It has been awhile since I have done any work on this bass as I have a mess of custom orders to fill. Custom orders always take the lead but I am waiting on some more materials and have an afternoon to kill so I blew the dust off the Limba 5 string bass.
I have the neck blank routed to the basic profile so I am now going to switch over to the body work. This is a pretty simple design for this bass but there is some prep work to.
I have some Honduran Mahogany that I am going to use for my body. This stuff has a nice orange-brown color and will look nice with the Jatoba neck wood. It is of medium weight and there is no major defects.
The first thing I do is to plane it down to the correct thickness. This bass will be overall 1.75 inches thick. I planed the Mahogany down to a little shy of 1.5 inches as I will add some thin Walnut in between the top and back. Then I cut each side so that A. I will be able to get clamps to the edge of the body shape when gluing the top on, and B. to leave some flat edges so that my pipe clamps will have a place to bite onto.
To remove some weight and to give the bass some warmth I cored out a "honeycomb" of holes. I do larger hollow areas on brighter sounding woods like Maple but for Mahogany 5 string basses, I find that the holes work better for tone. Just my opinion and others may not agree. That is fine.
You can see I left the area untouched where the control cavity will be. This will get routed out from the back. The area in red is about the size and shape of my control cavity. For basses with piezo electronics I would also route the wiring path now.
Here are the layers I plan to glue up today.
I have traced the template onto each layer of the body. I mark the inside edge of the body sides where the template line cuts the edge. This gives me a reference point so that the layers are somewhat lined up.
Then I clamped the whole mess together dry.
This is so that I can drill some small holes though the top and into the back. I use the holes to stick some toothpicks to use as guides to align the layers and to keep the top from moving about when applying clamps and glue.
I put the holes for toothpicks in the waste area that will be cut away. Sometimes if the top wood does not have much excess area, I will put the toothpicks where the pickup cavities will be.
I apply the glue to the back first.
Then I applied the thin Walnut layer and added glue to the top of it. It wanted to curl up but the tooth pick kept it in place.
Next the Limba top. I do both sides this way.
Here is the two halves in the clamps.
Thanks for reading my post.