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Clarence Bender Project
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patdaddy wrote:
Brian
you're my hero


no no no lol...save that for Clarence!! Cool
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patdaddy



Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seems to me the REAL clarence guitar has a hump sticking out of the masonite. is that due to the levers being long? or is that something to do with martys E bender?
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patdaddy wrote:
seems to me the REAL clarence guitar has a hump sticking out of the masonite. is that due to the levers being long? or is that something to do with martys E bender?


That hump is a hunk of wood carved out to cover a hole in the masonite...but yes it was there because the levers were longer than the fake back was deep. I have the same problem...but there is no reason why the excess finger length can't be chopped off which is what I am going to do.
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patdaddy



Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, i think you should do a clear plexi-glass rear cover, but route into the 2nd body so that the plexi sits flush, but then you'll have to re-finish where you route.

i'm gonna look into having custom neck-plates made with Clarences image on it. i think that would be suh-weet.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patdaddy wrote:
ok, i think you should do a clear plexi-glass rear cover, but route into the 2nd body so that the plexi sits flush, but then you'll have to re-finish where you route.


Hi Pat...I will go with the clear cover but I'm not going to recess it.
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Brian, that clear plastic might not have the same resonance as the Masonite use on "Clarence". Wink
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raybob wrote:
But Brian, that clear plastic might not have the same resonance as the Masonite use on "Clarence". Wink


Actually that has crossed my mind lol
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple more pix



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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too slick! Clarence would be proud!
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Bill Hisle



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 106
Location: East Oz

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian,

Is a bender like this one more difficult and/or expensive to install than the "standard" Parsons/White? In some ways it looks like a more simple design, but I know looks are often deceiving. Just wondering which presents more of a challenge when installing?
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Hisle wrote:
Brian,

Is a bender like this one more difficult and/or expensive to install than the "standard" Parsons/White? In some ways it looks like a more simple design, but I know looks are often deceiving. Just wondering which presents more of a challenge when installing?


Hi Bill....

This bender is more difficult and more expensive for several reasons a) the pedal steel parts themselves are rare, b) I've never done one of these before and c) I am machining and designing all of the parts myself on small hobby sized lathe and milling machine. Because of that there is always room for improvement. A more experienced machinist would probably do things differently.. So I am taking my time.

A modern Parsons White bender is a much more refined and reliable design...but this project is what it is and something similar was good enough for Clarence... Cool
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patdaddy



Joined: 09 Jan 2009
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sure looks fantastic!
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a Tele-by-the-pool shot Very Happy

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MarkT



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 57
Location: Chandler, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian, I may have interest in one of these down the road. Are you gearing up for doing others?
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can answer the question about gearing up for others.

I had a spare 400 (not 800 as Brian mentioned, which is the 10-string cable-pull Fender steel...many get things mixed up and call the 400's 800's since they had 8 strings) changer from my first "Sneakycaster" project that combined parts from 2 short-scale Fender steels (not the model Pete played, which was the earlier long scale...my current one is essentially a clone of his mechanically and a different but similar one electronically).

Gene used a 400 changer - Pete had parts from newer Fenders as several of the parts (cables, pulleys, some levers) are interchangeable. He cut it in half - hence it had 4 possible changes, with the B the final decision (never have found out what became of the OTHER half of the original changer).

Brian cut this one in half (the other half is spoken for) and there are no spares - even cutting the changer in half was a "project of faith", as we were not real sure what would happen! Other parts had to be guessed at, and there were a lot of initial ideas being kicked back and forth as we tried to figure out exactly how the changer operated in the context of the bender.

The changer is the rub - to make Mur's copy Gene had to get hold of a changer...and the only way is to dig up a parted-out guitar (7 or 8 years ago this was possible...but now Fenders are hot items for players and changers are ultra rare) or a whole guitar and remove the changer.

A short-scale 400 in semi-beater condition is going to cost $800-1000 plus shipping. The buyer could recover a couple hundred selling off parts - maybe, but it's tough as on the Fender Steel Forum we encourage helping out other players with donations and swaps as much as possible.

So if you figure the changer part for one guitar would cost around $500-600, then add Brian's labor for cutting it and hand-fabricating each part - to make it worth his while you're probably looking at a bender well into 4 figures. And that's with you supplying the guitar to start with.

It's simply a matter of supply and demand - parts and time are in short supply and both cost money.

And since I've been asked hundreds of times on the Fender Steel Forum - Fender has NO tooling records, design drawings, production records or anything else regarding their pedal steels. Several years ago there was a hunt in Scottsdale, Corona and Ensenada that came up dry except for Leo's patent drawing, useless for reproduction of parts.

The changer is also something a machine shop would find very tough to reproduce - it'd cost more than a dead-mint original 400.
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