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2nd bass build


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Finished up my first bass build and beginning work on the next! Here's the mockup:

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Not 100% final on the pickguard shape yet -- but this is getting close. I'm using this Ricky clone as inspiration:

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baby stepping my skills - so this'll be my first attempts at

  1. translucent burst dye
  2. mother of pearl inlays
  3. binding on the body

So far I've got the blanks milled and body cut out.

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Question - the inlay material I got is so thin!  How is this going to work on the radius? Won't the edges get sanded down to nothing leaving wood showing...even if I put them in after  is sanded?

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I needed thicker material, right? This is only like 2mm thick!

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2 mm is plenty especially if you put them in after radiusing.

At some point I did some math which I later transformed into a formula for comparing the radius to the edge to edge straight line, i.e. how much higher the center of the fretboard is. Note that if you're going to put the drops on the side of the fretboard like in your previous build you can halve the width of the fretboard as you'd only need to know the height difference on that area. Even further, you can just calculate by the length/width of the inlay pieces as they're the only things affected. Thus W could be either the size of your inlay or half of the fretboard. And Y will tell you the depth of the inlay carve when the inlay goes to zero at the ends. So if Y is less than 2 mm then 2-Y=the thickness of the inlay material after sanding the inlay flush with the radius.

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@Bizman62 but the margin for error when making the inlay cavities is almost zero. 
If I make (carve? excavate?) these cavities after the fret board is radiused the cavity will have a radiused bottom. I mean using my dremel mount…

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1 hour ago, JayT said:

If I make (carve? excavate?) these cavities after the fret board is radiused the cavity will have a radiused bottom. I mean using my dremel mount…

That's true. There's ways to go around that although 2 mm is even on the thicker side. I just took a look of trapezoid MOP inlay pieces, the widest was 43 mm across the fretboard and only 1.5 mm thick.

I suppose your inlays are about 15 mm long/wide across the radius? No matter what, I did the math with a 12" (300 mm) radius at the widest end of the fretboard. As a 4 string bass fretboard is 40 to 60 mm wide, half of the max width is 30 mm. Thus Y (being in this case the "quarter line") would be 0.375 mm at the most and 0.3 mm at the least. Since your inlays are narrower than half of the fretboard you'd have to put about 0.1 mm more glue at either end of the inlay pieces to fill the gap in a radius bottom cavity. That's the approximate thickness of a human hair.

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