Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting close to the finish line...

Well we thumped on the bass for the first time since the back was repaired…WOW…every thing is making full contact once again. This bass has a large booming sound.

The dry fit and gluing process went well. Once again every clamp in the shop was put to good use and we ordered ten more. Is there such a thing as a clamp obsession? Anyone who has done serious wood working would answer…no, you can never have enough clamps or the right size for the job.

My final choice for strings is a full set of Velvet Garbo’s…these are some funky strings. Lonnie thinks the G string looks like a vintage Red-O-Ray string. The coppery color looks good against the dark brown AS finish. We put the bridge in place adjusted the new Hi-Tech tail gut and tuned it up. It sounded real good but Lonnie wasn’t happy with the sound post fit. After close inspection the sound post…most likely the original…was very old, dry and split at both ends. So with no hesitation at all he cut and fit a new sound post…this task went very well. In a few minutes (and very careful measuring) he had a new sound post cut and fit. The post just kisses the top and back of the bass…it was a beautiful thing.

He made some final adjustments to the rosewood nut which is also original. He shaped and fit the nut to the Garbo strings making sure none of the strings are choked. The grooves in the nut need to be open and smooth while the string height is the same across the fingerboard.

This weekend is set a side for some bass playing, bass tweaking and final finish touch up. My job is to give the bass a test drive and approval. Once we are BOTH happy I get to clean and polish the bass…my favorite part of helping in the shop.

Monday, February 23, 2009

American Standard...

Yee Haw! We are making more progress…after several layers of building color and replacing the one black pin stripe we are on to the dry fit.

Lonnie’s working on dry fitting the back of the bass in preparation for re-gluing the bass back together again. The patch in color looks nice…not too perfect…with a little finishing patina when it is back together it should look real nice. I am excited to hear this bass boom again. The project has had more ups and downs then…yeah you know the saying.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

American Standard patch work...

Lonnie continues to make slow and steady progress. He has been applying thin layers of color to spot in the patch work on the lower bout. It won’t be long until the patch is blended nicely to the original finish. He will also add the missing single black pin stripe around the bottom. A few more weeks and this bass should be in tip top shape…I can’t wait!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The back has been repaired to Lonnie’s satisfaction…everything sounds good and solid again…WHEW…what a project that was.

While the back is off he can touch up of the area’s of the bass where the original finished has been painted with bronze colored paint. He will get all the chipped areas patched and apply matching color. Hopefully when he is all finished the repaired areas will blend nicely with the original finish. Two steps forward…and I am think about a full set of Velvet Garbo strings…I still have time for a final decision.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

American Standard...

Tap. Tap. Tap…sounds like there is a woodpecker in the workshop.

The back is getting close to being completed. Lonnie is going around it inch by inch and tapping on the back listening for hollow or dead spots. These would be the areas that the plies have separated and need re-glued. Right now we are getting real close. The back of the bass sounds good and solid again. On this project we have made a huge investment of time and money…more then we will ever be able to re-coupe. Just the investment in clamps has been expensive…whew…I’ll be happy when this bass is thumping again.

It is going to be sweet…still deciding on strings…I’m thinking GUT. Slow and steady…

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

American Standard...

Who says you can never have enough clamps?
Slow and steady...