  3. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    MirandM likes this.
  4. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    the top version with the grain running in line with the neck. Actually the glued joints are stronger than the wood is, and a butcher block is stronger than the equivalent lumber. so i see no reason that a neck made that way would suffer any weaknesses.
     
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  5. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I think you misunderstood my post. I did not name a weakness, I said it seems to be of lower quality. When pricing wood, I find that nice long good pieces the length to make a neck are often more expensive than a butcher block counter material. It's a mater of aesthetics and perceived quality. As far as fretboards, I would not want to see those finger joints looking back at me.

    You often have asked for opinions, so I'm just providing mine. I hope you take it as the friendly advice from a TB compadre. Just saying, I'd not buy one over a few hundred $ looking like it was made of a countertop from Home Depot.

    Tim Sway would probably disagree with me, and he's also entitled to his own opinion.
    :D
     
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  6. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    the absolute definition of frustration...
    I have now built 4 basses with the idea of selling them.... All 4 had flaws that dictated that they be taken apart and used for firewood.

    I have learned that when any normal person would look at their work and say finally... finished, a luthier looks at his work and says finally... I'm almost halfway there.

    I have now remade all of my templated 3 times... the last ones, i literally spent an entire week sanding them to be perfect. the difference in the finished basses is noticeable. I now have 2 basses in process which i am confident will pass the test. I am also working on hand crafting mother of pearl inlays. Notice the vine pattern in the neck, and my logo "N" inlaid into the top. I also made 3 changes to the main design....

    • I now make the floating top basses as hollow body basses with a floating top.
    • Secondly, i am putting F-holes in the tops. Believe it or not they actually do affect the tone.
    • Thirdly, i changed my standard controls.... I now use 3 knobs (made of wood with glittery inlays on the top) the controls are Volume, Tone, and balance. The balance knob works like a 3 way switch, but instead of choosing the neck pup, the bridge pup, or both. there is total control from 100% neck to 100% bridge and anywhere in between.

    IMG_0124.JPG
     
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  7. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass. Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    This is called a blend control, widely used btw.
     
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  8. versalog

    versalog

    Nov 10, 2007
    Vermont, U.S.A.
    MirandM et al, I would like to join the club. I am not a builder, but I am attaching an image of a bass I put together around a Modulus/Alembic BassStar carbon fiber neck, serial number 57, manufactured in the late 1970's. Gerry Dorsch, an original employee of Modulus Graphite, re-furbished the neck for me about six or seven years ago and he did a fantastic job. The string nut is brass. The body is mahogany, from Warmoth. The pickup is an original Lane Poor, and the bridge is a Hipshot. I wired it using PEC potentiometers, challenging as their stainless cases don't solder well, and a 0.039 microFarad Styroflex capacitor. I auditioned many capacitors, including new and older PIO's, ceramic disks, and Mullard mustards and tropical fish, using temporary alligator clips. My favorite is a military grade silver mica in 0.059 microFarad, but it was just too big for the routed cavity. I settled on the polystyrene as the next best sounding in this guitar. It is strung with Pyramid flats. It does not hum, and is pretty heavy. My amplifier is a Fender Bassman.

    Modulus Alembic BassStar Guitar.jpeg
     
  9. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass. Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    Welcome, nice bass, and you're exactly in the right place. No limits here, modding, building, half building, projects experimental or not, it's all ok.

    You're number will be this:
    969987_new-jpg-jpg.jpg
    That's right #1110, as all of us are, mediocre.
     
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  10. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    Good to know. from now on I'll call it a blend pot rather than a balance. in the past I have used 3 way switches, 5 way switches, and even single pole switches, but haven't tried the blend until recently. I am sold on it, Even though it requires a very expensive pot to do properly. With the pickups being different styles as well as far apart this allows for some very interesting voices.
     
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  11. markwrob

    markwrob Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2016
    Boulder, Colorado
    I really like what you have put together here, @versalog ! As a proud and lucky (for the price) owner of a mid-80s Modulus fretless 5, I have been somewhat (in my mediocre way) keen on acquiring a FSN (neck)-equipped carbon fiber bass. I predict I will be more-or-less happily hunting for one for a long time. Again, kudos to you for yours!:bassist:
     
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  12. Renegade bass

    Renegade bass

    Nov 2, 2020
    Good evening, thought I'd post an update on what was supposed to be a summer project but has barely started until now.

