Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Modern and vintage style electric basses handmade in South East Queensland.
godinpants
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by godinpants » 14 Feb 2011, 10:28

Any progress pictures on this?
It's killing me watching this and it's not even my bass.

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Phil
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 19 Feb 2011, 08:01

:D I'll have some more pics up by the end of the week-end, maybe later today if I can progress enough byt the end of the day.

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Juan Lauda
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Juan Lauda » 22 Feb 2011, 08:33

Looking amazing, Phil. Thanks for sharing the process with us!
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Rude_Mechanical
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Rude_Mechanical » 22 Feb 2011, 11:45

User Jaun Lauda: the only OzBass member who goes to 11!

c-
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 23 Feb 2011, 20:40

Here's a few pics of the finishing. That could be a whole book on its own so I won't bother to talk too much about it and just state what I did.

I started by shooting several coats of clear lacquer to fill the pores of the ash and let it fill up, sanded that flat then shot a coat of amber on the body. After the amber coat I shot 2 coats of clear on top of that. The coats of clear are to lock in the amber colour and give it a bit of protection when sanding the body so I don't sand through the colour.

This pic just shows the body after in the raw after masking it before its first coat

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Once I had the clear and amber I then shot the dark edge of the sunburst whihc is a medium brown colour mixed with some black in it, it looks pretty black on pictures and in person but if you're in the sun outside, you can see its brown and can see through it to the wood.

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Once you shoot the black edge, you need to shoot a few coatgs of clear too to lock the colour in and prevent sanding through it. Finally you shoot the red band on the body then two coats of clear to lock it in then the day after sand it down and shoot another 5 or 6 coats of clear to buildup the clear, in the end we've got our 3 tone burst.

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The fingerboard radius has recently become a fun job with the radius sanding jig I built. All the knobs on the arms are to adjust the height of them. With this I can do radiuses from about 7" until about 20"

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I tape the neck with double sticky tape under the jig then rock the neck back and forth on the sander for a minute and the radius comes out all ready to go.

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Next up is the fretwork :)

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Rude_Mechanical
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Rude_Mechanical » 23 Feb 2011, 20:46

Oh man, that is going to be purty! Love that sanding jig, and have serious belt sander envy.

c-
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Rick » 23 Feb 2011, 20:56

I saw that jig in the flesh. It's HARDCORE!

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Phil
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 23 Feb 2011, 21:19

:lol:

So here's the fretwork

The fretwire has been cut to size and placed in order in that block of wood with the holes drilled in it. thats for making sure I use the right frets at the right place. The frets are all cut almost flush to the fingerboard to save on material.

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That fantastic tool is a tang cutter, its great and makes a tiresome job easy and fast, well worth its cost.

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I cut the tangs on my necks as I don't like the look of them on the side of the fretboard. I also had a neck on a guitar years ago that used to shrink and expand depending on the weather. In the summer the tangs came out of the neck at the egde and would cut me all the time. This prevents that.

Tap the frets in the fretslot at both ends just to let them sit in the slots. The wire is always a smaller radius to the fingerboard to help push the wire in the slots and push the tangs inside the wood on the edges of the slot to help anchor them inside.

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Once tapped in, press the frets into place.

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Next step is to glue the frets in. I clamp them on a 12" radius sanding beam, this assures the frets are all in properly and all flat then I put a drop of hot stuff cyanoacrylate (super glue) in the fret slot at both sides and let it sit for a minute, the fret is then glued in solid in there.

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Cut off the leftover bits of fret wire

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Take the angled file and shave the fret ends at an even angle along the length of the neck

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As you can see there's holes in the sides of the fretboard since we cut the tangs shorter...

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Take an offcut from the fingerboard and file it until you get a lot of dust from it, mix it with wood glue into a thick paste.

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and squeeze it into the slots

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After half an hour you can sand it flat. You do end up with really sharp edges from filing the fret ends though

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So grab your fret end file and round off the edges of the frets so they're all nice and smooth to the feel :)

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The next step is to mask off the fingerboard and then spray it, that'll be for another day.

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mkat
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by mkat » 23 Feb 2011, 21:38

Great job there Phil, the finish looks fantastic. :thumbup:
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Wrenn
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Wrenn » 23 Feb 2011, 22:18

No doubt this would be a reference for other people going to build a Bass VI on their own :D. I already have a name for her but in our culture it's bad luck to say it before she's born, i.e. complete for a bass :). All I can say for now is :drool: :partydance: enjoy the show :popcorn:
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Petebass » 24 Feb 2011, 07:38

Nice work Phil. I see you got a couple of ideas from the video that was circulating of the Musicman workshop i.e the neck radius jig and the method for filling in the holes on the side of the neck. Good on you for constantly looking for ways to refine and improve your build process.
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 24 Feb 2011, 07:58

I've been filling the side with the wood dust/glue since my first build in '03 :) The neck radius sander is a jig I originally saw a long time ago too. Luthier's Mercantile used to sell plans to build one out of plywood when I first started building. About 4-5 years ago, Grizzly a US machinery company started manufacturing a jig like this out of steel. Unfortunately its designed to fit their sander, not my Jet one and its $500USD + another $200 of shipping here. Too expensive for me just for the jig. About two years ago "Son of magni" on talkbass' Luthiers Corner built one out of T-slot Aluminium extrusions like mine. Mine is inspired from his machine but I changed a few things to make it more versatile like fixing it to do a wide range of radiuses, adding the large knobs for fast modification and adding the thumbcrews for micro-adjustment.

There's a Roscoe Bassesvideo floating around on Youtube of the Grizzly radius sander used by them, its pretty cool, they have it setup with vacuum clamping, makes it super easy to stick a neck on it, sand it, remove then off to the next neck. I'll probably add that to it at some point. I do get a lot of inspiration from all these videos though. Each time I see a new factory tour on Youtube that may be good at giving me ideas for jigs or tooling I download them :thumbup:

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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by maxgroover » 24 Feb 2011, 08:10

Wow - just awesome work Phil. Like a really well constructed groove or bass solo for us non-luthiers!!!
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by jamiesdad » 24 Feb 2011, 08:27

looks awesome phil ... very impressed with the radius sander
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Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 13 Mar 2011, 17:20

After the fretwork, the neck got lacquered, I mask off the fingerboard and pray the rest with clear lacquer, after a couple of coats of laquer I let dry overnight and apply the logos on the headstock, let dry a few hours then clear lacquer over everything again until there's enough coats on it. Few pics missing of this process though :red face

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Now we start assembling after a couple of weeks of letting the lacquer dry. Tape on the body for marking out where the holes go and to prevent chipping of finish.

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Shieling is applied to the body

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I made a pivckguard with the CNC but that turned out crap so decided to do a new one the old fashioned way with the template and router.

The tort material is stickied to the template with double sticky tape and bandsawn as close to possible to the edge of the template

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With a straight follower bit I cut around the template and inside the pickup holes/elec cavity. Once everything is square I change for a 45 degree bit and rout the two edges with it. Once the routing is done it still doesn't look that great I have to grap a scraper and scrape all the edges neatly

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Next on the list. I'll start working on the flight case. I edited the CAD drawings to give me a slightly better shape to cut a foam insert for the flight case and cut that .

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I bought the foam, plywood with ABS bonded on it, aluminium extrusions and other bits of hardware from cliff.com.au The aluminium is cut with my mitre saw and extrusions and plywood attached to each other by drilling holes through the alu edges through the plywood and rivetted together.

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the rest next week :)

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