The Last Bass Outpost

Gear Discussion Forums => Bill's Shop: Projects, Mods & Repairs => Topic started by: BeeTL on December 09, 2014, 08:47:38 PM

Title: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 09, 2014, 08:47:38 PM
I've been tinkering at this guitar building game for about five years now.

My progress has been slow, but very deliberate.

I've learned a lot about building guitars and the industry in general along the way, and I'd like to share some of that experience here.

I'll start with what's in the pipeline today, and then I'll cover some of the back story over time.

My necks with tiltback headstocks have a groove for access to the truss rod.

I have always felt that while tidy, it seemed a little unfinished leaving the hex-head visible.

With that in mind, I'm having Hipshot products fabricate a cover in shiny stainless steel to match the other hardware pieces they do for me.

Here is the CAD drawing, and I should have parts in hand late next week:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/codatrussrodcover_zps078a4b08.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on December 10, 2014, 06:52:03 PM
Thanks Brad  :)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 11, 2014, 06:21:17 AM
Nice looking work.  I'm not so sophisticated in my building approach, but I can really appreciate what you're doing.  Hipshot is just down the road from me, a good company for sure.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 11, 2014, 09:01:28 PM
Thanks!

I stumbled on this site while looking for some information on neck hardware and decided to stay a while.

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 13, 2014, 07:08:00 AM
Welcome.  There are several of us building here.  Carlo is most prolific and skilled,  Scott (Godofthunder) builds as well as me.  There are others whom I'm forgetting in my usual chemo brain fog!  We've learned a lot from each other over the years.  Hope your plans go well!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 13, 2014, 01:47:18 PM
I just admire the building from afar... (other side of the Atlantic, in this case... :mrgreen:)

I like to play with fins but probably have the worst record on the site for work completion... :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 14, 2014, 09:49:12 AM
Here's the last one for 2014...a gold top Thund-R-Luxe with a one-piece swamp-ash body, maple neck with macassar ebony board, & white pearl dots.

The pickups are Lollar Thunderbirds and the paint is by Jim Jaeger at Roxy finishes.

I used Chet Johnson's neck mounting bolt kit on this one and I'm sold.

I won't be going back to traditional wood screws for the instruments I build.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01741_zpsaf94ccdb.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01742_zps61807cfc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01744_zps7d07ae17.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01743_zps98465956.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01745_zpsb63f88e8.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01746_zps930d2d2e.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01747_zps545d6098.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01748_zpse3066133.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01749_zps85ede080.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on December 14, 2014, 10:40:58 AM
I like to play with fins but probably have the worst record on the site for work completion... :rolleyes:

I'll match my intertia up against yours!  It goes with the 280ZX Turbo that I've had on blocks in the garage for two years....
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 14, 2014, 03:04:49 PM
You do not want to know the last entries on when the RD and the AD rebuilds were... and as for fitting that Lollar pup in the PC... :o

(exemplary workmanship, Brad...) ;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 14, 2014, 08:03:22 PM
Off-topic digressions are highly encouraged here...8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: 4stringer77 on December 15, 2014, 08:55:01 AM
Nice work Brad. I especially like the bound body effect. How do you like those Lollars? I've got a build about to come in with one of them.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 15, 2014, 01:12:37 PM
Off-topic digressions are highly encouraged here...8)

Of course...!
Some people drift off into trains, planes and automobiles; occasional tanks, and a side-line in cross-dressing is popular in some States; oh yes, sheds and squirrels...
on topic... I bought a gold Lollar to replace a failed Peter Cook pup in my PC Thunderbird 2 or 3 years back... unless I have an incentive (ie playing, which I don't intend to think on until re-located) I'm somewhat sluggish in my workmanship rate... 2010 was the last spurt of excitement from the shed...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 16, 2014, 09:29:43 PM
Of course...!
Some people drift off into trains, planes and automobiles; occasional tanks, and a side-line in cross-dressing is popular in some States; oh yes, sheds and squirrels...
on topic... I bought a gold Lollar to replace a failed Peter Cook pup in my PC Thunderbird 2 or 3 years back... unless I have an incentive (ie playing, which I don't intend to think on until re-located) I'm somewhat sluggish in my workmanship rate... 2010 was the last spurt of excitement from the shed...
You have a Peter Cook Thunderbird?

Cool!

Any pics?

By the way, a few cool things are coming down the line:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/LoweRidler090614_zps0fa6ed4a.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Lowe22_zps9d0b227c.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCF3869_zps19ca3628-1.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCF3870_zpsbec518c9-1.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/LCG22x22_zps703770e4.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 17, 2014, 06:51:40 AM
Nice work Brad. I especially like the bound body effect. How do you like those Lollars? I've got a build about to come in with one of them.
Thanks...everyone who plays them loves them!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: gearHed289 on December 17, 2014, 08:52:18 AM
Cool. I like the Ric-inspired one and the 2+2 headstock. Do you make the necks, or are they "Fender licensed" from somebody else?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 17, 2014, 04:27:05 PM
Do a search on "Phoenix" and you'll find the thread, Brad... it's somewhat elderly now... owned the beastie a long time now and (thankfully) no provenance... PC used to do some works on this and other instruments I own as I lived a few miles from his (then) home... used to work out of a garage in those days...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 17, 2014, 08:15:26 PM
Cool. I like the Ric-inspired one and the 2+2 headstock. Do you make the necks, or are they "Fender licensed" from somebody else?
Thanks!

All current production bodies and necks are CNC-milled by Best Guitar Parts - the OEM shop well known for its work with Fano, Gigliotti, Lull, Nash, Soloway, Tedesco and others.

Do a search on "Phoenix" and you'll find the thread, Brad... it's somewhat elderly now... owned the beastie a long time now and (thankfully) no provenance... PC used to do some works on this and other instruments I own as I lived a few miles from his (then) home... used to work out of a garage in those days...

That is so cool...I remember that project!

In a lot of ways early on your work was inspirational to me.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 18, 2014, 01:48:03 PM
Thank you... nice compliment and appreciated... only thing for me is that it's still an unfinished project...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 19, 2014, 12:01:35 PM
I didn't realize it was never finished.

Life gets in the way, doesn't it?

Well...it seems I've stumbled on an interesting "gap" in the bass market.

It appears as though no one makes a a 34" to 32" scale "conversion" neck that fits a standard 2 1/2" neck pocket.

Warmoth's 32" neck fits its 30" bodies, and Fender's 32" necks only fit the bodies they are built for.

It's and easy enough problem to solve.

Just shorten the truss rod and move the nut and headstock to the first fret...DONE!

I'm going to do this with my standard 21 fret neck with overhang, so the resulting "conversion" neck is still 20 frets.

Here's an example where Plug&Play at TalkBass had a luthier build a 32" neck for a Lakland.

http://www.talkbass.com/threads/lakland-converted-to-32-medium-scale.1107348/ (http://www.talkbass.com/threads/lakland-converted-to-32-medium-scale.1107348/)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Lakland34to32conversion_zpsf3d8059a.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on December 19, 2014, 05:13:10 PM
Clever and I suspect there is a market.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: chromium on December 19, 2014, 05:45:10 PM
Nice!
Mid-scales are a lot of fun.  Not everyone's thing, but I like them.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 19, 2014, 09:26:47 PM
Hopefully this will be another little innovation that differentiates my work from other builders'.

I've really been inspired by the hot-rod and custom-cycle movements, so I'm intensely focused on ideas that make modifying and upgrading my instruments as easy for the player as possible.

This just seemed like a no-brainer.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 19, 2014, 09:55:08 PM
There are at least three companies making Fender-style conversion guitar necks (for 24 3/4" scale) that don't require any modification, so there ought to be enough of a market for a conversion bass neck.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 28, 2014, 07:42:12 PM
I know, right?

I'm surprised nobody is already doing it.

:mrgreen:

So, the latest...Ridler #1 in Dakota Red, mocked up prior to PLEK:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01809_zps7203145d.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01810_zps45ece59b.jpg)

...and the new polished stainless truss rod cover by Hipshot:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01811_zps291acdbd.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01812_zpsf9188e53.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 29, 2014, 06:23:57 AM
You know, as distinctive as both headstock shapes are, the shiny black and chrome combined with the tiltback almost makes them seem camouflaged.

It's like they kind of disappear or blend in with the background...it's an interesting effect in person.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: gearHed289 on December 29, 2014, 11:04:20 AM
You know, as distinctive as both headstock shapes are, the shiny black and chrome combined with the tiltback almost makes them seem camouflaged.

It's like they kind of disappear or blend in with the background...it's an interesting effect in person.

I like black headstocks, but matching the body color might be cool too, especially on the 2 + 2 version.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 29, 2014, 10:40:52 PM
My first instruments all had either matching or maple headstocks, so I'm enjoying the change.

Still, I can see how matching could really pop with the new shapes and colors...hmmm.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 31, 2014, 01:46:35 PM
2014 has been a year of quantum leaps for Lowe Custom Guitars, and 2015 looks even more promising.

In 2014 we introduced several new models, the Chromasonic V, the Thund-R-Luxe, the Thund-R-Luxe NR, and now the Ridler.

We also refined several design elements including adding a TV Jones hex-plate pickup ring and adding a polished stainless steel truss rod cover.

In 2015 we expect to offer a 5-string bass option for all of our existing body shapes, and we will add a few more 6-string guitar options.

Continuing our drive to innovate and refine existing designs, we are developing a 32” scale 4-string bass “conversion neck” that will fit standard 2.5” x 3.875” neck pockets.

Finally, we plan on offering unfinished “project” bodies in select shapes for DIY builders who want to do their own finishing, and in a nod to our origins, we may even offer a few of these with “art” finishes.

Thank you for helping to make 2014 such a success, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on December 31, 2014, 03:44:56 PM
And you to Brad...

Hopefully 2015 will be a great year for us all...!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on January 01, 2015, 07:15:42 PM
And you to Brad...

Hopefully 2015 will be a great year for us all...!

Amen!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 02, 2015, 06:35:05 PM
Thanks!

So, I had been been dragging my feet a bit, waiting for Ridler #2 to show up and for NAMM to pass.

In the meantime, my mother was hospitalized unexpectedly, so that was a bit of a distraction.

She's doing fine now, but it was touch-and-go for a bit.

That said, the neck on Ridler #1 is being PLEK'ed tomorrow, so I should have it all together again by the end of this week.

Also, I have been thinking about getting a booth at Summer NAMM.

I will know in the next week or two if I'm going.

If I do, I need to kick it up a notch...or two.

Still, I haven't been completely idle...here's a little doodle I've been working on:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Rick%20Lester%20002_zpszqzn0mic.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Nokturnal on February 02, 2015, 07:51:48 PM
Sorry to hear about your mother. Hope things are better for her.

Good luck with the new models!!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 03, 2015, 01:51:09 PM
Thanks, I really appreciate it!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on February 03, 2015, 02:47:37 PM
+1
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 14, 2015, 08:20:18 PM
So, most of me energy over the last month or so has been focused on bringing the 32" scale conversion bass necks online.

Now that project is in production, it's back to building.

