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Today's Dumb Question: Body Blanks


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Not so short version.

I got the bug to build a couple of particular guitar shapes.

In a stroke of sanity, I decided it would be best to three step it.

1) Rebuild the electronics in a "junker" - If I can't follow through or get the sound right, I have no business building a full on custom. And should be cheaper by a bit.

2) Build a kit guitar of some type. Same reasoning as 1.

3) Build the thing(s) in my head all from scratch.

Having conquered 1 it has occurred to me that there's no reason I can't merge steps 2 and 3 by having someone else do the body and neck - at least for the first of the two ideas in my head.

Does anyone out there have a blank cutting service ( headstock on the neck too, I'm guessing ) that's not too insanely priced for this kind of thing?

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You need to post a few more times before being able to access the PM system. Just a measure against spammers. It doesn´t have to do with how long you´ve been a member or whether you are a donating member or not.

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PM me and tell me EXACTLY what you're wanting.

Welp, since I can't PM yet, let's do this in the open, since I'm probably not the only one with this type of question and probably needs to be educated as to how wrong some of my ideas are. :D

Here is a rough - I haven't quite gotten far enough to plot it to cad, this is just a scale mockup done in inkscape. It lacks tuner, electronics, etc. placements.

http://www.electricmulch.com/Images/HordeGuitar2.png

The intent is a full scale bass, using PBass style passive pickups, single tone/volume pair and a side-mounted jack.

I have no real opinions about material other than wanting to lean as light as possible and not having a need for a pretty grain since it will be pretty heavily painted. I assume a pocketed neck would be best?

I expect some experimenting will be necessary to sort out where best to put the strap locks.

So. Vaguely feasible?

What would be needed to sort out how difficult it would be to get cut? ( I expect there are more questions I didn't answer, etc. Part of why I thought me a good educational experience to share. )

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Not so short version.

I got the bug to build a couple of particular guitar shapes.

In a stroke of sanity, I decided it would be best to three step it.

1) Rebuild the electronics in a "junker" - If I can't follow through or get the sound right, I have no business building a full on custom. And should be cheaper by a bit.

2) Build a kit guitar of some type. Same reasoning as 1.

3) Build the thing(s) in my head all from scratch.

Having conquered 1 it has occurred to me that there's no reason I can't merge steps 2 and 3 by having someone else do the body and neck - at least for the first of the two ideas in my head.

Hmm, I'm not very experienced, have yet to finish even a 'from scratch build', but I think you can safely skip step 1. That might just be me, but electronics stuff is pretty routine.

I guess most learn that replacing their pickups and the likes. For me, it's something like changing strings or cleaning the fretboard. Not really building, more of a maintenance thing.

But if you never did even that, I guess I understand you want to ease your way in rather than jump directly into the deep end of the pool. I kinda feel exactly like you do then.

If you plan on doing a kit build, installing the electronics comes with it.

If it were me, I'd say the steps would be:

1) Kit build (make sure it's unfinished so you can experience finishing in all it's gritty details.)

2) Semi-scratch build: Buy a second hand or replacement neck and build a body around that.

3) Complete from scratch build.

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I think that shape would not balance too well. It reckon would be extremely neck heavy unless you have a very thick body to balance the weight.

Mender has it dead-on. A bass is neck heavy in the first place. If you want it to balance, you'll want the strap button somewhere around the 12th-14th fret. That means a long body horn.

Alternatively, you can do headless. This guy hass headless hardware that's not bad at all, and fairly reasonably priced. Going headless reduces the length of the neck, helping balance and allowing for a smaller body.

That being said, even Steingerger (who popularized the headless concept in the '80s) couldn't get around the balance issue. They had to have a mounting rig for the bass with the strap button more forward so it'd balance.

steinbergerbass.jpg

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Sit down with your design and be realistic about what will work and what won't. Draw it out full scale (including the components) and things will become obvious such as the balance issue (as has been pointed out), and where your tuners will go.

You can get a scale fingerboard diagram from here.

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I think that shape would not balance too well. It reckon would be extremely neck heavy unless you have a very thick body to balance the weight.

