Some pics and notes from this baritone assembly

tfarny

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This one has been coming together slowly but surely over the last couple of months. Body was a MIM tele in sparkly blue (don't know the real color), got it with pickguard, ferrules and straps for a steal on the bay because it had a ding in the finish right where your elbow goes. Date is sep 2008, so I'm assuming it was damaged in transit or something. Neck is maple / pau ferro baritone, 6150. Pickups are Bill Lawrence Keystone teles, the rest of the hardware was all sitting in my parts bin.

Hey, if you've got a spare bridge and set of tuners, you need a new build, right!

 

tfarny

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4,481
First thing: the body had, it seems, a strat pocket. Weird, who knew. Body, say hello to my little friend 'dremel'.
 

tfarny

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Neck finish: wipe on satin poly from minwax. I don't have any idea why more of us don't use this stuff - the entire finishing process took maybe 2 hours and it seriously looks and feels exactly like a fender USA satin finish.
Sand down, wipe with mineral spirits. Apply poly with a clean rag. wait one day. Re-apply. Wait one week. Buff out. Done.
 

tfarny

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I'm trying out this cool-seeming wiring using a mega switch. Grounding everything to a screw in the side of the cavity helps to keep things neat and ensures I don't burn out my pots. Glad I don't have a reason to add a push-pull or things would get really tight.
 

tfarny

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Pickups arrived today - this is basically what you get, no more and no less. $65 total, shipped. The backplate on the bridge pickup is a very thin piece of aluminum, I think there's a tiny copper strip under that. The blue wire is the ground for the backplate, conveniently already in place. Neck is 5.28k dc, Bridge 7.08.

Unfortunately, when attaching the bridge pup to the bridge, the little grommet things that serve as bolts screwed up. Two of them popped out. One of them I eventually got back in and working, the other one has a bur or something inside and was a real pain. I ended up shortening the bolt and doing a mickey mouse job to get it all in place, but it won't adjust much. I think at some point I'll need to put a real bolt on the back.

I hope these pickups sound good. They look kind of cheap to be perfectly honest.
 

tfarny

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I'm doing the nut from a bone blank. It's the one with the correct 10" bottom radius from stew mac, not the straight thing that warmoth sells. I used another nut as my template for string placement, an exacto knife to make an initial incision, then went to town with a triangular file and nut files. Glued it onto the neck and next step is to finish it up. That's all for now, folks!
 

blue313

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Looking sweet so far!  I'm thinking those pickups will end up sounding good.  Bill Lawrence isn't known for putting out crap.

BTW a little CA should hold those bushings in place.  I had a loose one on my Fender set.  I just cleaned it off and used a bit of the water thin stuff.
 

Soylent

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I can't tell too well from the pics, but it looks just like my MIM tele and its custom shopped lake placid blue.. and that looks about the exact same..  :eek:ccasion14:
 

nathan a

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"Dremel iz my bff"

Nice.

Seriously though, cool build, +1 on baritones. Also, is the neck spot routed for a mini-humbucker? That is what it looks like to me from here. I would have been tempted to go that route.
 

tfarny

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4,481
Update: Got the nut mostly finished last night and a rough intonation. Had to remove the neck twice to adjust the truss rod, and it's still not quite straight enough. Only adjustment on bari necks is at the heel - wassupwidat?
Will wait a few weeks till it really settles in before cranking on it more.

Sounds: Cool!!! Really cool! Haven't really dialed in anything but it has great clean tones which was the most important thing for this one.

Yes, it is Lake Placid Blue, thanks. And it's got space for a full HB or even a P90 in the neck. I wanted to try these BL first, and the pickguard I had was for a tele neck. Down the road it would be cool to put a PAF of some type in there, maybe, but I'll give this a shot first.
 

tfarny

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The nut is playable now. I originally filed the slot for the lowest string (A? B?) too far inwards, and I had already gone pretty deep before I realized. To try and save the nut, I took a triangular file and cranked away at the outer side of that slot until the string was in the right spot when held in place, then went deeper from there. So there's a gouge you can see just next to the low string but it doesn't rattle or sitar and is sitting in a depression in the bottom of the slot. I'm glad it's the lowest string because I've got plenty of break angle to help me out. Good learning experience, I'll probably do these bone nuts from now on. I can see why they cost an arm and a leg at a shop, they take a while to get just right. I'll let it all settle in for a couple of weeks then do some more fine tuning on the nut and truss rod.
 

nathan a

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Live and learn, eh?

What do you think of the huge low string? Personally I love the feel of it, really sturdy.. but I have never played an electric baritone, just acoustic.
 

stubhead

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SHHHHH! - (Dirty little nut secret)

If you slightly goink a slot on a (white) nut you can glue tiny bits of paper in there with superglue and re-file. The paper really only holds the glue in place, you really want to soak the paper - anything from a single piece of TP to a business card. The better you cut the paper, the less refiling... Do NOT try this while the nut's IN the guitar, unless you're feel you've earned a "Stupid Lesson."* I usually end up making two nuts for a guitar anyway, the first one goinked cause I'm in a hurry and I WANNa PLaYand the second one later when I've calmed down. It takes a couple of hours, which is why people charge so much, and it works best for me if I spread it out over a few days - which is why I goink the starter nut....

*(of which guitars already teach plenty, methinks)
 

Unwound G

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835
stubhead said:
SHHHHH! - (Dirty little nut secret)

If you slightly goink a slot on a (white) nut you can glue tiny bits of paper in there with superglue and re-file. The paper really only holds the glue in place, you really want to soak the paper - anything from a single piece of TP to a business card. The better you cut the paper, the less refiling... Do NOT try this while the nut's IN the guitar, unless you're feel you've earned a "Stupid Lesson."* I usually end up making two nuts for a guitar anyway, the first one goinked cause I'm in a hurry and I WANNa PLaYand the second one later when I've calmed down. It takes a couple of hours, which is why people charge so much, and it works best for me if I spread it out over a few days - which is why I goink the starter nut....

*(of which guitars already teach plenty, methinks)

Dan Erlewine recommended a baking powder and superglue mix in his newsletter recently.  The advantage of this is that you can actually tint or color it to match whichever you are filling.
 

tfarny

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4,481
I was messing around with it this morning. It is actually very stable in that slot, although the picture doesn't make it look like it. It won't budge. I don't plan on messing with it unless it starts doing weird stuff.
As for the feel of the low A string, I dunno, the whole thing is kind of sloppy in A standard, I think I want more string tension, especially on the bass strings. Feels too much like a guitar and not enough like a bass. I'll take it up to Bb or B standard and maybe get baritone medium strings (.014 - .068 I think) next time for A standard.
 

blue313

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2,824
Unwound G said:
Dan Erlewine recommended a baking powder and superglue mix in his newsletter recently.  The advantage of this is that you can actually tint or color it to match whichever you are filling.
Works pretty good for fixing stripped mounting holes in single coils too.
 

AToE

Active member
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88
tfarny said:
I was messing around with it this morning. It is actually very stable in that slot, although the picture doesn't make it look like it. It won't budge. I don't plan on messing with it unless it starts doing weird stuff.
As for the feel of the low A string, I dunno, the whole thing is kind of sloppy in A standard, I think I want more string tension, especially on the bass strings. Feels too much like a guitar and not enough like a bass. I'll take it up to Bb or B standard and maybe get baritone medium strings (.014 - .068 I think) next time for A standard.

What do you have on there now for gauges? I use a 68 for C and find it a bit sloppy, feels better on my right hand when it's tuned up to D (left had prefers it at C tho...).
 
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