(Part 5) Basses for Newbies Bass 1-3

I got a lot done on #3 today. . . it's well on its way to being done.

first, I leveled the frets. This neck is one of the straightest I've seen on an SX without any major humps or dips when measured on the wood. I was hoping for a very straight forward fret level. All previous SX basses I've done required the removal of more fret material than I would have liked.

On this bass, frets 3 and 15 were low. . . well, 20 was low too, but I can live with the last fret being a little low.

Here's a couple of pics mid-process showing how I've touched most of the frets except 3 and 15:

After just getting the frets level, I put 2 pieces of blue tape on the 11th fret to change my angle and cut my fall-off on the last few frets.

Here's the resulting fall off. . . frets 13-20 were re-marked with a sharpie so that I could see how far I was cutting. From this picture, you can see I have fall-off starting from fret 16 going out to 20.

And, leveling is complete.

I then re-crowned the frets as they had flat tops. I'm REALLY hurting for a diamond file at this point in life. It would save a lot of time I think in dressing these frets. Chatter sucks. When crowning, you re-mark the flat fret tops and file until you leave just a thin line of the leveled fret surface. In the picture, I've just finished crowning all of the frets and have sanded the 1st fret to 1000 grit. You can see if you zoom in, a sliver of a sharpie line on the top of the fret. I then use a dremel with a buffing wheel and some compound to polish them up quickly.

After that, I checked if the new wider pots fit, and they do not, so I had to route the control cavity on this one like previously in #2. . . and then. . .

Shielding foil goes in. . . I purchased a 2" roll and a 3/4" roll from Stewart Macdonald. I am running low now and may not be able to finish the next bass bass without re-supply. These 2 rolls were able to do 3 jazz basses and 1 p-bass. I may be able to squeeze one more jazz bass out of it. . . we'll see. It'll be tight. I like how clean it all looks before soldering the seams. Almost like it was sprayed in.

And so, here we are with #3

This is a fun stage. I was thinking how cool it would be to buy a bass in this exact state for modding. . . all of the mechanical groundwork is set and all of the possibilities are open for pickups, bridge, electronics, strings. There is a piece of copper foil under the bridge because I was trying to get #2 to be quieter (single coil hum) and noticed that continuity was measurably deficient from the cavity shielding to the bridge, so I went in and used a piece of copper to improve the contact between the ground wire and the bridge. I also sanded the bottom of the bridge a bit.

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