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
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
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.