I should have some updated pics tomorrow, but in the mean time, here are shots of the necks as of today:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMAG0553_zpstb4vpgda.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMAG0552_zps9qhkumw5.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMAG0556_zpswfvj6fbp.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMAG0557_zpsmtxq1igf.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on March 15, 2015, 02:16:30 AM
Good luck with the project...!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on March 15, 2015, 05:56:04 PM

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMAG0552_zps9qhkumw5.jpg)


Nice clamping setup!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 17, 2015, 04:25:09 PM
Those clamps have garnered a lot of interest, for sure!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 28, 2015, 02:27:55 PM
So, I'm not a big fan of swimming-pool routs and pickguards, but I've been looking for a way to expand my "palette" and introduce some more affordable options at the same time.

To that end, I’ve sourced some economical, pre-finished, import bodies made out of swamp ash and available in a wide variety of colors.

These will be distinguishable from my US-made bodies in a few different ways:

- Standard neck plate
- Swimming pool rout
- NO faux binding

I am pre-drilling these for interchangeable, string-through bridges:

- Allparts BB-3575-010
- Fender 005-8396-000
- Lowe Design by Hipshot

Allparts:

(http://www.allparts.com/assets/images/products/BB-3575-010-web.jpg)

Fender:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JfiiVt6BL._SX425_.jpg)

Lowe:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01270_zpsef2d6a78.jpg)

A swimming-pool rout will replace the standard “P” rout, and pickgurads will be available to accommodate Thunderbirds, P90s, TV Jones, and Darkstars.

Here is the first body in black being mocked-up:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01818_zpszuolaaff.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01819_zpshfmzgat2.jpg)

You can get a sense of how everything works together here:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01820_zpslulaotcb.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on March 28, 2015, 04:37:08 PM
Nice family shot...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on March 28, 2015, 08:52:41 PM
Interesting way to go about it. I hope it works out for you.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 29, 2015, 08:40:32 PM
Thanks...we'll see how it goes.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

So, here’s a little bit of fun…the first Lollar Thunderbirds for five string.

They look just like the four string model, but the bobbin and magnets extend the length of the cover:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01821_zpsv8vot091.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01822_zpsd8pte9i3.jpg)

A few sets of plug-and-play pickups:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01823_zpswwbftq9z.jpg)

The P bass body with the swimming-pool rout completed:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01824_zpsqop54vp3.jpg)

Ridler body #2 mocked up with TV Jones Thunder'Blade pickups in Filter'Tron cases:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01825_zpsmwngsfuv.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 29, 2015, 08:56:33 PM
Here it is, Ridler #1 ready to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01826_zpsozboi20j.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01827_zpsafzjlxch.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01833_zpscpfsucz2.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01837_zpsw7rwukwc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01835_zps5mwfo8hc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01836_zpss60swcy8.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01840_zps5qugn1on.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01839_zpss7pprc44.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 26, 2015, 05:19:22 AM
I’ll get some assembly shots of Ridler #1 up later today.

In the mean time, I’ve been working on a new project.

I have sourced some swamp ash, imported, pre-finished bodies and I am routing them out with a swimming pool pickup cavity to allow a P, Thunderbird, Fralin Big Single in a P90 case, or a  TV Jones Thunder’Blade to be swapped out at will.

Setting up the routing and bridge placement template:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01841_zpsn3j9lzfz.jpg)

The screws hold the template in place and also establish the outer string-through bridge holes:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01842_zpszlfjr7ur.jpg)

The neck stays in place while routing:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01844_zpsaiex6v8v.jpg)

A bridge is held in place with the outer string-through holes, and the center two are drilled. Then the outer two are enlarged:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01845_zpsjaisyc26.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01846_zpsjymyemhz.jpg)

The ferrule holes are drilled with a Forstner bit and a locating pin keyed to the holes drilled on the front:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01847_zpsayjcawmu.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01848_zpsfdow4iiq.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01849_zps3nazf3x5.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01850_zpsvtpmqaju.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01852_zps1zxvgqoh.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 26, 2015, 05:19:48 AM
I ream out all of the neck mounting holes by hand. It clears out the extra paint and allows a little wiggle room during assembly.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01843_zpsnd4ctrp4.jpg)

I’d say these bodies are average to light overall:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01851_zpssgc38u72.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01853_zpsgcx0o3z6.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01854_zpstwyam5qa.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01855_zpsnqxcxoi8.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01856_zps5ib2busi.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01857_zpsi7eymggp.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 02, 2015, 08:38:56 PM
So, things have been busy this weekend.

I had been waiting for a few piece to get out of paint, and now that they have, I'm going full-tilt.

Here's the latest gallery shot, and please note the black LSP and tobacco burst Ridler are both 32" scale:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01931_zpstvcclowy.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on August 03, 2015, 02:00:35 PM
Looking good...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on August 03, 2015, 07:26:34 PM
I agree.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:44:42 PM
Thanks...I'm having fun!

As I said, this last weekend was very productive.

First, I started with assembling some wiring harnesses.

The pre-drilled assembly blocks work equally well for P, J, and T-style harnesses.

The signal wires get laid out first, then the grounds:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01907_zpso5bcb39x.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01908_zpsxnb1giot.jpg)

I use mil-spec D sub mini pins for my quick connects, and color-code the wires to the pickup placement; Red = Neck, Blue = Bridge:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01909_zpsgubvwxs8.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01910_zpshc96jrwt.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:45:23 PM
Then I install the harness to the pickguard and mount the pickup, or tape it in place in the case of a Thunderbird pickup:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01911_zpsd25avd5t.jpg)

Note the Lollar Thunderbird 5 pickup, I believe this is among the first ones made:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01912_zpsmkbqjuij.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01914_zpsnzzpg2dw.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:45:59 PM
Flip it over, line everything up, and drill the pickguard screws.

I leave the plastic in place except for where the controls are mounted.

I hate it when the plastic is left under the controls because it is impossible to remove:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01915_zpsgpvpp0zb.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01916_zpsz8cuh449.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01917_zpsrvkytl1t.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:46:36 PM
I’m a fan of finding elegant solutions to simple problems, and here are two little tricks I’ve developed using O-rings from the plumbing section of the hardware store.

A #41 works perfectly as a bushing to fit Hipshot Licensed tuners to an import headstock, and a #7 adapts the SG-style switch hole in my control plate to accept a third pot or a jack:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01905_zpsggzhyjah.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01919_zps6ur30c3o.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01918_zpsdqboy7kj.jpg)

Nice and tidy:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01904_zpsk5qlceb9.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:47:25 PM
Ridler #1 getting wired up with Fralin Big Singles in a P90 cover with no holes.

I solder brass nuts on the dog-ear base plate, so now it’s height adjustable.

To my knowledge, these pickups are unique to my builds:

 (http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01920_zpsd6xz3zjk.jpg)

I lay the wires out within the cavity so friction keeps them in place.

On the LSP with Thunderbirds (P’Nobird?) I use a bit of electrical tape to hold the connection secure because the pickup gets moved around:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01921_zpszrxjjbmu.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01922_zpsprxmlf6y.jpg)

Ridler #2 getting wired up:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01929_zpsf7ttzosz.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01930_zpst1w30lwl.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:49:12 PM
I use 8-32 EZ-Lok threaded inserts designed for metal to bolt my necks down.

Step one is marking the necks to be drilled.

I clamp the necks in place, mark with an awl, double-check the placement, then head to the drill press:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01923_zpsoxsvbttf.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01924_zpsrbybafya.jpg)

The clamp keeps the neck from rocking:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01925_zpsyvjzf7rl.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 07:49:47 PM
Once drilled, I tap the hole for a ¼-20 thread, then use a sacrificial insert to center a deeper hole into the maple for the bolts on my contour-heel necks.

Also, I clean the pink thread-lock off the insert and instead flood the hole in the neck with thin CA before inserting the sleeve:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01926_zpsqiin3vfl.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01927_zps2rpawbrv.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01928_zps7mvurhrr.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01897_zpsigtlgdrr.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Nokturnal on August 03, 2015, 08:17:29 PM
Looking good!! Always interesting to see how all of the builders here work their magic!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 03, 2015, 08:25:06 PM
Absolutely, and thanks!

I've learned so much over the years by participating on forums like this one, and I like to "give back" as much as I can.

There are a number of little details and tweaks that are unique to my builds, so if others find them interesting or useful, so much the better!

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 05, 2015, 03:20:17 PM
Inspired by the legendary bassist's modifed Precision, with a little design input from ebassist's SmallEQ, behold the latest addition to the Lowe Guitars lineup, the CHIMERA Series LSP, or P'Nobird:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01932_zpszacuvxi8.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01933_zpsvkgvgy8v.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01934_zpsb0jjy804.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01935_zpsfdtyqfje.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01936_zpsx1omrfxx.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01937_zps6u2ewgkq.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on August 06, 2015, 07:43:47 AM
Nicely done!  I love the Hipshots, they are my favorites.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on August 06, 2015, 01:19:33 PM
Nice!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 10, 2015, 03:03:13 PM
Thanks guys!

Pickup options for the CHIMERA series LSP now include the new Guild DS1 (upper left), Lollar Pickups Thunderbird, Lindy Fralin Pickups HCP90B, and TV Jones Thunder'Blade:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01949_zpsmd8yyotl.jpg)

I spent the day tinkering and took a few photos.

A few neck options to consider...32" 4-inline, 32" 2+2 (both 1.5"), 34" 1.5" and 34" 1.625" (both 2+2).

You can really appreciate how the 32" scale compares when you see how the nut lines up with the first fret of a 34":

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01955_zpss8wpr99n.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01954_zps2fpongjz.jpg)

And a couple shots of Ridler #2 mocked up with the 32" 4-inline:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01950_zpsa3xefumk.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01951_zpsu3oamyim.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01952_zpsdzkjjmzh.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01953_zpsw1wunidv.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 10, 2015, 08:49:02 PM
I'm really impressed at how you've thought this out. Hope they sell well for you.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 11, 2015, 07:01:04 AM
Thanks Dave!

This is a business-like hobby for me.

I don't really need it to be a money maker, so I can move at my own pace, experiment, and try out new ideas that interest me.

For example, the 32" conversion neck project has been my biggest success to date.

I've sold more of those unfinished and drop-shipped by the OEM directly to the buyer than all of my completed builds combined.

Still, I have been lucky in that every instrument I've built has sold, and nothing has come back.

I take that as a sign that I'm doing things right.

With each new build I get a little better, and the project keeps me off the streets... :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on October 11, 2015, 07:38:33 AM
Nice set of options.  I'm not ready to do that yet!!!  Where are you getting the Guild pickups?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 11, 2015, 07:42:44 AM
I'm buying the Guild at retail from Best Bass Gear for now.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on October 11, 2015, 08:42:28 AM
I'm buying the Guild at retail from Best Bass Gear for now.

Are they overseas?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 11, 2015, 09:00:29 AM
http://www.bestbassgear.com/domestic-shipping-faq.htm#cheapship

I think they are in the U.S.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 11, 2015, 09:57:34 PM
Maybe Bill was asking if the pickups are from overseas.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 13, 2015, 07:46:15 PM
That could very well be... 8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 13, 2015, 08:35:03 PM
Considering the difference in price between the Guild and the Curtis Novak Bisonic type, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Guild is imported.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 15, 2015, 06:37:39 PM
The DS1s are complex little machines, for sure.

