The BopMaster... [Finished] [uh, maybe not yet after all]

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epizootics
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The BopMaster... [Finished] [uh, maybe not yet after all]

Post by epizootics » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:38 am

...ok , I need to come up with a better name than this.

I've been working & gigging a lot recently and I felt the itch getting worse and worse. This morning I decided I'd take this nice piece of quartersawn ash I glued a few months back to work and turn it into yet another silly six-string thingie. I've been working on this offset design for a while now and here's my lame ass photoshop collage:

ImageIst mockup

Let's start with the wood...Weighs a ton but makes a beautiful *ting* when tapped. Must be 'tonwood'.

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Printing, cutting, taping...

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One Sharpie later...

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And after a cheeky ride the bandsaw and belt sander at work (I am officially unemployed today and my boss actually told me 'hey, that's your last day at work today, I'll let you do that during your worktime as a parting gift'...heck, I might miss this place):

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The rest of the pieces I have are a cheapo nitro finish strat neck, a Japanese JM trem and a Staytrem bridge. Pickups will be P90 sized, and I think all the talk about Mosrite pickups made me want to wind a couple of those for this one.

Another couple of options for the color:

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I'll be taking it to the auto shop, we'll see what they have in there...
More soon!
Last edited by epizootics on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by MechaBulletBill » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:10 am

I like how it's a cross between one of the gretsch bo diddley shapes (was it called the bo tie or did i imagine that) and the dano pro

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epizootics
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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by epizootics » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:41 pm

This thing is starting to look like a guitar...

Routing in da flat...

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Neck, pickup & trem cavities done!

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The 'yeah, it's way too early' picture:

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I'm hoping to get this one finished this month. Still not sure about colors. I have been experimenting with dissolving metal in vinegar and got a nice shade of black, I might try to keep the wood visible and make a "metal burst" of sorts.

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by bacca51 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:51 pm

very cool build! you could paint it this color
Image

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by pad » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:23 pm

Very cool!
looks like the phantom copy I've built and i still love it!
Keep it going and have fun building this beauty
:?

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by ThePearDream » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:28 am

I really like the shape of the treble side horn, it's so pleasant to look at.

re: vinegar stain. I have had great luck with it on maple and oak, but have read that is isn't very effective on ash - due to the lack of tannins in the wood. I haven't tried that combination myself though, so would love to know if it does work out on ash.

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by epizootics » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:31 pm

Well, the answer is...no. I gave it a try, and while it was not completely ineffective, it just made the ash look dull. I made two of those, one with steel wool and the other with English pence, and they work great on oak and walnut, and the latter even keeps its blue color.

The good news is it responded superbly to red wood stain + shellac + tru-oil. I really didn't think I wanted to go natural again, but it just looks too good :?

How do those vinegar stain hold up? I was always a bit wary to use them on guitars as I wasn't sure how they would age...

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by ThePearDream » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:41 pm

They hold up as well as any stain, as long as you use a good topcoat. I have some pieces of furniture that I built and used vinegar stain on. I have used both oil and water based poly and they all look fine years later. Oak turns near black, maple a chocolate brown, and alder a medium walnut.

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by epizootics » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:03 am

I'll have to try that on alder, next time I come across some good lumber (regional French alder tends to be way too soft for guitar-making purposes)...

In a fit of what my wife calls 'raccoonism', ie. running around like a wide-eyed maniac, I decided I HAD to finish the guitar before we go on holidays. I'm taking everything down South in my suitcase to take my time with the finish. I also wound the two pickups today. They fit inside a p90 cover, and are essentially Mosrite pickups with a shorter bobbin, with threaded metal inserts where the pole screws come in...hence the name of those:

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Here are my tests for the finish:

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(mahogany stain + shellac + one coat of tru-oil, took me less than two hours in the baking hot temperatures).

I'm doing to pickguard tomorrow, as well as the control cavities. Hopefully everything will be ready very soon.

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by paulnb57 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:54 am

Excellent progress, loving it! Great potential colour too......
How is the Mosrite inspired. pickup likely to sound in comparison to a P90?

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by epizootics » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:36 am

I made a couple to fit Jazzmaster covers before and they sound interesting - they have a snappier attack than p90s, and drive preamps quicker. Part of the trick is using AWG 44 instead of 42, as it makes for a more compact bobbin. A smaller portion of the vibrating string is turned into a voltage, so they have a bit less bass/mediums than p90s, but the portion that IS turned into a current does so by affecting a denser bunch of wire. In simple terms, the sound is a bit more compact with more bite.

