Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hi everyone!

Here we are again for another update to the guitars we're building for the great girls of The Ramonas! This update is going to show the final parts of neck construction, scratchplates and a visit to our humble workshop from a special guest!

If you missed any of the previous instalments then have a gander!

Collaboration Announcement
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The start of the fairly long process of profiling the necks. Unless a very specific type of profile has been requested we tend not to use gauges and just go by feel alone. As soon as the neck starts to feel comfy and snug in our hands we can start lightly sanding down until it's the desired thickness and shape. Here you can see the bass neck is about half way through.

After a while things start to resemble a more familiar form

Once both necks have been fully profiled the next step is to fret them. The Fender® P-Bass replica, however, is going to have a gloss lacquered fretboard so the fretting on that one will come much later, once all the lacquering is done.

There was also one very important job on the Mosrite® replica that we needed to do before we fretted the neck and that was to make up a scratchplate!

We made the scratchplate using a piece of white ABS plastic and using the old tortoises shell one we had as a template. We affixed the scratchplate to a piece of wood and used a small router bit to out out all the relevant cavities and holes.

Once the whole thing was cut out we smoothed all the edges with some light sandpaper. Not a bad result if we do say so ourselves!

So with that done we thought we'd have a quick look at how things were shaping up as a whole for both builds.

Good job we did too as we had Victoria Smith (Pee Pee Ramona) knock on our door to see the progress for herself!

Many thanks for coming down Vicky! We're very glad you're happy with all the progress so far!

If you like this feel free to leave a comment or question. Remember you can also like & follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.

All the best,
Mike & Martin

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hi everyone!

If you've missed the previous posts in this series check the out here!

Part 1
Part 2

After a long refurb and even longer refinish we bolted the Washburn® back together. All in all we were really pleased with the results and think it looks like the beast it deserves to be!

Hope you enjoyed this little series! We had a great time transforming this guitar and we reckon the results speak for themselves!

If you've got any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or drop us an email! You can also check us out on Facebook for all the latest news!

All the best,
Mike & Martin

Hey everyone!

So in the LAST POST we were introduced to the old Washburn®.

The plan we had with this was to strip everything, refinish in Sherwood Green and convert it from a HSS with volume and tone pots to a simple single humbucker and volume pot layout.

First port of call was to start stripping all the hardware and pickups and give them all a good clean up. We decided to chuck the existing pickups in the spares bin and instead stick a nice new Axesrus® Gold Hex Pole Laudanum in the bridge.

Everything was in need of some cleaning when it came off the guitar.

A quick before and after comparison...With gold hardware it's difficult to really give a deep clean as you run the risk of taking the gold plating off entirely.

The previous owner changed the pots for the bigger CTS version of the micro pots the Washburn® comes with as standard. While this is a decent upgrade, it resulted in two problems. Firstly, the CTS pots have a larger body, this meant that when the pot shaft was put through the hole the body hit up against the side of the control cavity wall. The way they got around this was to cut the pot shaft holes into oval shapes. Effective but not pretty.

The second problem was they used long shaft pots instead of short shaft. The body of the guitar had quite a thin cavity top so the pots would have poked through a long way. They countered this but spacing the shaft with random washers and ferrules.

This is the amount of spacers one pot had. We have the machinehead ferrule on the far left. I can understand making the best of what you have but it's always best to buy parts that fit correctly as the end result will far better.

Started sanding all the matte black off. The previous owner didn't apply any kind of varnish or lacquer to the top or sides so this didn't take too long.

The back was a different story and took a fair amount longer to strip down, as it had a thick layer of lacquer.

After the paint had come off we found the slot for the selector switch had been repaired with some cheap filler. Our sanding had dislodged it and we were left with a jagged hole to try to repair.

The previous chap had super glued some tin foil in the control cavity as a make shift insulator but this doesn't work especially well so we'll rid of it and replace with some EMR paint instead.

First job after sanding was to give the body a light coat of grain filler. This just makes the wood a bit smoother come painting time and helps smooth out any lumps and bumps caused by the sanding.

Next job was to figure out how we could fill those single coil cavities. We decided the best route would be to make up a couple of single coil shaped wooden blanks and glue them inside the cavities.

This was one of single coil blanks we made from an off cut of Maple.

Test fit looked good, so we made a copy for the other cavity and glued them both in!
With both blanks glued we gave it a layer of wood filler to make sure we'd covered any gaps or cracks left from the blanks. We took this opportunity to fill in the switch and pot holes too.

We decided to re-drill the volume pot hole to get rid of the oval one it had before and give the pots a bit more room in the cavity.

After sanding the filler off we were left with a nice smooth surface.

We then took to cleaning up the rest of the cavities with a router as there was a lot of paint, lacquer and built up crud.

We removed the tin foil and super glue from the control cavity.

With the body nearly done we gave it another quick progressive sand to make sure we'd eliminated any imperfections.

With the body done it's time for the paint!

Giving the body a good few coats of primer.

The Sherwood green has a nice subtle metal flake and looks great in the sunlight!

We waited a few days for the paint to cure then the next step was to start the long process of lacquering.

We used Nitrocellulose lacquer which takes quite a few weeks to complete and even longer to fully dry.

CLICK HERE to go to part 3 and see the results of all the hard work!

If you liked this, remember you can like and follow us on Facebook for all the latest news!

All the best,
Mike & Martin

Hey everyone!

We found this old Washburn® on Ebay that looked in need of a spruce up.  After a few bids we got it and set about to breathing some new life into it.

When it arrived we saw that the paint was in a pretty poor state. We suspect the previous owner had done a DIY refinish as the original specs for this stated it had a Purple metal flake finish with a flamed maple veneer.

Oddly the back of the guitar had quite a thick lacquer, compared with the front which had none. There were also these two large Jagermeister® stickers on the front and back. The later was covering both the bridge and control cavity covers.

This wasn't the best idea as you'd then be unable to adjust the bridge or open the control cavity without first having to remove the sticker.

Flipping the guitar over, the owner had also tried their hand at changing the pickups.

Strangely, the single coils were packed in with rolled up bits of newspaper. We assume this was to act as some kind of height adjustment but it's a bit of a mystery.

Here's a bit of a closer look at what we mean by DIY finish.

You can also see that the hardware has not been cleaned or properly maintained.

So what to do with this guitar? We were originally just going to tidy it up and give it a service/set up but seeing the state it's in we decided we'd fully strip all the old finish off, clean up all the hardware and set about making this into something a bit different.

Click here for Part 2, showing all the in progress work and Part 3 for the final results!

If you liked this remember you can always like and follow us on Facebook to see all the latest news!

All the best,
Mike & Martin