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trust me man, it's all about the fiberglassing. fewer epoxy coats thusly lowering the chances of delamming. they use it to coat the bottoms of boats so it's tough as nails. as far as adhesion to the surface IT'S F#$KING EPOXY. just sand, scuff and glass.


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Hey Bastid E,

I'm all ears, but I'm really not that worried about de-lam'ing. What are the other advantages? What's the appearance?

Willy,

Cool link, I haven't looked at their site for a long time. Not only are they doing more cool things, but the site is totally different!


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advantages? it's as bulletproof as a finish is gonna get. disclaimer: don't shoot your bass.

clarity? water white. clear as a bell. the fiberglass goes all transparent when soaked in epoxy.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Bastid E:
advantages? it's as bulletproof as a finish is gonna get. disclaimer: don't shoot your bass.

clarity? water white. clear as a bell. the fiberglass goes all transparent when soaked in epoxy.
I am actually going to do this very same thing to my fretless the next time I have to repair my surfboard dings... (figured I'd wait and concentrate all of my toxic fume intake to one session.) \:D
Just pay very close attention to the directions on the epoxy... take the advice of someone who has worked with this stuff plenty on boats and surfboards. The catalyst is very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Follow the proportions to the letter, and there are special considerations regarding the air temperature... they are there for a reason. If you don't get the mix exactly right, your epoxy will either be:
Too brittle, and the surface will delam or shatter (and that would be very uncomfortable on the fingertips while playing... especially if you do lay a strip of glass down on the board.)
OR,
It will not set up at all and it will be too tacky. Then you would be out a good neck.
Oh yeah, and whatever you do, don't leave a piece of fiberglass soaking in a resin bucket... especially near flammables... \:o just trust me on this one...

DX
<><

Oh yeah, and if you use epoxy resin first, don't go back later and try to use a poly resin on it, to fill holes, etc... they don't mix.


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Quote:
getz76: Trust the guys who handle wood for a living; use boiled linseed oil. \:D
You know, I've used pure lemon oil up to now because I've seen a fair amount of luthiers who talk of it. I realize some favor linseed oil (and I've used thinned linseed oil for some woodworking in the past), but some don't favor it. I guess there are several ways to go, and different luthiers form preferences based on their experiences, the woods they tend to use, etc.


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i handle wood for a living, well actually i handle fish for a living but wood capitalized my formative years and paid the rent for 8.

don't use boiled linseed oil. penetrative finishes provide only marginal protection against stains (i.e. spilling a glass of water on something). even in that application penetrative oils are not used in a situation that will see a lot of use (i.e. a coffee table or anything that you concievably could spill something on). most times they're covered with a coat of wax because it anything happens to the finish you can just spot strip and reapply the wax. but even then you can't put a hot cup of something on it because the heat will alter the chemicala composition of the oil finish and then the whole peice is ruined (you can't strip or sand out a damaged penetrative finish).


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Quote:
Originally posted by Bastid E:
don't use boiled linseed oil. penetrative finishes provide only marginal protection against stains (i.e. spilling a glass of water on something). even in that application penetrative oils are not used in a situation that will see a lot of use (i.e. a coffee table or anything that you concievably could spill something on).
I wasn't suggesting boiled linseed oil as an alternative to epoxy, but as an alternative to lemon oil. If you're treating an unfinished fretboard (ebony, rosewood, etc.), my understanding is that lemon oil evaporates and dries out wood, whereas boiled linseed oil will not dry out.

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I built boats for a while in the '80s and used a lot of West epoxy. They are still around, obviously, as are competitors.

The drill was: bare wood to start is best. Otherwise be sure no grease, i.e. wash with acetone. Thin coats are preferable to thick. Resin can be applied with a disposable real bristle brush, or with a flexible plastic squegee. First coat to soak in. Wood and resins should be warm, in the 70s F is best. As the resin soaks in little bubbles will appear, pop those. After cure (overnight in a warm room) sand the first coat down to remove the raised grain but not smooth. Second thin coat to complete filling the grain. Cure overnight. Wash with warm water to remove "amine blush" surface film that appears. Sand carefully to smooth the epoxy surface but don't sand through it or you will have to start over with the bare wood spots. Third coat to level and make a hard surface. Wash, sand, and shape the third coat.

If you want to add a thin layer of cloth, something like 2oz, add it dry after the first coat while it is still damp and squegee another layer of resin on from the top, wetting the cloth that way. I'm dubious about the need for this on a bass, actually.

On a bass neck, you need to take the neck off the bass and mask things very carefully. You need to remove the masking tape each time, taking the tape off when the resin is "green", meaning partially set and won't flow anymore, but not completely set. The epoxy can saturate the tape and if it cures that way the tape becomes a permanent part of the neck and needs to be sanded off. Re-tape for each coat.

I am sure some progress has been made in coatings since the '80s, but the process is still the same as far as I know.

