Time to complete some old projects

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Slidlow, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    So I decided to start a thread covering some of my long outstanding projects that I have decided to complete before I finish some of the newer ones. One of these dates back to 1987 when I was starting to experiment with piezos and preamps. I'm sure some of you have found yourselves with similar projects taking up space.
    IMG_6135.JPG
    The teak and ebony five string was started back in 1987. It was the forerunner to my present piezo 5 string and soon to be 6 string. The ziracote/holly five string was started in 2008 and finish issues put it on the back burner. The lacewood four is from about 2010 and while I did some work on it last year still has not been completed. The lefty four was glued up around 2017 but as I don't really play left has also sat around. The one in the middle is based on a very old piece of fir for the body and was to be a "National" clone. Well first up will be the lacewood short scale.
    IMG_6140.JPG
    This body is African mahogany with an ipe center strip as the mahogany pieces were not quite wide enough.
    IMG_6143.JPG
    The top is bookmatched lacewood.
    IMG_6142.JPG
    And the set neck is ipe. I've put a coat of polymerized tung oil on it to highlight all the scratches and such that need to be addressed. Once all sanded down I'll start the oil finish process. Pretty standard fare that has been covered by many on this forum.
     
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  2. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    I think that's cool to finish that stuff. You will have some good memories while your working on them the whole time I'm guessing. I have several of those way back burner projects and would be nice to finish and even donate to a school or something or give as gifts. Keep the pics coming.
     
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I dig the 5ers :thumbsup:

    Sub'd
     
  4. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Taking a while to sand out the body and neck. As it was sitting for a few years it had some light rash that needs to be addressed.
    IMG_6155.JPG Pulled out the hardware for this one as well to see what else I need to get. Some pots, an output jack with plate and strap buttons looks like all I need. I have strings somewhere.
    IMG_6156.JPG
     
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  5. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    A lot of sanding today. Another coat of oil and I'll let this harden up. Then see if any more prep is needed and hopefully start the many coats of oil. The lacewood will show very well and I like that the ipe has almost matched the African mahogany used in the body.
    IMG_6158.JPG IMG_6159.JPG
     
  6. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    So while building coats on the Lacewood short scale I decided to have a look at this five string that I started back in 1987. It was the predecessor to my current five and was set up for piezo bridge. At the time I had to make my own piezo elements and preamp/buffer and had planned on some extra effects as well. That leaves some extra holes. So my plan now is to mount a modern piezo bridge, possibly rout for a Dimarzio Alchemy pickup I have and put a magnetic/piezo mixer in. I can use the extra holes for separate EQ for each. Also this was originally planned to have black hardware but I am going to go chrome to brighten it up. The finish is polyurethane that was applied 33 years ago (definitely hardened). While not 100% (some sinking into grain etc) it is solid and undamaged so I am just going to buff it up to a reasonable shine. The neck is perfectly quartersawn straight grained teak as are the two body wings. Ebony stringers in the body, fingerboard and headstock overlay. 33 years ago I chambered this body to reduce weight and arched the front and back. Kind of interesting to see so many people doing the same things now.
    IMG_6166.JPG
     
  7. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Still finishing. After several coats of oil I am now sanding out the body and neck. Looks like all the grain is filled.
    IMG_6172.JPG
    I am liking the hue the oil gives the Ipe.
    IMG_6173.JPG Shot of the lacewood.
    IMG_6174.JPG
     
  8. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    22 fret neck taper looks fairly consistent - is it 1-3/4" nut to 2" heal?
     
  9. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Kind of looks like that because of the camera angle I think. The nut is 1-11/16" and the heel is 2-1/4". Back to finishing.
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Added some side markers to the neck. Need to bevel the fret edges and do a level and polish and work on the oil finish some more. Should be able to add hardware soon.
    IMG_6183.JPG
     
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  11. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Frets levelled and polished. Have the oil finish to a nice satin sheen. Trial fitting some hardware. Waiting for some small screws to arrive to mount the pickup rings so I may shift work to another for a while. IMG_6188.JPG IMG_6189.JPG
     
  12. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I strung it up after mounting the nut so I can file it and set the action. Waiting on a chrome truss rod cover and plate for the output jack. I'll probably wire up the pots and I'm keeping it relatively simple with two volume and one tone with push/pull switches on the volumes for series/parallel wiring for the pickups.
    IMG_6236.JPG IMG_6237.JPG
     
  13. JeroB666

    JeroB666

    Dec 22, 2012
    Canada
    Are you even married? I can't have anything laying around the house for more than a month before the wife asks me to either use it or get rid of it :laugh:
     
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  14. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Absolutely so and happily too:)! The wife is great:thumbsup:!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  15. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Back to the teak five string for a bit. Having a bit of a turnabout on this one. Staying with black hardware but not using the piezo I made 33 years ago. A bit too crude by todays standards. I don't have a proper spaced newer piezo bridge so back went the original saddles into the Schaller bridge. I'll complete this with passive standard sized soapbars for now. At least that will allow pickup swapping if necessary in the future. The switch holes for the piezo preamp will be used for series/parallel or coil tap switches for the pickups. The pots will be either a VVT setup or blend/master/tone arrangement. Still have time to decide that. So the first thing was to make a routing template to cut for the pickups and mark out the centerline with pickup positions.
    IMG_6238.JPG IMG_6239.JPG
    And organize some of the hardware in one place.
    IMG_6240.JPG
     
  16. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I am undecided on the wiring for the short scale. I have two four conductor humbuckers. I was thinking of VVT with two push pull pots but can't decide on series/parallel for each pickup or coil tap? I could also do a blend, volume and tone with two push pull pots as well. Just not sure which is most useful (I'm a one setting does all myself)? This was only routed for three pots to keep it simple. IMG_6244.JPG
     
  17. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    Me too for the most part. I've never had a bass (or guitar) with a series/parallel switch that I actually ever used, but I could potentially see some use in a coil tap, so that's what I'd do.
     
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  18. JeroB666

    JeroB666

    Dec 22, 2012
    Canada
    Are you also hoarding strings in the last 33 years? I've never seen that type of packaging for Daddario chromes :D.
     
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  19. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I'm a limited setting guy too, but I've enjoyed wiring two humbuckers such that you have the original layout, plus hit a switch and the north coil pairs with the south in the opposite pickup. I've found this to give no real drop in output (like a series/parallel or coil tap) but gives a little tonal variety.

    Regular:
    (NN+NS) + (BN+BS)

    Switched:
    (NN+BS) + (BN+NS)

    Hope that makes sense, just a thought. :thumbsup:
     
    dwizum likes this.
  20. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    They were purchased about 12 years ago for the other Ziracote topped five in the opening picture but yes I do have other strings (Rotosound) from back then. I actually have been clearing out some stuff. Know anyone interested in a cute short scale bass?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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