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  • Guitar Of The Month - July 2018

    Name: "The Pic-a-low"

    Materials:

      1 piece black walnut body

      1/2" 5A maple burl top and 1/8" headstock overlay

      black walnut neck

      gaboon ebony fretboard with maple burl markers

    Config: 32" scale length with "fat c" profile

    Hardware: very modest... wilkinson tuners, song il (korean) bridge, no-name pickups w replaced alnico II magnets (didn't have a lot of faith in myself to make this worthy of more expensive gear as this was my first build but will likely replace some things given how moderately well it turned out)

    Electronics: again very modest... 3 way rotary switch  + 3 way toggle wiring for parallel inside vs parallel outside, series inside vs series outside, series vs parallel, master volume, hand built 2 band active preamp with push/pull on/off and bright switch. EDIT - forgot to mention... kinda cool... if you look at the right side f hole... my preamp trimmer is accessible through the f hole.  Kinda gimmicky but cute none-the-less!

    Experience/Background: did some woodworking (lot of sanding!) and solid surface fab as a young man, have built a few things like a desk and a futon... have assembled quite a few guitars from parts, always wanted to build one from scratch and got the (false) confidence from seeing so many skilled builders here making it look sooo easy (it wasn't).

    Where: built in my garage w jigsaw + drill press + router + palm sander

    History: I pawned off my first bass guitar - a yamaha motion b - for $75 in 1995 while broke in L.A.  Always regretted that.  It was a 32" scale bass and as primarily a guitar player, it was perfect for me.  32" scale is very rare to find and generally quite expensive so... in the diy spirit I set out to replace that bass on my own.  Picking it up the first time, this neck felt like coming home! 

    Design: used fret-2-find to layout the fretboard, took some p style bass diagrams from the net and scaled it down a few percent, then smoothed it out in photoshop -pretty standard but a bit smaller.  Wanted the body to be as light as possible but also wanted to avoid neck dive given the plan of heavier/cheaper tuners so I did some forstner weight relief but kept the f-hole cavities about 3/16 wider than the f-holes themselves.

    Journey: my build thread here

    Standing on the shoulders of giants: special thanks to prostheta, curtasia, scottr, norris, andyjr1515, mr natural - if it hadn't been for your advice and encouragement, I'm sure this could have looked like some sort of picaso/dali impression of a bass!

     

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