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First build!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by The Wiz, Dec 4, 2013.

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  1. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    Well i finally am starting my first build and i am beyond stoked about it. :) A few days ago I ordered a slab of Wenge for the body, a beautifully figured curly maple neck blank, and an ebony fingerboard blank.They're expected to be here on friday and I cant wait to get going. The bass will be a 5 stringer and will have a scale length of 35" and 24 frets. So far I plan on putting in some bartolini soapbars and a bartolini pre, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Yesterday I drew up a template of the shape I plan on doing on a computer program and heres how it turned out.
    It came out a bit more streamer-ish than I had intended but I like it so I'm going to stick with it. Also the neck pocket on the template is just for reference since I havn't actually gotten to measure it out or anything. Today I am taking the template to Kinkos to have it enlarged to its real size but I havnt figured out how large I want the body to be yet. I was thinking 20" long which would make it about 13.5 inches in width (at its widest point). I know that wenge is a heavy body wood to be using so this could be too big (or too small for all I know). Does this seem like a good length/width to use for my build plan? All help is appreciated on this challenging endeavor. Thanks!

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  2. Beej

    Beej

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    After enlarging it (or before), I recommend drawing it out full-size. For example, I think your design will not permit access to higher frets if the horn is positioned to be at the 12th fret. You also don't know where this will end up locating your bridge. If the bridge ends up 3" from the edge of the body, you could end up with the bass hanging too far to your left when on a strap. Drawing it out fullsize will help with seeing where the 12th fret, 24th fret (or end of fretboard), nut, bridge and horns will lie in relation to one another...
  3. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    Mine have been about 12-12.5" wide so far and I've measured from my other instruments I own. Not saying they're all that size, but considering the weight of wenge, you might not want to go with 13.5".
  4. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    Thanks for the suggestion, beej. I just tried that out and so far my design is looking good. It gives pretty good access to the higher frets. Also, i printed one out at 20 inches and it was too big as predicted. I ended up going with 18.5 inches and the width ended up being about 12.5 inches which works out pretty well. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1386213310.958727.jpg
  5. Rowka

    Rowka

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    Get a roll of butcher paper or kraft paper. Draw a straight line 35" long. That is your string length. One end is the nut, the other end is the bridge. Put a mark in the middle (17.5" from either end). That is your 12th fret. Put another mark 26.25" from the nut (or 8.75" from the bridge) and that is the 24th fret. Now you can better judge how the body will line up with the important dimensions.
  6. kris pung

    kris pung

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    Will the body be solid wenge? If yes it's going to be really heavy.
  7. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    So i layed everything out. So far everything looks good. I should have acces to everything up until the 22nd ish fret. The neck is 1.85 inches at the nut and 3 inches at the 24th fret. And yes i know the body will be pretty heavy since its solid wenge. The good news is im young and have a good back, and i actually like my basses with a little bit of "heft" to them. The bass will be a carved top so hopefully ill be able to shave away some weight with that. My body wood comes today and im getting excited to start!
  8. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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  9. Rowka

    Rowka

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    That wide of a neck (well, actually, that much taper in the neck) is going to give you a 1" string spacing at the bridge.
  10. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    How do you figure? The neck is only 3 inches wide at its widest and 5 strings each an inch apart would be 5 inches so im not quite understanding your math on that one. Im using a hipshot A style 5 string bridge. From the B string saddle to the G string saddle is 3" in length which is also the neck width at the 24th fret.
  11. Mktrat

    Mktrat Huh? Supporting Member

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    Angles......
  12. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    What you want to do is - on your full size layout, mark the 3" width at the bridge, and the nut width where the nut is and connect the dots. If you have a 3" width at the 24th fret, that probably would be a lot wider than you want. It would be the right width at the nut and progressively the fretboard would stick out further and further from the edge of the strings if you leave it at 3".
  13. Rowka

    Rowka

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    Sorry, for some reason I read that as 3" wide at the 12th fret.
    You still need to do the math (or get a ruler and draw EVERYTHING out full size) to determine that the angle of your neck taper needs to be with regards to your bridge spread and nut width.


    BTW, 5 strings, an inch apart is 4 inches.
  14. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    Thanks for the advice ibridenstine, ill do that when I get home. And error in my last comment, B string saddle to G string saddle is 3.75", which will make for .750" spacing at the bridge. How wide would you guys suggest making the neck at the 12th fret? Again thanks for all your guys's advice and help. And also thanks for reminding me how bad at math I am ;)
  15. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    All you really need to do is just figure out how far you want the strings to be from the edge of the neck (pay attention to the width of the strings) and just draw the lines to that width outside of the bridge saddles. After you draw it, measure what width you get.
  16. Rowka

    Rowka

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    That makes 0.9375" spacing at the bridge.
  17. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    Again a math error on my part. My original comment was correct. 3" from B saddle to G saddle, making for .750" string spacing. My excuse is that I didnt get alot of sleep last night. :ninja::smug:
  18. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

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    Disclosures:
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    Best of luck to you. Take things slow and measure everything a couple of times before you cut it. Also, think about how things go together and what order to do things in.

    Most of all, have fun with it and don't forget to think about how the next one will be better. ;)
  19. The Wiz

    The Wiz

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    Thanks :) i plan on cutting the body today because i think i have that figured out pretty well. However im not going to do the neck until thats mostly done to give me more time to prepare and make sure everythings perfect. Oh and believe me im looking forward to when things get easier next time ;)
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