Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

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

Post by packrat » 09 Jun 2018, 18:33

Phew. For a moment there, I thought you'd gone and made this one blue as well.

B>

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 11 Jun 2018, 21:42

packrat wrote:
09 Jun 2018, 18:33
Phew. For a moment there, I thought you'd gone and made this one blue as well.

B>
It’s not too late to go blue, Bruce ;) .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, 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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Classic5
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by Classic5 » 11 Jun 2018, 22:17

drbass wrote:
11 Jun 2018, 21:42
packrat wrote:
09 Jun 2018, 18:33
Phew. For a moment there, I thought you'd gone and made this one blue as well.

B>
It’s not too late to go blue, Bruce ;) .

Regards,
Michael
I quite like Blue. :thumbup:
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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 16 Jun 2018, 17:17

It's not going to be blue, Ivan!

Now down to some of the work that has the least visual impact but is if course the fiddliest.

Installed the threaded inserts in the Special Q (for pickups only, still need to do the 4 for the back plate but that's not quite there yet).
Here's what you need:

Push-in inserts, 3 mm screw, screwdriver and small quantities of superglue.
Put insert on screw (about 1 turn), apply a small amount of superglue to the ribbed part of the insert, push into hole and gently set with a couple of taps with the grip of the screwdriver, then push in hard. The screw in screw to push ribbed part into the timber.
The holes are 3.96 mm in diameter and 4.8 mm deep, with an extension of about 10 mm at 3 mm diameter.

Here's the final result:

Neat.

Also drilled holes for the pots after consultation for location:


A little bit of sanding left, then ready for the nitro (this one will be nitro, I don't think the spalted maple will work with the Osmo I've been using on less porous timbers).

NT Kermit. Workshop time yesterday was all about getting the starting material for the tone block. And here it is: 15 mm walnut block with 4 mm wenge top:

In this pic the block is already shaped to fit very snug into the rout and has been drilled (9.5 mm) for the threaded inserts.



Here's the block after putting the inserts in:


I used the polyurethane (Gorilla Glue) as a "lubricant" and because of its property to expand while curing. Looks a little messy here but cleaned up OK:


Since I'm using Hipshot singles I have to somehow earth all of them without being obvious about it. My approach this time is to put some shielding tape on the bottom of the wenge piece and run a wire in a shallow groove that touches the shielding (on the wenge because I can't have the adhesive surface where the wire is).


The idea is that when I put in the screws they will touch the shielding tape and therefore earth the lot.

I used a couple of drops of superglue to get the wenge on the walnut - does not have to be a very strong glue joint since I'll be screwing down the Hipshot Solos anyway:


I'll leave this overnight.

Plenty of holes in the body as well. First the countersunk bolt holes to fix the complete tone block:


And (as was already obvious from the previous pic) the holes for the pots:


Happy with how all this is coming along.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, 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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Classic5
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by Classic5 » 16 Jun 2018, 19:18

Yeah, that's looking great Michael. you're doing such a terrific job with all the fiddly stuff, which IMO makes all the difference between just a good bass and a fantastic bass.
IB-Classic#001, Xotic XJ-1T 5,Yamaha BB1024X
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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by narcdor » 16 Jun 2018, 19:35

That neck through is coming out very nicely
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
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basshack
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by basshack » 17 Jun 2018, 13:04

Remember all the trouble you had with inserts back at NMIT? Looks like you have that all squared away now and have it down pat.

With the grounding wire, things settle after a while and what was a good contact becomes a dodgy one down the track. Might be worth soldering that grounding wire to a some foil tape as an ounce of prevention.
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Classic5
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by Classic5 » 17 Jun 2018, 13:38

basshack wrote:
17 Jun 2018, 13:04
With the grounding wire, things settle after a while and what was a good contact becomes a dodgy one down the track. Might be worth soldering that grounding wire to a some foil tape as an ounce of prevention.
It will have to be copper foil tape as you can't solder to aluminium foil tape.
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Glockenklang Blue Soul, Glockenklang Double, TecAmp Puma 112 Combo
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basshack
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by basshack » 17 Jun 2018, 17:24

Yes and I have plenty to share if wanted.
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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 17 Jun 2018, 17:27

Thanks, guys,

But too late in this instance - already glued together.

Mind you, I'm pretty cool with this one: since I'm using a zero fret only one of the 10 bridge screws needs to have contact, and the wire is spread out and since it won't move I don't expect any issues.

I'll consider this for the next one though (or just go aluminium like Dingwall ;) ).

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, 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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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 23 Jun 2018, 14:10

Right,

I haven't posted in a while but a lot has happened, and not all good unfortunately. Let's start with the good news.

The Special Q body is on the painting stick in the workshop and will get a couple of sealer coats and then satin nitro for a smooth finish.
Put the frets in yesterday as well but need to "stuff" the fret slot end-holes and re-fine the neck shape. This should all be done before Friday next week so I can get that sprayed as well. Very exciting!

Always nice to see a neck with frets in! And the blue ;) .

