Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Even more rain and the Mortone...

Here we are…and it is still raining.  This will be the most rain we have had in one year since they began to keep records in the 1800’s.  The air is humid and the ground is saturated.  Getting the layers of oil tinting to dry has been a bear.  For the most part the edges are finished and look as good as they should for a bass of this age.  We go for a nice clean look with out being too perfect.  The bass needs to look its age.  Not like Joan Rivers where it does not look natural.

Lonnie is starting the “dry fit” for the neck.  This is where he makes small paper thin shims to apply to the neck joint to get a good tight fit.  While I was making supper I could hear the belt sander running and running.  He gets the shims so thin he almost sands the tips of his fingers.  Getting the neck adjusted and centered on the bass is a critical step.  If the neck is out of alignment the nut to bridge to saddle will be out of center.  He takes great care to measure from FF hole and side to side to get the neck on center.  All of these little things add up to the ease and playability of the bass.  We try to achieve a nice buttery playing bass that sounds good and looks even better.

Lonnie is satisfied that the edges look good but not too perfect.  This seems like a good stopping point to move on to the neck reset

He cleaned the wood a second time just to be sure all the lumps and bumps of glue were gone.
The beginning of the dry fit for the neck.  He is working on a good tight joint which requires small paper thin shims be made and attached with hide glue.  The super thin shims will make for a good tight neck joint.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The King Mortone...

The rain has stopped…Finally!

The edge work continues.  Layer by layer the new wood melts into the old wood.

The bottom of the bass looking the way it did before our work began.  
The edge work before the color was applied
The way the edges look now.  Not completely done but getting closer
All the edges are beginning to blend nicely

The view from here looks pretty nice!
 Popeye will be looking fit and healthy before you know it. 

Keep checking back.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More rain and the Mortone Bass

It is raining once again with lots of thunder and lighting…will it ever stop?

We have had so much rain it feels good to get back to the basses for a distraction.  Our area had 12” of rain in one day with flooding all around us.  Fortunately we are fine, the house is fine and all the basses are safe.  We were lucky, some folks around us were not as lucky.

The King Mortone is coming along and looking good.  Lonnie has been careful to slowly build the layers of color around the edges.  If you try to go too dark to fast you end up with dark, muddy opaque edges.  The idea is to build the color slowly with transparent layers of color.  This gives a better vintage appearance with out a painted look.  You need to let the oil colors dry slowly, a coat a day is about as fast as you want to go.  The weather is to change to dry and cool.  This will help speed up the drying process.  Once Lonnie gets all the cosmetic touch up work done he will reset the neck.  Then things come together pretty quickly because he gets excited.

Stay tune for updates.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rain and the Mortone...

In the words of Del McCoury…

Rain please go away
Leave me alone come another day
My love is gone this time to stay
D7 G
Rain please go away

Whew!  8 inches of rain and its still coming down.  We might need the basses to turn into canoes.  We are on target to have more rain then 1972 Agnes flood.  We really need some sunshine.

The work on the King Mortone continues.  Layers of color are being applied and the edge repairs are slowly becoming invisible.  

Progress is slow and steady!