Finished Pics! Mouradian style Bass

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Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1117
edited February 4 in Making & Modding
Hi

Yes - I know...another bass!  Sort of good news in a way - each time I finish a bass, I seem to get an enquiry for another and different one.  The only downside, because I only tackle one full project at a time, is that it has been AGES since I did a 6-string electric build.

After this one, a Mouradian-style 4 string bass, I've been asked to build a short scale (c 25") piccolo bass, so that will feel more like a 6 string at least

But this one is another unusual one.  It is in the style of the bass that Jim Mouradian built for Chris Squire of Yes:


The guy who's asked me to build it has actually built himself a couple on the past - including a double neck one!  Anyway, he wants a through neck one and had seen the recent EB-3 build so came my way.

The basic construction I've chosen is similar.
 
Through neck with wings, then top on top.  Here were the templates - slightly slimmer than the original:


Maple / rosewood/ maple neck was thicknessed, trued up and glued and then notched at a 2 degree neck angle to accept the mahogany top.  It is going to be solid colour painted (cream), so the mahogany mismatch isn't an issue:


With such a complex shape, it was too risky to cut out the wings until  the top fit was sorted, even though the wings will be glued first.  Once the top and neck were trial-fitted, I could trace the shape onto the back wings and cut those out:




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  • With the backs cut out, they could be glued to the neck, again using the top as the positional guide (and protected from the glue with cling-film:





    In the meantime, I started sorting the fret markers on the excellent slotted rosewood fretboard supplied by David Dyke.  The owner wanted my logo swifts on the fretboard, but we agreed we didn't want it to go PRS bling-ish, so opted for twelfth fret only:




    Before gluing the top, I routed out the lightening chambers (top and bottom) and cable runs.  I also cut a chamber for a Smooth Hound wireless Tx, with access for a normal cable if needed:


    And then the top could be glued and the sanding could begin...and go on...and on... and on:



    ...and then, bringing things up to date, the corners were radiused:





    Still loads to do - next job is neck and neck transition - but it's starting to look like a bass :)  
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 642
    The shape is not my cup o tea, but it is superb to see something so different and another gallop through your skillset! Awesome!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • GizmoGizmo Frets: 248
    edited December 2016
    Nice i remember seeing this style bass on a Chris's starlicks VHS video and here is that video is on YT.

    Skip to 20:50 time link isn't pasteing in



    I also remember seeing nuno playing the washburn prototype of this guitar at the Freddie Mercury tribute gig in 92




    Very cool to see a piccolo version being made,but id have loved to see it in a bright wacky color or maybe a pearl white

    Very cool though


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  • Gizmo said:
    Nice i remember seeing this style bass on a Chris's starlicks VHS video and here is that video is on YT.

    Skip to 20:50 time link isn't pasteing in






    That clip is interesting, thanks for posting it @Gizmo ;...you get a better idea of the look of the thing than just from a still photograph.  Pity he didn't play it!

    Been doing some work on the headstock.

    I'm trying to give a passing nod the body shape with the carve on the headstock:


    It's going to be painted cream, leaving the thru neck natural and the headstock plate will have a central matching cream stripe.

    This is what the overall shape is starting to look like:




    Next major job is carving the neck and volute


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  • Loving this. Pickups? Those are big routs
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  • Loving this. Pickups? Those are big routs
    Thanks :).  The bridge is a hot pickup (can't remember the make) that is in the style of a Music Man that the owner has sent to me, and the neck is a DiMarzio Model One.  Both of them physically massive!
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 642
    edited December 2016
    @Andyjr1515 ;what is the wipe on finish you use please?
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • paulnb57 said:
    @Andyjr1515 ;what is the wipe on finish you use please?
    I'll find a link later on previous posts where I describe how I do the wipe-on finishing.

     Although I have some issues with the recent reformulation of the product, I basically apply standard Ronseal Hardglaze, thinned with white spirits, wiped on with a micro-fibre cloth
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1117
    edited December 2016
    paulnb57 said: @Andyjr1515 ;;what is the wipe on finish you use please?
    Hi again, @paulnb57 ;

    This is a pretty comprehensive article on how I go about it - assuming projectguitar.com is accessible to non-subscribers.  Let me know if you are not able to get onto the link:
     http://www.projectguitar.com/forums/topic/48429-wipe-on-polyurethane-varnish/

    There is a wrinkle since I wrote this, maybe specifically for Ronseal - the formulation of Ronseal Hardglaze has been changed recently to lower the volatiles.  It is still a good varnish but I've found that you can't thin it quite to the levels I quote in the article without experiencing parting lines in the flow.  Next one (in fact probably this one) I'm going to try the Rustins clear polyurethane and see if that fares any better. 