The country of origin for the Starfire Bass is Korea, so it's safe to say the pickups are imported.

http://www.wwbw.com/Guild,Bass,New-Gear,Country-of-Origin-South-Korea.wwbw?ipp=25&o=2
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on October 16, 2015, 07:38:59 AM
I see they are a US vendor.  Interesting.  I wonder how they got their hands on the Guild pups.  I might just buy one to try it out.  I like the one in my Guild M-85 RI.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Alanko on October 16, 2015, 08:45:31 AM
Considering the difference in price between the Guild and the Curtis Novak Bisonic type, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Guild is imported.

Probably made by Artec.  ;D

Actually, it would be cool if the design leaks from the overseas manufacturer and ends up in the generic pickup stream. Imagine a Wilkinson or Artec branded Bi-sonic that cost $40 a pop and performed like the real deal with nowt more than a magnet swap.

A guy can dream, but a cheap Bi-sonic would maybe kill off some of the wanky Tulipmania that seems to surround the type.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 17, 2015, 07:22:51 AM
Tulipmania...I learned a new word today.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Alanko on October 17, 2015, 02:02:22 PM
Tulipmania...I learned a new word today.

8)

The Alanko Institute of Life Long Learning swings into life.

I don't think it is too unfair a comparison. Daguet Guitars make a perfectly functional Bi-Sonic pickup in a friendlier footprint, but nobody cares. Curtis Novak reissues the entire schmegegge, with a frankly baffling pole-piece adjusters and oversized flatwork, and people go crazy! Fred Hammon made replicas that looked like the originals but had different specs, and people were crowbarring them into any bass that sat still long enough.

I find it all amusing, as the early chat was all about these being the Jack Casady and Phil Lesh pickup. Those guys played basses that were increasingly modified out, so you won't get the Crown of Creation tone, the Live Dead tone or the Europe '72 tone from these pickups necessarily, without other processing. I think Rick Turner et al were blown away by the wide bandwidth of those pickups, but we have 40 years of low-Z and active technology at our disposal now. As I suggested with tulipmania, the price for reproductions, regardless of their accuracy, is high for the ones that look the part visually. The 'Dagstar' pickup is topologically correct, but looks like an odd Jazz bass pickup with four chunky poles.  If the appeal was wholly in the tone then the Dagstars would be popular and the Dark Stars less-so.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 17, 2015, 08:48:08 PM
Never heard of Daguet before. Very interesting. (http://www.daguetguitars.com/index.php?gratte=62&lang=en) One would think these would be better known since they claim to be based on the originals, not on Fred Hammon's hotodded version, if the object were to get the tone of the originals. But it's not. Also I wasn't aware that Curtis Novak's version is different. Makes no sense that people go crazy over them except that the whole Darkstar craze has no rational explanation.

Not only were Casady and Lesh's basses increasingly modified, both players abandoned them in favor of other basses and pickups fairly early on. That made no difference. The whole thing became a bandwagon. Once it got rolling, at the predecessor of this forum, just about any old husk on eBay was posted as "Darkstar candidate?" as if Hammon's pickup could magically transform a hunk of junk. It got ridiculous.

Also I never understood why people kept emphasizing that it's a wide range pickup. By itself that means nothing. The only question ought to be whether or not it sounds good to you.






Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Alanko on October 19, 2015, 01:44:48 AM
As I get older I start to fear more the backlash from making strong assertions on the Internet. I'm glad that we are in agreement, Dave W.  8)

I saw the same thing on Talkbass. A cursory glance on Google reveals Mustang basses, T40s, any number of Jazz and Precision basses, Ibanez Artcores and Jack Casady basses. Surely it cannot be that each and every instrument was unanimously enhanced with the addition of these pickups?

In recent months I have seen a few bassists suggest that they favoured the Guild 'sludgebucker' that replaced the Bisonic...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 19, 2015, 11:24:16 AM
I like the later Guild pickups better than the Bisonics, but they're not sludgy at all. Two members here coined the term sludgebucker a few years back and it seems to have caught on. However if you hear those pickups with a decent bridge (i.e. not the flimsy tin bridge with rosewood saddles) then you'll hear clean-sounding humbuckers.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 20, 2015, 04:44:39 PM
I will admit to being superficial...I just think they look cool.

8)

The Guild DS1 puts them into the realm of reasonable options for a a one-pickup instrument.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 21, 2015, 11:12:37 PM
I will admit to being superficial...I just think they look cool.

8)

The Guild DS1 puts them into the realm of reasonable options for a a one-pickup instrument.

Yes. Import or not, it's reasonable and it's supposedly based on the original.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 25, 2015, 07:03:43 AM
If it's not already obvious, I have a bit of a chrome fetish where pickups are concerned.

I also like them to be easily adjustable in relationship to the strings.

The DS1s fit nicely within that design aesthetic.

I have some thoughts on how to improve on T'Bird pickups in that regard, too.

8)

Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on October 25, 2015, 09:49:25 AM
If it's not already obvious, I have a bit of a chrome fetish where pickups are concerned.

I knew you were a man of good taste.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 25, 2015, 05:36:28 PM
How could you make TBird pickups any more adjustable to the strings without changing the design from blades to polepieces?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 25, 2015, 06:47:06 PM
I knew you were a man of good taste.
8)
How could you make TBird pickups any more adjustable to the strings without changing the design from blades to polepieces?
Point well taken.

I meant the range of adjustment, from a height perspective.

The standard/stock wood screws are a limiting factor in that they are a bit short for a deeper rout.

Also, the teeth are very fine, so they don't offer a lot of "bite" in softer wood or after multiple adjustments.

I think a 4-40 threaded insert along with a longer machine screw will be the ticket for what I am looking to accomplish.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: FrankieTbird on October 26, 2015, 01:48:50 PM
8)Point well taken.

I meant the range of adjustment, from a height perspective.

The standard/stock wood screws are a limiting factor in that they are a bit short for a deeper rout.

Also, the teeth are very fine, so they don't offer a lot of "bite" in softer wood or after multiple adjustments.

I think a 4-40 threaded insert along with a longer machine screw will be the ticket for what I am looking to accomplish.

8)


At certain times, Gibson did use threaded inserts with a machine screw for mounting their P-90 soapbar pickups.  I have some here in my parts drawer that came directly from Gibson's parts dept.  However, I think they are #3 screws, not #4.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 26, 2015, 05:24:41 PM

At certain times, Gibson did use threaded inserts with a machine screw for mounting their P-90 soapbar pickups.  I have some here in my parts drawer that came directly from Gibson's parts dept.  However, I think they are #3 screws, not #4.
You are correct in suggesting #3-48 threaded inserts would be ideal, but as near as I have been able to determine, they just don't exist for sale.

#4-40 is not that much larger and offers a wide variety of options.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 31, 2015, 09:06:31 PM
I just received in a shipment of CHIMERA Series necks.

I will be building out an assortment of LSPs just in time for the holidays.

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 01, 2015, 08:36:58 PM
I've been getting ready for some new necks to arrive, and now they have:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01958_zpsrconmnsh.jpg)

Wiring up some LSP harnesses:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01956_zps5khcpujr.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01957_zpsbkitkfly.jpg)

Adding a serial number...C = CHIMERA Series:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01960_zpssqv6h3di.jpg)

Installing threaded inserts for 8-32 stainless machine screws:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01961_zps7atuci3y.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01962_zpspi6lany5.jpg)

Assembling the body:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01963_zpsglyvkjip.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01965_zpsivmuhdeg.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01966_zpsmxkcrtwh.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01967_zpsyqfizd1a.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 01, 2015, 08:55:11 PM
Hipshot licensed tuners with o-ring shim:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01968_zpswguhhjam.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01969_zpsi0ggrvt1.jpg)

Assembled and ready for final setup:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01970_zps8jrgcv3o.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01971_zps4skfwyjr.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 22, 2015, 07:49:29 PM
CHIMERA Series #C03 LSP "P'Nobird" is ready for its closeup:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01975_zpsyjhhh69h.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01976_zps4ticdhc2.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01977_zpso2fbfp4n.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01978_zpszn4nvdxg.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01979_zpsns32dsyy.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01980_zpsrpiyd1xb.jpg)

8.78 pounds...not bad:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01981_zpsjoimbkvp.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 25, 2015, 09:01:06 PM
Back into the details...finishing up the wiring harnesses I started.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01982_zpsq0qxfear.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 29, 2015, 04:49:48 PM
Working on necks...installing inserts, adding serial numbers and cleaning up the polishing compound after the headstock finish:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01984_zps8ck61bne.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01985_zpstmpqvywq.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01986_zpsiraixkgp.jpg)

Rounding the fret edges and "rolling the fretboard" slightly:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01987_zpsdqsewrhf.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01988_zps7bagsqwr.jpg)

Something's missing, though:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01989_zpslro8fgk8.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 29, 2015, 05:07:10 PM
Buttoning down the details...in addition to the swimming-pool rout, the area where the Switchcraft jack sits needs to be enlarged, and a small channel channel is sanded with a Dremel to accommodate the CTS pots and wiring, and pickguard screw holes are chamfered to prevent paint chipping:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01991_zpsfyuybtim.jpg)

All screw are stainless and the holes have a little beeswax added to make maintenance easier over time:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01993_zpsu3kne7mj.jpg)

Models with pickguard-mounted pickups get connected to the ground:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01990_zpsgyhbefor.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01992_zps4yfvrhpx.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01994_zpsdpvyuwnw.jpg)

The P'Nobird has its pickup mounted to the body, so it's connected at the same time as the bridge ground:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01995_zpsqncrskvo.jpg)

I think I'm gonna' need a bigger wall:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01996_zpsoevh4m2y.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 08, 2015, 10:47:33 PM
Lots to update this week.

I received a shipment of new Hipshot licensed machines...and they're now 100% shiny chrome:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01997_zpsoiaivdrf.jpg)

I routed out and prepped the last two LSP bodies:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01998_zpsvitr5as4.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02000_zpsopjo6nfz.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01999_zpsqcnhwcpf.jpg)

Enlarging the rout for a Switchcraft jack:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02001_zpsnmqrsax9.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02002_zpsxcxlczpi.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02003_zpsh5u703yv.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02004_zpsu8qrk5rx.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 09, 2015, 04:48:28 PM
Brad, what's the nut width on the 32" conversion necks?  I need it with a tilt paddle headstock, maple/rosewood.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 09, 2015, 08:04:18 PM
Brad, what's the nut width on the 32" conversion necks?  I need it with a tilt paddle headstock, maple/rosewood.  Thanks.
Carlo,

Here's a link to the current order form:

http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/LCG-Order-Form-MEDIUM-BASS-NECK.pdf

If you want holes drilled, it can be done, but the OEM needs very specific dimensions.

That can be written in the notes section.

Thanks!

Brad.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 10, 2015, 02:08:35 AM
Thanks, Brad!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 10, 2015, 07:22:18 PM
No problem, and thank you!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 11, 2015, 05:11:14 AM
What's delivery time?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 11, 2015, 04:31:21 PM
What's delivery time?
I'm saying 8 to 12 weeks.

The OEM has been pretty busy with NAMM work, but that may be quieting down.

I had both an 8-week and 10-week neck ship this week.

