barebones build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ILLINOX, Oct 11, 2012.


  1. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    so im down in mexico for a few more months and i'd like to build a bass for fun. i have access to the usual handtools, but no lathes, or bandsaws or anything fancy.

    what do you think; can i do it?
    what tools would i need for a barebones job?
    sandpaper, glue, hacksaw?

    thanks guys
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

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  3. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    i have a drill :p
  4. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

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    I recommend a power drill and jigsaw. And lots of clamps.
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  6. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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  7. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    ive been reading the other build pages and photo blogs on here and i forgot all about trussrods.
    **** around... how am i going to install, or even find, a truss rod in mexico...

    can i do a neckthrough without a trussrod? is this a really bad idea or just "not advisable"?
  8. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

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  9. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    thanks Martha, but the comments talk about it taking more than 3 weeks to ship
  10. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

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    Yeah, first I thought he had at least one guitar rod available, but reading the comments I see he's sold it...
  11. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

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    You could always do a thicker neck with a non adjustable steel rod, or make your own truss rod. Lots of info out there on DIY truss rods.
  12. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    Jun 20, 2011
    can you tell me more of this thicker neck, please?

    i'll look into DIY truss rods
  13. grisezd

    grisezd Supporting Member

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    Don't overthink it. Fretless, no truss rod, maybe fewer than 4 strings. Leave the neck thick as you can stand it, then over time remove wood for comfort until you've gone too far and the neck starts to bow. Then start over! If you can laminate the neck all the better, and if you can find a nice thick slab of stable hard wood for the FB that will help prevent bow. My poplar necked upright has a 3/4in oak fingerboard and it hasn't moved a bit. Heavy, sure, but solid.
  14. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    Jun 20, 2011
    by laminate, you mean multiple thin pieces glued together from face of neck to back of neck, yes?
    or is this the design i've seen many times where the back of the neck has multiple colored woods?
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

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    You want the woods of the neck side by side, not top to bottom, so like youre used to seeing necks with different colored strips of wood from the back. This gives them more strength against the pull of the strings.

    The ticker you make the new from fingerboard to back will make it stronger against the pull of the strings as well. Upright basses do not have truss rods, and have thicker necks than electric basses.

    A company called Wishbass, which produces instruments of questionable (low) quality uses very thick necks with no truss rods. If you make a fat, laminate neck with a thick fingerboard, you could probably get away without a truss rod, but you'll have to make sure the fretboard is perfectly flat before you put frets in. Fretless would make for an easier first build.

    Another difficult option for a truss rod would be to find a very cheap bass and remove the truss rod from it. This also gives you the bonus learning experience of seeing exactly how a neck is routed for a truss rod. Routing for a truss rod without a router (as in using a chisel) would be very difficult, though.
  16. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    Jun 20, 2011
    thanks Empty Cell

    I'm probably going to go ahead on the truss rod, as tempting as it is to omit it. and i had actually kicked around the idea of tearing apart another guitar for truss rod, learning and other guts.

    what about truss rod length? and i assume they have to start at the headstock and work down? stiffening rods?

    edit: i think my stingray had the adjustment in the bottom of the neck...
  17. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    for those interested, the barebones build is not over; it is in fact going strong. but it's not really fair to call her a barebones build anymore; I've found a generous luthier down here that has been very willing to let me use his shop and teach me some things.
    I'll post progress pics soon
  18. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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  19. ILLINOX

    ILLINOX

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    Ya! Terminado.

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