Monday, January 17, 2011

The return of an old adversary

As the RR2V project is nearing completion I want to get working on some of the others. This Mockinbird was my 'first project of the modern era' and has never been quite right despite a lot of time spent on it.

I wasn't happy with the pickups I originally fitted, so I replaced them with some Kent Armstrong 'Rockers' I bought ages ago. These work nicely and I'm happy with them.

I wasn't happy with the nasty monkey metal tremolo so I bought an adequate quality Korean made licensed low-profile one. This is much better, but now the tremolo route just isn't deep enough for any upwards use.

The neck relief was non-existent, perhaps even slightly negative. I added a little and now it plays much more nicely.

The nut height was excessive. I sanded it carefully and improved on this, but it wasn't enough and the nut shelf isn't 100% flat afterwards.

So I've a few things to attend to.
  • Cut the nut shelf some more and make sure it's flat
  • Fit a new gold nut to match the rest of the hardware
  • Route the tremolo inset in the top of the body out deeper
Tonight I've filled the original screw holes for the nut but cutting the shelf is going to be an interesting proposition. There seems to be little advice online other than 'cut it flat and parallel with the fretboard' and an assumption you have access to a milling machine. Which I don't.

I think I'm going to make a 'jig' which clamps to the neck and will allow me to use a Dremel with router attachment on the nut shelf. It'll need to stay parallel with the fretboard and have some guides so I stay within the bounds of the existing shelf. Using it freehand could result in disaster.

Routing the tremolo inset out should be OK, I already have a template for this and as accuracy is less important I can just use a full size router on that. I will need to acquire a 'guided' router bit though, I don't have one.

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