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Thread: Simon B's Custom ESB-4 Build.

  1. #1
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Simon B's Custom ESB-4 Build.

    As well as the ES-1, I also received a custom ESB-4 bass kit today, which I'm putting together for a friend. This came without any pickup routing or headstock holes so I could decide what to fit once I got the kit.

    I'm a little bit disappointed with this kit compared to the ES-1. The neck is very loose in the pocket, so will definitely require at least one if not two layers of veneer on the sides. The fret ends are again quite sharp, but won't take more than a few minutes to fix.

    There was one small dent and one scratch in the veneer which will need a bit of work on. I got sent a picture of the kit by Adam before it was sent, and the scratch wasn't visible in it, so I can only assume that it got it when inspected by customs. Grrrrrrr. There was also a small flake of veneer (about 2mm x 2mm) that had broken off on an edge of the neck pocket which will need a bit of filler. Unlike the ES-1, this area won't be covered by an overhanging fretboard.

    The veneer has a much fainter flame pattern than the ES-1. Not a big issue really, but it would have been nice to have them more closely matching.

    On the plus side I couldn't find any glue spots and again the veneer join runs right down the centreline.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've ordered a Hipshot Supertone bridge for it, and the bassist and I decided on a set of Seymour Duncan SSB-NYC pickups

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup...=5a622fa66837b

    ...and will fit two mini toggle switches for series, parallel and single coil modes, so these are on their way. Once they arrive then I'll have to work out how to rout out some cavities for them- also where to put them in relation to the bridge.

    I' know I need to fit a Hipshot Xtender machinehead for the E string, so will need to select some matching tuners.

    Again, this kit will be finished in a vintage cherry stain, and then Tru-Oil. Just the front face of the headstock will be painted black.

  2. #2
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I am looking forward to watching this build. Will be interesting to see this kit in the hands of an experienced builder. I wanted to do something similar with my finish, and hope you fare better with the veneer.

    Also going to be curious how you mount that bridge on the curved top in a way that prevents pullout.

    The routing will also be an adventure. I have never tried to rout on a curved surface, but my best idea about it would be to build a some sort of flat platform that you secure over the top. May require a fairly long bit...

    Please put up lots of pics ;-)


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  3. #3
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    This is looking like being an interesting build! Tally ho!
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  4. #4
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    And this is added to the watch list....


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    I have too many guitars...said no guitar player. Ever. Especially not on this Forum!

  5. #5
    Member Grubsta's Avatar
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    This looks really interesting best of luck with it Simon.

  6. #6
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Well the new bridge has arrived (the one on the left). A lot more substantial than the kit one (on the right) and it won't fall off if you take the strings off and the saddles don't fall out, like on the kit one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It came with two sets of fixing bolts, metric and imperial, so no problem using the post bushings that came with the kit. The bushings are 20mm ones. so fairly long. I'm hoping that with some woodglue in the holes as well, they should be fairly solid. I'm looking out for some longer bushings though, but very few sites give all the dimensions.

  7. #7
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I'm hoping that with some woodglue in the holes as well, they should be fairly solid. I'm looking out for some longer bushings though, but very few sites give all the dimensions.
    It does look solid. Much better than the original...still... As I see it there are two problems on the curved surface. The first is leverage. On a curved top the screw comes up pretty far to meet the bridge creating a sort of lever for the bridge to pull on. On flat top the Hipshot is flush with the top and the bushing so there's less of this effect. The other problem is that the bushings are splined and metal. Wood glue won't bind to the metal, and splines are only good for preventing turning. Terrible for pull out.

    I would be inclined to look for something like this:

    http://brucegarrett.com/brucelog/wp-...icane_bolt.jpg

    ...something with threads that will resist pullout.

    I have bolts like this on my house for hurricane shutters. To prevent loosening I use a dab of urethane glue. I hate using it on guitars because it is totally resistant to most solvents. But it expands a little as it cures and that should help hold the bushing in place, as long as you are super careful not to get any around the top.

    Just my 2 cents...FWIW

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  8. #8
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Thanks. I am open to all suggestions here. The problem lies with finding such bolts with the right internal thread and outside diameter. Especially in the UK where they seem to be a lot rarer.

    How did you get by in your hurricane, Fender? I know you were quiet for quite a while. Was that just power loss or did you suffer a lot of damage?

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    OK, found some 25mm long M8 flanged hex-drive inserts. Not expensive, so I have ordered some and will have to see how well the outer diameter fits the hole size. The screw part should be more than wide enough, but if the central body is too narrow, then it could still angle over time. Luckily the inserts should be completely hidden under the bridge, so it won't matter that they aren't a chrome finish (though if they can be seen through a crack I'll paint the tops silver).

    If they don't look like working, then plan B is to get a suitable short barrel-headed hex-bolt that just fits in the normal stud insert, then drill a smaller hole at the bottom of the post hole, screw the bolt in and then push the insert in over the top so that the barrel head of the small bolt will provide extra resistance for any sideways pull-out.

    Before implementing plan B though - I need to see inside the body to see if the bridge block runs all the way to the back of the guitar or stops short. If short, then plan B isn't really going to work.

  10. #10
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Been quiet mostly because it's been busy here. We came through the hurricane without anything but damage to plants. Luckier than a number of my neighbors who had a fair amount of door damage.

    The block on mine went all the way back, so plan B should work too.




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