8)

Back to the builds:

Next, I Dremel a groove for the wiring harness to clear the large CTS pots, and then drill the string-through holes:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02006_zpsuefphruf.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02007_zpsim8yovbs.jpg)

Here's how I ensure the ferrules holes drilled from the back line up with the string-through holes drilled from the front:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02008_zpsrgbpz4a6.jpg)

Ferrules hole drilled SLOWLY, then they are installed:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02009_zpsfps8f9g7.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02010_zpsowiwxkyx.jpg)

Necks getting strings and guides:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02011_zpsuflqowmm.jpg)

And a gallery shot:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02012_zpseaeq09bu.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:14:12 PM
CUSTOM USA Ridler BASS #1

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02048_zpsqlsvyyoq.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02049_zpsp7drksx0.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02050_zpsdv5mt8hf.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02051_zpsus1unzor.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02052_zpsemz0o6l5.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02053_zpsqyx1brjs.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02017_zps7jwwkx6z.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:25:04 PM
CUSTOM USA Ridler BASS #2

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02030_zpslomwi3ym.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02031_zpsvvqqtoau.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02032_zpsflfk9obt.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02033_zpsqqaxlh2s.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02034_zpslkseaoxa.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02035_zps4sdmsz9h.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02015_zpsyznr01ir.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:30:44 PM
CHIMERA Series LSP #3 - Sonic Blue

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02036_zpsekdboe5j.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02037_zpsonuqoz67.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02038_zpsdd4gca36.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02039_zpsq0bdplxh.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02041_zpsembudglq.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02040_zpsw6dkjctc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02019_zpsxpmkjkv7.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:38:04 PM
CHIMERA Series LSP Bass #4 - Seafoam Green

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02020_zpsxwhsazic.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02021_zpslwudli8z.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02027_zpsshfh8y2x.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02026_zpsqpe4zdnx.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02028_zps3gtukvbm.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02029_zpsxpaaqlso.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02013_zps4mlm7qbq.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:43:36 PM
CHIMERA Series LSP Bass #5 - Antique White

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02042_zpss1usqk7z.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02043_zps4ps8ykme.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02044_zpsw4x2g1hn.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02045_zpsiznje3cw.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02046_zpsxggjm8pa.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02047_zpszgbpuy4v.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02014_zpsfpettkev.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 13, 2015, 08:49:45 PM
CHIMERA Series LSP Bass #6 - 2 Tone Sunburst

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02054_zpsvzrnoruv.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02055_zpsuuzdvqtp.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02056_zpsgrlforse.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02057_zps8ragjmvv.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02058_zpsd3mwxjva.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02059_zpsvjlh1sfk.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02018_zpsfvftbbib.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: nofi on December 15, 2015, 08:45:09 AM
a handsome bass, indeed. i never did like the split pickups on the p bass.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 15, 2015, 07:22:56 PM
Thanks!

I feel exactly the same way.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 15, 2015, 07:57:41 PM
That's why Leo put a chrome hand rest right over the pickup!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 15, 2015, 08:32:33 PM
Exactly...I just put the chrome back under the strings where it belongs.

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 16, 2015, 05:51:30 PM
What's this?

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02060_zps1bya8orq.jpg)

The last piece of the puzzle:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02061_zpsc5k1tpng.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on December 16, 2015, 06:44:47 PM
NIIIIICE!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: slinkp on December 16, 2015, 07:42:44 PM
You know what would be cool?  A P body with 2 thunderbird pups :)
Hmm where have I seen that...
(http://hootpage.com/56pbass.jpg)

Quote
1956 fender precision bass
thunderbird pickup replaced stock one, another added at the bridge
has a 'v' neck and "thunderbroom" carved into the back of the body
opened up a beasties tour using this w/fIREHOSE
got it in hermosa beach, ca
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 16, 2015, 07:51:12 PM
You know what would be cool?  A P body with 2 thunderbird pups :)
Hmm where have I seen that...
[image]http://hootpage.com/56pbass.jpg[/image]

Didn't Carlo build a Precision with Thunderbuckers? IIRC it had no pickguard and both pickups were moved further from the bridge.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: slinkp on December 16, 2015, 07:53:39 PM
Oh yeah! Carlo made a J-ish bass.  I prefer the P body shape though.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 16, 2015, 07:55:16 PM
You're probably right about it being a J body.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 17, 2015, 09:36:21 AM
Didn't Carlo build a Precision with Thunderbuckers? IIRC it had no pickguard and both pickups were moved further from the bridge.

Mine's a mashup of 51P (slab body), 60 J, Godin Zeta and Guild Pilot.  There's '63 ThunderBucker in  the Trad TBird neck sweet spot and a hot single coil in the closer-to-the-bridge position.
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/02/P1060932P_zps65e40be8.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/02/P1060932P_zps65e40be8.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 17, 2015, 10:02:22 AM
How did you wire that Guild pickup?  250 or 500k pots?  How's it sound?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 17, 2015, 06:38:32 PM
I've always loved that Thunder-J, and a two pickup P is something I have daydreamed about.

I haven't had a chance to play the DS1 model yet, but my holiday vacation from the 9 to 5 starts tomorrow.

On electronics, my standard harnesses are 250K, but I bought a bulk pack of 500Ks, so I'll probably wire up a few and trey them out.

One of the things I'm really proud of about my builds is the fact that all of the parts can be swapped out in a matter of minutes.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 17, 2015, 10:01:53 PM
Brad , apologies for the temporary thread derail.

Carlo, what's the difference in location of the Thunderbird neck pickup sweet spot and the Jazz Bass neck pickup location?

Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 18, 2015, 02:10:23 AM
I've always loved that Thunder-J, and a two pickup P is something I have daydreamed about.

I haven't had a chance to play the DS1 model yet, but my holiday vacation from the 9 to 5 starts tomorrow.

On electronics, my standard harnesses are 250K, but I bought a bulk pack of 500Ks, so I'll probably wire up a few and trey them out.

One of the things I'm really proud of about my builds is the fact that all of the parts can be swapped out in a matter of minutes.

Sounds good.  I just remembered I have a Guild M-85 RI, I'm going to take a look at the pots Guild used on that same pup.  Duh.  I'll check it out.

IIRC changing pots has tendency to bleed off lows and some mids, right?  Like going from 250 to 500k will reduce some of the lows?  Or is it the other way around?  Not sure I'm remembering that correctly.  The new single Thunderbucker I just bought came with recommendations for 250k pots, not 500k.  I assumed it was to accentuate the lows in a single pup format.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 18, 2015, 06:37:02 AM
Brad , apologies for the temporary thread derail.

Carlo, what's the difference in location of the Thunderbird neck pickup sweet spot and the Jazz Bass neck pickup location?

They have the same centerline.
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/JAEZZbird/StoneyJazzBird_zps5fb6d075.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/JAEZZbird/StoneyJazzBird_zps5fb6d075.jpg.html)

The new single Thunderbucker I just bought came with recommendations for 250k pots, not 500k.  I assumed it was to accentuate the lows in a single pup format.

Steve and I recommend 500k Vol and 250k Tone, same as the original 60s pickups...that should be on the instruction sheet, Doc.

Gibson used a .022 tone cap for single pup and .047 for 2 pup.  I use .047 either way.  .047 gives larger cut when it's engaged, no difference when tone is on 10, especially with a 'no load' tone pot.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 18, 2015, 11:25:26 AM
They have the same centerline.
(http://i976.photobucket.com/albums/ae241/cata1d0/JAEZZbird/StoneyJazzBird_zps5fb6d075.jpg) (http://s976.photobucket.com/user/cata1d0/media/JAEZZbird/StoneyJazzBird_zps5fb6d075.jpg.html)

Steve and I recommend 500k Vol and 250k Tone, same as the original 60s pickups...that should be on the instruction sheet, Doc.

Gibson used a .022 tone cap for single pup and .047 for 2 pup.  I use .047 either way.  .047 gives larger cut when it's engaged, no difference when tone is on 10, especially with a 'no load' tone pot.

Oops, you're right Carlo.  My memory is going.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: dadagoboi on December 18, 2015, 11:37:53 AM
Oops, you're right Carlo.  My memory is going.
Mine's already there, no problem!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 18, 2015, 11:46:44 AM
Personally, Jazz basses are not my favorite.

That said, if I build one it will likely follow that format, but with my universal pickup rings that allow a Lollar'Bird, Fralin HCP90, or TV Jones Thunder'Blade to be swapped out at will:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02032_zpsflfk9obt.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01471_zpscccdb68a.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01831_zpsblgzxjjh.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02050_zpsdv5mt8hf.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01744_zps7d07ae17.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01482_zps727f4fcf.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 18, 2015, 01:06:43 PM
I have to say, I like the universal ring idea for mass production purposes.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 18, 2015, 01:07:50 PM
Oops, you're right Carlo.  My memory is going.

Theres so much in my head to forget or misplace, it isn't even funny anymore!  Opps, it's nap time........
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 18, 2015, 01:32:28 PM
Thanks, Carlo.

And Brad, if I haven't already said so, I do like the universal mounting rings. Surprising that none of the big manufacturers ahve offered that, since they know how many people do modify their guitars and basses. Probably because it wouldn't be vintage-correct.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 18, 2015, 02:34:27 PM
Thanks!

As you can tell, vintage-correctness is not my thing, but a vintage-inspired design aesthetic certainly is.

I thought about making the ring Darkstar and Mudbucker friendly, but I feared it would take up more real-estate than most people would find aesthetically appealing, especially on a TVJ pickup.

For new designs, I'll be focusing more on offset six-stringers and art finishes in 2016.

One of the options that I'd like to tinker with is the Lollar Wide Range pickup, and the ring/rout is ideally suited for adaptation to that:

(http://www.premierguitar.com/ext/resources/archives/93811dae-575c-4cc9-81bd-7e592eec3264.JPG?1371672641)

Add a Mastery'Bird with WRPs to the list of things Doug Kauer beat me to... 8)

http://www.kauerguitars.com/ready-to-ship/banshee-215-alpine-blue-with-mastery

(http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52a77187e4b03d96bfa84cc0/53cab2e3e4b0216897eac918/5668d8631c1210aa0b10acf9/1449711717920/DSC_0546.JPG?format=1500w)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 18, 2015, 03:58:00 PM
My ring is a little bit wider than a standard TB ring, so the Wide Range looks like a perfect fit:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Thunderbird%20Ring_zpsvyrgjq28.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/WRHB%20DIMS_zpsugswtigg.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 19, 2015, 09:15:27 PM
Back to the details...

I've never been thrilled with the #3 wood screws used to mount Thunderbird pickups.

I have been thinking about a better way, and here is what I've come up with.

Using a 4-40 machine screw and an EZ Lok steel insert stability, adjustability, and longevity are all improved.

The insert is set into the wood using a screw and washer so it sits flush at the surface.

During installation, I use a washer at each end of the spring, so none of the compression force is pushing the insert's threads out of the wood.

All of the pressure is applied to the internal steel threads and the back of the pickup.

Surgical tubing allows the "spring" to be custom-sized for the application.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02063_zpsbebdwnky.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02064_zpsrqz8jtaa.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02065_zpsbrqltf5u.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02066_zps91ujvo5f.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02067_zpsh3h9eri6.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02068_zpsr1vkpwr7.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02072_zpsmwu37r6k.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 19, 2015, 09:45:45 PM
Buttoning down the last two LSPs for 2015...

