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1st time build/assembly-advice welcome!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by KramerDon, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I've done a bit of woodworking but never tried any instruments.A while ago TB's 49sfine was kind enough to offer me this Carvin 5 string thru neck for a great price.(Thanks again 49sfine!!!!)I picked up a pair of Nordstrand fatstacks in a scratch&dent sale from the bass place and got a new bridge and tuners from carvin.So far I've rough cut the top and back from some curly cherry I had sawn 6 or 7 yrs ago and the center from some leftover Jatoba from my kitchen cabinets I built.I've glued the two side together and smoothed what I could get at with my belt sander.I need to get a rasp to smooth the rest.I'll also be taking the thickness down to match the Carvin center piece,still thinking about the best way to do that.
    Here's some pics of my progress so far.Any comments/advice/suggestions are more than welcome!!! Thanks for looking!

    Attached Files:

  2. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    More pics.I'm thinking about positioning the bridge pickup about an inch from the bridge and the neck pickup cetered between the bridge pickup and the end of the fretboard like I've got them sitting in the pic,does that sound reasonable?
    Oh almost forgot,I'm also going to glue some 3/8" strips of Jatoba between the center and the side wings,haven't ripped that yet.

    Attached Files:

  3. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I was able to work a couple hours on this over the weekend.I rough sanded the edges of the body sides.I used my belt sander where I could get it and rasped/hand sanded the rest.I also thought it would be easier to cut the pickup recesses in the center part before gluing the body together.I laid out the pickup positions and cut the outside lines with my cheap pull saw.I then made a couple inside cuts in each pickup location and knocked/cleaned everything out with a chisel.Probably not the way more skillfull bulders would do it but I'm too intimidated to glue everything together and then do a nice pickup route.

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  4. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I got the pickup cutout done for the center section.I also clamped the two strips of Jatoba in place and used my pullsaw again to cut the sides of the pickup cutout and knocked those out.

    Attached Files:

  5. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    ...Now I've only got a little bit to remove from the two sides of the body instead of routing the entire pickup recess.I think I'll try and use my Rotozip with a wood bit for the pickup recesses in the body sides or I might just do it with a chisel,shouldn't take much.
    (they do fit tight in the recess,there's a shadow in this pic that makes it look loose!)

    Attached Files:

  6. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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    I like the Jatoba addition. I was concerned to see that your screw holes for the pups and bridge would line up with the body/neck joint. Im sure it would be fine but holes in a joint could lead to issues one would think.

    Looking good. Id imagine that Cherry will be heavy..hows it feel?
  7. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I think the pickup screws will be okay,I'll glue and clamp everything well when I glue the body to the neck and predrill.They shouldn't really have any force on them like a strap screw would for instance.I'm actually more concerned about finding the proper screws,I got the pickups in a scratch&dent sale without screws or schematics.
    I'm thinking that weight may be an issue,I'm going to make the control "void" plenty large to lose some weight and if it's too heavy when I'm done I may route some off the back of the top half too.I may belt sand/bevel the top down as it gets to the outside edges too.
    I can't imagine it being as heavy as my 650B Kramer but as I get older,that seems to get heavier every year!!!
  8. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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    Sweet man. Yea I have a bunch of cherry ive downed over the years and find that I love the smell and working with it but geez its heavy. Not sure how you would do it any different without ruining the wood. I guess you could chamber it but would have to cover it with something.

    Screws: http://www.bestbassgear.com/pickup-screws.htm

    Looking good!
  9. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    Thanks for the pickup screw link!! That's actually who I got the pickups from.
    I'd never worked with cherry because it's so expensive till my friend gave me these logs and I had them sawn.I got lucky because it's quite curly,I've used most of it on my house but have a little left. Here's a picture of my pantry doors I built from some of it,I left some natural edges as my home is rustic styled and I just thought that was kind of different

    Attached Files:

  10. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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    Looks great! I live on a 300 acre farm and swamped with dying cherry...kind of sad really but it is quite useful as you see. :)
  11. 49sfine

    49sfine Supporting Member

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    Wow, I'd be scared to do what you are doing! As long as it works out in the end though, that's all that matters. I find using a template (homemade or otherwise) attached to the body via double-sided tape to be way less scary than anything else. Plus, you can always practice on something first before routing your actual bass. Maybe on the next one?

    As far as thicknessing the body, I use a 'Wagner' Safe-T-Planer clone in my drill press to great effect. Works like a charm and now that there is a copy of the original tool (it is no longer being made) available on Ebay for a reasonable price ($60), I can do all kinds of stuff I couldn't before. You might give it a look-see ...

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing this when it's done!
  12. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I've done the shaping of the sides with a $8 Lowes rasp and 60 grit sandpaper.Time consuming but rewarding.

    Attached Files:

  13. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I've also notched the side wings for the pickups,I still haven't glued the body together,I figure it's easier to sand/shape everything without worrying about the neck being attached! This is with some mineral spirits to show some grain and sanded to 120.I'm about ready to glue it together now I think.This cherry will darken considerably over a couple months time and the grain will really come out.

    Attached Files:

  14. Luthier Atlanta

    Luthier Atlanta

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    That's going to be one fine guitar when your finished, so you have no Joiner or Planner and are doing this all by hand??
  15. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    Routers kind of intimidate me altho I have a nice Porter Cable 1 3/4HP one.I don't have a plunge router tho or a drill press or band saw.I did everything for this with my table saw and sabersaw.
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    I have that same router, its been great but I think its on its last leg. Its starting to get hot while using it. I have never owned a plunge router, I just drill a pilot hole to start my router.
  17. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I don't have a planer,I have a Delta jointer but haven't used it for this.I thought about using it for the straight inside edge of the sides but I'm afraid I'd get some chip out at one end or the other.I'm doing this for myself so don't have to worry about taking my time and I'm just more comfortable doing a lot of it by hand.I will have to use my router for the back control route out,been putting that off!!
  18. 49sfine

    49sfine Supporting Member

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    Looking good! One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to some cauls to use when you glue the body wings on. So, you will have to cut out the body shape onto 2 boards (unless you saved the wood left over from your body wings) that can be used to hold your clamps and not mess up the body. This proceedure works better if you are not worried about scratching or marring the sides of the body wings during that process. If it were me, I would not take my body edges out to final sanding as the cauls will mar them a bit, depending on well you make/fit them. Here's what that looked like for me on the JB Wishbass bass blank I cut apart ...

    [​IMG]
  19. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I used the cutoffs from the side wings to clamp the body together for the glueup.I was getting very proud of myself till I turned the bass over...Doouh! So much for pride!! I hadn't looked at the back and ended up with the square corners of the body sides needing to be cut back to the neck profile then rasped.

    Attached Files:

  20. KramerDon

    KramerDon

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    I used my pull saw to trim close then rasped and sanded the rest

    Attached Files:

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