Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Building, Modding, Setup and Repair
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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 30 Jun 2018, 12:54

Spent some time in the workshop yesterday to get the raw material for the Kermit Reject rescue project and do the final shaping of the headstock.

The ramp will be a sandwich of walnut (15 mm), spacer layer (4 mm) of ash, 5 mm wenge, oak veneer, and another 5 mm of wenge. Here's the glue-up:

As you can see I'm using the polyurethane glue for this. The walnut block of course has the threaded inserts in it.

The "non-ramp replacement is pretty much done except for some glue clean-up. Here it is in place:


It's less than 0.5 mm proud of the quilted maple, perfect for some light sanding back and getting a nice wenge surface.
There is a lot of free space around the pickups (the routing template was very generous) but that'll be fine.

Same spot from the back:


Same bolts. Not unhappy with how this is turning out (mind you, it's not perfect, doing this for the first time so learning on the job).

I glued in a piece of walnut where the jack is going to go. That'll require a fair bit of clean-up, and it's not a 100% perfect fit (only 99) so it'll be quite visible. I do have ideas on how to turn that into a feature but will think about it more.

The crack in the quilted maple is quite visible, didn't clamp up particularly well. There are a couple of options (as Blaine mentioned in his thread), and I've just come up with another option so stay tuned. It'll be different but the visuals won't make any difference to the sound which I'm quite excited about to experience.

Special Q body and neck all finished, waiting to be sprayed.

OK, back to the fiddly work ;) .

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
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packrat
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by packrat » 30 Jun 2018, 13:22

Metal inlays and rod inserts, they’re all the rage these days. (Not a request)

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 30 Jun 2018, 13:32

packrat wrote:
30 Jun 2018, 13:22
Metal inlays and rod inserts, they’re all the rage these days. (Not a request)
Sure about that, Bruce? (the request, I mean ;) ).

Options are
a very dark burst (basically starting with the wenge colour and then fade to totally clear) to cover up most of the crack;
an inlay (using either wenge or walnut) following the curve of the pot holes (which is basically the crack line), basically like a Stingray thing but as inlay;
what I thought might work (but then again it might look really bad) is rout out like option 2 (about 2 mm deep) and fill with an epoxy/glow powder mix, literally highlighting the control knobs.

Or just leave it as is - I personally would much prefer a perfect instrument (who wouldn't?) but considering we're now in prototype/proof of concept mode anyway a crack is just a crack.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by packrat » 30 Jun 2018, 14:53

Here we go.

https://crimsonguitars.com/raw-series-gallery/

I'm less convinced about epoxy/glow powder vs more deliberate and stand-along in any light style of inlay. Inlaid metal or pearlescent flames or lightning! :D

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 30 Jun 2018, 16:19

Not sure about the Crimson approach - I might be a little too conservative for that.
Also not sure about the epoxy/glow powder, just something that's floating around in my brain (plenty of space there, thrust me ;) ).

Here's the ramp. Actually not bad, all in all. The foam is to keep the neck pickup reasonably straight.




Height is "probably" OK, don't know until I have the strings on really but it's in the ball park. 20" radius on the top (just like the fretboard). Feels comfortable. Quite comfortable.

Just a reminder: this idea of doing a replaceable ramp was concocted by David and Blaine (not my idea) - I just didn't like the magnet idea, much more secure with the two bolts.

Finishing touches ... .

And while not great I can (for this time) live with the hole that disappeared:


Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by basshack » 01 Jul 2018, 07:12

Pretty sure it was David’s idea initially and you’ve executed it nicely.
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 01 Jul 2018, 12:54

Thanks, Blaine,

Yes, reasonably happy with it. Here are the final products, ramp, flat replacement and bridge tone block with on elf the Hipshot Solos in position:



Note how the wenge looks different every time although the bits are from the same piece. Will be interesting to see what the fretboard will look like - my feeling is more towards a dark chocolate brown rather than the milk chocolate look on the right hand side of the flat replacement.

And, hey, can't NOT show this:


Glow in the dark.

I have to make a new logo template too, the one I'm using right now is a little worn out and results in somewhat different shapes every time (then again, "hand made", right?).

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by Classic5 » 01 Jul 2018, 13:14

Lovin' the glow dots :thumbup:

Nice work on the ramp.
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by RedVee » 01 Jul 2018, 17:02

Enjoying following these builds Michael. Even the mistakes lead to interesting updates.
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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by narcdor » 01 Jul 2018, 21:59

Very nicely done. I was trying to think what that ramp reminded me of, and I just figured it out!

