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Thread: EX-5 Build Diary - My First Build Bridge Pilot Hole Question

  1. #1

    EX-5 Build Diary - My First Build - Extreme Metal Bass!

    Hello Everybody!

    My EX-5 bass kit has been sitting unbuilt in its box for a year and a half! I didnít want to start on it until I could see the project through. Now, Iím ready!

    Iím going to sand and seal the body and neck today and let it dry all week.

    I also need to plan for the bridge mounting with a test fit. Hereís the 1st question:

    Do I NEED a drill press to drill pilot holes, or can I get away with using a hand drill?

    I was going to buy a dremel drill press but I donít think itíll reach and doesnít look like itís necessary.
    Iím going to take careful measurements for the bridge placement.

    The finished project should resemble an LTD EX-104 except with a natural clear finished neck.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MusicStudent1; 09-10-2018 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Brendan's Avatar
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    If you're using something like the bridges above - you should be right with a normal drill and being careful - have done it so far with a couple of basses with no issues. Check out the how to place a bridge for a bass guide here: http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=3048

  3. #3
    Good info, thanks! Thatís a great thread. Iíll head to Harbor Freight and get some clamps this weekend. I watched a guy on YouTube whip out the hand tools and fearlessly got this kit together with a hand drill so Iím pretty sure I can do it ok.

    I might hold off and finish the whole body then drill the holes. One of the Pit Bill videos recommended doing that to prevent wood swelling from wet sanding which makes sense.

    For some reason, Iíve been overthinking this build. I just need to get sanding, spraying, and sanding!

  4. #4
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    You can pre-drill as some of the finish will go down the holes to assist with reducing chance of swelling under wet sanding. It just needs to be lightly re-drilled once final polish has been done and this helps avoid some of the surface scratches that appear when lining up hardware for holes to be drilled later on.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  5. #5
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I'd only pre-drill the holes that you really have to, like the bridge fixing ones, where you really want to get that all sorted before you put any finish on. My experience of holes is that regardless of any finish that may have gone down there, they are still prone to water getting in when wet sanding, resulting in the wood swelling up under the finish and often cracking the finish. If you don't wet sand with water, or use turps or white spirit to wet sand then it's less of a problem.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    I'd only pre-drill the holes that you really have to, like the bridge fixing ones, where you really want to get that all sorted before you put any finish on. My experience of holes is that regardless of any finish that may have gone down there, they are still prone to water getting in when wet sanding, resulting in the wood swelling up under the finish and often cracking the finish. If you don't wet sand with water, or use turps or white spirit to wet sand then it's less of a problem.
    Thanks, Simon. Its all coming back to me now. Back in Ď85 or Ď86, I recall buying an inexpensive bass...I think it was a Cort. There was a big massive Peavey bridge on sale at the music store shortly afterward that I also bought. I recall figuring out the new bridge placement after carefully studying where the old bridge was. I swapped it, no problem and I set the intonation and action easily. I was just a kid...no instructions, nothing. Just common sense. I do recall screwing the wood screws in with NO PILOT HOLES. Itís a wonder I didnít split the wood, but I did not.

    So...step 1 for me is to get a quality finish on the instrument. Iím not worried about drill presses or bridge placement as much anymore.

    I live in Houston, TX and right now it is so hot and humid, spray painting anything would probably be disastrous.

  7. #7
    Ok, here is an update: Iíve made NO progress, haha! Ok, Iím thinking about beginning. No, Iím beginning to think about beginning. This is pathetic.

    Ok, Iíve built this guitar about 10 times in my head and believe I finally have a solid build plan. Last weekend I read the Guitar Finishing book from Stewart-MacDonald. I bought a lot of stuff too:

    1. Naphtha to degrease and de wax the wood
    2. Mineral spirits to remove any silicone left from the saw blades.
    3. Ammonia to be mixed with water to clean the naphtha and mineral spirits.

    Ok, thatís what the book says for wood prep before beginning.

    Hereís this weekendís plan:

    Clean the wood, sand and sand some more stopping at 220 grit so the sealer and paint will have something to ďgrabĒ onto. Use grain filler, sand some more. Use sanding sealer, sand some more. Only after close inspection will I spray the first color coat.

    Sound ok?
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    Thereís a 3 day weekend approaching and I hope to get the color coats on then. Stay tuned...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicStudent1 View Post

    Sound ok?
    If you are going to sand it , I would skip 'cleaning it first'.

    cheers, Mark.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by king casey View Post
    If you are going to sand it , I would skip 'cleaning it first'.

    cheers, Mark.
    Dan Erlewine recommends doing that before doing anything. There is a fear of SILICONE in the guitar world. Itís probably irrational but allegedly silicone from tools may have gotten onto the raw wood during manufacturing and this is the way to remove contaminants.

    Ah...whatís the harm....though probably totally unneeded. But you use 3damp rags in order, naphtha, mineral spirits, ammonia and water.

    I tell you, Iíve way overthought this project and need to just start on it! (Work is getting in the way!)

  10. #10
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king casey View Post
    If you are going to sand it , I would skip 'cleaning it first'.

    cheers, Mark.
    Totally agree.

    All the cleaner, to clean up a cleaner, to then clean up the prior cleaner????? Overkill buddy, just get on with it.

    I usually start with 80 grit paper to make light work of removing the factory machine marks which is always quite stubborn on the end grain and side edges which may require sanding with the grain initially before sanding across in the direction of that part of the guitar.

    Next up 120 grit and sand it as hard as you can with this level of grit and bring it up as smooth as possible. Once it feels as good as it can get, stop and time to inspect your progress and maybe 1st time to damp things down with one of those 3 products, mineral turps would be my choice. All this damping down will prove is if there are any well disguised glue or filler spots to work on but it sound like you are running with a solid colour so maybe no point as that is only beneficial if seeking to do a stain finish.

    Next step, 180 grit, moving on to 240, 320 perhaps. Never done a solid colour and this is where my part of the journey ends and wish you well with the remainder.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

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