#1
Hey everyone. For those of you who know what a ramp is/ have made them before, i need your help. I tried contacting local companies and luthiers in my area that build them and all of them gave me very scarce details, and the prices were out of this world for a piece of material between two pickups. I've decided to build my own (depending on if its easy enough for me and my dad), and was wondering if anyone could help me. I know that i have to measure the dimensions, but what do i use. Do i use wood, plastic or some other material? Do i glue it on, or do i screw it on, and how? Do i use some kind of contour on the corner where i anchor my thumb? Thanks for all the help.
#2
Quote by Taygunov
Do i use wood, plastic or some other material?
what do you want your fingers to rest against? what do you want it to look like? what are you comfortable working with?

it really doesn't much matter what you make it out of. plastic or would accomplishes the function.


Quote by Taygunov
Do i glue it on, or do i screw it on, and how?
depends on what you make it out of, how your bass is constructed and your personal preference.

if it's being mounted to a plastic pickguard, you have the option of using screws from the backside of the pickguard into the ramp. if you are mounting directly to a wood body, you could use screws through the ramp into the body, but of course you'll want to recess the screws. or just glue the damned thing in place with an adhesive that's compatible with both material - body (or picguard) and ramp.


Quote by Taygunov
Do i use some kind of contour on the corner where i anchor my thumb?
do you want one? then of course you can mill a contour in.
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#3
http://www.garywillis.com/pages/bass/bassmanual/theramp.html

Gary Willis has a great little piece on his website about it. Ibanez make them in natural wood colour (to match the body) and in cheaper plastic one (Coloured black).

If I was doing it, I would get a cheap bit of wood, measure the space between pickup and neck, make it that length, the height of the pick and wide enough to look in line with the neck or pickup. I would screw it on, personaly. Incase you wish to remove it or incase you get new pickups and want the ramp to be the same height.
#4
Thanks for the help, well the color of my material should be black (to match the pickups). I guess i would like to use the same material as... uh... whats that material that (lets say) EMG pickups use as the cover? I just thought you have to use the wood for whatever strange reason. And i am mounting it on a neck-through, all wood base, and i would like to make it extra careful and pretty because this bass is my love so i guess ill use screws so i can change it or replace it if something happens to the ramp. Thanks again
#5
Quote by Taygunov
Thanks for the help, well the color of my material should be black (to match the pickups). I guess i would like to use the same material as... uh... whats that material that (lets say) EMG pickups use as the cover? I just thought you have to use the wood for whatever strange reason. And i am mounting it on a neck-through, all wood base, and i would like to make it extra careful and pretty because this bass is my love so i guess ill use screws so i can change it or replace it if something happens to the ramp. Thanks again


I made a cheap home made one for my fretless a few months back, I used the plastic that covers the CD Drive cavities on a PC. Then sanded it down to be flat and fit perfectly under the strings. I glued it onto my pickguard. Since then I've removed the pickguard and the ramp, I personally never found it useful. I guess it's preference though, I like playing at my bridge pickup. With the ramp i was getting a much more mellow/gentle tone. Although I did have an idea of extending my fretboard with the ramp acting as an extension. Of course, intonation would be a little out.
#6
This is how I made mine and the results were fantastic!

I basically took some 2" wide masking tape and masked both between and over the pickups. I then cut two 10mm thick plastic (can use wood) strips to the same height as my pickups and basically shuttered the area in-between them (like if you were concreting a driveway!) I took some 2mm thick pieces (again same height as pickups) and placed them up against the pickup edges. So I created a well inside and to the same height as the pickups.
Next I took some Car Body Filler and mixed it with some black pigment. I kept blasting black matt aerosol into the mix until it was black. Next I added a little catalyst. I then spread the mix into the welled area within the pickups making sure no trapped air. I levelled it off and tamped it down using a nice steel rule. Once it had set I lifted the hardened mould out of the recess and tidied the finish up a little. Next I smoothed it with fine grade 'wet-and-dry'.
Finally I applied very thin temporary self adhesive tape to the underside covering the whole surface area. Next I removed the backing from the tape and adhered the ramp in place.
A great finish and a great sound. Very pleased with the results.