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I have mentioned that I'm doing another build, so here's some progress. My friend from college has 2 talented kids 12 and 9. They both play guitar and some bass and drums. Recently we had a little jam session in my garage (not a garage really, just says so in the papers) and they were struggling with my bass, so their dad asked me to make a smallish jazz bass for the more-bass inclined one (9 years).

So after some brainstorming on my part on how to make a bass that's:

-small enough for a kid

-big enough to be playable by a adult also

-not shortscale

-not neck-heavy

-uses standard parts

I decided to scale down the template to length of say a strat (cca45cm), enlarge the neck pocket area to keep the heel length and width, and shorten the scale to 32'', use smaller tuners for less weight.

I will have to make the plates by hand, and have the pickguard cut on the laser, but that will not be a problem.

So, started with making the templates, and routing out the shape.



Had to flood some areas with CA, the burst should cover most of it... Planed the arm rest.



and then the relief


and picked the stock for the neck. Again, I need a 520mm truss rod, but I'll try to shorten a 600mm one this time. That's it for now.




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Thanks Scott! It's acero parana, or so it says on the packaging. Net search came up as parana maple. Maple it is not, but it works for neck stock, I've built several guitars and basses with it. It's yellowish and has a slightly beechy smell when worked, but none of it's other properties, texture etc.

Started the work on the neck. Planed the tongue part off the stock:


I flipped a piece of cutoff to glue to make up the headstock width,


Routed the tr channel in few passes


sawed off the needed piece for the headstock to make clamping easier


and jointed and glued



so, I need a truss rod now...

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After a few days break, some more progress - I tried to avoid making a full neck template, so I made the headstock and heel templates, and connected the dots with my straight edge routing template. Went fine.



Prepared the fretboard and tried to a mockup, just to see if it balances right, it actually does. It's a relief :)


and, finally, used the neck to correct the line on the neck pocket template prepared earlier, and after cutting and some sanding, it fits quite snugly. Also, precut an approx line and milled down the headstock thickness to 15mm. Now I can finish routing the body, while waiting on a truss rod.


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18 minutes ago, gpcustomguitars said:

Yes, I'm also a fan, but just not the 30'' ones, they lack a bit of clarity, at least the ones I tried. The warwicky one I made for my friend is 32'', I like it's playability a  lot.

couldn't agree more.  strings flop around pretty good on a 30 and it feels like a toy... but two inches bigger and 'perfection'.

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Some more progress yesterday - after some fiddling with templates, I drew the pickup dimensions on the template and cut it out, then routed to safe 19mm. After some cleanup in the corners with a rotary tool and a chisel, we have a fit! even the printed out pickguard fits from the first try :)



Last but not the least, the fingerboard is glued on, I need to trim it next, take care of the transition and score the fret slots. I'm out of the dots again, and the local seller doesn't have any also, so I'll have to cut some more from ABS.



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1 hour ago, gpcustomguitars said:

I'm out of the dots again, and the local seller doesn't have any also, so I'll have to cut some more from ABS.

At first I thought you were talking about side dots but then realized you meant the fret markers. For the former I could have sent you some, a letter would only take a week or even less! For the latter, you've seen my buttons... Brass or other metal tubing works well on the front side, too.

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Thank you for the offer! I have side dots, no problem, I just wanted to use some pearl 6mm dots for the fret markers. Actually, I would have preferred to go with the block inlays, I think it looks really good on a jazz, but they wanted just dots... I'll have to try your method some time soon.

The neck is out of the clamps, trimmed a bit, and nut channel scored in place. Still need to route it flush... First real mockup (no tablecloth this time :)) :


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build is looking great.  really great.  

if I may... and this is NOT meant negative in any way - just... the pickguard... the one half of it looks A+... but the bottom half... in my humble opinion... you should re-work it and make it follow the lines better.  in my humble o... it's one of those details that can really make or break a guitar.  

again, the guitar is looking really great, and I think a little change there would go a long way - just one aholes 2 cents so don't take it to the bank. 

rawk on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally managed to get some work done...cut the dots, and fixed them with some ca, radiused, re-cut the fret slots.


then shaped the transitions on the neck, and cut and shaped the bone nut up to a point.


and then set the frets, using some PVA in the slots.


now I need to dress them, and cut the nut to size. The body I've already coated in sealer, so I can spray the sunburst on on a sunny day some time soon.


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Hope you all had nice holidays!!! We finally have some snow this year, falling for 2 days now, but also melting partly. I had some luck to do a part of the spraying on the warm day just before, so here's some pics...

Trimmed and dressed the fret ends, added the dots, sanded it all flush, and shaped the neck. I'm hunting for bumps now using my lamp, aiming for a C profile.



still need to level the frets, probably before finishing


and then tried to do a sunburst with rattle-cans, clear primer followed by yellow coat, sanded back, orange coat, sanding, red coat (3004), sanding. This was...challenging :) but I managed to get all the imperfections out with some 500 and top is ready for the black coat, and I'll lightly touch up the back with some red when the weather permits. Good news is that the irregular patch on the back is nowhere to be seen.




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Almost done! The color coats are far from perfect, but the best I can do with a rattlecan. I want to get rid of some more overspray and do a few clear coats when weather permits. The pickups and the torquise sheet came in the mail, I have designed the decal in Corel, so I think it will be done soon :)


I've been working on this between the coats - I mentioned it earlier, cupped old piece of poplar I think, planed it down, cut out the shape freehand, sanded the sides to the line, and rounded with the biggest rounding bit I have.  After quite a bit of sanding, it's kinda ready for the neck pocket and a MM hum route. All the cracks were saturated and filled. My builder EQ has been tweaked to bass side definitely :)


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