More Fun with the Modelo Uno: Forward and Lateral Motion

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    Weekly update: The last week or two have been largely consumed by Thanksgiving and the imminent passing of a family member. Since completing my first working prototype of the Exotica pickup, I’ve been finding it difficult to suddenly change gears and get down to woodworking when I have all these new ideas for pickups bouncing around in my head.

    The next stage coming up is going to be sanding and finishing the neck and the body. I’ll be sealing the body over the weekend. In conclusion, I don’t really have anything interesting to report other than that I really loooove the look of this holly veneer next to this padauk fretboard...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    CraigB, Zepfan, guitarbuilder and 2 others like this.
  3. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    Hooray! I finally got this body sealed up with West Epoxy. In addition, I realized that I should polish the fretboard.

    [​IMG]

    I'll start from the beginning: I have a poplar body bound with holly. I chose to use holly because when I've ABS in the past, the epoxy sealing process presents a small problem; the wood soaks up the epoxy and the plastic does not. I know that this doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you're striving for a seamless transition between the body and the binding, there's definitely some negotiating to be done. So, instead of white plastic, I decided to try white wood.

    Here's what happened - when I applied the epoxy, the turned the holly bright orange! So, I sanded the epoxy back until the holly turned white again. Not too big a deal. Now, I also decided to apply a second coat of epoxy - the poplar drank a lot of the first coat and it looked like I had a few sand-throughs. I was extra paranoid because on the maple-capped bass I built last year, the grain still poked through the finish.

    Now, I was expecting the holly to turn orange again, but to my surprise, it did not. So, my conclusion is that the second coat was unnecessary. Regardless of weather or not a few spots of the poplar looked bare, they were sealed nonetheless. The maple, I assume did not soak up the epoxy as well. In any case, the holly looks great and I'm really psyched I decided to go that route. There's no real grain to it and the color is this nice, bone white as opposed to warm or bright white. The only downside of using holly is that if there is a ding, there isn't really an easy way to repair it. I have one little bit of tear-out that I didn't notice until today. Fortunately, it's not that noticeable.

    On the pickup cavity, you can see a big burn mark - my router has a tendency to extend while it's running. I think before I start on another build, I'm going to buy another router. The one I have has been causing problems and I can't rely on it.

    Today, I realized that I have 2 pickup designs and one I'm sitting on. Once I finish this bass, I'm going to spend some more time finalizing a few of these ideas. But it's bigger than that - I kind of have to decide to what extent I want to make these pickups. If it's something I wish to bring to market as a micro-business, I'm going to have to invest in both equipment and space.

    This weekend, I gotta fret this neck and get ready to paint the body. That will involve setting up a spray booth and building a new mount to attach the bass to a stand.

    Here's a general question: how do you guys finish padauk fretboards? Is lemon oil adequate?
     
    crazydave911 and Arch Stanton like this.
  4. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have used Tru-Oil with good results :)
     
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  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    I spent the afternoon fretting the neck.

    [​IMG]

    I was really excited to use the fret press I bought off of Bruce Johnson for $75. Apparently, it once belonged to Mike Lippe and literally thousands of necks have been made with it. It’s basically a half ton arbor press with this little attachment that Bruce made. It has little interchangeable Delrin cauls for different radii. Pretty cool. It does require some finesse - if you put too much shoulder into it, the fret will crunch into the wood. I did it once, so I pulled out the fret, steamed the board flat and re-installed the fret.

    I also used this little Dremel table I made to nip the fret ends.

    [​IMG]

    I originally made this table to route 1/8” slots in pickup flatwork. It works pretty well, but also requires some finesse. I have to adjust the height with both masking tape and finger pressure.
     
  6. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    I was hoping to get in a paint this week, but the holidays have put up kind of a smoke screen. I sanded the body down last week, and last night I sanded the neck and masked off the fretboard.

    There’s a storm rolling in this weekend. I basically will have Thurs, Fri and Saturday to paint. I’m tempted to set up a booth in the garage and see if I can at least get the neck mostly done in that time. I’d have to break down the booth while it rains.

    I’m planning to do the neck as follows:

    1) 5 coats Water-based Varathane.

    2) Mask the sides of the fretboard and the holly face of the headstock.

    3) Color-coat the back of the neck with black General Finishes dye stain cut with the clear extender.

    4) 1-2 coats of de-waxed shellac.

    5) Pull off the tape and scrape the black off where necessary. Apply the headstock decal.

    6) 15-20 coats of Varathane.

    Hopefully I can do that in 3 days. I haven’t come up with a schedule for the body yet. I’m going to use that Createx Pearl Blue, and I’m not completely sure how that’s going to work yet. That’s going to have to wait until after the storm passes.
     
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  7. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    Well, I have a gig tonight, so I am going to try and get maybe 3-4 coats of clear on this bass neck before the storm rolls in. In the meantime...

    [​IMG]

    I shot the color coat with water-based black dye stain and sealed it with a few coats of de-waxed shellac. Next, I sanded it lightly and applied the decal.

    [​IMG]

    I’m waiting for the decal to dry.

    So far, this looks pretty firme. I’m really excited about how this is coming together.
     
  8. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice :)
     
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  9. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    I spent the morning scraping binding.

    [​IMG]

    Createx Pearl Blue mixed with WB Varathane. Not bad. I was worried about the pearl coalescing around the edges, so I tried Bruce’s alcohol trick to get it to dry faster. I didn’t get enough flow and it was pitting, so the last couple of coats I did with straight Varathane, color and water. If I was going to do it again, I’d give it a base coat of white first.

    [​IMG]

    I’m going to clear coat it tonight. It snowed in the mountains behind our house, and it’s actually been chilly here in SoCal. I had to rock the space heater to get the paint to dry. Interestingly enough the high humidity didn’t seem to affect the dry time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    CraigB, Zepfan, Jim_in_PA and 2 others like this.
  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    OK, I haven’t posted about this project for a while. I ran into a big snag with this build that I will explain at a later date - don’t worry, it’s merely a temporary setback.

    In the meantime, I’ve actually been pretty busy building electronic stuff. I had a couple guys contact me through social media wanting a pickup and a pickup and preamp combo. The former is actually going to have some development involved, so I will be posting my progress on that on a separate thread. Normally I wouldn’t do a development request, but I was actually in early stages of planning this very design, so I said, “OK.”

    Anyway, I built up the preamp for this bass. I actually built two - one of them was for someone else. It’s a two-band version of my modified Stingray Preamp. I just omitted the middle band and kicked the range of the bass control way up into the mids. It sounds really good.

    [​IMG]

    I’m hoping to have a break soon so I can get back to work on this bass. I plugged my testing mule with the Exotica pickup installed to test this very preamp. It sounded great and I am anxious to wrap up this stage of this project.
     
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  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Do you farm out your circuit boards to a manufacturer? Those don't look homemade....
     
  12. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

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    I get them fabricated at Oshpark.com. I used to etch them myself, but they’re so cheap it’s just way easier to just order them. It’s like $7 for 3 boards of this size. I don’t miss dealing with ferric chloride.
     
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