Ground pins attached pickguard holes drilled, chamfered, and primed with beeswax:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02069_zpsoquocusd.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02070_zps1nyufz0r.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02071_zpslfxbbjbm.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02062_zpscrlufwpc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02074_zps32f6ouxp.jpg)

The latest gallery shot:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02075_zps1ljawiba.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 26, 2015, 02:15:04 PM
So, I swapped out the Thunder'Blade for the DS1 on the Seafoam Green LSP, just because:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02076_zpslnjeo81d.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02086_zpssfwpsequ.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02091_zpstw7zcani.jpg)

Then I finished up the Cherryburst LSP body with the Thunder'Blade:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02078_zpsv5v4g20n.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02079_zpsh9qwwa4r.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02084_zpsveklsbpg.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02085_zpshmienkmx.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02087_zpsqdwmlium.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02088_zpsmxakbsv7.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02093_zpsxbighkjq.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 26, 2015, 02:49:04 PM
So, the last build for 2015 is the Fiesta Red LSP with a Guild DS1 pickup.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02080_zpsb8g4hkya.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02081_zpselcfithw.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02082_zpsytjwnjwt.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02083_zps7xwsvbgb.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02089_zps4dcrlccz.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02090_zpsb0aprk7m.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02092_zpstvtqpnrh.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 26, 2015, 05:34:58 PM
Love that seafoam green with the black guard.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 26, 2015, 07:46:03 PM
I really love how the DS1 looks on this model.

It really works well with the black pickguard.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on December 27, 2015, 09:17:44 AM
I really love how the DS1 looks on this model.

It really works well with the black pickguard.

Which pots did you end up using for the DS1?  I haven't had a chance to look inside me M-85 RI yet.  How does it sound?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 29, 2015, 10:37:24 AM
I haven't really had time to run it through its paces, so still TBD.

Just as an FYI, I have updated my website to include the link to the 32" scale conversion necks:

http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/available/
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 18, 2016, 04:25:39 PM
I'm doing my first guitar show this weekend, and I'm pretty excited.

It's the Orlando International Guitar and Music Expo, January 23rd and 24th:

CENTRAL FLORIDA FAIRGROUNDS
4603 WEST COLONIAL DRIVE
ORLANDO, FLORIDA 32808
http://www.guitarexpo.net/ (http://www.guitarexpo.net/)

Of course, I'll post pics.

:)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on January 18, 2016, 05:11:37 PM
Good luck there!  Hope it goes well.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on January 18, 2016, 05:13:17 PM
See you there!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: drbassman on January 18, 2016, 05:33:31 PM
How cool, good luck!  Wish I could be there.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 19, 2016, 07:41:51 PM
I'm really looking forward to it!

In the meantime, the Sonic Blue P (Primaluxe) sold, so it's on its way to the new owner.

 8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 25, 2016, 07:21:55 PM
Here are a few pics from the show:

The booth:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02100_zps7hch69rr.jpg)

Susan:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02099_zpsxlejlvws.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02094_zpsmz7zlfgc.jpg)

Me:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02097_zpsfcwxepop.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02096_zpslmpll3g5.jpg)

Random demo shots:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02102_zps871pl0wk.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02105_zpsj5z5ftgx.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02103_zps2t5xiocc.jpg)

The latest member of the Lowe Guitars family:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0907_zpsvedvhtkr.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on January 25, 2016, 09:19:33 PM
I hope the show was good for your business.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 30, 2016, 04:40:42 PM
Thanks, Dave!

I've had some time to think about the show, and overall I feel it was a successful venture.

I sold two basses that week and handed out over 100 business cards.

I think that's good because, with only a couple of exceptions, nobody there had ever seen or heard of Lowe Custom Guitars before.

One missed opportunity is that I had no guitars to show.

The vast majority of attendees were guitar players.

The venue was set up more as a vintage swap meet, so having a "branded" booth selling new gear was very much the exception.

I will probably invest in a banner and black table skirts for the next one, if only to add a bit of polish for the photos I post online afterwards.

It was fun to work out my pitch over the course of the first day, and by the end of day two I was a regular carnival barker.

The hot-rod and plug-and-play aspect of my builds was VERY well received by both attendees and exhibitors.

The logo shirts by EmbroidMe South Tampa were a hit, too.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on January 31, 2016, 10:57:05 PM
That sounds like a promising start. Just establishing a presence and having customer able to demo your basses would have been good in itself. Actually selling a couple when you weren't known is big bonus.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on February 01, 2016, 03:55:16 PM
Brad's being modest his booth was great.
I posted earlier about 100 basses at this show and I might be a little biased but mostly overpriced
guitars.

His basses are REALLY well crafted

Rob
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 01, 2016, 09:02:47 PM
That sounds like a promising start. Just establishing a presence and having customer able to demo your basses would have been good in itself. Actually selling a couple when you weren't known is big bonus.
It was really quite an experience.

I even got to use my PayPal here reader.
Quote from: Rob link=topic=9273.msg168163#msg168163 date=1454 367316
Brad's being modest his booth was great.
I posted earlier about 100 basses at this show and I might be a little biased but mostly overpriced
guitars.

His basses are REALLY well crafted

Rob
Thanks Rob!

It was really nice to get the validation on my pickup choices, fretwork and fingerboard finishing, and final setup.

Getting seven basses ready to demo was a really good exercise in consistency.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 13, 2016, 08:15:29 AM
Once drilled, I tap the hole for a 5/16 - 18 thread, then use a sacrificial insert to center a deeper hole into the maple for the bolts on my contour-heel necks.

Also, I clean the pink thread-lock off the insert and instead flood the hole in the neck with thin CA before inserting the sleeve:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01926_zpsqiin3vfl.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01927_zps2rpawbrv.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01928_zps7mvurhrr.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC01897_zpsigtlgdrr.jpg)
I can't edit posts, but I've bolded the correction here.

The correct tap size is 5/16 - 18.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 26, 2016, 10:27:23 AM
So, this just popped up on my newsfeed...The Wilson Van featuring Bill Malik and his 5 string Lowe Custom Guitars Chromasonic V:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8jIJFTmgIU
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 26, 2016, 11:48:51 AM
Before I built my first guitar, I knew I wanted to build an instrument that could "hang with the best" in terms of style, quality, features, and value.

The Seafoam Green bass on the left is one of mine.

Mission accomplished?

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Star%20Booty%20Guitars%20on%20Central_zpsmi7br0ls.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on March 26, 2016, 12:30:33 PM
 :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 29, 2016, 04:06:34 PM
:)

I'm excited to announce we are donating a bass to be auctioned of to benefit The Wilson Family Foundation, Inc. at the next The Wilson Van show.

http://www.thewilsonvan.com/ (http://www.thewilsonvan.com/)

The clear acrylic pickguard is ready and the graphic is laid out for the back-mounted vinyl sticker.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Wilson%20Van_zps9yainjaq.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 29, 2016, 07:36:23 PM
So, this just happened...

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0049_zpszjycqwhz.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 02, 2016, 11:51:42 AM
The Wilson Van Primaluxe bass is ready to be auctioned off for charity:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02107_zps0cuf9vtu.jpg)

Another shot of the Tobacco Sunburst Ridler:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Ridler_zpsjjeewrc6.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 10, 2016, 03:37:38 PM
The one and only Mick Donner of Electra Guitars showed the Primaluxe a little love at Guitars on Central before The Wilson Van show and auction.

The rose between two thorns is my lovely girl, Susan.

The bass was quite a hit, drew heavy bidding, and netted a tidy sum for a worthy cause.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/WV20Primaluxe201_zpsxti8pyhi.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 11, 2016, 07:39:32 PM
Some more shots from the weekend..."Dr. Chuck" Stevens also gave the Primaluxe a test drive before the show and auction:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/WV20Primaluxe202_zpslcnkml9j.jpg)

Bill Malik of The Wilson Van with his Lowe Custom Guitars Chromasonic V at the historic State Theater, St. Petersburg, FL.:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/WV202016_zpsch8maboe.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on April 11, 2016, 10:44:22 PM
Hopefully the auction made it all worthwhile...!  ;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 12, 2016, 07:27:51 PM
Yes, the bass sold for $900...$50 over the asking price on Reverb.

Not bad at all.

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 15, 2016, 04:24:20 PM
I'm happy The Wilson Van bass was so well received.

It was fun to watch the bidding war!

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/WV202016203_zpsbevnzbag.jpg)

Photo by Les Bartholf Photography.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 23, 2016, 09:01:01 PM
This is the best illustration so far of how the 34" to 32" scale conversion necks work...the same bass, before and after:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Ridler%2032%2034_zpsehodyiqo.png)

...once the truss rod cover is replaced, it's ready to go out the door:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02127_zpst0gqargu.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on April 23, 2016, 09:26:04 PM
The difference sure looks greater than 2" in your photos. Must be the perspective.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 23, 2016, 10:12:58 PM
Yes, I moved the tripod between shots, so getting things lined up again was a challenge.

That said, the nut of the 32" lines up with the first fret of the 34", and the saddles of the G stings line up on both. 
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 28, 2016, 07:26:43 PM
Before the Ridler went out, it needed to have Thunderbird pickup inserts installed.

The buyer wanted to try and possibly keep both the Lollar Tunderbirds and Fralin HCP90Bs.

Understanding that, holes for the inserts need to be drilled...those are the inserts by the volume knob:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02129_zps2xfvwbio.jpg)

Here the inserts are installed in place, and you can see the difference between the two pickups and how they mount:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02130_zpsdrmfj2qe.jpg)

The Thunderbirds are mounted with 4-40 stainless screws and surgical tubing instead of springs.

There is a washer at both ends of the tubing, so the compression force is applied to the back of the pickup and the threads in the metal insert.

There is no pressure pushing against the body itself:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02131_zpsn2d7mbln.jpg)

Last, the pickup ring is installed in place...a rock-solid and durable connection to the body:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02132_zps6oxflm9a.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on May 14, 2016, 02:38:11 PM
Just a fun picture that is the culmination of all of the work documented here...we have our own section on the wall!

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Star%20Booty%20Guitars%20on%20Central%202_zpscpocjf1b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on May 14, 2016, 08:23:13 PM
Sweet!  Congrats Brad
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on May 18, 2016, 07:25:09 PM
Thanks Rob!

Things are going well, and I'm just moving along.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on May 30, 2016, 08:50:06 PM
So, I'm planning out my builds for the remainder of the year, and my primary focus will be six-string guitars, including my take on the T-style guitar.

I have always like the idea of a T-style bass, but have been put off because of the potential for neck dive.

That said, my guess is a 32" scale conversion neck would alleviate most of those concerns.

Mike Lull and G&L already build 34" scale T-style basses, so it's nothing new really.

What would be different on a Lowe 32" is you'd lose one fret at the nut:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Ridler%2032%2034_zpsehodyiqo.png)

Here's a quick MS Paint version of what both T-styles would look like in 32" scale.

The position dots are adjusted on both to reflect the headstock and nut being moved one fret closer to the bridge:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Lull%20T%2032_zpsvur36qlc.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/GampL%20ASAT%2032_zps3vigcha8.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on May 31, 2016, 10:02:02 PM
I've played a couple of 70s Japanese-made 30" scale Tele-guitar-body basses that didn't dive. I hope the 32" works for you.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 02, 2016, 05:51:57 PM
Thanks Dave!

