Friday, May 18, 2012

Lines About the Finish

Three B1 bodies in the finish room. I've softened the darkness of the color a little, bringing some reds to the mix. I like it, but I think I'll go a notch further next time.
These will get six or seven coats of waterborne polyurethane. Specifically, General Finishes Polyacrylic. I find it to be superior to any other WB poly I have tried. The real discovery, though, was the Gramercy waterborne finish brush, shown. It is a synthetic bristle that doesn't load up with moisture.
It's the best distribution I have ever experienced with a brush. The detail picture shows the bristles actually conforming to the curvature of the edge instead of scraping it, which is what stiffer bristled synthetic brushes do. Upon completion of the well-documented coats, these will sit for a week before final rubout. And then assembly. And then stringup. And then tuning and testing. But I get ahead of myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three B1fours

These are stock configurations with just a little tweakage. All are bookmatched cherry fronts, alder core and backs. One will end up in Nate's hands, a fretless version.
Marking the layouts and drilling for connectivity. I don't really know what that is, but I thought it made me sound just a little luthierish. (I do not consider myself a luthier, by the way. I make tools for musicians.)
Yes, those drill presses are spinning. I line up the bodies and do all the drilling at the same time. Neck bolts, control pots and knob countersinks, thimble hole and hatch fastener prebores.
Ready for squirtage. All the details have been routed and the floor swept.These are very carefully sanded to 150 grit, dents repaired, ready to finish one would think. But first they need a shower:
I like these images. You can see the water droplets leaving the squirter! Next day, just prior to final, final sanding to remove the fuzz from the grainraising events of the previous, last coat of barrier paint in the electronics cavity.
Now: final sanding and colorants. Whoop! Whoop!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pottering about the raw material part of the shop yesterday I came across some juniper. All of it was about 6" wide; 4 count of 8' boards. Juniper has more irregularities than a sack of yams. I had to do some serious cutting. I ended up with pieces 2 - 3 inches wide and suspiciously long enough to be a Barker Bass back. Hmm. So here you have the initial glueup. This piece will be set aside until I get done with the current batch of B1s. And then, maybe...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pedestal, Rotating, On Demand, One Each

From a drawer labeled "Motors and Controls" emerges a C-frame motor with a gearbox and a comparatively large pulley. Hmm. The size of the motor drove the height of the octagonal base. The motor,mounted on a hinge with a spring to bring it to tension with the inside of the turning part of the lazy susan bearing, had everything but traction. The solution was some fuel line, purchased at the reliable CentWise Hardware Store. I joined the two ends with a bolt cutoff, bent slightly. It does not slip. A curious feature of the motor was a brake. Remove the 110 volts and it stops rather quickly. I was concerned that might not be good, but I chose first to leave it engaged. It's fine. Kinda cool, actually. The switch on the box inside the base lets you select off, continuous, or on demand. If Macy's calls and wants me to do their windows, I'll tell them you're about to order a bass and I have no business going to New York just to do window dressing when I can stay home and do what I do best--make tools for musicians. And pedestals to put them on. The tools, not the musicians, though some of them truly have earned pedestals.

Scarlett and Bart And Woodworking Art

The Central Oregon Woodworkers are displaying their art and craft through June 16 at the Redmond Library. Included are some fascinating and spectacular examples of the many things you can do with wood. I was fortunate to be included. Scarlett and Bart are on pedestals, on a table. After these images were taken, the staff put some decoration on the brick wall behind. This lends a little more clarity to the shape of the necks. Those crimson strings, DR Red Devils to be exact, pop visually much better than the image shows.
In the first image, there's a small black box peeking out from the sophisticated decor items added to the display. That box will be explained next.

Scarlett and Bart, First Part

Over a year ago, perhaps longer, I purchased a set of Schaller tuning machines on the web. They were red. Why not? The snowball started to roll, very slowly, and over the months there appeared a red tailpiece, some red knobs, little stuff. The tumbling and rumbling brought the parts together enough that we needed a name. Once chosen, it drove the project to a swift conclusion. Well, relatively swift. Ok, a loping conclusion. A shambling conclusion, that's spot on.
The challenge here was to create a set of two basses, black and red being the primary feature, but have them be more than display models. They should play, and well, and differently to boot. So Scarlett is a fretted B1 with all the bite and chomp in place. Her partner is a lined fretless. Mwah at your service, master. Both are premium material stock, Duncan single coil electronics, ready to be the center attraction of the back row.