Volume 35 - Standup Bass & Strat Kit Guitar

Written by Patrick Podpadec on . Posted in Northcoast Voice

The fall season sure seems to have come on very quickly this year. I didn’t even notice the leaves changing until they were already in full color, and that cool brisk morning air is all around. The sound of the furnace kicking on in the morning and the leaves starting to come down. I’m not ready for this yet! I had so many more projects I was going to do before winter hit and now there is no time. I guess I’ll have to wait till next year. I was hoping to go to a Harpguitar festival in November but I really don’t think I’ll be ready. I guess I could still go and see what the latest things are happening in the harpguitar world.  Well things in the shop seem to be moving along nicely though. Steady streams of instruments are making their way through the door and back out again they go. I have been blessed with a few new cool things to fix up. Some projects have been around for awhile and are starting to take shape. I’ve been working on repairing the head on a stand up bass. I had to come up with a way to attach the head back on and reinforce so that the massive string tension would not tear the head back off again. Someone had repaired it once before, but after time it let go again. I believe that the way that it was carved originally was that the cavity where the strings and tuning machines go was carved out too deeply. This left very little wood to withstand the constant pull on the head. I decided to rout out a section of the volute in the back of the head and drop a thicker piece of maple in the routed out area. After recarving the volute and reinforcing the “inlay” with dowels through it’s cross section. (just for extra measure) I felt the new repair was strong enough to hold up to any string pressure at all. I was lucky in the fact of the dowels, because the large brass plates of the tuning machines covered up these unsightly blemishes and no one knows except everyone that is reading this article. Oopps! It is a little difficult to match up the color so that it is an undetectable repair, but the owner is much more concerned with the structural integrity rather than the aesthetic value, Another project that I’m in the middle of is a Strat rebuild.  It required me to refinish the instrument with white lacquer. It came to me as a kit project that became a little too much for the customer. I was a bit surprised at that because of the other things that this person had showed me that he had done to his other guitars. He seems to have a very good grasp on the concept of quality workmanship. With a refret and other small jobs he did a very good job. This strat brought out a few new touches that sets it off in its own class. It’s got a white pickguard on a white body with a ebony  fingerboard. The pickups are wired up with “lipstick tube pickups and looks very cool. The body is currently curing in the spray booth as we speak.
 Along with a few neck sets and a few refrets there is always the usual setups that are constantly coming and going .I’m just trying to get caught up with the repairs to the point where I’ll be able to start building a few more instruments . I had hoped to have built at least three this year , but I’m not sure that I’ll reach that goal. I’m not giving up though .It could happen. I’ve been dreaming lately of building a harpukelele. I have seen a few and I happen to have some exceptional looking spalted maple that would go great for that size of a instrument. I am still looking for a buyer for the beautiful slope shoulder dreadnaught that I built in the spring time .The “Maverick” is sounding great lately and I encourage any perspective buyers to give me a call and I would love to show it off. It has an interesting future attached to it due to it’s being part of the “Sonic Sitka Project”. Well after telling you of some of the repairs I’m reminded that I have at least that many more to get back to. So as I leave, I bid you all a fair well and please always try to “Stay in Tune!  
                                                                             Thanks Again!
                                                                               Patrick from Wood-n-Strings