First build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tombass, Feb 3, 2013.


  1. tombass

    tombass

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Hi guys,

    After lots of lurking, reading, etc. etc, ive decided to do my first build.

    I have limited woodworking exp. but have good friends who are excellent woodworkers( and pro tools!).

    I have been wanting a Kala California Ubass for a while, so i figure this would be a good first build. I plan on using the Mi-Si pickup system they use as well as the hipshot tuners. Right now it will probably be fretless for ease of build, but i may end up going fretted.

    Anyone know where i could find fretting jig for a 21" scale if i go the fretted route? I checked stew-mac, they dont have one for this scale.

    Love looking at all the work here. You guys have more talent than i could ever imagine me having.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Dartmouth, Canada
    I've never seen a 21" fretting template. LMII has a 20" and 22.875" template for a uke and banjo, but not a 21". For 21" you'll probably have to do it manually using a template you can print off (FretFind can generate this for you).
  3. suraj

    suraj

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mumbai, India
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Or just pick up the phone and call the guys at LMII. They might be able to slot a board with a custom scale length for you.
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  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Location:
    US-NY-NYC
    Or, look into whether a Gibson or Fender scale fretboard can be chopped at the first or second fret to give you what you need.
  7. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Location:
    South Florida
    I have been thinking about doing a Ubass type build for a while, as well. Maybe you could use the fretfind website to get the location of the frets, then use the stewmac fret saw miter box/saw (or something similar) to get the slots perfect? The stewmac stuff isn't cheap, but the reviews it gets are great.

    I'd be interested in seeing any progress you make on the build. Post some pics if you can! (please and thank you :))
  8. tombass

    tombass

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    All good ideas! Thansk guys.

    I will try to take pics as i progress. Im in no rush, so be patient;)
  9. tombass

    tombass

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    It looks like i will be fretting this on the scale i found at Fretfind and i will need to get the Stewmac fretting jig. I still may be going fretless.

    So i started the build, neck cut and glued, body glued( mahogany). I will post pics when i figure out how ( hey, im a 48 yr old computer challanged guy).

    Does anyone where to find the tuners for these babies. I know Hipshot makes em, but with the wide strings it looks like there made " special".. I will call Hipshot in am to see.
  10. tombass

    tombass

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    I found the tuners thru road toad. They are on back order for now.

    Another newbie question: given that the neck on ubass is 15", is a truss rod necessary?
  11. tombass

    tombass

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    well.....my ubass project is going a little slower than i would like. anyway, a couple of questons:

    1. O the solidbody ubasses they use an adjustable bridge. but i cant see where the p/u wire goes thru. maybe thru one of the threaded posts? thoughts?

    2. whats the best way to taper a neck? band saw and plane?

    thx
  12. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    1) Probably just a hole drilled somewhere under the base, likely near the high string.

    2) Router guide (template) and router.

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