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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Bringing the old POS back on line

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 11:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A few years back I put the old 1965 Framus Atlantic on the bench for a good cleaning and set up. The old bass was never great or even a good instrument, in retrospect. At the time I wouldn’t have known the difference. I was ecstatic just to have a bass and to me it was the best, semi acoustic so I could practice with out an amp. Which I didn’t get until my 15th birthday. Live is good when your 12. The Framus was under the Christmas Tree Dec. 25, 1965 and I was in a band with the Base Commander’s son by Dec, 31, 1965.

I used this bass until I was ambushed by a brand new 1981 Fender P-Special. I was in a band and knew that the Framus was a POS.

Now 36 years later I find that I actually like the funky and crappy basses. I’m seriously considering bringing the Old Framus back on line. A couple of reasons, I’m sure I can do this. I’ve learned a lot about building and working on instruments since then. When I put it on the bench to clean it and set it up I happened to fix the major problem this bass has always had. Intonation, back in 1977 I got in a Blues Band with a harmonica player, Lucy Van Sicile (sp), I took the bass to a repair shop, after a week they told me nothing could be done and I picked it up. I had to bend the strings past the 5th fret to get close to intonation, a pain but I had years of playing it that way.Back when I put it on the bench I moved the floating bridge to set the intonation at the 12th fret and locked it in with the string tension, Turns out the bass has good intonation once the bridge was reset, humph all those years.

The problem is the surfaced mounted pickups pole pieces extend above the plain of the fingerboard. It’s nearly impossible to get a usable action as is. To achieve playability I’ll need to shim the set neck. I have a fairly good idea how to achieve this but I want to avoid spending big bucks on StewMac tools. I can grind/modify an end nipper plier to pull the frets for drilling the steaming holes and I’ve been told that sport ball inflation needles will work for steaming.

I know a few of you guys know more about this than I do. All I’m looking for is to make this thing playable as non invasively as possible. Time is not a consideration, I can take as long as needed.

I’d get a real kick of taking the stage again with my first ever bass guitar. Actually the pick ups on this bass are very cool and it has a very unique and usable tone.

1965 Framus Atlantic

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 02:01 PM, Dec 10th, 2017)

hushnel
Contributing Member
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**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 12:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Skyhook Seviceman’s Club Wiesbaden Germany 1966

The Rhythm Method âo) We thought we was cool.

Foggy1
Contributing Member
***

Murrells Inlet, SC

So, so you think you can tell.
Dec 10th, 2017 12:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's an awesome picture hushnel. Enjoy that bass!

Therealfrogman
Contributing Member
******

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Dec 10th, 2017 01:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You thought you was cool? Well you were. Thats a nice looking bass and those F holes are bitchin!

I modified a set of nippers I had laying around for frets and they work fine. Would getting the surface mount pickups lower help with the setup action?

I am a rookie so any thoughts I have are from non-experience..

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Dec 10th, 2017 03:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I would seriously look at whether it's possible to lower the pickups before I contemplated a neck reset on a set neck.

hushnel
Contributing Member
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**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 04:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The pickups are mounted in a metal housing. They are bottomed out in their range of adjustment. The housing, which looks like the pickup itself, is attached to the top with 4 screws.

I’ll take some close up pictures and see if I can get the loaded into my profile.

Same pickup on the Framus Star 1965

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 04:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Te 52, I’m glad you mentioned such a common sense heads up.

I’m an idiot. It often amazes me how absent minded I can be. So I’m Taking another look at the pick ups and noticed that the neck pick up is adjusted down further than the bridge. I put a little oil on the bridge pickup adjustment screws and let it work while I prepared my dinner. About an hour later I put the screw driver on the bridge PU adjustment screws and they broke free. I was able to lower the pick up and the action to acceptable.

While I was doing this I happened to notice 4 screws and a neck plate on the back of the body. “o 42 freekin years and it didn’t occured to me that it was a bolt on.

Oh well, like I said I’m an idiot. I just set it down after an hour running through a set list. Dang thing is usable, intonation is right on, needs a slight truss rod adjustment but is usable as is.

It ‘s an extremely narrow neck, the nut is 1 3/8th inch. Using it all those years it feels really quick and familiar.

I can’t hardly wait to hear the guys groan when I pull it out of the Gig bag on Tuesday “o)

The positive side is, if I would have know how to do this back in 1981 I would never have purchased that cool old Fender Special, which eventually led to, basses are cool and I can own more than one.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 09:40 PM, Dec 10th, 2017)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 10th, 2017 06:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"While I was doing this I happened to notice 4 screws and a neck plate on the back of the body."

Hah! Happy accident, sort of.

I noticed a neck plate on the one you posted from Reverb, but just assumed it was slightly different model.
I was going to point it out, but reckoned "Nah, he'd know that!" Too funny!

Glad to hear it worked out. That's really cool to have your very first instrument back in action after all those years.

Makes me wonder how many FDP'ers also still own their #1 #1!!??
Might be worthy of a new post subject!

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, it is funny. I looked at it and started laughing. At least I got it posted before it was pointed out to me.

It’s amazing that I still have this bass. I had a Framus six string for years, I fixed it up and gave it to a kid at the Sheriff’s Youth Ranch for Christmas one year. Those are going for $600.00 and up, I think I paid $50.00 for it new.

The bass is actually pretty cool. I’m definitely going to have some fun with it. I can’t imagine many people knowing what it is. I’ll get to be the good payer with the crappy instrument “o)

If I decide to go to Victor Wooten’s Bass Camp this summer maybe I’ll take the Framus, now that would be a hoot.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 11:03 PM, Dec 10th, 2017)

martin p.

Westbury NY

I am never unintentionally rude
Dec 10th, 2017 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I still have my Gibson Ripper from 1975, awesome bass, it has a sound you can't get anyplace else.
it has more stage time then my four fenders combined. a real road warrior.

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 10th, 2017 09:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

One of my buddies that worked at the hospital with me had one. He had me do some work on it.

I keep thinking if I knew how simple it is to set up guitars, just the basics, I wouldn’t have had to struggle so much with this bass for all those years. I was just clueless, Information is so much easier to get today than it was back them.

M Tracy
Contributing Member
********

Lafayette IN

Dec 28th, 2017 03:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very cool. I have a 64? Framus acoustic, f holes and a bolt on neck. My dad got it New in Germany in 64, I still play it.

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 29th, 2017 07:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I’ve seen them, cool guitars. My brother still has his 12 string, it’s needs some work. I’ll take some tools up to Nashville with me this summer and work on it.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Bringing the old POS back on line




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