Dale Small Custom 11.5 Rim Assembly
FQMS PB6 Sparkle Plectrum Neck
FQMS Hardware
FQMS resonator

This neck has issues, I will have to heat it and work it.
Its never been on any instrument long and has set around too long

Pulled down with the truss, it is still wacky but I will get it there
 First I need to get it cut to fit this 11.5 rim assembly

It will need to be enlarged in the flange cut to bring it on in

My inlay saw can cut a little at a time out, until I get some breathing room on the flange

That size cut is all I needed
I will need to re-position the lags

I will need to add on about this much heel

And it is now up where it needs to be

The fit is very close, will test string it

Not bad, I will need less neck angle so will build the heel to suit the bridge Gary wants to drive this thing with
The resonator is dark from the old finish choice, but was light and has wood marquetry that will need to be removed and a lighter celluloid binding installed

Heel fits OK, so moving on

Working with the neck with heat, it is still too flat

Finish removal

Binding router to cut out the marquetry

That is a tiny bit left, it was set deeper in the sidewall than I need to remove

Stripped and ready to get its new bindings, on the way



Now that looks like I need a Hazmat suit to open it.

Voila, 380.00 worth of celluloid binding,  of which 39.00 is HazMat Fees!....Plus shipping
It is best to save up for a stock order if you can to lessen the blow

Widening and deepening the channels, for the Axiom made Multi- laminate celluloid.
I had to modify the router to get to the height and depth needed
You cannot sand the face of this binding more than .005" because its black line is only a .010" insert
It's critical, or you will lose your line.

Completed, and filed smooth on the facing edges
Now for the bottom, the hard one
The back is angled, so you have to concentrate, to keep the router at a 90 degree angle when routing

Satisfied as I can be on a used resonator and a hand piece.

Top side glued in place, leaving a channel for the sparkle

#2 installed, block sanded to profile and a sealer coat added


Sparkle Time

Picked up some stuff locally, to experiment with.

Ended up with a 2 part epoxy, 5 minute, because I am very used to fast set epoxy.
Mixing in a flake before I mix the 2 parts because you have to work fast

Test piece dried and optically clear, that is what I wanted

First layer in, this is the second tape off, you do not want this going everywhere and you have to pull tape at the correct time of set up, not when it dries. Epoxy is all about time frames, and knowing what you an do each minute.

Second layer all in, now to flatten it with wax paper, it will peel right off when its cured.
I cant do alot of sanding if I want the top layer of flake to stay really bright so I do all I can do now, 10 minutes into the cure its fairly hard, but can still be pressed.

1 hour on, time to pull paper

Now that it is cured, I will clean it off the binding, and decide on a breaker line for the top of the sparkle.
A 1/32" black  pin stripe may be all I can offer up.

That will be what I use for the attempt.

I have some foggy spots on the bottom run, and I have to go back over a few areas that the epoxy acted weird on.

The bottom is re-done, and the pinstripe added which makes a nice breaker line.
Now I will go over the top once again, and hope for the same result.
Very tricky, doing it in a non-traditional manner
There is still MANY steps, and during them, you have to protect what you do, as you go.

Now the top is done, and pinstripe added
Time to get some clear over it and make it all flat again.
Plenty of block sanding coming up

I can live with that look, by the time the tint coats are on, it will "pop" like I wanted
The Driller agrees...

A quick look  after clear sealer applied

Once I get the heel opening altered, then I can begin with the shading that will match it all up with the neck.

I start with the honey amber, and bindings were taped off, then a thin coat of the "Gray" which is merely thinned black.

2 coats of clear .

Now to get the orange in, as seen on the heel/peg head

That's good for the back

Side tinted orange in the center on both sides, fading to amber
Another coat of clear, now a final  binding cleaning and another look for any stray sparkle flakes. a constant source of amusement...

Shown here with the first top coats and the fade on the side/back completed.

Get a quick look, color match is close, better than I had hoped for.

New felt added, ready to install

Action is low, neck angle is good, relief is set
Bridge is 9/16
If it changes at all due to climate, it would need to be adjusted for that climate.
Some do.

Added a little contrast to this shot
It looks more like that, the flash is lightening the pics

OK, case is all cleaned up, it looked like a bottle of wine in a dusty cellar.
Will get it boxed up and back to Gary, what a long strange trips its been eh GL?
Dale would have loved that it caused me grief and would scoff at my efforts.
But that is why he was one of my great friends, he never let nicety get in the way of reality ! :)

Thanks for watching,Vinnie