Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Building, Modding, Setup and Repair
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drbass
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Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 09 Sep 2018, 09:52

Just like with #017 timber for this one is all sorted but not sure about the electronics. If you're interested in this one contact me and we'll work out the right combo. Otherwise I might just put in the usual suspects.

This is the top, some nice purple heart (very tight in terms of width, might have to slightly modify the body shape for this one):


There'll be walnut wings and a 5 mm maple contrast layer.

35", 24 frets, neck will be 5 piece, three maple with 2 purple heart stringers with a square central piece. Matching angled headstock. Most likely a zebtrano board for contrast, otherwise maple or birds eye maple.

ETS Singles for the bridge, the usual Hipshot short key Y 3/8" tuners, and flushmount Dunlop strap locks.

That's all for now.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Classic5
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by Classic5 » 09 Sep 2018, 11:08

OMG I'm losing track of all the builds. :)

Looking very much forward to seeing all these come together :notworthy:
IB-Classic#001, Xotic XJ-1T 5,Yamaha BB1024X
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"If you keep buying things you DON'T need, eventually you'll have to start selling things you DO need"

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drbass
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 09 Sep 2018, 11:10

Classic5 wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 11:08
OMG I'm losing track of all the builds. :)

Looking very much forward to seeing all these come together :notworthy:
Me, too, and me, too ;) .

I thought it's easier in separate threads. If anyone feels this is spamming the board let me know and I'll try a more sparse approach.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

sic608
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by sic608 » 09 Sep 2018, 12:05

Wow now this ine is so tempting :drool:

Go with the birdseye :poke:

You should do a "new borns" page
Einstein was onced asked, "How does it feel to be the smartest man alive?" To which he repiled, "I dont know, you'll have to ask Nikola Tesla"

packrat
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by packrat » 09 Sep 2018, 12:20

birds eye maple is wonderful :)

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drbass
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 06 Oct 2018, 16:05

Neck-vana today. Here's the first one: 3 maple with 2 purple heart stringers:



Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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narcdor
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by narcdor » 07 Oct 2018, 06:40

Noice.
Strings: Fender, Narcdor, Framus, MusicMan
Knobs: Aguilar, MarkBass
Cones: Barefaced, Baer
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar

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drbass
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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 09 Oct 2018, 20:08

I'll put this one here. Takes a fair bit of time to mark out where everything goes in a neck.

From left to right: 32" 4 string special Special Q #019 (I'll change the number of bolts from 5 to 6), 35" 5 string fretless Gumdrop #015, and the 35" NT Merlin #018:


The NT will get 4 carbon rods (just to see if that makes a difference), two oblique long ones, and two from about halfway down the neck straight down the neck. Just because I can, and there is some space :D .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 26 Oct 2018, 15:41

No, it's not really THAT purple:



Zebrano board looks nifty. Still not decided on electronics and pickups, this one is not allocated to anyone so if you're interested ... .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 05 Nov 2018, 09:06

Trialling my "lamination rig" to glue on the fretboard.

Setting up everything right side up, tighten the bolts and then turn over so the epoxy (which is reasonably fluid) stays out of the truss rod channel as much as possible (no, I don't put a strip of timber over the truss rod, different method).

A little cumbersome (I would normally do it on my outside bench but it's threatening to rain) but so far so good ... .



Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 16 Nov 2018, 16:06

Same treatment for this neck as for #016 - nice way to get a straight edge of the neck.





After Blaine always comments on the thickness of my necks (more accurately the lack thereof) I though I might leave this one as is, a nice chunky and ergonomically friendly shape ;) .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 19 Dec 2018, 16:23

This is turning into my "pilot" project for the 4 neck-throughs I currently have on the go. The others are not that far behind, just a couple more prep steps before the wings go on. Slowly easing my way into doing more focussed work on the building side of things.

Put the wings on. Front:

and back (which will be visible):

Ended up with black veneer strips between the neck and the walnut wings.

Here's the top after finishing the neck cut-out:


And here's the glue-up:

Nothing to worry about, the epoxy has already set but I'll normally leave it for 24 hours.

Will be able to use the band saw on Friday to get the shape close to final and can then do a little bit of sculpting (will be tricky with this one because the purple heart top was not quite wide enough so it'll be very tight around the lower half).

Also marked out and drilled the side marker holes on all builds (except #020, still a little more work to do on the neck before I can) and put in the Luminlay dots. Nice.

Oh, and here's a little timber for future builds:


AAMOF this is obviously for a "different" project altogether but I might be able to use some of the offcuts (I did order a little more than I will need) for making bodies: it's accoya and pretty light!

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 21 Dec 2018, 19:13

Bit of a transformation.

Workshop earlier today (Merry Christmas, guys, and may 2019 be all you want it to be!!) and bandsaws a rough shape. At home I used the template and my template bits on the trim router, plus some coping saw and file action to get to the basic body outline:


As you can see there was some epoxy squeeze-through which I didn't expect with a subsequent piece to the MDF board stuck to the top. Nothing too serious.
You can also see that the purple heart top was too small (as was clear from the start). No worries.

A couple of solid hours with the shinto files, and normal rasps and files later:




Don't worry about the difference in colour - it'll all be perfectly fine once finished. Obviously still needs a fair bit of fine-tuning and sanding but I'm really happy with the progress in such a short time. Nice to have adequate and appropriate tools.

The neck is still totally square so there's a while to go yet. Plus I don't know what pickups and electronics to put in. Still open to make this available to anyone interested - if you are let me know and we can discuss final electronics specs. Hardware will be Hipshot UltraLite Y (3/8") and ETS single bridges (on their way from Germany as I type this).
I there is no interest I'm thinking maybe the Delano Xtenders, either a set of soap bars or a bridge soap bar with a split coil soap bar near the P position. Pre? Don't know.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 09 Mar 2019, 19:22

Some love for this thread.

Operation rescue has started in earnest. Completely took out the remainder at the end of the body of what formed the tone block cavity so it's now completely open. 14 mm maple blocks fitted, holes drilled, and threaded inserts installed. Just glueing on a wenge cap and should be able to glue on the purple heart layer tomorrow.

Body was also progressed - holes for the tone block bolts, threaded inserts for the pickup and back cover, and of course holes for the pots and the single 3-way mini switch. I'm reasonably confident that I can put frets in on Friday, and should be able to get this one finished at the same time as Matt's Monster. Stay tuned.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: Build #018 - Polaris Merlin NT5 Purple Heart

Post by drbass » 23 Mar 2019, 08:11

Everything's moving slowly at the moment for a number of reasons.

One of them is that "finishing" takes a little bit of time - apply, let it cure, light sanding, apply, and so on. Anyway, the neck for Matt's Monster (build #020) is getting there and should be ready for fret levelling and resting on Friday.

This little beauty has progressed as well. Frets in (I picked the largest ones I could find - :D ahahaha, gotcha, of course not, they're tiny), body sanded and here it is after the first application of Osmo:




The body looks larger than it actually is - perspective is not always your friend. The purple heart works really nice, the zebrano board looks good, and the walnut is, well, interesting. I've seen light and dark bits (see the walnut/mango build) but nothing quite extreme as this. Oh well, it's timber, embrace it, makes every single build unique.

The toneblock is coming along as well. It'll be a workable solution to the issue but not something I would embrace as a feature in the future.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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