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cackland
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by cackland » 02 Jul 2018, 14:15

Recovery looking great - not sure if this has been asked or answered before, why the tone block under the bridge on neck through instrument? Is there a particular sonic advantage or signature that will come from it?
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 02 Jul 2018, 17:44

No idea what those sweets are but I can see where you're coming from, Nick.

I could most definitely do without those "mistakes" but as long as learn from it it's all good.

Chris, the tone block is part of all Kermit builds so far. The original Kermit (6 string multi scale) has a spalted maple top and individual Hipshot Solo bridges. When I built it I didn't have a drill press. It was impossible for me to hand-drill the holes in the correct spot since the spalted maple is very hard ins some spots, and very soft and brittle in others so the bit would just wander wherever. On top of that (pun intended) the pressure of tightening the screws compressed the spalted maple.
Using a tone block with a consistently hard timber made this a lot easier. I do have a drill press now but I think it's a nice differentiating feature (and it gives me multiple opportunities to screw things up as well ;) ) for the Kermits which have the Hipshot Solo bridges. Nothing to do with the neck-through (this is my first one by the way).

Does it make a difference tonally? Well, two things: I haven't done a direct comparison with different timber material, and I'm not someone who thinks timber is making a big difference in sound (warning: can of worms!!!). Here's one to ponder: one of my favourite builders, Dingwall, use an aluminium block instead of a timber block, even in their dual-density basses (hard timber like maple on the bass side to make it tighter and more defined, soft timber like mahogany or similar on the treble side to mellow the tone a little). You tell me: how does that work when the strings sit on metal bridges that are bolted onto an aluminium block that is bolted to the timber? Anyway ... .

So, back to the build story. Just when I thought I was done with the mishaps I discovered that what I thought was a small shallow tear-out on the upper horn was a lot deeper than I thought. A lot of material needed to be removed which means that the shape is somewhat different to the other Kermits.
I also discovered what look like small cracks right at the tip of the upper horn:


I'll be clamping this like crazy when I put the strap lock thing in (this one will be the flush-mounted one so the actual screw won't "bite" about halfway through the length of those cracks). Will be interesting to see what happens.

And here's my new approach to drilling the jack hole:
3 mm guide hole drill, 1/4" guide hole drill, 25 mm outer diameter and 22 inner diameter drill bit:


A test drill using only the 3 mm guide hole was not very successful - the 25 mm bit just used that thread at the end to fix itself to the timber. A quick measurement indicated that the diameter of that thread was just over 6 mm so I made the guide hole bigger. Then the whole thing worked like a treat. Very stable thanks to having 3 cutting surfaces rather than the 2 you find on a spade.

I very carefully drilled the 25 mm hole (partial) and then broke through with the 22 mm bit. End result:


Super-clean, beautifully centred. Very happy. I was careful not to apply too much forward pressure but always felt like there was plenty of control. So all good.

Other than that sanding sanding sanding. Plenty of file marks but they're all gone, 120 grit finished, and a quick once-over with 180. The fretboard was done with 180, 240 and 320 and is basically done. Need to roll the edges properly. Applied a drop of superglue to the end of the fretslots which were filled with sanding dust - some look pretty good already, others obviously shrank down a little and I'll have to repeat the treatment - beats applying stuff after fretting.

Anyway, off to Adelaide tomorrow for a couple of days to check out the impressionist exhibition. Should be fun, zoom-zoom :D .

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by narcdor » 03 Jul 2018, 07:13

Hah, honey jumbles, I don’t think I’ve ever had one but they look cool. Not as cool as this bass is turning out. I really like the rounded ramp look too.

Have a fun trip driving (I assume) to Adelaide.
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass, Fender
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar, too many to list

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 04 Jul 2018, 09:31

narcdor wrote:
03 Jul 2018, 07:13
Hah, honey jumbles, I don’t think I’ve ever had one but they look cool. Not as cool as this bass is turning out. I really like the rounded ramp look too.

Have a fun trip driving (I assume) to Adelaide.
My first ever ramp, I thought that pillowy look would work. And yes, it’s growing on me. Mind you, all one can see once it’s mounted properly is wenge/veneer/wenge so it’ll be a pretty clean look.

Yes, we drove, mostly with the roof down. About to go and check out the impressionist exhibition and then possibly drive to Hahndorf or the beach for a quick look. Back Friday to make sure this one will be finished before the Guitar Show.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

basshack
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by basshack » 04 Jul 2018, 10:51

Hahndorf is a must, lots of good shops to browse through and the meals at the hotel are excellent. Especially the Weiner range of offerings.
Last edited by basshack on 05 Jul 2018, 11:01, edited 1 time in total.
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