Craziest build yet (for me)!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rip Topaz, Jan 28, 2012.


  1. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Just got the commission to build one a replica of one of the most iconic basses ever, so I figured a build thread was needed.

    It'll be a few days before the work starts, gotta wait for parts to arrive, and draw everything up.

    This is a bass that I've always loved but never even considered making, but an old friend from high school contacted me and said the magic words ("here's money, make the bass"), so I couldn't say no.

    So today I shop for parts, and draw it all up.

    Ok, enough with the suspense. Here's the bass:

    [​IMG]

    I absolutely cannot WAIT to start.

    I'll be sticking as close as possible to the original, so it'll be a real interesting build, as som parts will have to be custom made.
     
  2. roberthabraken

    roberthabraken

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    That's for something different.. man do I NEED to follow this build !

    Subscribed, let the show begin :D
     
  3. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    Hey Rip, I know you'll be tempted to have a bottle in the shop for *ahem* inspiration, but I recommend having an empty bottle. I further recommend emptying that bottle at least 18 hours before you turn on a power tool...

    :D
     
  4. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

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    Dec 11, 2011
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    Switzerland
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  6. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I'm not a drinker, though I have VERY vivid memories of JD bottles. Ugh. My stomach and head hurt just thinking about it.
     
  7. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Willow Street, PA
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    I found that one.

    Here's another pic of the original, with some goofy looking guy holding it. Can't blame him for the grin. I'd be doing the same thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Willow Street, PA
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    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Here's all the specs, now that I've got them all worked out.

    Maple neck and fretboard, 24 frets.

    The original had maple and mahogany. Nah.

    Ash body wings. The original was alder. We have 2 reasons for using ash. One, he wants more of a Stingray tone out of it, and two, my local lumberyard doesn't stock alder.

    Hipshot A style bridge. Brass. My customer does ironwork by trade, so I'm gonna make a wooden version of the piece on the headstock, and he's gonna cast it in brass for me.

    EMG MMCS pickup, with a BTC tagged onto it. Again, we're going for a 'Ray tone if anything.

    Tuners, controls and output jack will all be in the same place as the original, and the back will be capped with a thin slice of ash, with access at the needed spots.

    I'm thinking it'll be a fun build. I can't wait to get started. Dang shame it's a weekend and I gotta wait till Monday to go shopping.

    Gonna be drawing and researching until then.
     
  9. irishmonster100

    irishmonster100

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    carlow ireland
    two of my favorite things rolled in one package :D
    jack daniels and bass not a thing out there to beat it
     
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I believe the goofy looking guy is Kevin Dugan, the original builder of the JD bass.
     
  11. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    Aug 12, 2005
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    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    No offense meant of course. I'm a pretty goofy looking dude, myself.
     
  12. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

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    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
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    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    LOL aren't we all Rip....LOL
     
  13. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    So I got to work on the drawing. It's interesting so far. Basically sketching off known dimensions, with a bit of Stingray when important numbers aren't available.

    I wish someone knew the body dimensions, but so far my plan is to with the 'Rays widest point as my "bottle edges". My customer is a HUGE dude, so if I make it too thin like a Steinberger, it won't be comfortable for him and will look ridiculous.
     
  14. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    That's not the original - it's a tribute built in the UK sported by the guy in photo who promised it to himself for surviving a lung transplant. It's on the Jack Daniels novelty page...
     
  15. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    Yeah, I've been going crazy with pix of the real one by Yamaha and this one trying to figure out how the you know what I'm gonna pull off the paint.

    Here's my thought.

    First, throw this guys copy out the window. If it isn't on the page with Mike Anthony goofing around in the shop, or he ain't in the pic, it isn't the bass we care about.

    Now on to the paint. I'm gonna hit the auto store and check out what's available in the colors needed, but ONLY for the liquor coloring. That goes the whole way up the back of the neck, by the way.

    Also, on the copy, the string path was HORRID!!!! I'm fixing that.

    There's no info on what the head angle was, so I'm gonna go with whatever Yamaha's standard was on whatever Mike was using.

    Now. The label. The fun part.

    I had a random thought of trying to piece it together with multiple waterslide decals, or maybe just one or two. Either way, it has to be transparent to show through to the liquor.
    Not sure if that was on the original. Lol.

    I'm also considering surprising my customer and adding the compartment in the treble horn that holds two airline sized bottles of Jack. Might be a nice touch. Since the back is going to essentially being a giant cap, I can add hinges or compartments anywhere.

    If anyone comes across any decent pix of the REAL bass, please post them. Any help on the finish is greatly appreciated.
     
  16. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    Building one of these is also on my bucket list and I researched it a bit a while back. This article shows a shot of the original bass when MA gave it to Yamaha to have it cloned/improved. Michael Anthony Jack Daniels Yamaha Bass The original was of course built by MA's decades long trusted tech/luthier, Kevin Dugan. They used a Kramer headless as the basis and did a custom build from there. On the Yamaha version, the finish, decal and bottle appearance were stepped up several notches. There have been many versions built over the years with the Yamaha being the nicest overall IMHO. I have found more about the bass by searching Kevin Dugan than I have searching Jack Daniels Bass. There is quite a bit of text out there in articles that is originally quoted from a Van Halen book (I forget which one), but they generally repeat one another. I'm going to be watching this one...
     
  17. BassZilla5

    BassZilla5

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN USA
    The words "auto store" and "label" got me thinking... A friend of mine owns a business doing vinyl wraps on cars and trucks. Something like that on a small scale might solve at least the graphic portion of your dilema. You could wrap the body, clear-coat it and only have the neck color left to deal with... Just a thought.
     
  18. Basso54

    Basso54 Supporting Member

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    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    Dalhart, TX
    EPIC!!! Subscribed.
     
  19. bassingeorge

    bassingeorge

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    San diego, CA
    Wow...is this really happening??? I've always found object-shaped basses or guitar to be...uhm..not my thing, but I'm interested in seeing one being built!
     
  20. pnut166

    pnut166

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    alabama
    Ideas for the label:Get a real JD label, scan it, and modify as necessary in photoshop / gimpshop / etc. Take it to a copy / sign shop and have it printed on card stock or vinyl. Cut the text out, and apply the stock as a template for paint. As far as the liquor look, appears to be a pretty standard 2-color burst to me from the pics here.
     
  21. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Willow Street, PA
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    Yeah, I figured a 2-color burst for the liquor. Maybe three if I'm feeling adventurous and want a little more variation.

    As for the label, finding a vinyl that can be clear coated over isn't quite as hard as finding someone willing to print the image.

    But wrapping (or half wrapping as the Yamaha is) is looking like a good answer if I can solve the whole vinyl/ solvent problem. cutting out a template to spray, no chance. Look at all that lettering. Too much room for error.

    Building the actual bass isn't going to be that hard.
     

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