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Thread: Fender neck on a Gibson set neck body

  1. #51
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    You will see the top ones more than the bottom ones, so mark up and drill the pilot holes for those first - the end ones (E and G strings) all the way through, the A and D ones partway. Then draw a line between the two rear holes and measure off where the A and D string ferrules should sit. Then drill the pilot holes for those from the back partway through as well.

    Drilling vertically is key here.

    The holes should hopefully at least meet partway through in the middle, and the hole can be opened up a bit if necessary so you can fit a string through. This should leave you with two neat lines of ferrules (even if the rear line might be slightly off from the ideal line, it looks better if the ferrules are all in a neat line).

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  3. #52
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan. Working up my nerve ;-)

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  4. #53
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Put the neck on. Still needs a bit of work on the pocket, but overall seems to be working.

    Notice my super scientific string method for testing alignment... Since I'll be re-drilling for the bridge, the trick was getting the neck to line up as best possible over the pup routs. The bridge is in ~the right position...and the next thing will be to drill there... Still working on nerve...Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #54
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Not a great pic, but it's beginning to look like a bass. I need to cut a nut and do a setup to see if I have the neck shimmed right. It's close but I won't be sure until I adjust the truss rod. Between the neck angle, the neck height, and the arch it has been a b***ch.

    The center block is also super narrow. And the "south" bridge post broke through just as with my ES4-B kit. Making the center block 2cm wider would solve a lot of problems. I don't even think it would add much to the weight since toe wood is so light.

    I glued a piece of wood in through the f-hole (just as I did with the other kit. I think it helped, but the main saving grace is making it string-through. That way the strings push down on the bridge rather than trying to pull it out.

    Not set up. Not convinced I have the neck angle right. Temporary nut. No string tree and just an old set of ancient flatwounds I had lying around. But it played it's first notes tonight. Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #55
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Been a long time since I posted progress. Slow progress is the only kind I have made. I have done the frets. I finished making a bone nut. Installed a string tree that held two strings...then one that holds three strings when the A kept popping out of the net.

    Let me tell you that getting the three point bridge drilled and in place, and a mismatched neck at the right angle on an axe with a curved top and bottom is not for the faint of heard. Not all my drill holes are as vertical as they should be. Those curves make it difficult to know when you are drilling vertical. But somehow it is all working.

    I need to do some work on the neck joint to clean up how it looks. I have an idea for doing it with binding material. We'll see how that works. I'll do a set up, and then it will be time to do the finish and the electronics. Whew!

  7. #56
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    ...on second thought.... I tried to do a bit of a setup today to make sure everything aligned well. The more I tried to make adjustments to the three point bridge the more frustrated I became. One problem is that I did not get the post holes in 100% vertical, so when I adjust up or down it also moves laterally a bit. Also There is a big difference between where the neck side point goes and where the other two points go. To complicate matters further, the center block is so narrow that I already had to glue a little block to it to get the bridge to be more or less solid where it is.

    Enough! I have a pretty good, super solid two point Korean bridge. I am going to give up on this *&#)@ three-point bridge. New plan is to drill to do major surgery. I am getting out the forstner bits to try to put a large wooden dowel (at least 1") in to seat the post holders. The top is getting a solid color anyway... As they say in AA half measures availed us nothing.

  8. #57
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    I put the new two point bridge in place and measured everything, and it looked like the "north" bridge post needs to go almost exactly where there was already a hole. Since it's a mm or two off center from where the current hole is, I plugged the hole with a dowel.

    The place where the hole goes on the "south side" would have put it off the center block. You are all probably sick of me saying that the center blocks in these ES bodies are super narrow. If anything is a little off center you're cooked. And on this bass the bridge needed to move a little to the south.

    So, I got out the forstner bit and drilled about 1 5/8 deep with a 1 3/8 bit into the front:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I then plugged the hole with a piece of recycled closet rod.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a pic of the inside taken through the F-hole:

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    In placing the original three point bridge, I had already broken out the side of the center block. I glued in a piece of wood in a vain attempt to hold the post threaded ferrule in place. It didn't work. When I would try to raise the south side of the bridge, it was just spinning the ferrule in the hole. I needed to get a big piece of wood in there to hold the ferrule solidly. I just could not find a way to do that through the f-hole. I was able to glue a piece of wood in place, but because of the arched top, it was not flush with the top (you can see that in the pic). It was, however, solidly bonded to the center post, so it is helping to hold the rod in place on the south side. you can see the glued piece at the top of the last pic.

    Although this put a big hole in the top, it was actually the least intrusive way I could think of to extend the side of the center block far enough to accommodate the ferrule.

    When it dries the next step will be to cut the rod as flush as possible and then sand down the rest of the way. After that I'll drill for the new bridge.
    Last edited by fender3x; 17-03-2019 at 08:29 AM.

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  11. #59
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Made a bit of progress... The neck joint was functional, but not very attractive. This is not perfect, but much better I think. Used binding material on the side of the neck pocket, and to make a cap for the "heel." I am hoping it will allow me to finish the back and sides natural...but we'll see. Finishing is not my best thing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Still a few holes to patch before I can put a solid color on the top. It's starting to look like a bass, and it's playable...actually feels pretty good...even in this shape.... So, maybe a few build notes are in order?

    The string tree is a cheap-o that I got for $3.50 US after reading a not-so-hot review from Waz on a Hipshot. It turned out to be handy after I installed a standard Fender two-string tree, only to have the A string pop out of it's slot. The tuners, however are Hipshots, which I like a lot for their light weight. They have actually been keeping my unfinished build in tune.

    The Sung-Il bridge is massive for a two-point tune-o-matic style bridge. I reviewed it on the aftermarket thread. I thought it was a bit bulky looking at first, but I am really coming to appreciate it. I keep tweaking the neck pocket to try to get it right, so the strings and neck keep coming on and off. With most Gibson style bridges this would be a pain in the lower back, because string tension is part of what holds the bridge in place. This Sung-Il bridge has set screws that hold it in place, so once the screws are set it is just rock solid in place. it's so solid that I decided it did not even need a tailpiece. So far it is working beautifully. I had never heard of Sung-Il, but it's totally bitchin' as we used to say in California ;-)

    I got the idea for the heel-cap from my Fender Coronado II. This is an odd thinline hollowbody with a bolt-on neck that Fender made for a few years in the late-60's. It has a chrome heel-cap, which I could not replicate, but it gave me the idea to do it in binding material... It was also part of the inspiration for this build. I really wanted something like a Fender Coronado bass. And that is making me wonder what to call my build. ES is for "Electric Spanish" and Fender called their thinline by a Spanish name...Should I do something similar?

    I don't know why Fender called it a "Coronado," which means "Crowned" in Spanish. It may be that it's named after Coronado California, an upscale resort town a couple of hours south of Fullerton. Best I have come up with so far is "Corneado." Sounds a bit like coronado, but it translates roughly to "impaled on the horn of a bull." It's what happens to distracted bullfighters. That would fit the "tilting at windmills" approach I have taken to this project. However, I am open to less grizzly suggestions ;-)
    Last edited by fender3x; 03-05-2019 at 03:08 AM.

  12. #60
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Got the holes plugged. Got a shot of it next to it's sibling. My ESB-4 has similar patching under the paint...Click image for larger version. 

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