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Thread: First Build - DJB4

  1. #11
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Are the bridge holes pre drilled?

    Actually, if you push the neck a bit to the left wouldn't that close the small gap up and also locate the strings a bit more centrally? Finishing on the neck will also add some thickness which will take up some of the gap, personally it doesn't look worth shimming.

    Yes the nut looks too tall, but I'd wait until you are properly into setup before adjusting that. I would get everything else as close as possible, then set the nut height, then go back over and re-check relief/intonation etc. You will find that the strings will introduce quiet a bit more bow in the neck so you may actually have to wind the truss rod so it's slightly bent back wards when the strings are off to compensate. Again, something to be done during setup in small increments.
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  2. #12
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    Yes Sonic Mountain, the Bridge Holes were pre-drilled. The scale length was spot on but obviously I could adjust the bridge position left to right if needed. Thanks for your advice about the bone nut and neck!

  3. #13
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's a bass, so you can use the end of a round needle file to deepen the slots. Just try and keep the slots the same width, so just use the tip for the thinner strings. Mask off both sides of the nut with tape to prevent marks if the file slips. I do one slot at a time with the other strings fitted and up to tension. Then loosen the strings, move the strings to the side of the neck (taping them out of the way here is easiest I find) then file the top of the nut down until the top of the nut is somewhere between half-way up the string to level with the top of the string (some personal preference here but I go level). Leave the nut too high and the outer edges of the nut are likely to break off in they catch on something - which means a new nut.

    You can then use fine sandpaper and/or micromesh grits to smooth and polish the nut, finishing off with a metal polish or buffing compound for a good shine.

    Nuts will almost always start off too tall and need work on lowering the slots height and overall nut height.

  4. #14
    Mentor ozzbike's Avatar
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    Ingrid,

    Honestly get your design, stain, paint or finish done. Those measurements in your photos all look good to start and all can be set correctly afterwards.

    I would suggest sanding....finish....align the neck/bridge/tuning machines for E and G strings. Look at you side gaps on the strings on the neck and lean on the neck a little as you screw the neck on. Check it again.

    There is an order to your setup and it really has to be done in that order......

    1. Remove your neck.....get a flat edge and adjust the truss rod so the neck is completely flat. Tape up the neck...leaving the frets exposed. Texta on the top of each fret....level the frets from top to bottom...then crown them again into a rounded shape. Then sand, buff and polish the frets.

    2. Reattach your neck....pushing it over again as listed above.

    3. String it up.....tune it to E,A,D,G.

    4. Feeler gauges and Capo needed. Capo on the strings at the point of the crest of the first fret...right on top. Push a finger down at the point where the neck joins the body.....15th or 17th fret normally. Then using a 0.015 inch feeler gage at the fret halfway between the 1st fret and the one where your finger is.....slide it in....normally 8th or 9th fret. The feeler gauge needs to just slide under the string....use the fat E string. Just slides under. If you flattened the neck as above, it normally does not need much adjustment here. If it needs adjustment then use the truss rod key turn clockwise to tighten if the string is too high.....turn anti-clockwise if the string is too low.

    5. I use imperial measurements.....sorry...so now we are looking at string height. Remove the capo.....you adjust the string height using the bridge height adjustment screws. Keep each segment of the bridge level not angled. Use a tiny Allen key...normally included with the kit to adjust the strings up and down away from the fretboard. A good starting point is 5/64ths of an inch between the top of the 17th fret and the bottom of each string. You will have to adjust and retune as you make changes....do this in tune and with the bass up on its side how it would be if played.

    6. The height of the string at the first fret can heavily effect the note you play in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd frets. You need to get the strings down to about 0.022 inch above the first fret. This involves filing down the string slots. A set of nut files is helpful for this.....but you can just super glue an old section of string of the desired width to a paddle pop stick and use that as a file. Hold the file in such away the the neck side of the nut is high and you push down towards the tuners. Try rolling the files to the left and right a little to open up the fret slots to help with the string not binding.

    7. Now we have intonation. The strings tuned again to EADG. Pluck the unfretted open E string....ensure it is in tune.....and then pluck the same string fretted at the 12th fret. If the note at the 12th fret is Sharper then the string length from the 12th fret to the bridge is too short and needs to be longer. So you then use, in most cases, a Phillips screwdriver and move the bridge saddle backwards by turning the screw clockwise. If the note is flat the string is too long and we turn the screw anti-clockwise. You will have to retune the open string as well as the fretted string as you go.

    Intonation done correctly will give you accurate notes in the octave below the 12th fret and in the octave above the 12th fret by making sure the two sections of the string are the same length.

    Then you are done.
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  6. #15
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    Thanks ozzbike and Simon for your very informative replies. I will do all the finishing then return to the neck/nut/intonation sequence as described.

  7. #16
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    Body reshaped

    Met with a acoustic guitar builder friend who helped me out with rasp and spoke shave to round off the horns from my rough cuts.

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  8. #17
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    Grain filling and Stain coat #1

    Grain filled with walnut Timbermate.

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    Did first stain coat of Dingotone Coolangatta Gold after sanding to 400. Take up on back a lot less than on front as you can see. Very strong penetration on the end grain on the sides.

    First coat of Dingotone Gold.

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  9. #18
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    Stain coat # 2

    Waited a week for Dingotone to dry in Melbourne weather. Back and front dry, sides (end grain) still getting yellow residue on fingers. Decided to do a second coat just on back and front - heavier on the back to even up the colour.

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  10. #19
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    Headstock shaping & neck stain coat

    Initially I wanted to go with a Peavey bass style headstock, but realised this wouldn't really go with the body shape. So I did this, which is pretty basic, but not exactly the same as a standard Fender. I just drew it by hand on paper. Cut with jigsaw, then lots of shaping with the shave and a LOT of sanding. Very happy with how it turned out shape wise and the sanding.

    Finished the shaping up yesterday, then did the stain coat of colourless DT on the neck.

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  11. #20
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    I will post more complete pictures of the headstock shape once it's dry.

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