I'm pretty sure it's a winner, in that the body shape I'm using has already been built as a 34" scale, 22 fret model with good results.

My version will use a standard neck pocket, so it will be 20 frets total with a one fret overhang.

So, a 32" scale version of the orange bass:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/RowkASAT_zpsjvzloxhx.jpg)

Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 03, 2016, 02:40:02 PM
I picked out a nice piece of African Mahogany today.

This will be for an entirely new project, an update of my graphic finishes...and a little something extra.

14', 8/4 rough lumber, 16" wide, yielding 8 body blanks.

Here's a crappy cell phone pic, it's the slab in front:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0069_zpsgy0gghun.jpg)

Also, my first two single pickup basses are going into paint:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0650_zpsdpvn6lnp.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0649_zpsg2gfuulr.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 06, 2016, 06:21:42 PM
"God willing and the creek don't rise..." the saying goes.

Today the creek rose, but other than a few catfish in the yard, all is well.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/IMG_0017_zpsopc7beoi.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on June 06, 2016, 08:54:36 PM
You're in Florida, right? I'd be more concerned about gators.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 09, 2016, 08:35:14 PM
Well, it's called Moccasin creek, so...there's that.

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on June 10, 2016, 12:15:55 PM
Well, it's called Moccasin creek, so...there's that.

;)
\
More of a concern than Gators
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 10, 2016, 07:10:40 PM
:mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on June 10, 2016, 10:15:13 PM
I suppose you won't be impressed if i tell you about the marauding bands of cottontail bunnies nibbling the vegetation in our neighborhood.

There are timber rattlers here in MN but they're rare enough to be either threatened or endangered and you won't find them in the city.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on June 12, 2016, 03:10:19 AM
We have to put up with hordes of marauding squirrels knobling all the nuts... we have seen a regular rabbit in the garden too, and a roe deer the other morning...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 16, 2016, 04:01:57 PM
(http://67.media.tumblr.com/6a6bca4e266b48b4c78145cb43c3af4d/tumblr_inline_ncojnwyZDF1qcg4r1.jpg)

(http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/attachments/f22/13265d1289245184t-squirrel-issues-gi-joe-jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on June 16, 2016, 09:16:49 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xulXFB3-A3c
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 21, 2016, 07:37:25 PM
Night of the Lepus...:)

So, back to work.

That mahogany slab was milled, thicknessed  to 1 7/8" S4S, and cut to length at the lumberyard:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02174_zps98cwzftf.jpg)

I had a few bass necks left that needed machines installed:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02133_zpszdtiklxj.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02135_zpsg3opunh3.jpg)

Also, several guitar necks that needed machines.

I just LOVE Sperzel Sound Loks:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02170_zpsm84ldcv3.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02171_zpsdtnzh0ud.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02172_zps5kqpldxi.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on June 23, 2016, 07:53:23 PM
Another project in the queue is building out the Rowka CNC Muzik Faktorie®  Teeluxe body.

This is an SPF body with a Fir top that served as the "proof of concept" for my Grove Guitars tribute build.

I confirmed the American Special Tele parts fit properly, so I'm converting it to a Lowe design for my personal use.

Laying it out for my Universal rout:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02173_zps4djvtiya.jpg)

One down, one to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02175_zpsea1ypsbk.jpg)

Ready for the Speedball Black finish demonstrated in another thread:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02176_zpspbbsa3np.jpg)

Ready for assembly:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02179_zpshq6a4rfn.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: gearHed289 on June 24, 2016, 07:32:51 AM
That looks cool and fits into your line nicely!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on July 31, 2016, 06:07:39 PM
Thanks!

So...back at it.

I have a few things in the pipeline, mostly on the guitar front.

Still, I have some fun stuff on the bass front, too.

The GFS XGP double-bound bodies are a bit too tempting not to try:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02193_zpssdx7jlha.jpg)

Of course, I can't leave well-enough alone:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02194_zpskkrw061n.jpg)

That's a mirror finish.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02195_zpssa42bbnz.jpg)

Done.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02196_zpsq4zbjuda.jpg)

I think these will be the last of the Mighty Mite necks I use...I got a letter.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02197_zpspoc52zcv.jpg)

All of my necks get threaded inserts...I guess I forgot to snap a shot of them installed.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02198_zpszks975mc.jpg)

A single pickup Ridler body in black with a walnut back:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02199_zpsay5tj6h0.jpg)

A single pickup Chromasonic in Inca Silver with a walnut back:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02200_zpsvwonhkfs.jpg)

And the latest gallery shot.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02201_zpsg2bvfzxt.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on July 31, 2016, 07:29:31 PM
Lookin' good Brad
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on August 01, 2016, 08:27:40 AM


(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC02175_zpsea1ypsbk.jpg)



Brad, what kind of pickup would go into that slanted pickup rout? I have a body with that rout on it and don't know what might fit...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on August 01, 2016, 10:23:00 AM
Brad, what kind of pickup would go into that slanted pickup rout? I have a body with that rout on it and don't know what might fit...

That's a standard Tele bridge pickup route. It has room for the base plate of the pickup, which is covered by the bridge plate.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on August 01, 2016, 02:53:05 PM
Gracias.  The route in the body I have is nice and clean, so when I get around to building that one I think I'll get a Tele bass pickup for it. All the Tele basses I have seen had the pickup mounted straight across the body, so the angled rout was throwing me off.  I guess it's a standard mount for a guitar pickup, but I don't know that it wouldn't work on a bass. I see all kinds of wacky angled pickups on other models.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on August 01, 2016, 05:59:31 PM
Gracias.  The route in the body I have is nice and clean, so when I get around to building that one I think I'll get a Tele bass pickup for it. All the Tele basses I have seen had the pickup mounted straight across the body, so the angled rout was throwing me off.  I guess it's a standard mount for a guitar pickup, but I don't know that it wouldn't work on a bass. I see all kinds of wacky angled pickups on other models.

I didn't realize you were thinking of making a bass out of a routed Tele guitar body. A single coil P Bass pickup is wider than a Tele guitar pickup, and even if it were the same size, it doesn't have a baseplate. You can get a humbucker style Tele guitar bridge plate to cover the opening, and TV Jones even makes one to fit his filtertron sized pickups, but you'd have to rout the opening and you'd still have a 6-saddle bridge plate with string-through holes, and it wouldn't be in the right location for a bass bridge.

Maybe Brad has a suggestion.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 02, 2016, 05:20:19 PM
I recently noticed that the Eden 32" scale bass necks actually fit a Strat pocket, so that could work for the neck.

I'm not sure if the bridge needs to be moved, but my guess is yes.

A few quick ideas to cover that Tele rout:

Guild DS1

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/random-images/DSC02082.JPG)

Lollar Thunderbird

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/random-images/DSC01744.JPG)

Fralin Hum Canceling P90

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/random-images/DSC01833.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: slinkp on August 02, 2016, 05:39:37 PM
What do those P90s sound like for bass?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 02, 2016, 07:05:47 PM
What do those P90s sound like for bass?
I think they sound absolutely fantastic, and they are my personal favorites.

It's been interesting to me to get feedback from different players on each pickup style.

All are very highly regarded, but each seems to garner its own fans.

I've given up on trying to predict who will prefer which.

8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on August 02, 2016, 08:56:59 PM
Thanks, Brad.  I will have some figuring to do when I get around to this, as I have a short scale Fender neck already in hand for a short scale tele bass. Looks like I'll have to modify that rout pretty much regardless of what pickup I use.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 05, 2016, 03:39:36 PM
No problem, sounds like a fun project!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on September 25, 2016, 06:58:07 PM
I got a bit of work done this weekend, and two builds shipped out.

I had been thinking about doing a stencil or a screen print for my shipping boxes, and then saw that Carl Thompson signs his personally.

Seemed like a pretty cool idea, so...

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0014_zps0cxtmm94.jpg)

Time again for wiring harnesses:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0018_zps2wtkajg2.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0019_zps4mvzovnr.jpg)

Lining up the pickups, Fralin HCP90Ds:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0017_zps7menwh7g.jpg)

Plugging in the harness:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0020_zps8qmjsoe5.jpg)

Ready to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCN0021_zpsczjqdziv.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 02, 2016, 07:32:42 PM
The double-bound Teeluxe is out the door:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/25155198-4017-40c0-a25d-06b84ffa0d8b_zpsqoufcro3.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0008_zpspajlvzdl.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0010_zpsiehtwm86.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0011_zpslkcfxvt1.jpg)

Working on the wiring harness for the first single-pickup Ridler:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0012_zpsb3ouzsnm.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 02, 2016, 07:52:04 PM
That looks great all strung up.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 02, 2016, 08:00:01 PM
Thanks Dave, I'm very happy with how it turned out.

:)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on October 10, 2016, 02:06:35 PM
That's a formal instrument!  Only needs a cummerbund and tie.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 10, 2016, 05:38:02 PM
Suitable for a Bond film?

:D

Next up...Ridler #3, a single-pickup version.

Getting the pickup laid out:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0001_zpskovcxsbu.jpg)

Drilling for the threaded inserts I use to mount the pickups:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0002_zpsjnjgrxoz.jpg)

Pickup mounted using surgical tubing instead of springs:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0003_zps7uhwwfgi.jpg)

Plugged in:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0004_zpscbfx2lv9.jpg)

Ready for strings:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0005_zps01ctnw1w.jpg)

Ready to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Ridler%20Single_zpsvzwp8ulj.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 10, 2016, 06:33:53 PM
Ready to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0008a_zpszbtwdh4p.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0009a_zpsg3oo9fpd.jpg)

Aaron Akers of Four Star Riot onstage at Jannus Live during the Tropical Trip Music Fest with his new Ridler bass:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Aaron%20Akers_zpsl63isqyx.jpg)

Next up, some guitars in the queue:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCF4128_zpsb5ae9xpt.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCF4129_zpsjxdpvz5h.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSCF4132_zps9jq8mdzd.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on October 11, 2016, 08:14:07 AM
Dang, you do nice work. That black finish reminds me of my Gretsch Thunderjet.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on October 11, 2016, 04:27:56 PM
Post some of your art guitars Brad
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 11, 2016, 07:54:05 PM
Dang, you do nice work. That black finish reminds me of my Gretsch Thunderjet.

You may be the first to comment on the Gretsch influence in these finishes...nice catch, and thanks!

Post some of your art guitars Brad

I'll be doing some work on the old photos and will post them up as they get cleaned up.

In the meantime, one of my favorites:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/random-images/254818_106067446154666_100002542338390_51619_6437407_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 17, 2016, 06:32:36 PM
I had a goofy idea for a T shirt:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/keep-calm-and-play-lowe_zpsxhc6nf5n.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 17, 2016, 08:20:05 PM
Another... ;D

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/all-my-friends-know-the-lowe-ridler_zpsfadvnnbv.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 17, 2016, 09:20:42 PM
I think the first one would have more appeal.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 18, 2016, 06:40:29 PM
I think the first one would have more appeal.
Agreed... :mrgreen:

I really like this one:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/live-loud-and-play-lowe_zpsrqtcl95z.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 19, 2016, 07:17:54 PM
So, based on the feedback received here and elsewhere, I think I will go with something a little more straightforward:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/lowe-custom-guitars_zpsl8er2hid.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 24, 2016, 06:27:59 PM
So, I think the design for T shirt #1 is finalized:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Lowe%20T%20Shirt_zpscpa9oina.jpg)

The current batch of bodies and necks are heading into paint, and a buddy asked me to mod an old Foto Flame Tele to HH configuration.

