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Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by DistinguishedPapyrus, Jan 4, 2016.
Yup. skeels is digging this.
^^ yea man, I honestly was a little conflicted about chopping up my old legos, but I thought something like "I don't use them like I'm 8 years old anymore, but I can still appreciate these pieces every day when I play the bass." That and I kept the scavaging to an absolute minimum, and kept the flat tile portions as usable legos still
Got bored today and made a video of the fret dome shaping process since there's not alot of info out there for it.
EDIT: sorry my left arm was in the way so much in the video, didn't really notice it as I was doing it.
also, better close up of the polished ends:
Great video and the end result looks awesome. This is coming on nicely.
Very nice! The Legos are a particularly sweet little detail.
Man, I dig that. You should probably do some sort of sweet lego inlay too.
Dude! Thanks for that video. That method really appeals to me. Lots of preparation and measurement, polishing the fret into shape berore it's mounted. Nails. Looking forward to seeing a couple of pics of the superglue/rosewood dust finishing \m/
Lego dots is a winner.
Thanks. I started trying this method last year after seeing some pics of frets done this way. Took a few tries to figure out how to do it, and this method has still got a little more work to get it perfected, but so far I really enjoy the outcome of fretting this way. I'm tossing around a few ideas I may try in my next fret job to try to make the lengths more accurate and consistent with the edge of the fretboaed. Only downside is just that it takes more time to do. Like almost every fret takes as long as that video to shape, and then there is still leveling to do. But I'm learning to take it as sort of an enjoyable process.
I think I'd rather take the time than file a chunk out of my fretboard I'll be using this technique soon.
Finally finished fretting!!! I think this took about 5-6 hours total to do, maybe a little more. It went a little slower in the beginning, a little faster later on... that and I had to wait a couple days since the last pic to get some more fret wire in the mail. But, each fret has a pretty consistent polished dome end.
So in this next pic, this is showing how the edges of the frets aligned on the fretboard for this neck I just did, compared to a 7 string guitar neck I did last year (it was my first time doing stainless with dome ends). The left two pics are this bass, and the right two pics are the one from last year. I tried to get a good shot down the bass and treble side of each. Really happy with how these frets are coming out now, but I still have a couple things I could do to improve... we'll see.
Dude, legos?? Hahah man thats awesome! I never would of thought of something like that. I hope you dont mind but you've inspired me with a really cool inlay idea for my next build!
Huge improvement on the frets lining up this time around, great job man!
Finally got the neck pocket done on this one while I've been spending more time in the garage working on another build.
dug out most of the material with a forstner bit.
I used to do my neck pockets with 3 straight edges clamped on top of the body but I tried this today, just transferring the shape with one template piece... much simpler and just as accurate.
with all that pocket surface area, this neck isn't going anywhere.
This thing is huge, but as it sits now, it weighs in at 9.6 lbs according to my bathroom scale, actually not bad, a little less than I thought it might be at this point. There's still alot of wood to be removed off the back of the neck, control and pup cavities.
I actually kinda like the way the heel contour area feels after handling it a little and getting an idea of what it'll be like when done. I might not change this shape too much at all.
Glue joint came out pretty nice, just an extremely tiny little bit of a few gap spots on the treble side. I might not even bother filling them with anything.
looking pretty good so far
Took a little bit of a side trek away from focusing the entire weekend on my friends build to pull this bass down off the hanger and get some some chopping done.
Sooo... call me crazy if you want to, but I kinda, sort of... did... this:
AND I LOVE IT!!!
I have been venturing into playing a fretless bass lately, a 5 string fretless conversion I did on an old fender bass a few months ago, and I gotta say I'm really enjoying playing fretless. It fits into my style of playing and opens up a nice range of new sounds to mess with. Fretless actually doesn't loose much sustain vs. regular fretted basses with a set of D'Addario nylon tape wounds. Part of my reasoning is that, at least where I live, I can go buy some awesome 5 string fretted basses all day long at any music store, but fretless are much more scarce, so why not venture into less common territory if I'm going full on custom? Why build something I can go buy today? I've owned and played multiple fretted basses, and besides, I've fretted this one once before, if I absolutely get tired of it I can fret it again in the future... So, it's done now and I dig it.
I thought on it for a while and decided to jump on this, pulled the frets and filled the slots with some wenge veneer and CA glue. I purposely chose a dark wood to fill the slots. The wenge kinda blends in from a distance if you're not looking for the lines, but up close, especially when viewed from the position you'd be looking at it while playing, they are visible enough to help train your finger position. I will also eventually put in small white plastic side dots at the edge of each fret line to help make it more visible, but still keeping the blue dots just as is.
Also did some really comfortable shaping to the heel... but this next part, kids, don't try this at home!!!
Using my router, I took the motor out of its base, put in a core box bit and free handed the bit over the back of the heel to chew out the bulk of the material. That's the kind of stuff that'll give you anxiety and reoccurring nightmares. It was like using a big powerful dremel tool... worked very well though, it went through the walnut like swiping your finger tip through some cake frosting.
A few shots of the progression, love this shape.
I thought I was brave for using a flap disc and angle grinder to shape wood, this is a whole 'nother level.
Continued sculpting of the heel of this bass has yielded this. I think I'm done with it at this point, it still has a few little dents, but I'm gonna settle for 90% on this one. I've had at this thing for a few hours over the past couple days with the router, chisels, scrapers, files, rasps, sand paper...etc, and my goodness what a difficult shape to sculpt. I've got a new found respect for those whale nosed single cut basses. I'll definitely be re-visiting this shape in future builds, my next bass may just be a repeat of this one with nicer woods, but same shape and everything. Will probably try to develop a series of templates to guide more precise router cuts too, though it was fun to free hand it, just too much risk for something to go wrong.
A couple more progression shots:
Nice work, looking into fretless myself