Pics of my new bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Scoops, Jan 26, 2014.


  1. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    Greetings,

    My name is Pete. Scopps is a nic I go by

    I'm a noob to this forum, so this is my first thread here.

    I've been lurking for a couple weeks now, and I feel like a kid in a candy store! I can't believe what I'm reading and seeing. Some really great basses. I am truly humbled.

    But I have my own story to tell.

    I've been building my own instruments for a while now. I have 10 total. This build will be 12. 11 is in process

    All I have to work with are simple hand held power tools. A drill, router, palm sander, jig saw, and a Dremmel. I do on occasion use a table saw, and/or mitre saw. Other assorted hand tools

    Here's what I have to work with. Some fabrication and assembly required
    [​IMG]
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Location:
    US-NY-NYC
    Nice piece of wood. What species?
  3. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    There are 2 pieces of wood. They are both Koa. One sitting more to the top of the pic is the neck. I'll be cutting a solid body with bolt on neck. I'll be posting spec soon.

    I'm a bit in a quandary because the piece of wood I have for the neck is only long enough for a headless system, and I'm itching to use that piece of wood for a neck. But I don't have much experience at headless systems.

    Feedback on headless systems would be great.
  4. KramerDon

    KramerDon

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Southwestern Michigan
    Very nice! I don't expect Koa to be generally available much longer,especially really pretty Koa like that!
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  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    Nice wood how about an ebony headstock?
  7. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    I have a headstock shape I'll share later. It's nothing special, but out of ebony? that would be cool. That option is now under serious consideration. If I choose to go with a standard neck with the tuners in the headstock, I would be cutting a faceplate out of the remainder of the billet.

    I consider myself a bit luck to have these pieces in my possession. I came across a little extra $$$ and I decided to go for it. In my discussions with the seller, he indicated that there's no shortage of koa, and is still generally available, but the government has put a lot of restrictions on exporting the wood, and he believes that this is the reason for the skyrocketing costs.
  8. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    This is what I'll be shooting for

    Scale: 33.3
    Fretless: Yes
    Headless: No
    Strings: 5
    Body: Solid one piece Koa
    Neck: Rock Maple with Pau Ferro Fingerboard, single truss rod wit 2 CF rods, bolt on.
    Color: Natural
    Finish: Hand rubbed oil
    Headstock: Matching Body
    Pickups: EMG J's
    Preamp: EMG BQS System
    Bridge: Hipshot .708 bridge spacing
    Strings: Thomastik flats
    Tuners: Hipshot Ultralight
    Hardware finish: Gold
  9. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    OK

    Got most of the design work done. The body shape will be the template shown. I'll use it to route out the body. I have some major time to put into this so I'm hoping to get a lot done this week. I'm calling this build Fire. I tried to make the headstock look like a flame
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Today I routed the chanel for the truss rod and CF rods. I used a cedar plank from Home Depot as a guide, and had a roller bearing on the router bit. Got really straight lines
    [​IMG][​IMG]
  10. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    Looks great. Exactly how much fun are you having? :)
  11. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    I'm between jobs right now, and the wife thinks that building instruments is "Theraputic" for me. So I'm having a blast.
    Igor Porto likes this.
  12. Aislinn

    Aislinn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I love where you're going with this! Koa body and ebony headstock? WOW! That would be hot! Keep the pics coming! :hyper:
  13. aphexafx

    aphexafx A mind is a terrible thing. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Me too, this is awesome. :D
  14. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    OK

    Got a bit behind today cuz I had to rebuild my computer. I got a pretty bad virus, and rather than trying to get rid of it, I wiped the HD clean, and did a fresh install of everything. MPITA.

    I did get a little time to do some more color samplings. My initial experiments are giving me what I'm looking for. In my test patch I sanded in a red alcohol based alanine dye directly into the wood. After it dried, I sanded I sanded off the sledge. I then sanded in a coat of oil/varnish with red Trans-tint. Wiped it down. and put another coat of oil/varnish with an amber tint in it. It's what I was looking for, and it's the main reason why I'm giving this one a name of Fire. I don't have a camera that will capture in a pic what the wood shows, but i get 3 distinct colors, depending on the angle I look at it. Red, orange, and Yellow . (sorry for poor Quality)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    -Scps
  15. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    Oh yeah, I also have the 3 fingerboards to select from. When I do a build, I'll order 3 fbs, and use the one that I think best. For this build here's how I made my selection. I took each of the boards, and at the midpoint, balanced the board on my fingertip, and tapped on an end to hear how it would sound. Even though they were all Pau Ferro, they all sounded completely different. I then thought to take my clip on tuner and see if I could get a pitch. and yes, they all had different pitches. The one on the far left was somewhere between a D and Eb. The middle board was right at Eb, and the right board was right at E. Now I know that doesn't really mean jack S#*@, particularly in light of the fact that the pitch of the board will change once I cut it, but it's what I did. Just to note the FB on the left had a real peculiar low end timbre to it, quite different than the other 2. Hard to explain, but kinda like a low rumble. The board on the right really sang. Board in the middle was so so. I decided to select the board on the right.

    [​IMG]
    Igor Porto likes this.
  16. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    I might be using one of the scraps from the body to make a veneer, so that I have a matching headstock. Both ideas are outstanding.
  17. Aislinn

    Aislinn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I did this with my first guitar build
    [​IMG]

    The body was sapele so I cut the headstock like a Parker Fly and then shaped a piece of sapele and glued it in. I toyed with a bunch of different head shapes but I was already committed to the strat shape so I just stuck with it.

    I'm doing the same on my next guitar but this time I'll do a different head shape.
    [​IMG]
    Since both the body and neck are maple, I went with walnut for the insert and dyed it red. The body will be black & red and the red dye on the walnut comes out almost black so it should blend in nicely with the body... I hope
  18. Scoops

    Scoops Vagabond at large Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar Creek, Wisconsin
    Hey Aislinn

    Nice headstock! Thanks for the input. To be honest, I'm not 100% on how exactly I'm gonna do the headstock. I am going to go with the flame like shape I posted earlier, but how that gets done is still uncertain.

    In the meantime, it was gorgeous out today, so I had to get outside. Here's what I got done
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Igor Porto likes this.
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast

    Yes yes yes. :)
  20. Aislinn

    Aislinn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Thanks Scoops... That headstock was actually a save. I just didn't want the typical Fender headstock but, since this was my first try at building a guitar, I was playing it safe. But once it was almost done, I hated it. So here was a neck I had spent hours making and I took it to the bandsaw and cut it. :rollno:

    The next two days I spent trying to figure out how to save the neck. Then I did the glue-in and a star was born! ;)

    On your flame headstock, it would be really cool to actually make it look like a flame by using different woods. You could take the maple from the neck and cut the center of the flame then glue up koa around it to complete the shape. When I was fitting the headstock pieces, I made 1/4" MDF templates (which was a b**ch). But I used those templates for the next headstock. That flame could be your signature. I love it! If you don't want it, I'll be happy to steal it from you. :cool:

    BTW, did you actually cut that body with just a router? (As opposed to rough cutting it with a bandsaw, etc.) How many passes did that take?
  21. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego

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