May 16th, 2012, 08:00 PM
You know, I’ve always loved 70’s jazz bass necks…
But 4-5 hundred bucks for such a neck from Warmoth / Allparts sounds like a bit too much for me.
I was wondering if I can convert inexpensive replacement neck. What’s important - without any heavy machinery, which is not a good idea for someone living in a condo and working on his projects basically at night
I’ve got myself a $100 Mighty Might neck, StewMac binding #5777 (1.52mm x 6.35mm) for $5, and their perloid blocks for LP Custom ($28), which could be found cheaper on ebay, as I found out later. Plus precut Fender vintage bass fretwire bended already to accommodate 9.5 board.
Handling all this with my old clapped-out Dremel sounds like fun!
Here is the victim
May 16th, 2012, 08:02 PM
Off go the frets
Took care of chips with a CA
Frets went out pretty well, though Mighty Mite apparently glues them in
May 16th, 2012, 08:04 PM
Masked the bottom line for the binding on the neck according to highest spot of the board. Tape goes parallel to the fb edge
May 16th, 2012, 08:09 PM
I love binding on necks! Show me the way....
May 16th, 2012, 08:09 PM
Here is a critical moment. If you’ll trace side line of the neck with a straight edge, you’d find the gap after the heel area, which is the result of neck profiling.
I wonder how I lost pics of it, but I did. So I’ll show what I mean on the tele neck.
So looks like router guide would ride along the line, which is absolutely not straight, right?
Filling the gap is not such a big deal - 4-5 layers of electrical tape in my case. Just apply it and check with a straight edge. (No pics, but you get the idea)
May 16th, 2012, 08:12 PM
And here is what I came up with for a Dremel routing base and a guide. This yellow washer is sandpaper.
These two pieces of acryl should ride on the fretboard, so are 9.5 radius,
May 16th, 2012, 08:13 PM
Here is the assembly. Acrylic pieces are doubletaped to the base.
May 16th, 2012, 08:14 PM
While practice on a test pieces, I was wondering why I manage to screw it up every time. Oh, well, two basic reasons are
1. I did not tighten up all the nuts (especially Dremel collet nut) as strong as possible.
2. Apparently collet wobbles quite a bit (what can you ask of 6 years old poor little bastard).
I’ve made a check against a piece of binding like this
If you make one full turn (important!) manually, you’ll see if the bit overhangs binding or not, and a collet play will be visible.
May 16th, 2012, 08:16 PM
And here goes another ‘oops’ from Mighty Mite (not first one for me, but I’m still sure MM is great value for the money)
As appeared, fretboard thickness …..varies
I decided to bring it down to uniform thickness (which gave me some headache with the bridge in the future, btw)
This is proud area
May 16th, 2012, 08:19 PM
Again, no pics of the routing itself(
Honestly i was so nervous, that didn't even think about it.
First, I’ve just routed straight lines, giving approx. 10 mm before the heel roundovers and before the headstock.
Those tricky parts demand to be done manually. Something like this
May 16th, 2012, 08:28 PM
As for the heel, it’s a different story.
Here is my heavily modified Dremel routing table (an original design is a total waste of money IMO. I could get it there for practically no cost, but used some of their parts in the end)
May 16th, 2012, 08:29 PM
A radiused acrylic base on the fretboard (I believe, you’ll be totally fine with two rods on the edges that would make it level)
May 16th, 2012, 08:30 PM
May 16th, 2012, 08:31 PM
Here’s what is supposed to be scraped off
May 16th, 2012, 08:38 PM
Gluing binding to the heel (CA).
I saw such a cool clamp on some old picture from Fender factory
It was totally worth that 20 minutes i've spent making it. Even if I'll never use it again
May 16th, 2012, 08:43 PM
The rest is easier (except for a bass side of a headstock)
May 16th, 2012, 08:44 PM
May 16th, 2012, 08:52 PM
A lot of scraping… But there’s no other way if you want to do it with one stripe of binding, I guess
I left binding proud over fb a bit. Plan was to level it all together when inlays are in.
As for the sides, I was trying to scrape as much as possible before hitthig the wood (as you can see I've backed myself up with a masking tape). Then just smoothened the transition with 800 grit (or so).
May 16th, 2012, 08:55 PM
Made me a small side dots out of 2 mm thick black plastic
Went pretty smooth for eyeballing, but next time I think I'm gonna make a template.
May 16th, 2012, 09:07 PM
Ok, inlays go next
LP Custom blocks on a JB neck would look a bit wrong for a purist, especially the first one. If you turn it 90 degrees, it would look correct, but the whole progression looks ruined. So I decided to leave it lespaulish)
May 16th, 2012, 09:08 PM
Here is the problem – block #6 is not covering 12th fret dots.
If I’ll have do it once again, I guess I’d go for some perloid blank.
May 16th, 2012, 09:09 PM
Some gouache paint
May 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM
May 16th, 2012, 09:19 PM
Dremel setup and bits
Small battery powered flashlight on a clamp worked good.
As for the vacuum cleaner or dust blower… oh, well … air stream from my mouth did the job)
May 16th, 2012, 09:21 PM
And here ya go
May 16th, 2012, 09:23 PM
I have to mention, that I precut straight lines using X-acto knife and a ruler (with double tape on the back). That’s really cool if you have a bit like this one
It’s wider at the end and makes routing for the straight lines much easier. It goes beneath your cut, so the upper section of the wood just falls off easily.
