Friday, August 20, 2010

Building the uber-J. Part Twelve.

Metal fatigue.

Since my last update I have fixed a few details I wasn't too happy with or I felt deserved improvement. Namely, covers, screws, brass parts and cavities.
The plate in the picture is now polished to a shine. Following leads and hunches I finally found someone who would engrave a line on it - not that easy due to the plate size. Kinda hard to photograph the entire line and keep it readable with reflections and all..... The complete line reads:

Uber-Jay n.1 Maurizio Caduto (my name) 2010. I like the ol' Auntie typeface

Next up - small screws. I was frankly unhappy with what I had. They were too big and didn't look sexy. IMHO there is almost nothing in the Screws Universe that looks better than a Allen. So......

These are 2mm diameter stainless steel Allen with nut. I also have a 4mm alternative. As an alternative I also bought a brass nut. I'll decide when I see how either look on the finished wood.

The first set of neck screws turned out too long and I needed a replacement. Again, I decided to investigate the Allen alternative.

All my Wal mount Allen screws at the neck - it's very cool! What I didn't know until recently is that the screw actually works together with a reverse thread nut that is inserted into the neck. Oh boy! I can own a Wal forever and I still discover something new.

So Allen it is. I'll have the screws gold plated to match the ferrules. BTW a review and pictures of my Mk1 fretless are available here.

And since I was on a spree, I decided to have the string anchors made in brass as a possibly better alternative to aluminum - both aesthetically and functionally. What the heck!

I have made a new truss-rod cover as the first carving wasn't tight enough. I want the cover to snap into position. So I did it again slightly bigger and while at that I found a piece that matches the HS grain almost perfectly.

The brass plate in the picture is the cavity cover's back, which I kept to a brushed finish.

Spray and sand, you slave!

This is truly a chore and it has to be repeated enough times to either loose your mental sanity or get fully intoxicated - whichever comes first.

I don't own the equipment to spray so I used that of the workshop where I go when the machine required is too big or expensive, or when I need counsel - that is, every other day.

First round of spraying and sanding, 400 sand paper. Then spray again and leave it to dry overnight. I kinda like it. The color of the wood is coming out incredibly rich.

Second sanding round. 400 sand paper. Then spray again and leave it to dry overnight. I had to work a little harder on a few spots, where droplets had solidified - cheeky little bastards.

Third round of sanding. 400 sand paper. Then spray again and leave it to dry overnight. I should hate it by now. Instead, I'm really digging it. It's so rewarding seeing the final look slowly surfacing.

It is far less rewarding having to fight all those droplets again. But at the least after the first session of sanding I'm not hitting the wood anymore. Learning with practice. Hell of a thing.

And this is where I am at the moment. I can't wait to finish this. At the same time I am enjoying the whole process. Particularly, the fact that I am wrong more often than not about timing. Most sections are taking longer than anticipated.

I have now learned that it is due to a number of factors.

1. This is a prototype and as much as I know where I'm heading to, I'm leaving the door open to some degree of improvisation.

2. I am a bloody perfectionist and it takes me time to get what I want, the way i want it.

3. Trial and error is time consuming. 4. Next time I'll have every single item ready BEFORE start the build - down to the smallest screw.

The thing is, if I were very good I could only predict so much of what's gonna happen in a prototyping scenario. I ain't that good - yet. Go figure!

But I'm having the ride of my life and I am already savoring the moment the Uber-J II will hit the workbench.

I am going to take my sweet revenge on all those little mistakes and oddities that punctuated this first attempt.

I am gonna enjoy that. Slowly, just the way i like it ;) Until then

Thanks for reading


No comments:

Post a Comment