Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Building, Modding, Setup and Repair
User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 14 Oct 2018, 16:07

packrat wrote:
14 Oct 2018, 10:07
Aha. That’s how you did it!
That's very SIMILAR to how I did it with the fretless. In that instance I cut a vertical slot (different stage of the neck, much more carved). Here I drew a line at 1 cm depth on the side of the neck, set the fret saw to 5 mm cutting depth and cut at an angle. Should work just fine but the lines will be a lot shorter (which doesn't bother me, they'll be clearly visible).

Requires a little bit of forward thinking but I personally think it's a great way of achieving acceptable accuracy on a fretless without ruining the board (thank you, Ivan, for agreeing with that).

Regards,
Michael
Last edited by drbass on 01 Nov 2018, 15:31, edited 1 time in total.
- 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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 26 Oct 2018, 15:46

Just an unlined ebony board - this will work nicely:



After a lot of reggae in the workshop today I might do this in rasta colours ... .

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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 01 Nov 2018, 15:38

Some progress, not much to show (you'll have to wait until tomorrow's "heavy lifting" time in the workshop).

Some colour test with the English oak and accoya. If you thought I was joking re: rasta burst, well I wasn't. I REALLY don't mind this:
Front (English oak)


and back (accoya):


Opinions?

On a different topic I was going to use my 4-band Noll preamp in this (with two mid pots) but again I can't: the combined vol/balance pot requires a minimum depth of 33 mm, and I only have 29. Will have to sell it since I'm not planning to be building anything thicker than 38 mm. I'll post in the appropriate thread but let me know if you're interested at all - it's this one:


It's the TCM 4XM pre. They come in different configurations, and this one just doesn't work.

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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 02 Nov 2018, 19:21

Well, that didn't quite go as planned today but I won't tell you what went "wrong" - I'll let you guess instead (and don't say "the whole build"!).

Anyway, starting to look more like a bass now:


Backplate is done, too so I can start finding my 4 mm for the vol/balance pot of the Noll pre.

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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 03 Nov 2018, 16:51

Couple of hours working on this one today.

1) Fit back plate (required minor sanding);
2) installed press-in threaded inserts to fix the back plate;
3) drilled 10 mm hole for the vol/bal pot;
4) removed about 3 mm of thickness around said hole inside the control cavity - and there was still plenty left so I might have to be a little less paranoid;
5) removed about 1.5 mm from the back plate opposite the 10 mm hole;
6) and the pot now fits quite nicely;
7) drilled 4 7 mm holes for the remaining pots.
Really happy I'll be able to use the Noll after all - sorry, Matt.

Not finished.
Cut slot for the nut while the board was still flat - much easier to get a flat bottom that way; sanded ebony nut blank to thickness; radiuses the board (ebony is amazingly easy to work with, by the way); used the Shinto rasps to take about 5 mm of thickness off the headstock; and am about a quarter done with shaping the neck.

The "invisible markers" work exactly as I expected:


Of course I'll also install Luminlay dots in the right spots.

Didn't work on any of the other basses because I'm missing a couple of things I need to progress confidently (I'd rather not screw up anything).

Might be able to finish the neck tomorrow.

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

User avatar
Classic5
Posts: 3873
Joined: 15 Oct 2009, 19:33
Location: Melbourne

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by Classic5 » 04 Nov 2018, 07:05

Nice work with the fret markers :cool:
IB-Classic#001, Xotic XJ-1T 5,Yamaha BB1024X
Glockenklang Blue Soul, Glockenklang Double, TecAmp Puma 112 Combo
"If you keep buying things you DON'T need, eventually you'll have to start selling things you DO need"

User avatar
narcdor
Posts: 4075
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 16:36
Location: Melbourne

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by narcdor » 04 Nov 2018, 09:10

How do you think the balance will be? The upper horn looks like good compensation and of course no frets means less weight in the neck har har...
Strings: Fender, Custom, Framus, Warwick
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
Cones: Baer
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 04 Nov 2018, 11:18

narcdor wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 09:10
How do you think the balance will be? The upper horn looks like good compensation and of course no frets means less weight in the neck har har...
Thanks, Ivan.