    A while ago I bought this off Gumtree along with a Yamaha 6 string acoustic that had been covered in graffiti with a sharpie. I paid £20 the pair. The Yam shall (and still is) be cleaned and moved on to hopefully cover initial outlay plus a bit more.
    IMG_20210531_220421.jpg
    The other (pictured above) by my Internet sleuthing appears to be a Hondo H830n and was in need of some tlc.

    I've disassembled and, found that this has the Dimarzio pickup (score!) but the poly finish was cracked all over so, the plan became simple (simple he says!) strip off the old poly finish, clean the brightwork sand the back of the neck, reglue the headstock, oil the body, rewire pickup and put back together.

    This was back in June. I have finally completed part 1, remove the old poly finish.
    IMG_20211014_181555.jpg IMG_20211014_181549.jpg IMG_20211014_181537.jpg
     
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  13. Renegade bass

    Renegade bass

    Nov 2, 2020
    An couple hours with the heat gun and scraper has see the solid Alder body (if my research is correct) back to natural. A few scorch marks that the sander has taken care of and, next week I should be in a position to start oiling her up as it were.

    After that the brightwork and neck shall have their turn.
     
  14. enzodm

    enzodm

    Mar 3, 2016
    Italy
    Ok, it's one year I am just floating around the current micro-project, which is a two strings bass, centered around a body made with a section of an historical tree that had to be cut down because sick (right side of the picture). Slices of the tree were then sold to raise money for a charity.
    The neck will be mahogany, pickup one or two parts from a Precision. The main reason why it's not yet finished is... well, because I am lazy, then because I am a member of this club, but also because I did not yet decide how to connect everything on the back.

    CastelloUdine.jpg IMG_9337.jpg
     
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  15. Looks like it was sitting in water for a while. I like it!
     
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  16. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    I have a question for this group.

    When building an instrument, if you are anything like me you want both a beautiful instrument, but also one which sounds as good as it looks. some of the best tones especially if you like the warm hollow body sound require using a little softer wood for the body... Basswood, Alder, poplar, i've even heard that some coniferous softwoods make good body woods.

    Here is my question. These good body woods rarely have beautiful grains like Oak, Maple, Pecan, or cherry... So i was thinking that natural finishes wouldn't be the best choice for when using them. I suspect that might be why so many electric guitars have non-transparent finishes like Laquer, or epoxy, etc. I would like to experiment with finishing the body with a metalic stain, or marble looking stain or a pearl, or even glittery.... But i don't know what is good and what will look like ...... well you know.

    Does anybody have some suggestions for finishes which will completely cover the wood while still looking classy and not tacky.
     
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  17. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I kinda like the look of cherry, personally. At the risk of starting a 'tone woods' debate, I think that for a typical 1.5 - 1.75" thick slab-o-caster, the species of wood is not that relevant as long as it's hard enough to hold the bridge screws against string tension. Your floating top instruments are of course, a different animal. I do some internal chambering which may make wood choice more relevant. Yes, I've seen a few basses made out of Radiata Pine also Fender has instruments in its American Pro line that are using Roasted Pine for the body wood.

    As for finishes, I've been using Varathane Ultimate Water Based Polyurethane mixed with Createx airbrush paints for opaque colors, or TransTint dyes for various tints:
    20200911_194943.jpg

    20211006_165441.jpg
     
  18. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass. Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    Many years ago I had a neighbor who dedicated his time in finishing violins.
    His workshop was always full of many bottles of smelly oils.
    One day he showed me a violin he had finished recently, he told me it had took him three years to find the exact same formula as Stradivarius used for his violins. It sounded incredible.
    However, these instrument don't have the grain you are talking about. They have that special oiling making them sound like no other instrument.
    So I ask, is the grain your main interest, or is it how it sounds?
    Because if it's the latter then you should definitely have a look at tru-oil and forget about the other finishes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021 at 4:11 PM
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  19. Renegade bass

    Renegade bass

    Nov 2, 2020
    IMG_20211017_130226.jpg
    Progress is being made. It shall however be a long job...
     
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  20. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Looking good. You can dissolve that rust with white vinegar.
     
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  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.

     
    Oct 19, 2021

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