Build no.2 or 3 or whatever. Flower Bass VI

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Jan 23, 2012.


  1. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Been asking a stack o qus about bass VIs so I thought I should show you where I am up to. My Sis in law is a bass player, with a background in classical guitar. She was a monsta on classical actually. I offered to build her something for CHristmas/bday. We talked and it seemed a semi shortscale (32") bass 6 would hit the spot. We went 32" coz she needs a hipshot. She's whimsical sort of person and was adamant that it be flower shaped. So, after the EBMM Simray for my son, here is the "Flower Bass VI".

    We started with this rough sketch (it was still at 5 at that stage)...

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    Then after some discussions and the like I came up with this mockup and a final paper plan...

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    As you can see the leaf acts as an upper bout and balanced the instrument well.

    She is looking for a well balanced, lightish instrument with simple controls. So I went for a kouri pine body and a vic ash (aussie timber) neck. As per advice here, it'll be single trussrod and narrow spaced with individual bridge pieces. So far I have sorted a neck blank and fingerboard (Also vic ash)...

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    I also have the pickup. It was going to get a J and a MM, but it's just getting a MM now. Wilkinson licensed from china. The bridge is also from china.

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    THis week I got in and joined the body timber up for a blank...

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    Then today I made a body and neckpocket templates out of 7mm ply with the bandsaw. Have to say the tight corners between the petals are pretty hard work...

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    It's sposed to be finished for the 4 of April (her bday) so I'm trying to get a wriggle on.
  2. roberthabraken

    roberthabraken

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Unusual, but interesting. Subbed.
  3. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Progress...

    Body rough cut with neckpocket routed.

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  4. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Some more progress last night. It's amazing how much you can get done in a few hours...

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    First up I screwed the template to the body, trimmed the rest on the bandsaw and then routered the edges with a finishing bit. Very minimal tear outs which was nice. Then I got to it with the sureform and rasps and did the arm relief roundover on one of the petals.

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    Also got the neck setup, routered and drilled for the trussrod. Had a chance to do the second neck block for the other fretless too.

    This bass is spose to be finished and playing on the 4th of April. Sadly that's not gonna happen. The other thing is, I'm trying to rip as much weight out of it as possible. The body is still little too heavy.
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  6. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    More work on the body today...

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    Back of body beveled with the router.

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    Front of the body routed for pickup and electronics. Edges done with a 6mm roundover and the leaf part done with a bevel. Outline of the petals again the leaf done with a dremel.

    This is about 80% done now and just needs sanding and the neck/hardware fitted.
  7. jmorbita

    jmorbita

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    buenos aires, argentina
    interesting! subscribing.
  8. jbossolo

    jbossolo

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Cool project.
  9. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur
    I mean, why not? ;) cool!
  10. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Westchester County NY
    I like this! Lots of fun. My only design suggestion is to make the headstock asymmetrical; bring the point around just a little to one side or the other. It looks too "pointy" now; it could be a little more "leafy." If you know what I mean..... :)
  11. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Looks like it's gonna be a higher quality 6 string version of the Daisy Rock .... and nicer looking too ! Cool....


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  12. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    well, the headstock is already slightly assymetrical. I want to keep it as is for 2 reasons. Firstly it's as short as it can be, keeping the weight down. Secondly, the strings draw across the nut in a straight line to the tuners. Also, I pretty confident that a coat of green paint will get it looking pretty leafy. ;)

    Darkhorse; yeah my SIS looking into them, but they are an exercise in neck dive really... and she didn't like the markings on them either.
  13. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    More progress...

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    Board slotted for frets (thx Mark G for the lend of the fret saw). Ok, it's official, I HATE cutting fret slots. My most mind numbing, long winded, fiddly job ever. This was exacerabated by the fact that the board would not fit in Mark's Stewmac mitre box. So I cut them all by hand using some tonewood (rosewood offcut) as a guide. Anyhow, it's done now and ready for frets. I am thinking I might tru-oil the board before putting the frets in, to prevent glue marks on the vic ash. Any thoughts about that?

    Now some eye candy...

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    This is the pickguard material. It's freaking amazing. Like curly gold. 3 ply black, white, pearloid orange on top. I love it and my S.I.L. insisted on it... although it was pretty expensive... and not great quality either...

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    You can see this mark on whole sheet too. It's an insect caught between the top two layers. This is the worst of these marks but it's not the only one. It was a close-out item from all-parts and I can see why now. I'm gonna send them an email, but I'm not expecting any joy. I can get enough for the bits we need anyhow. Now she has to decide what colour to paint the body... mmm, gonna be painful I think.
  14. SaintMez

    SaintMez

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    Lancaster CA
    That is some cool pick guard material! I like the flower idea too. Very creative. From the Muffin Man to a Flower...those are quite unique! Very cool. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!
  15. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Progress...

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    One "undamaged by a dog" fingerboard now sporting inlays. This was a bit fiddly, but it's turned out better than imagined. Frets next.
  16. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
  17. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Progress...

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    Frets edges filed and board edged. Truss rod in and board glued to neck blank.
  18. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    More progress...

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    Clamps off.

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    Board on neckblank. Let the trimming and shaping begin!
  19. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
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    Are those abalone squares? Pretty cool, whatever they are... not sure they'll match the shape of the bass. Then again, it's a giant flower. Rock it out and nobody will care what matches anything.
  20. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Well lets put it this way, she wanted tiny flowers... "no way" I said. Inlay is hard enough without fiddling round with microscopic bit of shell. I think they'll be ok, but I know what you mean. Anyhow, 70s Jazz's have those huge squares on a curvy bass and manage ok.
  21. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Progress...

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    trimmed the neck on the bandsaw and then planed/sanded the sides down last night. Still some more to do, but then I can start shaping!

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    Stuck some wings on the side of the headstock in readiness to cut the shape out. I still need to make a template for the headstock so I can use the router.

    I also spent some time with my S.I.L yesterday and she's very happy. Colours are now being decided too which is pretty exciting.

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