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Über-Jay V, Camphor Burl, Wenge, Ebony.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by miziomix, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    With the Ü-Groove with graphite neck basically done and the Ü-Jay V Quilted Maple on its way to completion, I would like to share with you a new build.

    I am currently working on five new basses. My goal is to get The Funk Machine and at the least two other basses to hit the spray booth at the same time, between end of Feb and March.

    I thought you might like this one. This is very striking yet minimalist build. It's a black and red bass, loaded with some really cool electronics.

    BTW, the other builds will be featured on the FB page and those interested will find the link in my signature. Thank you.

    The specs are:

    Über-Jay V
    34", 21 frets

    Chambered Wenge body
    Camphor Burl top with matching headstock

    Wenge/Padauk/Wenge neck
    Gabon Ebony fingerboard, 16" radius

    2 Bartolini X series p-ups
    Audere preamp. V, Bal, B/T stacked, Mid/passive tone stacked, Z switch, a/p switch, mid freq switch, battery LED.

    Black custom brass and aluminum hardware and cavity cover.

    There will be a ramp too.

    Here are the usual sketches. The future owner calls it Cymatics - a cool name is always a good start.



    Some wood porn.


    A Wenge body is obviously on the heavy side. To avoid ending up with a bass that weights like a building, I could think of three ways and will make use of all three.
    1. The body will be chambered, albeit not too aggressively. 2. The top will be 15mm thick, double the size I tend to use. The Wenge thickness is reduced accordingly, thus further reducing the total weight.
    3. A deep contour will shave off some more weight.

    In the end, I expect the bass to weigh around 7 lbs or so.

    Here are a few pictures of the first steps.

    Wenge. Guilty as charged.

    As always, I route a channel to connect p-ups to the el. cavity. I have been doing this for a few years and I can only recommend it.

    The chambers are the now world famous Constellation Chambers™®∞.


    And here's the Camphot Burl top glued. I'm glad to be around this wood again. The smell is so addictive it will probably end up being banned. This is the last of a lucky catch. You'll see when it's book matched ;)

    I love this wood and I'm always on the look out for a special piece. Would you believe that it is originally from the region where I live, yet I can't find any around here? I've to get it from the other side of the world :rollno:

    So far I have seen quite a few billets with very nice grain. But they all lacked a strong visual identity, something more than just great looking grain. Patience.


    This bass will end up in Australia. Not too far actually - although the FedEx lady seemed to disagree.

    I hope you will enjoy this build. Thank you!

  2. Beauchene Implements

    Beauchene Implements Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Looking forward to more incredible work from you, Miz!
  3. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thank you! How's the CNC monster rig doing? If only we lived closer it would be great to work together.
  4. metallutca


    Dec 18, 2004
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thank you and welcome! :)
  7. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
  8. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thank you! Glad you'll be following this build.
  9. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Here is a picture of the three neck laminates - Wenge sides and Padauk center laminate. I like the center laminate to be tapered. I have done for a few years now and will likely continue. I like it both aesthetically and structurally.


    Here's the neck with the fingerboard slotted and radiused.


    This board is a first grade Gabon Ebony. Unfinished as is it's already jet black. Quite amazing.

    However, I have recently become -like many, I'm sure - increasingly concerned with the appalling state of Ebony forests.

    Here's a link to an interesting video. Bob Taylor on Ebony.

    Scary isn't it? Now, while I can understand why a Macassar Ebony board with great looking grain would fetch more than another with medium or poor grain, I don't feel the logic really applies to this kind of Ebony. It's black. So called second grade boards show some dark gray streaks. I ordered a few and they are actually very nice as they are. Or they can be stained black.

    I have two first grade boards left. When those are gone I'll use second grade as much as possible - when I don't use the Asian type or Macassar. I feel that it makes sense and when combined tastefully a 'second grade' Ebony board might work even better that a first grade one.

    OK. Just thought I'd share this with you guys.

    I leave you with body and top glued and very roughly shaped. As a friend said - It looks 8-bit. ...LOL!! I will finish the neck before routing the body.


    A nice week end to you all :bassist:
  10. suraj


    Oct 1, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    You had me at Uber ;) subbed..
  11. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thank you Suraj!

    Here are some progress pictures.

    The headstock is ready to receive the matching Camphor Burl veneer which has been sanded down to 2mm thickness.



    And here's the headstock with its veneer glued on.


    You might recognize the headstock of the Ü-Jay Funk Machine. I am working on the two necks at the same time. Even though the FM body is basically done and the bass should hit the spraying booth soon, I will work overtime to get this bass too ready for next spraying session.

    A great Sunday to you all :bassist:
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Nice, i love that combination. What do you do in your glue up to prevent the center piece squirting out? Do you dowel things, or do you work on a bench with end bucks?
  13. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thanks PJ!

    Regarding the tapered neck. Actually I just clamp them. It was a bit tedious at first because indeed the center piece tends to move. I found that using the right amount of glue does the trick best (doesn't it always? LOL). That and tightening in small increments while making sure the laminates stay in position.

    When are you going to make some sawdust on your new build?
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    You need wood before you can make sawdust! :)

    I thought the wood was shipping out this week, but that didn't come to pass. So, still waiting. Once it comes in, I'll see what milling needs to be done. I'll have to learn to properly set up and use a planer.
  15. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    I want to buy a compact planer with 13" planing width. I think DeWalt makes one. The one I'm using now is huge.
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    You poor unfortunate person! Your tools are too powerful with too much capacity! ;)
  17. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    And just like that, I'm now a fan of Bob Taylor. :)

    That said, I'm going to continue to avoid the use of any remotely endangered species, along with pretty much any wood harvested from a third world country. I'm just too much of a left-wing liberal hippie to do it - the ethics-wrestling is just too challenging. I'll be sticking to my rejected offcuts, discarded flooring, driftwood, deadstock and repurposed wood. Thanks for that link Maurizio, it was an interesting view...
  18. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Miziomix's thread? I need to make an auto-subscribe script for these. :D
  19. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    I know right? :D If only they were mine! I actually rent them. Not a bad thing so I don't have to buy them all at once. But I need to buy a planer now (and a....)
    Now, finding a good range and perhaps a closing out sale over here is as remote a possibility as a sunrise in the West. And that does make me somehow a poor unfortunate person... ;)

    Beej, I know what you mean. I see so much of that over here in SE Asia. So many trees are simply being thrown away when an area is cleared for construction. How does one actually throw trees away? You just dump them off a cliff? Yes.

    Yet, there are here some great woods that can be successfully used for building guitars and could be a great alternative as there's no shortage. If only there were a demand. It's challenging because people are often skeptical about woods they have never heard of. They might not need to be. But one can understand why they feel that way.

    IMO, one way is to put together lesser known woods in a combo too beautiful to say no to. And that is also a great opportunity to explore new aesthetic avenues while doing the environment a favor!

    Ebony is a powerful wake up call.

    Hey Stealth! how nice of you. If I remember correctly, you had a thing for a black and red.. er...Stealth-like ;) bass? There you go!
  20. anezthes


    Oct 18, 2010
    Sub'ed. :) Looks great btw!
  21. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    Thank you! and welcome to the fray :)

    Quick update.

    While working on the neck profile, I felt the urge to route the body and drill for neck pocket and p-ups. Just to


    Once the neck is done, I'll route the rest. I'm trying to get this bass to the same stage as the other build - Ü-Jay Quilted Maple Funk Machine so I can spray them together in March. That's feasible ;) There are three more but they are at a very early stage and I guess they'll have to wait a little longer.


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