Monday, June 9, 2014

LeSpork Bass Prototype - Bits and Pieces

I'm in pieces, bits and pieces
Nothin' seems to ever go right.
I'm in pieces, bits and pieces
Night is day and day is night.

Getting back into town after being away for a long weekend, I was greeted with a full mailbox, including most of the electronics bits and pieces I had ordered for this build.

I was still in need of a matching set of knobs and an output jack/plate to make this bass work.  I ordered a set of knobs and the jack/plate, and found a good deal combined with a pair of strap buttons.  But, before getting in to any hard-wiring for the volume and tone circuit, I still needed to assemble the bass to the point of putting on strings.  First up was attaching the neck to the body.  After marking up the body, I made some initial cuts with a rotary cutting blade.  To finish enlarging the neck pocket, I used a sharp chisel, a hobby knife and some sandpaper.

Kramer used a neck plate bolt pattern on the body that is tighter than the standard Fender 4-hole pattern Aria used on the neck.  To mate the two, I plugged the factory Kramer body bolt holes with hardwood dowels, trimmed them flush with the body, and drilled new holes to match the standard Fender pattern.  I used the matching black wood-screw type neck bolts that came with the neck plate and gasket kit for now, leaving the installation of a set of inserts and machine bolts and plugging of the old holes in the Aria neck for final assembly.

The Kramer bridge had been removed before I bought the body, and I am using a Fender-type bridge I bought for this project awhile back.  I measured out the 34" scale length, marked off the new bridge location and installed it along with a ground wire to the control cavity, leaving the Kramer factory bridge holes to be filled in while refinishing the body.

Between the original Kramer electronics and a pre-assembled MIJ pick guard I had bought for this project, I had a lot of parts to choose from.  I noticed the Kramer harness had 500K-ohm tone and volume pots, and that the pickups and wires were in rough shape.  I had not planned on using these, so I added those to my stockpile for now, and pulled parts from the MIJ harness.  That would have left me with a 250K-ohm volume pot with a 1/4-inch shaft to go into a hole with a 3/8-inch shaft, so I ordered one with the right size shaft and 250K-ohm resistance.  

The bass was ready for pickup and tuner installation and initial setup adjustments for pickup height and action at the bridge.


I left off the strings for now and removed the neck to make it easier to handle the body during installation of the electronics.  While waiting on a few remaining parts, I drilled some holes in a scrap wood board to use for holding the pots in place temporarily during the first part of soldering.

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