The other way I have heard to do a bass neck, I think maybe on Mike Lull's website, is to mask the sides and bottom of the neck and leave the tape sticking up above the fingerboard. Level the fretboard, pour a bunch of epoxy on (one thick coat instead of three) so there is a very thick layer, which you then shape basically from scratch the same way the wooden fretboard was shaped in the first place.

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Here's the latest. I ordered the RotDoctor Layup and Laminating epoxy because anecdotally it seems to be more flexible and adhering than petroleum-based resins. The extra cost wasn't that big a deal. Should be here in a day or two and then my luthier and I will do a test strip before attacking -

My old Ibanez SR506 6-string backup bass. The only reason it hasn't gotten gigged or practiced on more is because it's fretted. So I've decided to defret its superior 3-piece dual trussrod neck and have my new luthier friend do the epoxy job there first.

I already think highly of its noiseless pickups which are basically 3-string-per-half P-bass stylee put into a soapbar case. They sound as good as any other magnetic out there and better than many {subjective opinion, but based on good references ; }

Then I'm thinking of stripping the body clear coat, sanding down the top and having a figured grain wood top added and doing a fancy stain job much like the green I've seen on a bass of Jimmy Haslip. The top will be thin but figured; I don't want to impact its tonal character or its sustain.

Last on the list is to add a Graph Tech Ghost piezo setup along with their preamp. The preamp this particular year of SR506 came with is good and quiet (but has no passive bypass), but the Graph Tech Ghost system does Roland V-Bass 13-pin (and allows me to phantom power), and the piezos will likely improve the delivery to the V-Bass floor unit because of their superior string isolation.

I haven't found any way to get a great fretless 6-string bass with internal V-Bass driver that comes in for even 3 or 4 times the cost. I'll be doing this in steps while continuing to love practicing and gigging my Carvin fretless 5. Then it will likely get transmogrified as well.


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Quote:
Originally posted by greenboy:
...doing a fancy stain job much like the green I've seen on a bass of Jimmy Haslip...
Green?


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Got something against the shades and tones that signify envy and spring? ; }


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\:D

(BTW, I'm still curious to hear about someone trying the fiberglass technique that E discussed.)


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Just an example; I'd like black hardware and a deeper colored neck (which I shall have):


A different figuring, but still looks more like transparent paint:


This is getting closer but not quite what I had in mind (but that could be changing); here's one of Jack Read's masterpieces:


jack's has a certain combination of subtlety and flair. But doshgarn it! I'd seen more pictures of true stains in the tones I wanted, more variegated and less emerald, slightly toward deep olive, but more green than that. Guess I'll have to keep searching.


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Sweet Willy,

If a different epoxy or poly had been chosen we well might have went with the fiberglass underneath. We discussed it, and some experience was mentioned that was positive. But the virgin-wood derived resins that RotDoctor L&L has already seem to provide some of the same advantages.


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Sounds like you're really going to do it up brown er, green, greenboy.

A few years back I defretted an inexpensive Fernandes 5 string, 34" and narrow-neck, that I didn't think sounded that great fretted. It was sort of my fiddle-around-with-hardware bass. The whole process took me maybe two and a half hours, start to finish, since I used superglue to put strips of mahogany in the fret slots and 5-minute epoxy for the surface. The very opposite of your careful approach. I don't recommend 5 minute epoxy, and the job I did is less than perfect looking, but I did get it contoured right. My son has decided this is his favorite bass, and it seems to be holding up fine, using it with Lakland flat strings.

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Yeah, Ben,

Early on in the discovery process I found that any quick setting epoxies were not the way to go... The way I see it, I'm going to end up with a custom 6-string fretless the way I want it, with piezos, some magnetics I like, and internal V-Bass control - with a super-stable neck whose profile and headstock I like.

Some guys are using RMC piezo systems to do the Roland-ready thing, but they are so overpriced.

Sounds like you made good use of a bass that wasn't really doing it for you. I'm kinda doing the same thing - the major difference being that this bass sounds great but I don't really care about fretted instruments.


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Queen Jealousy, envy waits behind him
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground...


If you got yet another bass, greenboy, I would think that shiny metallic purple would make a nice match for the green one... ;\)

Really, though, enjoy the journey. If you have any questions, just ask the axis.


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It's only getting worse, Willy. After looking at Jimmy Haslip's green 6-string MTD in an old Bass Frontiers magazine {nice deep avacodo shade - got to make me some mex food! ; } ... well, I started looking at spalt tops. Yum again: texture and detail galore!

Now: if I could only grow all those extra Hindu appendages Jimi was sportin' - I'd be playing purp AND green simultaneously. Bold as love, baybeeeeeeee! ; }

Great lyrics there : }


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Soon, off I go to my new luthier friend with two one-pint containers of what will blend to a fine wood-resin-based epoxy, and my soon-to-be-former-Ibanez, to discuss and get to work.

That's right! - UPS showed last night {poor guys are running very long workdays - thanks Santa, you equal opportunity employer ; } ... the good are here complete with copious intructions, tips, specs, and guarantees (great company, RotDoctor!).

