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 The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
Hello folks. I've given myself a challenge. As my introduction into the Stick world, I'm taking a cheap second hand Stick copy. Re-build it as a playable tapping instrument, tune it to classic stick tuning, and learn how to play it.

Here she is . . Bought off of E-Bay as a ten string bass/stick style instrument.

Attachment:
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The build quality is actually pretty decent. Laminated mahogany and maple strips, several inches thick. Very strong and stable. It came strung with a standard gauge low B, and on up, tuned in 4ths.
The action was way too high for tapping, actually a bit too high for plucking as well.
It was clearly designed to be a stick copy. Evidenced by the diagonal mounting of the pick up plate which extends over both sides.
It also came with a screwed in strap, which only serves as a carrying strap. Trying to play this thing slung with this strap was futile.


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Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:21 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:59 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Hillsboro (near Portland), Oregon, USA
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
Interesting. I remember seeing that on eBay and wondered where it would land. Definitely keep us all updated on its progress!


Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:35 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
First things first.Test to see if it works, It makes sounds, just barely. Very weak output from the pick-ups, and noisy as well. It was evident the electronics were inferior and un-shielded.

The resistance measured 5.79 ohms from one pup, and just over 6 on the other. Better quality single coils should measure between 6.5 and 7 ohms.


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Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
The fret board was poorly painted with a globby black substance, and it was ugly. The frets were far too low and thin for tapping so they had to come off.
Attachment:
frets.jpg


I stripped the instrument of all components and sanded it down . .

Low and behold . . The fret board is actually a striking piece of striped ebony . .

looks quite nice with it's new oil finish.


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Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:10 pm
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 2:45 pm
Posts: 567
Location: Sylmar, California
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
You're gonna need individually adjustable bridges for each string. Height and length.


Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:33 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:03 pm
Posts: 21
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
Cool, Flag,

Yes please do keep us updated on your progress. Go for it!
Hope you get to enjoy some tapping times with this instrument when the project is completed.

But I do believe....There is a Chapman Stick in your future... ;-)

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

Billy Lee


Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:40 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
BillyLee wrote:
Cool, Flag,

Yes please do keep us updated on your progress. Go for it!
Hope you get to enjoy some tapping times with this instrument when the project is completed.

But I do believe....There is a Chapman Stick in your future... ;-)

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

Billy Lee


Thanks Billy :) Yes, I believe there will be a real stick in my future as well . . ;)


Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:13 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
Captain Strings wrote:
You're gonna need individually adjustable bridges for each string. Height and length.


I've been giving that some thought as well . . Just for giggles, I fashioned a floating bridge out of oak, My thinking was to cut the string slots down a bit at a time to the correct height, or at least an acceptable, playable height. Of course this would permanently lock in a particular string gauge, but I don't see that as an issue. Adjustable height and length for intonation would be preferable, like a real Stick bridge . . Anyone have one available?

I suppose I could do the individual screw type thing like the early Sticks, providing height adjustability. But here again, on a 34" scale, measuring 17" from the 12th fret, then drilling into the wood to mount the screw, I'm kind of locked in. A floating bridge would at least allow some measure of adjustment.


Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:34 pm
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Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
Hey Flag,

Just wondering....how are you going to tune the instrument? in ascending fourths across the fingerboard, low to high, just as it came?
Or are you going to try a Stick-like tuning, with ascending fourths on the melody side, and fifths on the bass side, with the lowest bass string in the middle of the fingerboard?

Myself, I like your idea of initially trying out the wooden "Floating bridge" first, so you can determine the best bridge/saddle location to correctly intonate each string. And experimenting with different wooden bridges would allow you explore/experiment with string spacing too. Those experiments would guide you towards final proper placement of a permanent adjustable metal bridge/saddle. There are bunch of metal guitar and bass bridges/saddles available online, through ebay, Amazon, or other sources if you choose to add an adjustable metal bridge. A zillion choices!

Man, I wish I could come over for coffee and watch you work! ;-)

Have fun!


Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
Posts: 18
Location: Jersey Shore
Post Re: The Teflon, Non-Stick Challenge E-Bay Cheapie Build
:D :D Hey Billy, you're certainly welcome to come by for coffee. But watching me work is like watching paint dry! I'm very slow and methodical . . ;)

I'm going to tune this in the classic Stick tuning. Inverted fifths on the bass and ascending fourths on the melody side. My thinking here is threefold:

I believe it's the most common tuning, there's tons of instructional material available.

It's very different from what I'm used to, allowing me to explore new sonic territory, so to speak.

Lastly, I feel it would be the most advantageous for my particular instrument. The heaviest strings would be in the center of the fret board, which is the beefiest and strongest part. Not that I'm really that concerned about it, this beast is strong!


Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:07 pm
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