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2nd Build, 1st Bass


JayT
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So with summer winding down I've officially started a bass build, pivoting from a guitar design I have. I was going to hold most of the pics & updates until I was close to finishing -- but I find that having updates to post and feedback to read keeps me working more consistently. In other words: I've been watch TV too much lately.

Figured I push the difficulty a little more and try an angled heads (with scarf joint) and a truss access at the body. Was going to try a set neck, but maybe next time -- I chickened out on that. 

So original design looked like: 
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But I've decided save the standard picks-ups for another bass project (something with a more traditional body design)  to go with a single pickup on this one:

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I got the neck materials - maple with a maple fingerboard, I got some walnut to make the teardrop fret markers.

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I resawed this maple, saving half for a guitar neck

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Notice the head design is kinda squished in the 2nd design - I made a mistake on the scarf joint...I cut it short, leaving me about an 1.5 inches short on the head :(

It was challenging cutting the angle. The 9 inch bandsaw didn't have enough clearance ...  and my tablesaw blade wasn't big enough to make a single cut and I wasn't sure I could cut 1/2 way then flip it over and cut the rest lining up the cuts. Seemed risky. So I got a Japanese pull saw and practiced a bit...worked great, until the actual job I needed it for (of course...)

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I couldn't keep it on the line, ending up with a crooked angle...

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But with a bunch of sanding I got it pretty good I think, almost ready to glue it up

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...not happy with this new shape and I'll most likely rework this a bit more once I get to actually cutting the shape. 

Wish me luck, I'll need it!

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Edited by JayT
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I like where you're going with this.

One of my favorite sanding blocks is sandpaper glued to the face of an old jack plane. Super flat and heavy enough too do the work by itself. It particularly shines at getting headstock faces and scarf joints really flat and true.

SR

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13 hours ago, RonMay said:

I think this is going to be very cool. I have never seen a head stock like that. A tear drop  see through is very innovative and it will surely match the tear drop fret markers.

@RonMay Thanks! I've used a slightly simpler version this shape on my first build(s) - people either really like it or flat out hate it :)

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13 hours ago, MiKro said:

as far as the headstock, I would maybe consider using a small radius in the point area. This will help mitigate any possible cracking in that area. Just a thought?

@MiKro -- yeah, that's an excellent idea :P --- and I may even try to remember to clamp down the piece when power buffing so it doesn't fly across the room and crack...

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To mitigate this I'm thinking about making the front face of the teardrop have a sharp/semi-sharp point then a smaller, more rounded teardrop from the back--carving to an angled slope, maybe paint the inside black (does that make sense?).

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1 hour ago, JayT said:

 

 

 

To mitigate this I'm thinking about making the front face of the teardrop have a sharp/semi-sharp point then a smaller, more rounded teardrop from the back--carving to an angled slope, maybe paint the inside black (does that make sense?).

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 That makes since and that would really help with mitigation of cracks  in that area.  IN CNC that is called Vcarved using a V-bit to mill it. :)

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  • 7 months later...

After a long hiatus I'm finally back at it -- I'm finding that my biggest speed bump is lack of stockpiled wood/materials. If I had it on hand I think I'd be more motivated :)

Anyway, picked up some ash, enough for 3 body blanks & some some maple enough for 2 more necks -- so I have less excuses now. 

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planned it down to thickness and am ready to square up seam edges and glue.

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I'm liking this grain way better than the poplar I used on the last builds, that I painted) going to make 2 basses and stain/tint these. One blonde, one red, tweaked the design (again) -- going to have truss rod access at the heel rather than the head...and did some color tests

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Wish me luck! I'll surly need it, and don't call me Shirley.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Just a bit of progress ... my work window is limited as my 'workshop' is directly underneath the master bedroom -- and the wife forbids power tools or any sort of "banging around" after 9pm. I gotta get a bigger shed, with power. I dream.

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Edited by JayT
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Hey, having a workshop is luxurious. If it's warm enough to serve as a wood storage, even better. After 9 pm most people aren't at their best anyway, so take your wife's command as a safety advice!