May 16th, 2012, 09:28 PM
For gluing blocks in I used CA and a clamp like this with the 9.5 radius acryl piece
I would't dare this with a MOP, but perloid bends just fine.
May 16th, 2012, 09:31 PM
And here is how I dealt with 12th fret marker. Cut it in the middle and later added another perloid piece from the extra block that LP set has (22 frets against 20 frets jazz bass)
May 16th, 2012, 09:32 PM
Then goes leveling of the binding and blocks
May 16th, 2012, 09:33 PM
I sure had to clean up the slots
That was not an easy job with the CA in the corners
May 16th, 2012, 09:36 PM
Couldn’t resist some lemon oil
StewMac perloid absolutelly not looking cheap. Great stuff!
Approved by my wife)
May 16th, 2012, 09:38 PM
To the fretting
Fancy fret tang nipper is not so essential if you have time and a needle file
May 16th, 2012, 09:42 PM
I’ve used a piece of 4 mm thick aluminum (9.5 radius, grooved) to press frets in.
Kinda caveman way…
Just saw that e-side of the neck looks crooked. Some camera trick)
May 16th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Fret ends cut end beveled to 20 degrees (you can afford more on a bass if you want :).
May 16th, 2012, 09:46 PM
Scraping off the binding on the sides damaged finish a bit, so I just sealed it with a clear acrylic in a rattle can
May 16th, 2012, 09:51 PM
I'm with ya all the way - twothumbsup
May 16th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Some areas came out really good
Some are not…
Oh, well, this is my first time)
I feel like i should blame my old Dremel for it. But I guess I'll never know untill I get a new one, make sure that collet stays stable while spinning and go through all this over again.
Next suspect would be ham-handed me))
I guess I should at least have made me some ABS putty to fill the gaps. They may look better that way.
Though they are not so scary in real life.
May 16th, 2012, 10:11 PM
Also I wanted to mess with a decal a bit
Let me say a couple of words about this ‘F’ logo and why I do put it on partscaster headstock.
I’m not considering my playing skills (and i'm not a bass player btw) worth putting MY name on the guitar.
What I really do is plain reproduction of a Great Man’s design.
So I believe that more honest way is putting HIS name on such a guitar, adding ‘COPY’ or ‘TRIBUTE’ (like in this case).
I know, a lot can be said against it, but it’s just me)
May 16th, 2012, 10:12 PM
Took 5 rounds of spraying to bury this (I guess).
By round I mean
Mist coat / 15 min /
Mist coat / 15 min /
Mist coat / 30 min/
Wet coat / 12 hours /
light sending with 1200 grit, focusing on the decal edges.
Wet sending when the surface is flush.
May 16th, 2012, 10:14 PM
Apparently I should be more careful with the water)
There was not enough varnish in the tuner holes
But thankfully those raised grains came down later
May 16th, 2012, 10:15 PM
I use this to insert bushings
May 16th, 2012, 10:17 PM
I’ll not concentrate on the attaching 'the rest of the bass' to this neck.
That’s basically straight forward partscaster assembly.
But there were some ‘moments’.
As I found out, saddles on a Wilkinson bridge appeared to be too thick. They would not give me the propper action even all the way down
I guess this is due to the heavy fretboard leveling.
May 16th, 2012, 10:20 PM
So I just had to make some smaller diameter saddles.
I have some brass bolts left from, if you pardon me, old flush toilet)
Also I have to mention that these Wilkinson grooved saddles really sucked for a jazz bass anyway. Strings just won’t follow the neck edges with them.
Threaded saddles are what you really need.
May 16th, 2012, 10:30 PM
Another challenge for me where jazz bass mutes
I was really inspired by fantastic 60 Jazz Bass build of Mr. Gil Yaron (http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/169606-1960-jazzbass-build.html) (hat off!)
And especially MUTES.
I just couldn’t imagine a solidbody to be so close to the double bass, especially in the upper positions.
May 16th, 2012, 10:31 PM
So I really wanted to mess with it a bit.
I happen to assemble a 62 jazz bass for a friend before this one and recommended mutes for it.
Oh well, I was pretty disappointed when installed ‘em. All they did was killing sustain. Not much above it. I guess it’s some Mr. Yaron’s woodoo what did the trick).
But anyway, sound engineer (and a bass player also) in the studio I work in, said it would be cool to have a muted bass as an option.
May 16th, 2012, 10:33 PM
I tried to come up with something more flexible and sustain friendly.
Here it is
Less felt, slides from the side, held by the piece of aluminum profile, which is mounted to the pu cavity wall.
A bit better as for the sustain, but still, no Gil Yaron effect)
Well, at least I’ve tried
May 16th, 2012, 10:40 PM
Very nice tutorial. I like your tool for inserting bushings.
May 16th, 2012, 10:42 PM
Some of the finished bass
BTW, what Musician’s Friend is selling for a JB 'Mighty Mite swamp ash body', looks more like alder (I hope). Just don't feel like i want to pester them from here (Europe). But they are lucky i LOVE the way this thing sounds)
Hope, you saw something you might use
I'd gladly answer all the questions
REALLY SORRY FOR THE CRAPPY PICTURES!
Thank you so much for watching!
May 17th, 2012, 02:07 PM
May 17th, 2012, 02:26 PM