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Thread: New build...a bass this time around

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    New build...a bass this time around

    I finally got started on my next build and a bass got the nod. It's based on P-bass geometry, but will have my own headstock and body design, similar to my most recent guitar build for the TDPRI "Brotherhood Build" event. (build number three thread here)

    Body design:

    JB-Bass-Front-Render.jpg JB-Bass-Back-Render.jpg

    Headstock design:

    JB-Bass-Headstock-Render.jpg

    Yesterday, I took some scrap HDU and cut the first prototype to see what worked and what needed attention. The files are originally from Alex Navaro and serve as the basis for the instrument, but purchased files ALWAYS need tweaking.

    IMG_E8466.jpg IMG_E8463.jpg IMG_E8464.jpg

    I was actually please with almost everything. I will be adjusting the neck pocket to be a little tighter and adjusting the transition between the neck carve and the headstock, but otherwise, there's little to worry about. I still need to cut a sample fingerboard to be sure that's on-target since I only have one piece of Richlite long enough for a bass fingerboard.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #2
    Eagerly following this, Jim. Building a bass is on my bucket list and right behind building an electric or two.

    David
    David
    CurlyWoodShop on Etsy, David Falkner on YouTube, difalkner on Instagram

  3. #3
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    Mar 2003
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    Happy to have you along for the ride, David. Electrics are darn easy compared to acoustics! Of course I have an electro-acoustic on my own bucket list. And a mandolin just to keep things interesting.
    -----

    Today I cut a sample fretboard just to be sure how things will go together and I'm very pleased. I cut this one from some walnut scrap which means it could actually be used in a future build, even though I'll be using richlite for this one. So I just need to do a few minor things to the file and I can cut for real. I may cut another neck...at least the topside after cutting the real body with the slight narrowing of the neck pocket to be sure before cutting the real neck.

    IMG_8475.jpg

    A few other photos from the day...gotta love tiny .023" tooling.

    IMG_E8470.jpg

    IMG_E8471.jpg

    IMG_E8472.jpg
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Good job Jim.

  5. #5
    What a treat. Can you share some more details?

    What wood will the body ultimately be?

    Where's the output jack going?

    I am really looking forward to this.

    That neck looks super long. What's your scale length?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Averill Park NY
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    Great job Jim! Looking forward to following the build
    Some Blue Tools
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    2,539
    Looking nice! I built a bass for my son a number of years ago (actually we managed to do a lot of it together). It was great fun. I don't play but I've had real players who didn't need to be nice to me tell me it came out quite well. For no good reason (obstinacy perhaps) I did a through neck rather than a bolt-on. Bolts in a musical instrument just seemed wrong, 8 gajillion Fenders notwithstanding. Figuring out the electronics seemed to be the hardest part of the whole thing. I ended up with a combination of Jazz and P-bass elements that were recommended to me. Stuck with passive, as active electronics made my head spin. I still don't know if it was the right choice, but my son is happy with it, though he's not playing in any organized way just now. I hope he'll pick it up again, he sounds OK to me.

    IMG_20200622_165954.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Prashun (and others) ... This instrument has Fender Precision Bass geometry with my body and my headstock...34" scale. Body will be cut from basswood. Not decided on the species for the neck yet. Jack will go in the edge like a Telecaster...I don't like output jacks jacking the face of my instruments. It will also be a "bright color"...

    Roger, that's a stunning instrument! Bravo! The electrics can be fun, especially when one is choosing components from multiple sources. To date, I've honestly stuck with pre-assembled harnesses from GFS (Guitar Fetish) as well as their pickups that use their Kwikplug system. The only soldering I do is to replace the jack with one that has compatible threading for the ElectroSocket jack mounting system I like.

    For the record, I don't play much guitar or bass, even though I actually did in a couple of bands years ago "because someone had to do it"...I'm a keyboard player. One band had another keyboard player but needed bass, so I learned what I needed to do and just did it. Another (1980s) had me as the keyboard player, but we did a set of tunes from folks like the Pretenders where a second guitar was needed but no keys. So I learned what I needed to learn and just did it. Fingering a guitar is also difficult for me now since I had some surgery on my left wrist a few years ago. Building these has become a "hobby inside of a hobby" at this point and I'm enjoying it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Quick update...finally got the body cut out after "distractions"...I did fail to make a change in the neck pocket depth, so I ordered a short top-bearing plunge flush trim router bit today so I can take a little more out of the bottom the traditional way to rectify.

    IMG_E8589.jpg IMG_E8590.jpg
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    geez roger thats nice.

  11. #11
    Gorgeous. How do you find the basswood to work with?

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    Gorgeous. How do you find the basswood to work with?
    I really like the basswood a whole bunch. It's smooth, clear, easy to machine/cut/plane/sand, relatively light weight and at under $6 a board foot for 8/4, affordable. I've been buying from Willard as they keep stock, although I wish they had wider than is usually in the rack.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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