OK, now to the Kermit NT. It was going so well, almost too good to be true. Full disclosure first: while this build is indeed a prototype (I had to do a neck-through at some stage, and really started to enjoy doing it) it was a build based on the specifications of a valuable forum member (great guy - met him in person - and amazing player) with a view of purchasing down the track. So not really a commission but pretty close. That means I was applying extra care while trying not to get too attached because, hey, how good does it look, right?

Anyway, let's get to it.
Thursday morning routed the battery compartment and drilled all the connecting holes. Beautiful going.


I finally got my routing template for the pickups (could have made it myself but at $10 I thought why not). Tried on a piece of scrap to check the size of the rout, and all good.

Routing away, using the template bits, everything going really nicely. Until the VERY last second. Used the smaller router bit to get the corners nice and tight and level the bottom of the holes, all done, turn off the router and the STUPIDLY lift it up while it's still running. Some sort of torque effect happened, and I hit the template AND the quilted maple top. Close to a coronary, feeling physically sick. Here's the result:

What's he talking about, I hear you ask. Well the close-up reveals everything:


Such a tiny little thing, right? Well, it's not.

Anyway, I took in in so David could have a look, and he pretty much said what I thought in the first place: can't be fixed without it being visible. So if you can't fix it make it a feature.
A great discussion ensued with contributions from David, Blaine and Craig. Plenty of options were discussed, and then David came up with the idea of a swappable ramp (so please note: this is David's idea, not mine). Build a ramp and also build just a cover flush with the surface. If you don't like the ramp you just put in the normal cover. David thought magnets would be the way to go.

I then floated the idea with the provider of specs and he came back and didn't mind the idea but suggested to do both in wenge (instead of trying to match the flat cover with the quilted maple) - made a lot of sense.

So I thought about this a little more and ultimately decided to take a similar approach as I have with the tone block. Rout out the area between the pickups to the same depth as the pickups, make two walnut base blocks with two threaded inserts each and put a layer of wenge on one, and a wenge ramp on the other. That would be a very stable solution and in line with the current design. It would be rock-solid, and undoing two bolts with a hex key is easy.

Phew. After initially thinking I'd better chuck the whole thing out I was feeling a lot better.

Until just then. I decided to drill the final hole (before tackling the ramp issue) for the jack socket. Set everything up as usual, didn't even think anything might go wrong but it spectacularly did. The drill bit did indeed bite viciously with this as the end result:


The force was so great that the light veneer was split in half as well, and there is also a pretty long serious crack in the quilted maple top:


So this is obviously not going to anyone now. Already been in contact with the interested person, and we're currently developing specs for a new project.

Can I salvage this? Well, like I said: definitely can't sell this to anyone. I would feel bad to simply can it because (as mentioned above): look at it. So my thinking right now is to replace the whole section of walnut with a new solid block and try and conceal the cracks in the top as much as possible. I would still be happy to play this (I just weighed it before the drilling attempt, and it was less than 2.4 kgs) and use it as a demo. I can still out the swappable ramp in to see how that works (as practice for the next one).

Fun and games? Well, let me tell you, I'm not particularly on Cloud 9 right now but I can see a way forward and hopefully won't repeat any of the routing mistakes. The drilling? I don't think there was much I could have done to avoid this. When the bit bit there was just so much force.

Comments welcome.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, 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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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by narcdor » 23 Jun 2018, 17:03

Oh dear, I hope I didn’t jinx it... sorry!

Hmm well you do love colour so perhaps a very saturated to opaque colour on the body? Should be impossible to feel once corrected just make it a lot harder to see? Either way it will still turn out to be an amazing instrument.
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar, T-Rex

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by drbass » 23 Jun 2018, 17:10

narcdor wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 17:03
Oh dear, I hope I didn’t jinx it... sorry!

Hmm well you do love colour so perhaps a very saturated to opaque colour on the body? Should be impossible to feel once corrected just make it a lot harder to see? Either way it will still turn out to be an amazing instrument.
Nothing to do with you, Nick :) .

I briefly toyed with the idea of colour but went off it quickly. This was designed with a natural quilt in mind (which will darken as the finish is applied) so whatever it will look like it will be.

This has not dampened my enthusiasm about finishing this. Was so much fun to build so far (apart from those latest happenings) with plenty of learning along the way. Let’s wait until it’s finished.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

basshack
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by basshack » 23 Jun 2018, 18:21

2nd part first. Bugger! Poo happens and all the care in the world won’t stop Murphy from biting at some point. It’s going to be no consolation but I haven’t yet drilled out a side mounted jack hole without a bit of blow out. In fact the two F hole chambers have little belly buttons where the drill touched them as created the hole for the router to start on.

1st part now. Yes a removable ramp is a great feature and should become standard in the future.
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cackland
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Re: Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Post by cackland » 23 Jun 2018, 20:34

Tough break - I really enjoy these build threads & it was looking awesome up till then; will hopefully repair ok.
I’m still looking forward to the bolt-on v neck through sound comparison when it’s complete
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