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Posted (edited)

Had (yet another) router screw up - user error! After a few shallow passes and removing the template I misjudged the routing bit bearing height. Whadya gonna do...?

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so I did my best to match the gouge and glued it in - thinking I can always shave off the entire  edge square and join a bigger piece or even reshape the horn if the mood struck me

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Anyway it came out OK I think, good enough if I use the dark red stain.

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I'll just consider it Wabi Sabi

Edited by JayT
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Although it can be seen, the grain matches surprisingly well!

I'd say the patch is as good as a patch can get. If it starts to bug you, reshaping the horn a bit shorter can easily be explained as improving playability on the highest frets...

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8 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Although it can be seen, the grain matches surprisingly well!

I'd say the patch is as good as a patch can get. If it starts to bug you, reshaping the horn a bit shorter can easily be explained as improving playability on the highest frets...

 

3 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

You aren't the first to mess up with a router and you won't be the last. Save looks good though. If you really hate it then you've got an excuse to try a burst 

Good advice from both of these guys. And I've done both myself.....all three actually. I've been satisfied with the repair job, and have done some minor reshaping  and used a burst in different situations. So yeah, odds are you'll get a chance to try another "fix" in the future as well. Consider it part of the learning curve...which one never really comes out of.

SR

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8 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Although it can be seen, the grain matches surprisingly well!

I still had the scraps from the rough cutout and made the filler piece from same location ... that seemed to help a lot 

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reading your original post - I love the spirit of challenging yourself.  good for you.  I'm always thinking about this and freq I bite off more than I can chew... but it always improves me.  

nice save on the router snafu.  

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indirectly related to this build --- I made a cheap-o, push (no crank) fret bender out of plywood scrap, a cut up credit card (for spacers) and skateboard wheel bearings -- like $12 total cost. And the wire slides through like butter.

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2nd body cut out, I don’t know why I don’t do one full build at time...well I do know— with limited space setting up tools & workspace takes an hour 

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Made the teardrop fret markers today. Walnut, will go on maple fingerboard. Wasn’t difficult 

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but in practicing carving out holes for them didn’t yield great results. I tried dremel & chisel and combo of both. Even with the dremel attachment for flat surface I’m not happy...any tips?

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Hmm. Which part is the hardest? is it the pointed tip? maybe putting a tiny radius on it would help. Otherwise I dont know what to say. Xacto knife? Or cut the inlay oversized and glue it in with ebony dust so there is a consistent (ish) black line? 

progress is looking good! I think two at a time is a great way to go.

On another note-what drafting software do you use? I have been using a trial of Rhino--ok, my sixth "trial" of rhino-- but the newest version is no longer compatible with my computer (Mac osx 10.11) so I'm looking for something I can use. Might need to take the comp. in and have apple upgrade the OS as I'm so out of date I can no longer update it myself. I just found out that I have access to a CNC so I'm changing the way I'm approaching my current build.

 

Edit: looking closer now-is it just illustrator with the grid on? mind if I ask how you work with specific dimensions in Ai? I am familiar with the program but I've always had a hard time with that part. 

Edited by Charlie H 72
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10 hours ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Hmm. Which part is the hardest? i

The whole thing was a mess, even after several tries using various methods/tools.

10 hours ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Edit: looking closer now-is it just illustrator with the grid on? mind if I ask how you work with specific dimensions in Ai?

Yes, I use illustrator. As for getting specific dimensions I just set the units (of measurement) to inches or millimeter (rather than the default pixels), which you then can view/resize using the transform tool.

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Also, I always align all strokes/outlines to the inside of the shapes (rather than outside or centered) to ensure the exact size stays the same:

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5 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Hmm #2... How about using a drill bit for the fat part and chiseling the tip?

This is exactly the conclusion I came up with hours later while sitting on the couch watching TV...I find myself continuously preoccupied thinking about these builds :)

The only issue is the round/fat part doesn't match exactly the radius of any of my drill bits. Since I have plenty of wood I'm going to remake the inlays to match my bit. 

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