Laying it out:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/100_1082_zps46os3mse.jpg)

Routed:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/100_1083_zpsbaekpgbz.jpg)

The neck screws were all stripped out and shimmed with toothpicks, so I added steel inserts:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/100_1090_zpseo7qwrja.jpg)

Wiring harness:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/100_1091_zpsb24avupm.jpg)

Also, laying out a bass for personal use:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/100_1089_zpsv8lbznqe.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 24, 2016, 09:49:29 PM
I can see the Hamburglar on the heel.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 25, 2016, 07:09:44 PM
I forgot about that... :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 27, 2016, 08:05:12 PM
Did anybody catch the wiring error in the harness?

The color-coding should help with troubleshooting.

It's a two pickup guitar with coil-splitting.

As it turns out, I reversed the push-pull switch wires...easy fix.

:)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on October 28, 2016, 12:12:09 PM
I can see the Hamburglar on the heel.
Dammit!  Now I can too
I'm in for a shirt!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 28, 2016, 07:11:12 PM
Dammit!  Now I can too
I'm in for a shirt!
You're on the list!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 02, 2016, 07:19:11 PM
So, a Cease and Desist letter from LEO's old company kept me a bit distracted this summer.

The now defunct Chimera Series were "hot rodded" versions of industry standbys that used unmodified Mighty Mite necks with black headstocks and my logo.

As of last month, the matter is closed.

Quote from: [...]
Based on the headstock redesign, the minimal sales and your client’s commitment to permanently cease and desist from selling products containing [...] intellectual property or intellectual property confusingly similar to [...] intellectual property as noted in the original Cease & Desist letter dated [...], 2016, we will consider this matter closed.

All my Custom USA models are designed, milled, finished, assembled, and set up here in the States.

I think I'll stick with that model for a while.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on November 03, 2016, 07:13:25 AM
I was afraid that would happen. Hated to contradict your attorney when we discussed this awhile back, but I've seen Fender's history of doing this with others.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 03, 2016, 01:39:47 PM
I was afraid that would happen. Hated to contradict your attorney when we discussed this awhile back, but I've seen Fender's history of doing this with others.
In fairness to my attorney, I put a self-penned disclaimer on my site and my Reverb ads that likely served to attract attention vs. maintaining stealth.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

It was fun while it lasted, and bridged the gap while my new guitar shapes were being programmed.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: gearHed289 on November 04, 2016, 07:47:40 AM
The Ridler smokes those old Leo shapes anyway.  :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on November 04, 2016, 12:29:34 PM
The Ridler smokes those old Leo shapes anyway.  :mrgreen:
8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 06, 2016, 08:38:47 PM
Thanks guys, that helps more than you know.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 20, 2016, 09:45:12 PM
Back in the saddle with some six-stringers...satin finishes this time around:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0002_zpsztguudvi.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0003_zpsgs0b5n9v.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0004_zpscrzt68cn.jpg)

Also, working on a bunch of harnesses for a single-pickup Primaluxe bass:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0005_zpsx7n0oopl.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on November 20, 2016, 10:25:09 PM
I really like the color of the second one.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 21, 2016, 06:34:35 AM
Thanks!

That's "Gretsch Orange" over ash, but with a satin finish.

Not something you see every day, for sure.

:mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on November 21, 2016, 07:04:06 AM
Interesting. As a translucent finish over ash, it looks russet.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 23, 2016, 08:23:25 PM
Interesting. As a translucent finish over ash, it looks russet.
I can see that.

8)

The harnesses are finished and shipping out:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_023_zpsnp8at0ol.jpg)

Now, this is happening:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_024_zpslfwi0diy.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 01, 2016, 10:02:37 PM
As far as I know, the Lowe by Hipshot is the only "chopped" six-saddle guitar bridge that is a top-load, string-through, and a direct replacement for a vintage 6 + 4 T-style.

A Bigsby-compatible plate is also in the works.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Lowe%20Bridge_zpsfd66kwry.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 02, 2016, 07:19:22 PM
Interesting. Will this be only offered on your guitars, or separately?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: slinkp on December 02, 2016, 08:53:27 PM
What does chopped mean?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on December 03, 2016, 09:07:35 AM
What does chopped mean?

It's a separate bridge. It doesn't enlose the bridge pickup like a traditional Tele bridge.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 03, 2016, 02:33:08 PM
Interesting. Will this be only offered on your guitars, or separately?
My plan is to offer my hardware separately on Reverb.com as supply and demand allows.

That will include routing templates for my pickup ring V2.0.

It may include wiring harnesses and loaded pickup rings, too, but I need to confirm if my OEM agreements allow for that.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/random-images/DSC01744.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Alanko on December 03, 2016, 04:12:40 PM
It's a separate bridge. It doesn't enlose the bridge pickup like a traditional Tele bridge.

In the case of the Tele Seymour Duncan modified for Jeff Beck he really did chop a normal Tele bridge in half:

(http://cdo.seymourduncan.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/JEFFBECK.jpeg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 03, 2016, 10:04:32 PM
Yup...that's where it came from, or at least the one that made it famous.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 04, 2016, 09:35:20 PM
Nut slots don't just cut themselves.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_033a_zps5fin9jnb.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 28, 2017, 08:15:33 PM
Here’s a nice little write up on my Primaluxe basses and plug and play electronics from a couple of members over at ebassist.com:
 
Kindness: SmallEQ and I spent part of the afternoon today playing around with BeeTL's plug and play harnesses on our basses. SmallEQ's bass is the fiesta red, mine is the sea foam green. We both started the day with the Lollar Thunderbird option:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Review%201_zps6ohwzcya.jpg)

In addition to the two Lollar Thunderbird pickups, we had (clockwise starting in the upper left) a TV Jones Thunder'Blade, a Fralin Hum Canceling P90, and two Guild BS-1 pickups (only one shown):

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Review%202_zpsy5dsv6h3.jpg)

You can see from the back of the pickguards that the only thing you need to do to swap in a new set is plug in the ground wire, everything else is wired up and ready to go:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Review%203_zpspkfotpev.jpg)

We were both big fans of the Guild BS-1.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Review%204_zpswqx8g3vy.jpg)

SmallEQ is sticking with the BS-1 (BiSonic/Darkstar) shown above, but I decided on the TV Jones Thunder'Blade:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Review%205_zps1rvuqvin.jpg)

Kindness: The swaps are dead simple and it is really a unique experience to be able to play different pickups in the same bass with the same setup back to back within minutes of each other. And it's even better when you can audition them side by side in such similar basses. It made it really easy to pick exactly the pickup option I wanted and see how similar and dissimilar the options were.

I am someone that typically tweaks whatever setup is in front of me to a mostly consistent sound. I basically try to take anything you put in front of me and do my best to make it sound like Bob Nyswonger recording a P bass. That's too complimentary of my playing and tone, but it's the sound in my head. That's "bass" to me.

I started with the Lollar. It was my least favorite. More "Bartolini" and less "Aero." Smooth, rounded notes. To me, its muffled. To others, it's thick and juicy.

The other three set of pickups are more alike than dissimilar. In a progression away from the Lollar sound I would go Guild BS-1, TV Jones Thunder'Blade, and Fralin Hum Cancelling P90. In isolation, I prefer the Fralin. But it is close enough to the others that I would be more than happy with the Guild or TV Jones. In fact, factoring in that I already have a Dark Star bass (Lakland Hollowbody), and Fralin P bass (my Lakland Glaub), and because the pickup looks rad as f***, I am sticking with the TV Jones.

One of the things I love about the Guild BS-1 (and my Dark Stars) is the ability to adjust each pole piece. They are sensitive and, at the right height, are fantastic. The TV Jones pickup is also sensitive to height adjustments. At first, it was a bit thin, but bringing it up to about 3/16" below the E string was a noticeable improvement.

I'm really impressed by the execution of the plug and play concept. Now that I'm done plugging, I'm ready to get playing.

SmallEQ: While I'm not trying to make each bass sound like a Pbass, I do tend to make every bass sound the same and when I can't I generally don't keep it for very long.  The Lollar Thunderbird pickup fell into this category for me. 

When we were swapping the bisonic and the TV jones we started off by looking up what the recommended string distance was and that made it easy enough to dial it in.  I think ultimately I preferred the TV Jones pickup a bit more, but I've always wanted a DS bass and the sound was close enough that I decided to go with the DS. 

May ask you to whip me up another assembly with the TV Jones pickup at some point, but probably wouldn't be necessary.  My other bass has the TV Jones Thundertrons and I must say that with my experience with both kinds of TV Jones bass pickups, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on January 29, 2017, 12:04:27 PM
Nice of them to give such a detailed review.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 30, 2017, 06:36:51 PM
Thanks, Dave!

Both of them are players whose opinions I respect.

It was pretty cool that they were able to audition all of the pickups back-to-back in the same setting.

One day soon I hope to do some web demos to demo all of the options for those who can't try before they buy.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on January 30, 2017, 08:13:45 PM
I'm adding a Combo 600 inspired guitar body shape to the portfolio.

Behold the Comboluxe:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Comboluxe%201_zpszyshswqq.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Comboluxe%202_zps9imyr1mf.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Nokturnal on January 31, 2017, 08:07:00 PM
I like it  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: godofthunder on February 01, 2017, 11:34:20 AM
   Nice! I really like it. As always quality work.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 01, 2017, 05:02:15 PM
Thanks guys, I really appreciate it!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on February 02, 2017, 11:58:05 AM
Nice... 8)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on February 02, 2017, 02:20:22 PM
Rick-ish but not enough to incur their wrath.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 05, 2017, 09:27:55 PM
Yeah, the Combo 600 has been out of production for sixty years or so...hard to assert Trademark rights on a design that has been abandoned.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on February 05, 2017, 10:00:48 PM
6 years? I thought they were discontinued in the late 60s.

The lack of trademark rights doesn't stop somebody from filing suit and costing you an arm and a leg. But in this case I don't think you have anything to worry about, since it's no clone.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 06, 2017, 08:21:01 PM
So...I don't know why it happened, but I typed "60" and it displayed as "6".

Then, when I edited "6" to "60", it displayed as "600".

"Sixty" it is.

:mrgreen:

As far as the profile goes, there are a number of builders already using this shape.

Of course, mine have the usual Lowe features, never to be confused with another.

"These aren't the clones you're looking for..."

;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on February 08, 2017, 07:46:25 PM
As you all probably know, guitar building is my passion, but it’s not my career.

My day job is with a Fortune 150 company.

They did a nice little writeup on me in January.

I thought that was pretty cool!

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/January%20Employee%20Spotlight%20-%20Brad%20Lowe%20REDACTED_zpsk6rhkymn.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on February 08, 2017, 11:13:00 PM
Very nice of them. May get you some new buyers too.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 22, 2017, 06:11:58 PM
Thanks Dave!

