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ESDictor

First Build - Jazz Bass

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In 1999 I bought a book called Constructing a Solid-Body Guitar, by Roger H. Siminoff because I wanted to build a guitar. In the 12 years since then I've lurked around various forums, asking a question or two and buying more books. Finally, I've managed to acquire the tools, wood, and nerve to get started.

Style: Jazz Bass (from purchased template)

Body Wood: Poplar

Neck Wood: Most Likely Maple

Fingerboard Wood: Either Ebony, Rosewood, or perhaps Cocobolo

Finish: Paint

I've done a couple of mock-ups, one white with black hardware (my preference) and one blue with chrome hardware (everyone else in my life's preference - especially my wife).

jazzbass.pngjazzbassblue.png

A lot of decisions ride on which of those I choose, but fortunately I have some time before I need to make that decision. Between us, I think it's going to wind up being blue.

The first step came today when I glued up a couple of 24"x9"x7/4" Poplar boards.

glueprep.jpggluedup.jpg

Tomorrow I'll scrape the glue (ugh .. I guess buy a scraper first if I can), trace the template, and maybe do a rough cut with a jigsaw (don't have a better tool available for the rough cut).

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Rough cut done with Jigsaw, which is apparently the worst possible tool for the job. I'm taking a break until next weekend to do the template-following.

roughcut.jpg

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The weekend is here and the weather didn't suck, so I was able to do some work today

Here's where I wound up for the day ... tomorrow I'll do some rounding over

routedone.jpg

Edited by ESDictor

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It was contour day ... tummy cut was way harder than I expected

planingforearm.jpg

planedforearm.jpg

planingtummy.jpg

tummy.jpg

Tomorrow I try routing the body cavities (pickup and hardware). Going with 3/4" based on what I've read, but still not sure that's right.

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This is progressing nicely! I'm jealous of that Rigid spindle sander. I tried to acquire one myself years back, but no dice on 240v! Very compact and convenient it seems.

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This is progressing nicely! I'm jealous of that Rigid spindle sander. I tried to acquire one myself years back, but no dice on 240v! Very compact and convenient it seems.

Thanks! Now I just need to make a decision on the neck and then buy (likely) or build it.

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Goodies arrived .. maple for the neck from Woodworker's Source and a bunch of stuff from StewMac. Truss Rod and truss rod router bit, Control Plate cover, Pots and Jack, and a Schaller 3D-4 bridge. Also the 3M respirator I bought showed up from Amazon. Looking forward to getting some work done this weekend.

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Well, Father's Day brought me a Ridgid 13" Planer, so I was able to get some work done (I was using a router to plane the neck, but it was taking forever). I will be altering the Fender-style neck to something different due to a horrific tear-out, but I'm still making progress.

neckplaned.jpg

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Best of luck. If you're building with minimal tools you might like my eBook. It's on my site www.muxguitars.com under lutherie resources.

Chris

I have that Simonof book a few years, Its prety good. But id still read the EBook from Verhoevenc, I have & taught it was prety cool.

Love the jazz bass shape, It looks realy cool with a vivid transparant blue body, pearloid pick guard & reverse headstock. But htats just me. Good luck with your Build.

P.S.

Christopher, Im gona steal that marlin body shape on you for one of my own :D . With your permission of course, I wont be pullin a dave - PRS Tait

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So today I cut the truss rod slot and made some modifications to the headstock to recover from a bad tear-out while routing the shape.

I bought 2 iron L-Beams just for this purpose and used double-sided tape to hold the neck down

cuttingtrussrodslot.jpg

Then I squared off the ends of the channel ... still not sure how I'm going to drill that hole for adjustments

squaringtrussrodslot.jpg

I had posted elsewhere that I was planning to reshape the Fender-esque headstock to something different to recover from my tear-out, so here was the plan and the result ...

theplan.jpg

theresult.jpg

Did that 100% with the oscillating belt/spindle sander, thinking there was less chance of a problem using that.

