August 03, 2008

Procrastination leads to productivity

I've been putting off embarking on my next woodworking adventure by taking care of some other odds and ends I've been meaning to get to. I'm not being thorough, I'm procrastinating.

One of my earliest projects, in fact one that I started before I had many tools at all aside from some hand power tools, (drill, sabre saw, circular saw) was a bass guitar.

See, several years ago I acquired a bass: brand name "Series 10." Apparently they used to give these things away with Ampeg amps. Cheesy sparkly plywood body, sloppily dipped chrome plated bridge, tuner, etc. But the neck was okay and the frets seemed to be located in basically the right places. So I thought I'd build a new body for the bass. I went and bought a hunka hunka solid mahogany because I didn't even have the clamps to glue up a body, and I got my dad to cut it out on his bandsaw and drill out the neck pocket with forstner bits.

And then I brought it home and started shaping it. by hand. With rasps and files. It was a lot of work, unrewarding and, in my South Carolina garage, damned hot. Everything I did made the thing look worse. So ... I quit.

Fast forward to the present day, maybe five years later. I have tools, now, an embarrassment of tools, and a nice cool basement woodshop. And a large, ambitious project I'm kind of avoiding! So yesterday I decided to have at the bass.

Shape-wise, it's about where I want it to be. The curves and contours are pleasing to the touch. The next steps will involve fitting the neck and routing and drilling for the electronics (once we've settled on what the electronics will entail). Then I'll give it the final sanding, allow the color to even itself out (age and exposure to light seems to change the color of the mahogany dramatically, hence the blotches you can see in the photos.

Soon I'll be cranking this "Series 10" up to 11!


Rosemary said...

And if that doesn't work, it could easily be transformed into another one of those groundhog-ghost silhouette thingies that you're so famous for! It's already got the waving arms action...

Seriously, though. I know that would be a tragic waste of solid mahogany. Trust me. I live with a wood snob.

JB said...

The Haunted Groundhog is less than a foot away from the bass, as a matter of fact. I wonder if it was controlling my mind as I carved the bass, forcing me to create its mahogany mate.