So, it's finally (almost) official.

I am graduating with my B.A. from Eckerd College in May.

It's never too late.

https://www.eckerd.edu/commencement/ (https://www.eckerd.edu/commencement/)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Eckerd%20Logo_zpskktytzrt.png)

I have been a bit sidetracked finishing up my college degree, working up some new designs for guitar, and accumulating inventory.

Things are about to get a little more interesting.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Necks_zps3fx1hint.png)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on March 22, 2017, 06:18:47 PM
Congratulations on your degree.  :toast:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: slinkp on March 22, 2017, 06:30:42 PM
Congratulations, great accomplishment!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 22, 2017, 07:18:10 PM
Thanks guys, I'm pretty excited.

Most of my career has been in health insurance sales.

In order to remain viable or change industries, a degree is a must.

I'm lucky to have gotten by without it for so long.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on March 22, 2017, 07:27:05 PM
Congratulations! That requires determination and perseverance. You are doing great!! :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on March 23, 2017, 01:52:33 PM
For me, it's to what degree I irritate folks... :mrgreen:

(good luck)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on March 23, 2017, 04:49:08 PM
Congrats Brad
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 23, 2017, 07:44:19 PM
Congratulations! That requires determination and perseverance. You are doing great!! :mrgreen:
For me, it's to what degree I irritate folks... :mrgreen:

(good luck)
Congrats Brad
Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 27, 2017, 07:39:00 PM
Did I mention things are about to get a little more interesting?

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Ridler%206_zps3zdnkavz.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Pilgrim on March 28, 2017, 12:24:13 PM
Rick meets I, Robot!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 28, 2017, 08:06:51 PM
:mrgreen:

3D modeling is amazing to me.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on March 29, 2017, 07:40:25 PM
Interesting, how? Are you planning on buying a CNC router?
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on March 30, 2017, 07:50:07 PM
The CAD and CNC work are being done by a buddy in Jacksonville.

He's an engineer by day and this is one of his first CAD renderings in Rhino3D.

He is the one who glued up and CNCed the Winchester Tele.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 09, 2017, 07:38:25 PM
Some pics of recent activities, two T-styles in for hot-rodding.

The Foto Flame finsished up , and a Warmoth build gets a new neck.

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0410%200003_zpsjp4lqsz2.jpg)

My first ever mahogany neck, a 32" scale conversion neck finished in vintage amber satin:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0410%200004_zps1wnqmnfn.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0410%200005_zpsacprqb1z.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/DSC_0410%200007_zpsrb9wtwn7.jpg)

Bill Malik with bass #001 on stage with the Wilson Van at the Capitol Theater:

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Bill%20Malik%20Wilson%20Van_zpsvv9shlsp.jpg)

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m199/BeeTL/Wilson%20Van%20Stage%20Shot_zpsvlivtjcq.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on April 10, 2017, 12:17:59 AM
Nice pics for the collection... ;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on April 10, 2017, 08:11:59 PM
Yes, sir!

:mrgreen:

It was pretty cool to see #001 up on stage.

Patrick Wilson is playing Orm/Ocean Master in the upcoming Aquaman film, so that's pretty cool, too.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0933940/
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 15, 2017, 08:32:06 PM
I wanted to take a moment to thank everybody who has followed Lowe Custom Guitars for your support throughout the years, and over the last few months in particular.

Between the loss of my mother, my daughter Natalie’s high school graduation and enrollment at University of Central Florida, and my own graduation from Eckerd College, it has been an eventful summer.

I am grateful to be surrounded by supportive friends and family, mindful that I have been gifted with a life experience beyond anything I could have reasonably expected, and hopeful that I can somehow reciprocate and share that experience with others as I continue along my path.

Thank you all for being in my life.
 
(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Thank-you.jpg?i=25088287)

Now, on to the fun stuff.

Our good friend Señor Rowka has been busy learning about CAD/CAM, CNC, Variable Radius Fillets, hardware and software troubleshooting, tool paths, and dust collection.

The net result of which is this, the Ridler VI prototype:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/IMG_3768.jpg)

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/IMG_3769.jpg?i=955591930)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on August 16, 2017, 09:08:51 AM
So sorry about the loss of your mother.

I like the looks of the Ridler. Frank Gorshin signature model?  ;)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on August 16, 2017, 03:30:18 PM
Sorry for you loss Brad but a lot of good things happening for you.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 16, 2017, 08:35:59 PM
Thanks guys!

Frank Gorshin model, indeed.

Actually, the name came from this:

(http://cdn.speednik.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/03/2013_ridler_3.jpg)

Here's a nice customer shot of a Primaluxe from the last run.

You probably won't see one exactly like this ever again:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Primaluxe-John-Webb.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 17, 2017, 08:42:41 PM
Here's another customer shot I've been meaning to post:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Primaluxe-Art-Mickelson.jpg?i=1013519164)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on August 18, 2017, 08:34:08 PM
James looks pretty happy with his one-of-a-kind Teeluxe.

This one will never be duplicated.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Teeluxe-James-F.-Reilly.jpg?i=1618516579)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 14, 2017, 08:06:11 PM
Back in the saddle again:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0069.JPG?i=1860966639)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 14, 2017, 08:28:50 PM
The Teeluxe on the lower left and the Primaluxe are for me.

I will finally have a guitar and a bass of my very own.

It's been a long time.

The Primaluxe is the last Mighty Mite body I had on hand, and it uses one of my 32" scale conversion necks:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-002.jpg?i=1643635157)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 14, 2017, 09:14:12 PM
Looks great in black w/black guard.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 14, 2017, 09:38:20 PM
Thanks, Dave!

I'm pretty excited about this one.

:mrgreen:

Every neck I use in my builds gets threaded steel inserts tapped and glued in place.

They are attached using 8-32 stainless steel machine screws.

This maintains a vintage look, but is significantly stronger and more durable than traditional wood screws.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-003.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Basvarken on October 15, 2017, 11:24:41 AM
I really like that concept of those threaded inserts for bolt on necks.
I've always found it a bit weird that most bolt on neck just screw straight into the wood. I wouldn't be a problem if people never take the neck off.
But somehow all those 7enderistas find it necessary to unscrew the neck whenever they decide to sell it. So they can photograph stamps on the back.  :o
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on October 15, 2017, 11:32:37 AM
Even aircraft use helicoil inserts...
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 15, 2017, 12:45:40 PM
I'm pretty careful, but I stripped out my share of neck screws in my time.

The EZ-Lok 329-008 steel inserts make all the difference in the world.

One detail it's important to noe...I found it to be easier and more precise to locate the "pilot hole" after the hole for the insert has been drilled an tapped.

In the lower left hand corner of the photo, note that the inserts are painted red on the edge.

Those are "sacrificial" inserts that I use to locate the pilot hole after the fact.

Once the insert is in place and the CA adhesive is dry, I use an 8-32 tap to chase the threads of the insert and tap the wood walls of the pilot hole beneath the it.

This ensures that the mounting bolt seats properly all the way into the wood and doesn't exert any back-pressure on the insert.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 18, 2017, 05:03:36 PM
Wood, paint, and metal...a few of my favorite things.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-004.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 21, 2017, 04:33:59 PM
My goal has been to design a portfolio that is thematically cohesive, musically versatile, and aesthetically diverse.

This current gallery shot makes me feel as though I'm getting closer to that mark.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0075.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 25, 2017, 05:10:53 PM
Here's a nice live shot Four Star Riot with Aaron Akers and his Ridler IV at Ella's Folk Art Cafe.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0022.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 29, 2017, 06:57:33 PM
Here's a fitment mockup of the Ridler VI with most of the parts sitting loose on the body.

Also shown is the Lowe "chopped" bridge that allows for a Bigsby to be retrofitted to a Lowe or any other guitar with a vintage 6+4 string through bridge.

I haven't experimented with it yet, but I'm curious to see if this configuration would allow the Bigsby to serve as a B-bender if one were to string the other 5 strings conventionally.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-005.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 29, 2017, 08:48:04 PM
Richard Bowden now makes a B Bender model for 3 barrel Tele saddles.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on October 29, 2017, 10:09:50 PM
Richard Bowden now makes a B Bender model for 3 barrel Tele saddles.
Cool...I had never seen is work before.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Dave W on October 30, 2017, 07:44:25 AM
Richard developed his own bender b/c he played Les Pauls instead of Teles. He leased his original patent to Gibson many years ago, but they never did anything with it. Now he makes models to fit most Fender and Gibson type bridges.

He grew up in Linden, TX with Don Henley. He's probably best known for the country comedy duo Pinkard & Bowden. Good article (http://www.countylinemagazine.com/November-December-2013/Richard-Bowden-is-Americas-Most-Famous-Unknown-Entertainer/) about him.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Chris P. on November 02, 2017, 05:32:46 AM
Warwick uses those threaded inserts for their pickup screws. 
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on November 02, 2017, 01:43:47 PM
Warwick uses those threaded inserts for their pickup screws.
That's a clever trick that never occurred to me.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: gearHed289 on November 03, 2017, 07:06:23 AM
Warwick uses those threaded inserts for their pickup screws.

Alembic as well.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 12, 2017, 09:08:51 PM
I use threaded inserts for the Thunderbird pickups, too. (Post#164 on this page http://bassoutpost.com/index.php?topic=9273.150)

The Lowe Universal Ring and Rout allows any instrument to be fitted with a wide variety of pickups by Lindy Fralin Pickups, Lollar Pickups, and TV Jones:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0079.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 18, 2017, 01:46:26 PM
I love Allparts day:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0080.JPG)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Highlander on November 18, 2017, 02:03:34 PM
 :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 26, 2017, 08:34:41 PM
:mrgreen:

I've been busy finishing up a bunch of builds.

At times I feel like Dr. Finklestein.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-006.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on November 27, 2017, 07:13:45 PM
So, here are the next five coming together, and a gallery shot:

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-007.jpg)

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0090.JPG)


Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 03, 2017, 02:47:37 PM
Joe Sanders dropped by to demo the new guitars.

I didn't know there would be photos...wishing I had tidied up a bit! ;)

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0024131334.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: Rob on December 03, 2017, 04:13:09 PM
Those look great Brad!
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 03, 2017, 09:39:57 PM
Thanks, Rob!

Are we friends on Facebook?

I'm having an open house in Oldsmar next weekend if you care to make the trip.
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 05, 2017, 07:12:45 PM
Another shot from Joe Sanders' visit, this time with the red Fireluxe NR.

This guitar is currently fitted with Fralin high-output humbuckers and coil splitting Bourns 500K volume and tone pots.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_0024296323.jpg?i=1513986535)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 09, 2017, 11:07:51 PM
It's possible this might be the coolest picture ever.

I've known these two guys since...forever.

This is the first time we have hung out and jammed.

Just one of those things.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/DSC_25158309.jpg)
Title: Re: Lowe Shop Notes
Post by: BeeTL on December 18, 2017, 07:30:46 PM
I know some folks were losing sleep over the seeming lack of basses in my current production run.

;)

Have no fear, another first is here.

Satin white with matching neck and headstock face and faux binding on the body.

(http://www.lowecustomguitars.com/wp-content/gallery/Image-Hosting/Collage-008.jpg)