On these, I went a bit underwound to retain even more highs, and I used two Firebird pickup magnets (that are about half the size of a regular HB magnet) in the bridge to focus the sound even more. I'm not sure yet how this one is going to turn out, I'll keep you guys posted when I come back from my holidays.

In the meantime, I realized my tremolo unit didn't come with an arm. Nothing 1$'s worth of stainless steel rod can't fix:

Image

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by epizootics » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:13 pm

Almost there!

I will probably re-do the pickguard(s), as I keyed the acrylic with too harsh a grit prior to painting the bottom and some scratch marks are still visible. My spray painting job wasn't the best either and is not quite even. Thankfully I still have twenty sheets of that PMMA, which I rescued from the bin at work a little while back. Talking of which, I might be changing my mind about Plexiglas being inferior to polycarbonate for those uses. It takes scratches a lot less and is a lot easier to work with hand tools. It also doesn't hate acetone like Lexan does. It took me half an hour to get those two plates ready with a hacksaw and my sanding beam. I only roughed the pickup slots and routed them flush with the cavities on the body. Having used a lot of stainless steel for that purpose until now, it felt like a breeze (and less of a risk of tendinitis :whistle: )

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All that's left now is drilling the holes between the cavities (I made router templates for the controls this time around and still managed to mess one up, thanks to a faulty router bit), drilling the pickguards and screwing everything into place. I'll re-shape the headstock to a quirkier shape later on. That'll leave me with the contouring of the body and the final sanding / finishing once I'm down South. I'm taking this baby with me for the former:

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I know everybody says that, but spokeshaves are stupidly fun to use. They are very forgiving and it's hard to really mess up with them, as long as you set them for light passes and keep them razor-sharp.

That's all for now...See you guys in two weeks!

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Re: The BopMaster...

Post by the_devils_tool » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:01 am

Wow that looks like fun! I wish I had those skills.

Are you doing a standard master volume/tone knob wiring scheme?
Twang, Reverb, and Echo - it's where it's AT!

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Re: The BopMaster... [Finished!]

Post by epizootics » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:15 pm

Ok, I'm now back from my refreshing vacation down South, where the days are hot and the nights are, hum, quiet. Our cat loved her first venture to the countryside and ate many butterflies. I even found the time to finish the BopMaster, which I'll have to rename 'the Bop Marster' in honor of my London friends. Here are a few pics:

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Now, I was going to make a video but this will have to wait a bit because...

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I'll let you guess what happened...Ring finger vs. my late granddad's newly sharpened 21mm chisel...It sliced off the end very neatly, it has to be the cleanest wound I ever got from woodworking. And a reminder: 'always clamp your workpiece down'.

I was tempted to keep the strat headstock after all, but it doesn't look right with that body. I am tempted to go the TK300 way (definitely an odd one for Gretsch):

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I wired it the easy way - three-way switch, volume and tone as I don't really tend to use my fancy wirings much. I do like the sound of out-of-phase pickups but they don't work too well in the live setting, the drop in output tends to be a bit too much.

The pickups came out pretty good...Neck is round but has a nice 'snap' to it, and bridge is pretty much what I wanted, ie. a bright p90 with clearer articulation without having to use magnet pole pieces while retaining the twang and bark of a regular 90. The shorter Firebird magnets make for a much narrower 'sensing window', I really think there is something to explore there.

I was surprised at how light this one ended up being, somewhere around 5 1/2 pounds. It doesn't neck dive, and that Chinese neck is more than OK - didn't need any fret levelling, and the nitro finish is really nice to the touch.

On the negatives, I'm not convinced by the acrylic scratchplates, which don't look too good under close scrutiny, and I'm not a 100% sold on the overall finish either. This was my first 'burst' of any kind and I think something of a deeper, richer brown at the edges would work better. But man does it play! I have recording sessions coming up this summer and I really wanted a JM trem on those...

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Re: The BopMaster... [Finished!]

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:26 pm

VERY nice!! I love the color, but my favorite part is the two pickguards, and how they look out of clear plastic. Really cool 8)
Pickup Switching Mad Scientist
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

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