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Quick note: I know this is kinda a boring build (slow, straightforward, and not interesting as far as woods or hardware), but I'm keeping things updated here mostly so if someone sees me making a horrible mistake that hopefully I can find out and correct it before it's too late.

Anyway, this week I picked up a Dremel 4000 and some accessories/attachment in preparation for doing the inlay next weekend.

I also bought a 12" long 1/4" drill bit to handle some of the stuff I couldn't do with a normal bit ... such as:

Truss Rod adjustment access hole

trussroddone.jpg

trussrodaccess.jpg

And wire conduits

wireconduits.jpg

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So my wife tells me, "if you aren't buying a neck already made, I think you should do a special design [inlay] on it."

I came up with something "special," and I ordered a bunch of faux turquoise from LMI to do it. I'm a little worried about doing something non-standard on my first build, but I know better than to piss her off when she's letting me spend all this money :D

The order from LMI is due Monday :D so probably no work this weekend.

On a side note, my daughter started bass lessons a few weeks ago, so I bought her a new bass (Squier Jaguar Short Scale).

squierbass.jpg

Who knows, maybe she'll wind up with this Jazz Bass too eventually.

Evan

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I can't see anything incorrect in your last post :-)

These are good ideas!!

When my wife and I have a second child, I'm sure that I'll build him/her an instrument also.

Edited by Prostheta

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In 1999 I bought a book called Constructing a Solid-Body Guitar, by Roger H. Siminoff because I wanted to build a guitar. In the 12 years since then I've lurked around various forums, asking a question or two and buying more books. Finally, I've managed to acquire the tools, wood, and nerve to get started.

Style: Jazz Bass (from purchased template)

Body Wood: Poplar

Neck Wood: Most Likely Maple

Fingerboard Wood: Either Ebony, Rosewood, or perhaps Cocobolo

Finish: Paint

I've done a couple of mock-ups, one white with black hardware (my preference) and one blue with chrome hardware (everyone else in my life's preference - especially my wife).

Ah, brings back such fond memories...:D:read Looking good!

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Looks like probably no guitar progress next weekend, but for a good reason ...

NON-GUITAR STUFF BELOW

I ordered this stuff for making a new workbench that will arrive this week. I also ordered the same kinda stuff but for shelves as well. Next weekend should be spent building a new workbench and a stand for my sander (from the shelf things) and some shelves for other stuff in the garage to give me some extra space.

The workbench will be 5'x30", which is the biggest I can make it that will fit in my space. I'll put the planer on the old workbench, which will still have the router table, and I'll have that whole new workbench for actually working on the guitar. I'm very excited about the whole thing.

Also buying a circular saw, mostly for making the workbench/shelves, but I have a feeling it could come in handy elsewhere.

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Today I got started on the inlay. I created the shape, printed it and double-taped it down to the material. Then I used a dremel to cut out the shape and divide it into 3 pieces.

inlaypiecesready.jpg

Tomorrow is the hard part, when I will route the inlay shape into the fretboard.

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The inlay area on the neck is only partially done, so I'll get it full depth during the week.

inlaypartialset.jpg

I didn't do a great job of making a snug fit, but I saved a bunch of sawdust for patches.

Hopefully it will come out ok.

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Main (12th Fret) inlay done now to full depth

12thfitted.jpg

The other marked frets (3,5,7, etc) will have a series of 4 dots of various sizes to look like bubbles ... same material as the shark

allinlaycavities.jpg

Next weekend I'll be scratch-building (hopefully start to finish) a fretboard radiusing jig. I'm basing the design off stuff I've seen online, but I have no physical plans ... just winging it.

Wish me luck ;-)

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After weeks of getting sidetracked by various forms of life (earthquakes, hurricanes, giant monsters, etc), today I finished building a jig to radius a fretboard. My design is suspect, and the execution of that design is shoddy, but I think it could work.

8bea7046.jpg

Here's a video that shows it a little better, but not much

Edited by ESDictor

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