1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Building new bass for Private Ryan

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Syco_bass, Oct 21, 2011.


  1. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    LOL.... O.K. so the thread title may not be completely true, but my customer's name is Ryan.

    Anyway, after doing some custom/Mod work on Ryan's SX short scale Jazz bass, he decided to hire me to build a Semi-Custom bass for him. I say "Semi-Custom" because I did not create or design any of its parts.

    The story that follows is based on a true story that took place in my shop in Tucson.

    The bass I am going to be assembling for Ryan is a multi scale (33.5 to 36") "Fanned Fret" 5 string bass.

    Parts list:
    Warmoth Lightweight Swamp Ash Gecko body
    Moses Graphite custom multi scale "Fanned Fret" 5 string neck
    Lace Sensor "Alumatone" bass bar pickup
    Passive USA CTS tone circuit with series/parallel switch
    Sperzel custom locking bass tuners
    Hipshot individual string saddles
    Dunlop strap locks
    Finish - custom "trans-green" dye/polyurethane

    The photos to follow will tell the story of this bass as it is finally becoming a reality for Ryan. :hyper:
     
  2. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    sounds like a neat project, curious to see how it turns out.
    knowing you, probably awesome!
     
  3. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Day 1

    Neck arrived on 10/10/11 so I got to work checking fitment of the neck and all of the parts.

    After checking everything, I noticed that the neck did not fit quite perfect in the neck pocket. I had two choice, sand and try to fiit the neck better in the pocket and fill with wood puddy if needed, or call Moses to see what they suggested.

    After talking with Steve at Moses, we decided to send the neck back for re-shaping of the necks heal. Steve said that it should be a perfect fit and they stand behind their products. Also, upon inspection, I noticed that the peg holes were the wrong size. Without discussion of who's error it was, Steve was happy to re-size the holes for us while the neck was back for re-shaping.

    here is a photo of the neck pocket.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Day 2

    While the neck was still in my possetion, I decided to start laying out the locations of the tail peices and the Pickup. This way I could get started on the body while the neck was out for alterations. The goal is to have the neck back by the time the body is ready.

    Here are some photos of the initial layout:

    [​IMG]

    The way I layed out the pickup and bridge saddles was fairly challenging at first. After thinking about it, I decied to measure the distance from the nut to the bridge at the G and B string possition. 33.5" (G string) and 36" (B string) Once I had those saddle in place, I used a small straight edge to fill in the rest. The left/right placement of the pieces was Easy. Warmoth drills a "center" hole in the bridge area. This next photo shows how I lined it all up.

    [​IMG]

    The pickup located in a place that is a compromise between Jazz bass pickup locations and MM bass pickup locations. I would say it is consistent with Warmoth's "Sweet Spot" location. It is also angled in a way that is parallel to the last fret.
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow we route the body for the pickup and begin "dyeing" the body for it's trans finish.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. kris pung

    kris pung

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    My main 5'er has a Moses MM neck and I couldn't be happier with it.
     
  7. rpsands

    rpsands

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    When I found out Moses was doing fans, I started brainstorming this bass :) I like my Dingwall a lot, but I prefer graphite necks and wanted a slightly shorter scale than the 37" Ding (But not as short as the Super J), and really, I never adjust my tone on the bass anyway - so the Dingwall pickup selector and multiple pups is just more even than I need.

    My hope is that this thing winds up being a cross between my old Modulus M92 and a Dingwall, but with no batteries ;)
     
  8. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    O.K. Day 2 - Neck is shipped and going back to Moses for re-fittment. Today I'm also going to route the pickup location, drill the anchor holes for the bridge and begin dying the body.

    Being that the pickup is going to be rectangelar in shape, I am going to make a routing template out of 1/4" X 1/4" peices of wood.

