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[Instrument Plans upload] 1951-5 bass

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1951-5 bass

5-string vintage-style bolt-on bass guitar. Features a single pickup, simple geometry and easy building processes using a small tool setup. Visit the support thread for information on build specifics and for further information on this design.


This drawing is shared under a Creative Commons licence.
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Creative Commons Licence
ProjectGuitar.com's "1951-5 bass" CAD plan by Prostheta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




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Hi everyone! I'm pretty excited to have gotten this published on time (I fret over details too much) so do let me know if you spot any errors or stuff that could do with fixing or finessing. :)

The general description and purpose of this bass is as a vintage-style instrument with an extended range and a few basic modern improvements. The body is a simple top-routed one which is nominally designed for being 43mm thick (1,69") with no neck angle requirement. The neck can be built from a thin 20mm blank, or 25mm if you don't want to use a separate fingerboard.

The choice of truss rod is your cheaply-available single-action import rod with a 4mm Allen key adjuster on one end, easily accessible under the pickguard. The neck is joined to the body using a combination of threaded inserts and M5 bolts, which are themselves supported in ferrules. You can easily alter this to use a neck plate and alternative screwhole locations. The purpose was to maintain a seemingly vintage-style four-screw/bolt attachment whilst having a hidden long tenon all the way through to the pickup, anchored underneath the pickguard. Obviously, make sure to double-check your measurements so that you don't drill too deeply or installed screws/bolts that are too short/long!

The neck is designed with a 35" scale which I find to be more appropriate for instruments bearing a low B. I also popped in my obligatory zero fret! If you have a hard time reconciling yourself with these, you can always modify your neck to suit. Personally, adding a zero fret using fretwire the next size taller will convert you. It really will. All hail.

Hardware is based around standard Hipshot parts, namely their .708"/18mm spacing B-style bridge - which suits vintage designs nicely - and their HB1 tuners. You can alter these to whatever hardware you want, but do bear in mind the string pull has been purposely engineered for tuners with 1/2" posts. With the headstock not being a tiltback, it benefits from the addition of string retainers; either a pair of button-style retainers or full-width bar.

Electronics are pretty simple, especially given the small cavity. A volume/tone straight through to a side-mounded jack in an Electrosocket cup makes for an elegantly-simple instrument.

The shopping list for the instrument as it stands is:
The bass is a relatively simple single-pickup design. The body is top-routed only with no neck angle required. The simplicity in the design makes it an easy project for a beginner. The neck extends through to the pickup cavity to provide extra neck-to-body coupling and stability.

A suggested shopping list of items for the project as per the design:

  • min. 508mm x 330mm x 43mm body blank
  • min. 969mm x 97mm x 20mm neck blank
  • min. 670mm x 74mm x 5mm fingerboard blank
  • 18mm/0,708" Hipshot B-style bass bridge
  • 5x Hipshot HB1s
  • 630mm single-action truss rod
  • At least 180cm of fretwire
  • Nut blank larger than 45mm/1,75" width
  • 330mm x 270mm (13" x 10-3/4") your choice of pickguard material
  • Aftermarket Tele-bass style control plate
  • 6x neck ferrules
  • 2x M5 30-25mm Allen-head bolts
  • 4x M5 40mm Allen-head bolts
  • Guitar Logistics 5-string "GL515" pickup
  • 2x 250k log. potentiometer
  • 1x 0,47uF-0,1uF tone capacitor (eg. Sprague Orange drop)
  • Mono Switchcraft jack socket
  • Electrosocket jack socket cup
  • 11x pickguard/control plate screws
  • 10x fretboard position markers and side dot markers

I'm happy to help anybody out with build specifics, and when I get around to making a couple of my own I'll feed this into here also! :party

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