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Laminate Top Tutorial And Other Questions


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Okay, so I've been researching my next bass build. Thanks to THIRSTYGUMS' bass, I've decided try my hand at building a fanned fret bass. But, that's not what my question is about. I've got two pieces of flamed Ambrosia (maple) that I will be using for a laminate top and back. I'm planning on this bass being another neck through, with the neck only going through the center lamination (walnut, with wings attached) and then gluing the top and bottom on. My only concern is cutting the slot for the neck/fretboard to slide into. I haven't been able to find any sort of tutorial on how this is effectively done.

My second concern regards routing the pickup cavities. I've determined that pickup cavities are my weakness. My main question is how the tight corners are routed. I've never heard anyone mention using a 1/8" router bit or something similar to route those corners, and my 1/4" bit from Stewmac just doesn't cut it. I have thought about drilling the corners with and appropriate sized bit first, but every time I've tried it it has always come out bad. So, guys, what are your secrets to getting those perfect pickup cavities?

I had a few other questions, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.

Thanks,

Chris

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Can't really help you except to say that Ambrosia is just a color, not a type of wood. :D

PS, StewMac sells a 1/4" pattern bit? The typical bit they sell for templates is 3/8", is that the one you're referring to?

Pick a high quality router company, look them up online (catalog) you should be able to find whatever bit you would want.

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Yea, sorry, 3/8" bit. And yea, I know that ambrosia isn't its own type of wood. I just mentioned it because thats what it was sold under. I know its maple. It does have some different coloration patterns (not your typical hard rock maple).

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Jazz bass pickups (as well as most bass pickups I've ever seen) have very tight corners. If I were routing for guitar humbuckers or something it wouldnt be a problem, but getting a tight route on bass pickups is different.

A 3/8" bit will handle the J-bass pickup corners fine. My VERY first time using a router, I did this and it turned out great.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b74/Jons...ssProject17.jpg

I also used a StewMac routing template with their bit. This was over a year ago, so I can't compare that experience to todays work. But I do remember it cutting very very cleanly.

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You can use a 1/4" router bit to finish the P-U cavity. I cut the rough part with a 1/2 template bit, and finish it by following the template with the 1/4" bit shank. That's work realy fine but don't stay too long at the same place beacause the shank will burn the template and cause some irregularity!

Philippe

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Yea, I think the pickup cavity it just going to take practice making templates (I can't buy from Stewmac because I will be routing for 6-string jazz bass pickups). This time I will try making the templates out of maple rather than pine. Maple is more forgiving (read: tools don't eat it up as quickly), so hopefully I'll be able to make it more precise.

Here's another question. On this next bass, I want to put the truss rod adjustment down near to the body. However, by my calculations, the other end of the truss rod will be approximately 1" short of the nut (center of the nut, since it will be a fanned fret bass). Should I be concerned about this? I'm thinking no, especially since it will be a laminate neck (three laminates will most likely be maple, with 2-4 being some other type of wood, walnut being a likely option). The way I figure, the laminates, coupled with a good sized volute, should provide plenty of stiffness.

Keep 'em coming, guys, and thanks for the replies so far!

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EMG HB's have a very sharp corner... So I took a chisel to the corners of the PU routes. For "normal" HB's, the 1/2" bit I use fits perfect. I would not try drilling a corner, as it would be difficult to get them placed perfectly.

The trussrod should be fine. I've heard many times that the nut side anchor should sit 'somewhere between nut and first'.....

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