    Here are some pics:
    [​IMG]

    Here's a word of advice. No matter what type of routing template you are going to use, make sure it is secured well on the body. As you will see from the next set of pics, my template started to slip. The carpet tape did not hold well and my router took just a time bit too much off one corner. So before it slipped any more, I tacked down the template peices with very thin nails. I can fill the holes with toothpicks before I dye the body. Or if a pickup ring is going to be used, then the holes will never show.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, notice that there is only one set of holes for the bridge pieces. I will drill the second set during final assembly. I'll let the strings be the guides for alignment.
     
  9. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    O.K. with the body routed and bridge holes drilled I am ready to start the dying process. For this I will use this technique: How to Create a Sunburst Finish - Fine Woodworking Video

    I'm only going to use black and green and I am going to finish it with Minwax fast drying Polyurethane I purchased from Home Depot.

    Here is how it went:

    Black dye first
    [​IMG]

    Then Sand till all the black looks like it's gone:

    [​IMG]

    Then green. Notice how when wet, the black grain highlights really pop.

    [​IMG]

    I let this all cure over night to make sure it was absolutely dry. Then I used 1000grit wet/dry (dry) sand paper to make sure the body was smooth as a baby's bottom. Make sure you use light pressure. You don't want to sand off the green. Unless that is the look you are going for.

    Here is what it looked like before I started applying the Poly.

    [​IMG]

    I always blow the dust off with canned air, then I wipe with Denatured alcohol to get off all the dust.
     
  10. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    O.K. fast forward a few days.

    Now the body has several coats of poly on it, and you can really start to see what it's going to look like. (you can also really see where my router slipped. Not to worry, I will be making a carbon/graphite pickup ring that will completely cover this. The ring will only be 1/4" wide around the pickup, so it won't cover too much of the body.

    Here is how it looks with about 6 coats of poly. In between coats I buff with 0000 steel wool. This takes off any roughness to the finish. Once the coats build up more, this won't be necessary on every coat. I will however, wet sand with 2000 grit between the last few coats.

    [​IMG]

    I'll be working on it all weekend. At this point the wheather is really dry and in the low to mid 80's so the poly is drying pretty fast. At this rate I might be able to get about 4 to 6 more coats on it today.
     
  11. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
  12. __HM__

    __HM__

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Keeping an eye on this, mostly for the finish job.. Im thinking of dying/clearing an old 90s G&L Legacy I scored on Craigslist. Thinking orange dye/nitro clear... Thanks :)
     
  13. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Refinishing using this method might be difficult on a once painted or finished body. You'll have to be sure you get all the way down to bare wood. If there is any grain filler the dye won't soak into the wood evenly. Good luck.
     
  14. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    More work done this past weekend. The body now has about 12 coats on it. I buffed with steel wool between the first 10 coats, now I have moved to 1000 grit wet sand. I will wet sand between every 2 coats. The grain is starting to fill in nicely, however, my customer doesn't want the grain to be gone completely. I think about another 10 coats and she'll be ready for assembly. Enjoy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW, don't pay attention to the dates on the photos. I will fix the date on my camera later, but for now, the photos in this post are from today. 10/24/11 Also, the finish is completely dry in these photos. You can see that the shine is really starting to get really nice. No buffing/waxing/polishing here folks. Polyurethane is so nice to work with.
     
  15. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    Wish it was for me! :p
    This is a sweet project. How much are you charging him for parts and labor?
     
  16. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    PM'd
     
  17. suraj

    suraj

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mumbai, India
    I would also like to know how much your charging for this bass if thats not a problem :) PM me..
     
  18. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    PM'd
     
  19. cjmodulus

    cjmodulus

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    This thing looks sweet. Subbed
     
  20. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Disclosures:
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Just about 20 coats of Poly now. Starting to fill in the grain nicely. I think she still needs about about 5 or 6 good coats with wet sanding ever 2 coats. I'll move to 2000 grit for these last few coats.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of the carbon sheet I'm going to use as a p/up ring. I might have enough material to use as a headstock vaneer.

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy.
     
  21. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Rob! I am loving the Green! Had no idea you could do that!
     

Share This Page