Thursday, March 25, 2010

Building the uber-J. Part Five.

Back to work, with a vengeance.

I've got to say this: it's good to be back. I came back from Europe at the beginning on March and I've been stuck with a lot of work until last week. Then I've been stuck with one week off to the beach ;)

Now I'm finally back and hungry for more sanding, sawing, routing and all that Jazz. er.... ;)

My hiatus wasn't in vain though. I have finally found answers to a few issues I had left pending and I am going to line them up as the project unfolds - I'm sucker for drama, sorry ;)

So, the last few days have been dedicated to reshaping the body a bit. You might not be able to see that in this pictures, but it is slightly smaller.

The lower horn is now starting at around the 21st fret. Which means I had to re-shape the contour of the back.

I am leaving the shape of the neck joint untouched till I am done with the neck. Eventually it will be a lot smaller and less chunky than this.

Now that all the parts are finally here, I will start routing. On the masking paper I have marked down the position of the two p-ups (Bartolini) and bridge for routing.

I am using the same p-up placement as J basses made in the '60-'70 and from '82 onwards, which to me produces a more balanced sound than that of 70s models . I'll leave it there for now and take care of the neck.

Deciding on the shape and size of the headstock gave me headaches. I finally settled on this.

It is considerably smaller than the original J and there are quite a few important (IMHO) touches I am going to add later on.
So bear with me for the time being.

I must confess: sanding the fingerboard radius is not one of my favorite in-door activities. But I always try my best to see the beautiful side of things.

This is the fingerboard with frets' slots, still flat before sanding it to the radius.
As my mentor Jeffrey says: Until the center line is gone.

So there. One and half hour later, the line is gone. The radius is 14, quite a bit more flat that the old J. For this neck I have settled on a 40mm width at the nut and 55mm at the 22nd fret - which is a lot narrower than the original 70s J.
These are the routing for the truss rod and pick-ups
They just needs to become a little smoother.

I have taken the last picture with the fingerboard sitting on the body, just to see the effect of Birdseye Mable on Macassar Ebony. Even at this rough stage...boy, I love it! :)

Commercial break. Stay tuned. :D