I'm mildy excited. : |
 
   
 
  












... and bass is mildly low ; }


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Awriighty. Drove even further out into the country than I live and met my luthier f2f for the first time, and saw his shop and some of his projects, repairs in progress, some wood samples, tools and forms, finished work, and photos of instruments he had built.

Had one hella nice acoustic guitar that was just about to be sold for $2800, beautiful woods, purfling, inlay, all clean in detail and execution. A cool hollow body electric body sitting partially built too, somewhat reminiscient of an f-hole Tellie but with a flowing hole on each bout. Very nice flow, could imagine a nice guitar built around it with absolutely no stretch of the mind's eye.

So I felt in good hands.

Then we opened my bass case, talked about the defretting and the lines, the markers, etc - and producing a test strip to get a handle on working the epoxy to best advantage.

Talked about capping the Ibanez body with various figured and semi-figured woods, what contour I wanted up near the "arm rest", and possibly extending the horn. The bass alrady balances pretty well but I wouldn't mind having it sit at closer to a 45 degree angle when totally unsupported with strap on a slick shirt. As we discussed how that could be done, it became clearer (I think I already knew this) that perhaps it would be easier to build a new body entirely, and cap that.

So I'm going to research shapes, and electronics layout so I can have my current magnetics, the Graph Tech piezos, and the Graph Tech Ghost preamp and 13-pin Roland stuff all sitting in good placement while the test strip and then the neck job gets accomplished.

A good time, and a fair amount to think about : }


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And so the project grows...

When you said that you were thinking about capping the body, I wondered about how that would be done. Would you cap what's there and alter the neck pocket to lift the neck? Would you "remove" a layer of top wood to "make room" for the cap? Now you don't have to worry about that !!

The luthier sounds like an experienced pro. I wonder how many of them are toiling away in obscurity (sorry - felt dramatic for a moment) - I think the internet has allowed many of these guys to step out in a way they couldn't have before.

Hope the test strip goes as planned.
Tom


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I don't recommend 5 minute epoxy, either, but I was just fiddlin' around. And I didn't end up with a new body, either! ;\)

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Ben,

That body thing is still non-decided. Casey was mulling it over too. But if I wanted to extend the horn it would solve the problem of a visible joint where the extension joined the area where we would cut across the existing horn. Perfect grain matching, haha!

I didn't want to fool around with either of my basses because I'm more than satisfied with their tone, sustain, and playability. In the case of the Ibanez I think it's largely due to the quality of the neck, so I don't mind the idea of a new top on the body. But I do mind the idea of all the work depending on my patience ; }

Tom,

The top could actually go either way, with recessed bridge and less pickup showing. There would be no need to lift the neck higher in the pocket. But it would make for a heavier bass. The method I originally envisoned was to take 1/8" off the existing top, and Caey is weighing whether that, or making a new body would be more cost effective.

I am wondering if/when Casey Kent will think he needs a website. He seems to get work : }


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Greenboy,

I'd be wary of changing the body. While you think the tone lies within the neck, there is something to be said for body-neck mojo, especially with a bolt-on.

If you're satisfied with the tone, keep the body intact. Cosmetics be damned. As for an extended horn, you might be better off moving the bottom strap button up a bit. Worked wonders for my Warwick Thumb.

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Good point on the mojo. I was thinking I might not mind another mojo for awhile, but actually the current mojo is pretty damn mojo.

The balance is also pretty amazing considering it's a dual truss rod 6 string. No neck dive even on a silk shirt, I suspect. Since I never played this bass at gigs because of them doshgarn frets I never got around to putting two strap buttons on the bottom like I did with my other one. Not only did the upper bout one get the neck pointing a little upward but the lower bout one provides strain relief for the output cable.

The two together let it sit on the carpet without a stand and not tip over when leaned against something. Though I almost always use a stand ; }


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What's the update, G-man?

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Extremely slow cure times due to the holidays ; }

Seriously though: it does cure slow, and as a result perhaps, this Rot Doctor stuff self-levels incredibly smoothly and glossy, and it should end up being very nice. Now I wish I would have black-stained the rosewood first, but ... ; }


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So, gb, how goes the process?
I have one of my basses at a midpoint, frets are out, going to fill next. Just started a new job, so time is tight at the moment, but I"m most curious about your results, as I approach go time re: the finishing.
Thanks...

Peace,

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Same as above, Wraub. I'm assuming it's a coat every so often, and until I get impatient, I'm not bugging Casey or driving way way out there. The reports were very good on the first coat. The snowing and freeze/thaw/freeze is too extreme to want to run around much outside the more traveled areas and see the beauty getting deeper.

I'll update when I can : }


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Cool, thanks for the update (of sorts). It has been cold here as well, but I am pretty sure you have us beat.
I also dig the green clearcoat idea. Should look shweet!
Keep us posted...

Peace,

wraub



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