Nick, right now it's surprisingly balanced. The upper horn finishes at about the 13th "fret", and the bass balances level when supported there. 5 tuners (Hipshot Ultralite Short keys) vs. pickups, bridge and electronics - my guess is it'll be fine.

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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 17 Nov 2018, 16:23

It was a lot smoother when I tried the staining on a little piece of timber. All of a sudden you have to deal with a much larger surface so this is not exactly a great job but that's OK - I'll go over it with a damp cloth tomorrow and try to blend the transitions a little bit better. Also not quite enough yellow but there's not much I can do about that now. Looks a little less crappy in real life actually.

The headstock turned out real nice though:



Back (same issue with blotchiness):



What I REALLY like is the red-to-yellow (the yellow-to-green not so much) - maybe there's a little bit of sunburst appreciation in me after all.

Anyway, it's a prototype (there are a couple of things that I'm not particularly happy with) and you can go a little nuts with those, mon ;) .

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

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 22 Nov 2018, 15:02

Hmmm,

No comments on the colour scheme so far - looks like you all listened to your parents ("if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing") ;) .

Anyway, I've soldiered on with a little more blending. I now know how to do it next time (if there is a next time) so that's good. Three coats of my favourite finish (the neck had 4) and some assembly later (and please note, Blaine: I did some soldering as well, not much but some and it works both active and passive!) here's a close-to-completion shot:




Back looks better than the front - simply a function of the timber. I didn't use any sealer with the aniline dyes since I wanted them to go into the timber as much as possible. Still really like the headstock, came out nice.

Clumsy body-to-neck transition but I was really playing it safe considering I don't know how this accoya is going to work out. With bridge, knobs, strap locks and strings still to come (the nut is a tiny piece of ebony) this bass in its current state comes in somewhere between 2.8 and 3 kgs so I'll be comfortably below 3.5 - have to be happy with that.

Anyway, couple of little things to be done, and then waiting for the rest of the hardware (ETS bridge and knobs but if I get too impatient I might whack on the Hipshot A-style from the Q prototype which will get Hipshot Solos at some stage).

So that'll free up some time to work on the other builds which is good. Glad I did this one though, always good to try new things (even if they're little things) on prototypes rather than actual builds.

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
Posts: 4605
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 10:14
Location: Melbourne Victoria

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by basshack » 22 Nov 2018, 20:32

Are you going to bring it tomorrow? I'd like to see it in the flesh so to speak. There's a massive contrast between the finger board and the body which I'm not sure I like so much. But then you didn't build it for me....

If you did some soldering who did the rest? ;)
><((((º> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... ><((((º>
.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... >((((º>

User avatar
narcdor
Posts: 4075
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 16:36
Location: Melbourne

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by narcdor » 22 Nov 2018, 20:38

I like the colour!
Strings: Fender, Custom, Framus, Warwick
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
Cones: Baer
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 22 Nov 2018, 20:59

basshack wrote:
22 Nov 2018, 20:32
Are you going to bring it tomorrow? I'd like to see it in the flesh so to speak. There's a massive contrast between the finger board and the body which I'm not sure I like so much. But then you didn't build it for me....

If you did some soldering who did the rest? ;)
I’ll bring it. Yes, big contrast but less so in real life.

Some nice person in Germany, I suppose ;) .

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
Posts: 4605
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 10:14
Location: Melbourne Victoria

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by basshack » 23 Nov 2018, 20:06

Looks very different in the flesh and is, as always, light and nice to hold. Good catching up again today.
><((((º> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... ><((((º>
.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... >((((º>

User avatar
drbass
Posts: 3214
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 05:31
Location: Doreen, Victoria
Contact:

Re: Build #015 - Polaris Gumdrop 5 Fretless

Post by drbass » 25 Nov 2018, 18:13

Thanks, Blaine.

Time to finish this thread with a couple of pics - I'll do an NBD thread (although I'm not sure if they apply to home-made basses as well).




Thanks for looking and commenting - looking at the view numbers there seems to be some interest in what's happening at Polaris so I'll keep posting in individual threads.

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

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests