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 Post subject: M-Series™ entering production
PostPosted: March 12th, 2009, 1:48 pm 
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I thought you might be interested to see images of the first tool cutting paths on the proofing foam.

Image

In this image you can see the contoured heel, control cavity, and battery box cavities clearly defined and also the rear tummy contour beginning to take shape.

There has been an enormous number of hours (weeks!) invested in evolving my original design from its original prototype build, and progressing thru drawing adjustments for ergonomic improvements, CAD model creation and revisions, and finally thru to the final CNC coding that's driving the cutterhead in this image.

Even though the proofing body is being cut in a righty configuration, the first unit of this model will be built as a lefty :)

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 12th, 2009, 2:14 pm 
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And here's the foam proofing body with a RGW neck in the pocket (please forgive the old logo on the headstock)

Image

Image

there definitely will not be any difficulties with access to the upper frets, and the leg rest is the perfect balance point for comfort when playing in a seated position. I also improved the forearm contour for a greater range of comfortable playing angles/positions. the upper horn extends out to just past the 11th fret

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2009, 6:37 pm 
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I now have the 5-string body ready as well. here you can see how the 4 & 5-string bodies compare to each other

Image
Image

even though both of these were proofed as a righty, they will both be available in either righty or lefty 8-)

I'm ready to cut wood on these in the next week or two :D

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2009, 12:57 am 
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That's an amazing machine! I like the fact you've taken the time to work out the balance point for sitting, and I'm guessing extending the horn up to the 11th fret will allow the bass to balance better and not dive... good job! I'll be checking in for further posts....

Ian

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2009, 8:13 am 
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Foam? I would think the acoustic properties and resonance would be very poor. At least if you drop the instrument it won't chip. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2009, 8:22 am 
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hey - I used foam (pink foam at that!) because everybody was complaining about their aging backs and the preference for more unique solid colors and less fancy Maple

:lol:

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2009, 9:18 am 
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as you can see in this image of the 4-string, there's ample and easy access to the 21st fret

Image

for those who need easy access to a high E, this certainly isn't your granpappy's Fender :P

the 21st fret on the 5-string model lines up in a similar manner

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: May 4th, 2009, 7:10 am 
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The neck pocket trials are finally completed! :D And the winner is ...

Image

the second pocket from the far right is the chosen pocket for this series. I know it's impossible to tell from the image, but each pocket has slightly differing dimensions from the others. the chosen pocket is about .005" larger than the physical neck dimensions, and this will allow for the body's spray finish to have a small amount on the edge of the neck pocket so that each neck can be hand fit to the specific body

Now that this trial is completed the first 4 and 5-string bodies are entering the queue to have their 'sandwich' blanks assembled and readied for the CNC

more to come in a couple weeks ...

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: June 25th, 2009, 1:49 pm 
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Update please! I'm curious to see an M-series bass in full glory.

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: June 25th, 2009, 2:14 pm 
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Thanks for asking 8-)

I've been working with the CNC shop on detailed specs and pricing so that I can keep costs in check yet still offer the most flexibility possible on this series.

I've also worked the design details to offer these with an optional multi-chambered body similar to what Sadowsky does. To date I'm not seeing an insanely significant weight savings on a chambered body, but it definitely increases the resonance. When I factor in the added CNC programming and machine time costs, it's looking like this will initially be about a $150 upgrade

The body blanks are all glued-up, aged, and ready to load on the CNC table. Current schedule is to have some 'eye candy' ready for posting here and on the RGW website the weekend of July 11/12. If there are no unexpected delays, I should have both a 4 & 5-string M-Series body to post images of as well as a Heritage Plus 5 1-piece lefty body.

Since the necks for these are either totally completed or at the paint shop for a finish, I'm really chomping at the bit to get the first few units completed and into the studio for sound clips. All in all I have five bodies targeted to enter final assembly before the end of July, and these should show me where I can work with the CNC shop to speed up the manufacturing process to where I can have a 4-week turnaround from when I drop off rough lumber to when I receive a CNC cut body ready for detailing


I also started the first 4-string fretless neck of this series yesterday ... it'll be a Mahogany shaft with acrylized spalted Birdseye unlined fingerboard with a 1-1/2" nut width. Current plans are to mate this to a chambered Mahogany body with a marbled Imbuya top (think dark chocolate and milk chocolate swirled), Nordy Big Singles, and a Nordy 3-band pre.


all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: June 25th, 2009, 2:46 pm 
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Boy, this all sounds great! I've been wanting to have new bass built for awhile now, and having a lefthand bass built by a lefthand builder makes sense to me! I'm going to start saving, and watching this post for the completed basses...

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: June 27th, 2009, 11:25 am 
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Work on the first fretless M has commenced with a 4-string neck build. This will be my first time to utilize an acrylized fingerboard at the CNC shop - I've built with this fingerboard material before, but the CNC shop hasn't so they're a little cautious on this first neck

The neck utilizes that gorgeous spalted Birdseye blank (seen below) mated to a quartersawn Mahogany neck shaft. This will have the usual RGW construction features, but since it's a fretless there's no zero-fret. This will be my first time utilizing a Mahogany neck shaft, so I'm curious to see how it will work out over the coming months

Image

I'm still debating on the body woods at the moment, and currently settled on a chambered Mahogany body core. What I can't decide on is whether to utilize a pair of bookmatched marbled Imbuya top/back sets to sandwich the Mahogany, or to choose a burled Maple top with no back set. I'm about 60% fixed on the Imbuya since the dark marbled chocolate hues would work better with the birdseye than the burled Maple IMO ...

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: July 25th, 2009, 6:18 am 
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I finally have a few updates I can publish about the progress on this model ...

after much anticipation, the first M-Series body has been exhumed from its body blank. I'm at the airport typing this, so I'll need to suppliment this post with further details later. Until then, here's a few images for your viewing pleasure

all of the laminates glued up into a single 'Hippie Sandwich'. the first image is in the clamps, the second is the outcome of the squeezing

Image
Image

After a couple weeks of resting to allow the moisture content (absorbed from the glue) an opportunity to return to around 6%, the rough body was "exhumed" from the sandwich

Image
Image

the little fish tale at the butt is remaining wood from where the body was clamped in the CNC holding jig. this is easily removed with a hand router and pattern bit prior to detail sanding


ammended to add:

if you're curious/concerned about the 'chewed up appearance' in places like the arm contour - be assured that it's 100% by design of the CNC tool path ... contrary to commonly held misconceptions in the general public, there's still a TON of skilled hand work to do after a body or neck is taken off the CNC. the ridges you see are easily knocked down with a hand-held sander, and refined with further sanding and use of a cabinet scraper. unlike machining metal parts, part of the woodworking trade-off with CNC is weighing the added machine time cost to create a part that has less ridges vs. what can easily be done by skilled hand work.

more machine time = a 'cleaner' part, but the cost to do this is a slower toolpath speed due to its higher resolution

it's entirely possible that cleaning up the body contours could take 30 - 45 minutes by hand, while running an additional tooling path with higher resolution could take an additiona 20-25 minutes and only reduce the hand time by 10 minutes.


wait until you see the completed images, I think you'll see that all is good

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: July 25th, 2009, 3:23 pm 
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Rod,
FYI, the second image of the clamped neck does't show up. have a safe trip!

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: July 31st, 2009, 6:19 pm 
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The first M-Series 4-string fretless neck arrived back from the finishing shop today. This is a 1-piece Mahogany neck shaft with a gorgeous acrylized spalt birdseye Maple fingerboard. The neck has a 1-1/2" nut width, a 12"R fingerboard, side dots at the fret line location for the 3/5/7/9/12/15/17/19 fret locations

Image Image

I'm still debating just how glossy to polish the fingerboard, since an acrylized board can be finished anywhere between the 800 grit dull sheen it currently has thru a super high gloss mirror shine. I'll proably make the final decision when I see the finished 4-string Swamp Ash with flamed Koa body

I'm glad to have opted to go this route vs. the quartersawn Maple with a Gaboon Ebony fretboard I had originally planned

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: September 17th, 2009, 10:33 pm 
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any news on the completion of this bass?


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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: September 18th, 2009, 11:55 am 
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I'm close, but not quite ready to post an update just yet ...

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: October 30th, 2009, 2:55 pm 
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OK, after a lengthy delay it looks like things are getting back on track with this new design 8-)

here's a sneak peek at a finish sanded M5 body wet down with a little Naphtha to highlight the figuring similar to what it will look like with a finish applied. the camera flash has the colors off a little, but you get the idea. please also keep in mind that this is a reject top/back set due to flaws in the bookmatched set - for those who love OTT woods, you can anticipate that this is as poor as it will get. this specific bass body is the prototype unit and will not be offered for sale.

Image

Image

this finished out really nice IMO. I'm not so sure I like the look of the wood veneers tapering off on the contoured heel, so production units may not include a figured back set. it's also difficult to see in these images, but the darker Mahogany stripes on both sides of the Alder core each have a thin walnut veneer accent line on both sides

I have a couple other basses in assembly at the moment, so it'll be a little bit before I have further progress to update

I'm also considering offering this with a painted body if I can come up with a pickguard design I really like.

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: October 31st, 2009, 7:32 pm 
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Rodent, once again you are producing a beautiful bass for us to drool over. I don't mind seeing the veneer at the heel, but unless you can straighten the rippled edge, I would agree with you that it might be better not to have a veneer back, or, not have a veneer under it. It makes for a nice contrast around the rest of the edge though.

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 Post subject: Re: M-Series entering production
PostPosted: January 1st, 2010, 5:07 pm 
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I have -finally- managed to scab together some time to work on the M5 prototype, and have everything ready to the point of only needing to complete the final detail sanding on the body. I did the first full parts test fit earlier this afternoon, and thought I'd share this image for your viewing pleasure

Image

at the moment it's looking like I'm going to be scrapping the CNC workflow for this model series and instead build each of these by hand for the time being. this will give me the ability to have more reasonable control on the delivery schedule that these can be completed in, and it will also allow me the ability to hand work custom features on a body that I simply couldn't have done with the CNC process I had been walking

consequently I'll be spending much of the coming couple of weeks crafting the plexi templates needed to bring these to production readiness. you can be assured that they'll continue to be offered in both righty and lefty versions

fwiw - this body will be heading off to the paint shop for a clear gloss finish sometime late next week

all the best,

R

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