Hi Everyone - been lurking here for a while learning, and started my first build about a month ago. I hadn't even thought about luthiery until I saw JohnK's excellent thread on his 325 bass - he inspired me to give it a try, and as I love Rickenbacker guitars (I have a 330) I wanted to build a bass in that style. Later I found Betyouaint's 4005 build which has been equally informative :-)
I'm primarily a 6 string guitarist, but as I record music at home I play bass too, and quite enjoy it. I've always wanted a Ric bass, and after reading JohnK and Betyouaint's builds I felt it was worth having a go at. I don't have a lot of woodoworking experience aside from building Radio controlled aircraft when I was younger, but I have done a lot of model making and I do tend to pick things up quickly - after reading what was involved I felt I'd be able to give it a decent attempt!
I'm aware of RIC's 'enthusiatic' defence of their Trademarks/IP/Copyright - please not that this bass is purely for my own use and I have no intention of selling it, or making them for other people!
After getting some maple from the local timber yard, I made myself a template based on my own Rickenbacker 330/6:
At the start of the build I had no access to any woodwork tools - however my father is a toolmaker and has a lot of equipment for metalwork which can be adapted - sort of - to the job. Here I am thicknessing the maple for the body on a milling machine using a flycutter...
Unbelievably it took 3 days to go from rough lumber to having the blanks for the body and the back! I know how much quicker this is with a proper jointer/thicknesser, and as I've decided to do more builds when this finishes I am about to invest int he proper tool (as I know it takes a much shorter amount of time with the correct tools...)
Once the wood was ready I marked out the body on the blanks. I placed the hardware from my 330 plus a Ric Hi-gain bass pickup I'd already obtained for the project.
I got a cheap bandsaw from B and Q - not the greatest machine, but good enough for what I'm doing here. Next thing to do was to cut the blank to rough body shape.
Using my router and the template, I smoothed the edges of the body using a bearing guided bit. Then I began to hollow out the sound chambers:
With the sound chambers done, I added the slash/f-hole:
That brings the build up to date so far. I was about to start on the neck yesterday, but made the decision to get the jointer/thicknesser yesterday instead of using the milling machine, so hanging on a while. Today Ive drawn up my design for the bridge and tailpiece, fairly faithful to the 4005 by using my 330 as a guide. The metal parts I will be maing from scratch, not only because I want to make as much as possible from raw materials, but also because it seems to be impossible to get replacements!
I think I'm going to have to look at the R tailpiece. I don't want to neccesarily copy the R anyway, but I think I might have to make it shorter than the original one anyway.
I hope to keep the thread updated as the build progresses!