Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

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Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:17 pm

Better late than never. I started these last week. I found a table several years ago that someone had set down on the main road for anyone to scarf up. It looked like a nice piece of wood so I took it home.
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table.jpg
Last edited by Peter Wilcox on Mon May 06, 2013 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:20 pm

I found the floor boards last year at the hardwood store in Reno - 3 for 25 cents.
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wood.jpg
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:26 pm

I cut the table down the middle on the glue line where the two pieces were joined. I initially thought the wood was oak, but looking at the fresh cut and calculating the weight per cubic foot, I now think it's luan.

Then downloaded some patterns, one for a j bass and one a p bass, cut them out and traced them on the wood.
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wood-cut.jpg
patterns.jpg
Last edited by Peter Wilcox on Mon May 06, 2013 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:35 pm

Glued. UJnfortunately, to make the patterns fit better and leave me a long piece of wood, on the first one I flipped one piece of the pattern over. This left the grooves in the table top on both sides of the glued up body, necessitating thinning it down on both sides. The top was initially 1 3/4" thick, but after thicknessing only 1 7/16". I learned from that and did the other one right, leaving it a little over 1 1/2" thick.
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p-bass-glued.jpg
j-bass-glued.jpg
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:37 pm

My thicknessing jig.
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:41 pm

For some reason my router bit moves down about 1/4" sometimes when I turn the router on after putting in a new bit, even though I've set it correctly when stopped.
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon May 06, 2013 10:43 pm

Luckily, it's in the neck pocket and under the pick guard, so the fix won't show.
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Re: Two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Hans Bezemer » Mon May 06, 2013 11:20 pm

Looking good Peter!

And with the wider timeframe there is still some time left to make some beautiful basses.
Good luck.

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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Greg Robinson » Mon May 06, 2013 11:37 pm

Yep, better late than never! Looks like you're making some good progress though, good luck Peter!

By the way, with regards to your router, is the bit actually slipping in the collet? Or is the height adjustment of the router shot? If the bit is slipping in the collet, how are you fastening it? Do you bottom the bit out before tightening? You should make sure not to bottom out the bit, as imperfections on the bottom of the shank or the collet can leave it slightly out of square, and the bit can then slip as it is not properly tightened. You should always bottom the bit, then back it out about 1/32" before tightening.
If you've been doing that and the bit is still slipping, you need to replace the collet, immediately. It's an accident waiting to happen.
If you hadn't been doing that and it fixes your problem, you should really replace the collet anyway, as it will be worn and could potentially be bent out of square.
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Warren May » Tue May 07, 2013 3:17 am

Glad you could join, Peter. The wood does look like some sort of mahogany so should make a nice sounding bass. Good score from the dumpster dive :)
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Tue May 07, 2013 4:12 pm

Thanks, Greg. It's not the collet (and I do back off the bit) - the bit isn't coming farther out. The collet is an integral part of the motor shaft anyway, and can't be changed. The router has a safety lock feature which disables the on switch when engaged for changing bits or adjusting the depth, and I thought possibly disengaging this caused the motor shaft to drop, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It seems to be the height adjustment, and even though I tighten the nut tight I notice that the cut is lower than I set it, but it only happens occasionally. The height adjustment does have a detente I can screw down to make sure it doesn't go lower - I guess I'll just have to remember to lock it down each time, and recheck the depth after I turn it on and before I start routing.
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Bob Gramann » Tue May 07, 2013 4:26 pm

I've had a lot of trouble with bits slipping on routers with an integral collet. When I look for a router now, that type of collet is automatically disqualified. I can't stand a router that spoils my work. It just plain makes me angry.
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Greg Robinson » Tue May 07, 2013 11:40 pm

That's good to hear Peter, glad it's not the collet. Hope you can figure out what the problem with the height adjustment mechanism is!
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Jason Rodgers » Wed May 08, 2013 12:50 am

What the fuzzy... did the bit drop and chew the top in the exact same place on both blanks?! Is there something going on with hitting end-grain?
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Wed May 08, 2013 1:39 am

Jason Rodgers wrote:What the fuzzy... did the bit drop and chew the top in the exact same place on both blanks?! Is there something going on with hitting end-grain?

No, that's the same body. The second picture (different lighting and some sanding) is after I repaired the part that will be under the pick guard. I just left the groove where I will route out the neck pocket anyway.

I bought a "new" router for $15 at a yard sale this last weekend. It has a 1/2" collet, which is why I bought it, but I'll have to wait to get a 1/2" to 1/4" adapter and/or some 1/2" bits before I can use it. It should solve my problem - the router I have is 40 years old.
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Warren May » Wed May 08, 2013 7:21 am

Your old router looks like a Craftsman that I had from about the same era, my Mom won it and gave it to me around 1970. I didn't use it much for years but had left a bit chucked up in it and it slipped ever after. Really frustrating and I couldn't find a replacement collet so I finally threw it out. It's always been hard to throw out something you've had so long. Hope your new one gives you good service for another 40 years. :)
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Wed May 08, 2013 10:18 am

Warren May wrote: Hope your new one gives you good service for another 40 years. :)

Me too - 'cause that means I'll have an active life until I'm 109 years old. :lol:
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Warren May » Wed May 08, 2013 10:52 pm

Peter Wilcox wrote:Me too - 'cause that means I'll have an active life until I'm 109 years old. :lol:


Hope so...my grandfather was still swinging a hammer at 90 so I'm hoping I inherited those genes.
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu May 09, 2013 5:46 pm

Oooh, I look forward to seeing these develop!
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Re: Peter Wilcox's two basses from a table top and floorboards

Postby Peter Wilcox » Thu May 09, 2013 10:51 pm

Made some p bass templates yesterday. Pickguard today from some 1/8" acrylic a relative found in the trash at work. Routed the cavities and the neck pocket today.

I found out my router problem IS the bit coming out of the collet - it happened DURING the route, and luckily wasn't the route to the final depth of the control cavity.
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p bass pickguard.jpg
p-bass-templates.jpg
p-bass-routes.jpg
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