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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 642
    Thanks @Andyjr1515 today I bought a tin of oil based varnish which I have thinned about 50%, which I have started to finish a Mahogany Tele body stained Cherry, so far so good, one coat only which has soaked in and gone dull as expected, but so easy to apply......I've  read about this type of finish for ages and don't know why I left it so long to try it......
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • Bit more progress on this.

    The main length of the neck was shaped with a little bit of spokeshave, a fine micro-plane blade out of its handle (but with gloves!) but mainly cabinet scraper  


    Note also the template, taken from the prospective owner's favourite-felling bass using a profile gauge.  That way, the bass will at least feel familiar to him:


    Then, creeping up on the volute with every tool in the workshop!


    Still have the neck to body join to shape, bit in the meantime fitted the tuners and positioned the templates for my logo 'swifts':


    Then, after cutting out a trio of Mother of Pearl swifts, routed out the shapes with a dremel and precision router base:


    ...and done, here dry-fitted ready for gluing with epoxy mixed with some rosewood sanding dust:




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  • BigMonkaBigMonka Frets: 1146
    Your work looking great as always Andy, really like that stripey neck.
    Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman, in which case always be Batman.
    My boss told me "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"... now I'm sat in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1120
    You'll have all sorts of EXTREME fans BADGERing you to build them one of those, OP! :)
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  • DeadmanDeadman Frets: 2092
    Wow. Great stuff Andy, great quality pics too.
    My trading feedback is here 
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  • Thanks, folks  :)
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  • DLM said:
    You'll have all sorts of EXTREME fans BADGERing you to build them one of those, OP! :)
    Yes.....mmmmmm    ;)
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1117
    Quite a bit more progress on this.
    Control chamber routed and cover created from some of the neck offcut:


    Fretboard shaped, fitted and fretted and pickup chambers cut (forstner and chisel):


    Luminlay side dots added:


    Painting started.  The owner wants cream solid for the top and sides and for the mahogany wings at the back.  The through neck will be left unpainted from tip to toe:




     Second colour coat, in spite of the first coat being cured for the recommended time, orange-peeled like crazy.  Don't you just love products that aren't compatible with themselves!  ;)

    Anyway, it might be recoverable and, if not, I'll just sand it off and use something else.
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  • DeadmanDeadman Frets: 2092
    Looking forward to seeing this finished Andy. Amazing stuff.
    My trading feedback is here 
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 642
    More awesomness! Great stuff!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • That's looking nice - I like the wiggly end of the fretboard, nice touch :)
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  • olafgartenolafgarten Frets: 1090
    I'm not too sure about the body shape but I love that Headstock!
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1120

    @Digitalscream @Bucket @bluebuddha Tagging in the other resident Extreme fanbois! :)

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  • Nice, very nice :)

    I do know that Mr Badger is actively looking for any of the old Mouradian basses, if anybody happens to spot one out in the wild.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1117
    edited January 11
    Thanks, folks :)
      Before I was asked to do the build, I'd never knowingly come across the Mouradian/ Chris Squier shape.  I'm used to it now and certainly am thoroughly enjoying the build  :)
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1120

    @digitalscream That's odd, maybe he regrets selling one of his on to that guy in the Extreme tribute band in Asia.

    Mentioned in Pat's Amps & Axes interview:

    http://www.ampsandaxescast.com/episodes/2016/12/10/amps-axes-157-pat-badger

    Or maybe the offer was just too high to refuse. Alpacas gotta eat!

    https://farmtek.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/20130316_110009.jpg

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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 1117
    Alpacas!  Cool or what!

    Anyway, I think the paint is going to be OK.  It has levelled OK and I've been able to cover the one or two thin spots.  I think this is going to be alright  :)





    Quite elegant in a pretzel kind of way ;)  

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1120

    Have a wow, that's coming together really nicely!

    You might not have been aware that Pat Badger became an alpaca farmer after Extreme split. He still keeps a few as "pets".

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  • DLM said:

    Have a wow, that's coming together really nicely!

    You might not have been aware that Pat Badger became an alpaca farmer after Extreme split. He still keeps a few as "pets".

    When I spoke to him a couple of years ago (got a phone call from him after his Kickstarter campaign for his album), he definitely still had the Alpaca farm. That may have changed since the band got back together though, I guess.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1120
    DLM said:

    Have a wow, that's coming together really nicely!

    You might not have been aware that Pat Badger became an alpaca farmer after Extreme split. He still keeps a few as "pets".

    When I spoke to him a couple of years ago (got a phone call from him after his Kickstarter campaign for his album), he definitely still had the Alpaca farm. That may have changed since the band got back together though, I guess.

    @digitalscream
    That Amps & Axes interview from last month I linked to above has the latest on Pat's alpaca situation, Lee. :)

    You might be more interested in the other content, granted! ;)

    For example: Pat tells of how he first met Nuno in Mouradian's shop...

    ... and we're back on topic, folks! :lol:

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  • Well, that shows how out-of-touch I am! :D
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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