Mender has it dead-on. A bass is neck heavy in the first place. If you want it to balance, you'll want the strap button somewhere around the 12th-14th fret. That means a long body horn.

And here I was worried about the body being heavy - though looking at it again I can see I was clear mistaken. I could shorten the scale and/or scale up the body a bit. I guess I need to get an idea about materials so I can do some math on weight and where to put the buttons.

What would you recommend on wood choices?

I wonder if there is any simulation software for that - might be a good project.

Alternatively, you can do headless. This guy hass headless hardware that's not bad at all, and fairly reasonably priced. Going headless reduces the length of the neck, helping balance and allowing for a smaller body.

I thought about that but had assumed headless would be a bit more difficult to do. Between scaring up parts and not a lot of explanation in the reference book I'm using, it seemed to be a bit more advanced for a second - pre-cutting your own stuff - project. Is it not that much different?

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Alternatively, you can do headless. This guy hass headless hardware that's not bad at all, and fairly reasonably priced. Going headless reduces the length of the neck, helping balance and allowing for a smaller body.

I thought about that but had assumed headless would be a bit more difficult to do. Between scaring up parts and not a lot of explanation in the reference book I'm using, it seemed to be a bit more advanced for a second - pre-cutting your own stuff - project. Is it not that much different?

Not any more difficult at all. Just different. I'm doing a pair of headless instruments - one guitar and one bass - in this thread if you want to take a look. The big thing with this hardware is you have to have space behind the tuners to access the knobs. With your extremely minimalistic body, it shouldn't be a problem to adjust things slightly so that the back of the bridge unit hangs off the back of the body, just like on the V in my build thread.

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Not any more difficult at all. Just different. I'm doing a pair of headless instruments - one guitar and one bass - in this thread if you want to take a look. The big thing with this hardware is you have to have space behind the tuners to access the knobs. With your extremely minimalistic body, it shouldn't be a problem to adjust things slightly so that the back of the bridge unit hangs off the back of the body, just like on the V in my build thread.

I could also rotate the shape 180 and cut out some of the "black" around the horns. I don't think it looks as good that way.

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Back to the weigh issue.

Does anyone put any type off additional weight in the body when you need to tip the scales? Little thin bits of steel or lead, like they do on Pinewood derby cars? Assuming there was space for them in the cutout, it seems like something you could tweak the body/neck balance with pretty easily.

But it also seems like a really obvious idea, so I have to think there's a reason it isn't done.

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Back to the weigh issue.

Does anyone put any type off additional weight in the body when you need to tip the scales? Little thin bits of steel or lead, like they do on Pinewood derby cars? Assuming there was space for them in the cutout, it seems like something you could tweak the body/neck balance with pretty easily.

But it also seems like a really obvious idea, so I have to think there's a reason it isn't done.

...because it shouldn't be necessary with a properly designed body and/or sutiable hardware selection (lightweight tuners)

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Back to the weigh issue.

Does anyone put any type off additional weight in the body when you need to tip the scales? Little thin bits of steel or lead, like they do on Pinewood derby cars? Assuming there was space for them in the cutout, it seems like something you could tweak the body/neck balance with pretty easily.

But it also seems like a really obvious idea, so I have to think there's a reason it isn't done.

...because it shouldn't be necessary with a properly designed body and/or sutiable hardware selection (lightweight tuners)

So how many bodies do you build before you develop psychic guitar design powers? :D

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Back to the weigh issue.

Does anyone put any type off additional weight in the body when you need to tip the scales? Little thin bits of steel or lead, like they do on Pinewood derby cars? Assuming there was space for them in the cutout, it seems like something you could tweak the body/neck balance with pretty easily.

But it also seems like a really obvious idea, so I have to think there's a reason it isn't done.

...because it shouldn't be necessary with a properly designed body and/or sutiable hardware selection (lightweight tuners)

So how many bodies do you build before you develop psychic guitar design powers? :D

Eventually you learn to check that stuff while you are building it.

You get a feel based on all of it... I would say after a few trash barrel fires full of nice wood you really focus on it and don't forget.

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