Thompson 4 String Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jaredkurtov, Dec 17, 2012.


  1. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    Recently, I have begun taking several of the "one off" designs I have developed and started turning them into models. This build being the Thompson.

    Specs are this.

    34" scale, 24 fret bound ebony board, birdseye maple/walnut neck thru construction, bookmatched maple top and back, walnut core.

    Kent Armstrong MM bridge and Jazz neck pickup, Aguilar Preamp, Hipshot tuners and bridge.

    Here is everything laid out pre glueing
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    Here is the body pattern and fingerboard laid on top

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    here's a close up of the fingerboard (sorry no before or in process shots)

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  2. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    A few steps have happened since the first post.

    Each section is glued up... core and both sides of the body. I cut the headstock angle and routed the truss rod channel. I also glued the ears on the side of the headstock and profiled the neck and thickness of the headstock.

    My first task today is to make and glue my headstock laminations onto the bass.

    the rear one is bent with a bending iron to match the back of the headstock core.
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    Normally this one would be glued in first, but it's just wider than the pattern, so I am going to glue the front on first.

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    I got in the habit of making the headstock veneer to shape and then cutting everything else to match it.

    After this dries I can trim the sides til it's close enough for me to glue the back on.

    don't mind the chip, I have plans to deal with that soon.
     
  3. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    To bring everything up to speed, The headstock has been trimmed and drilled. The fingerboard has been glued onto the neck and the excess trimmed from the sides of the neck assembly. All body woods have been glued exept for the neck to body joint.
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    I have also been working on a guitar build that I am doing step for step with this build. To me, it is sort of the complimentary model to it. some of the details are slightly different, it has more binding and a different truss rod area.
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  4. Bluelephant4

    Bluelephant4

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
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  6. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    Hi Everyone!

    Alot has happened again since my last post. The body has been glued to the neck core and cut out. The fretboard has been prepped to accept the inlays.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't take any pictures of routing the squares out of the fingerboard, my appologies.

    The process I learned here and several other places is to cut the hole as close as possible to the inlay, both in depth and in area. I then tape off everything not inlay area to keep it clean.

    While routing out the inlay area on the fingerboard, I stop every couple of minutes or less and collect my wood dust in a tiny cup. by the end of this session, the cup was 40% full.
    here is a photo of dust in a cup, the remainder after the inlays were set.
    [​IMG]
    Right now I use epoxy as my inlay bonding agent. it also works well to fill in any mistakes I may have made durring the inlay routing process. I mix two batches of epoxy at once. one is the same tiny cup filled no more than 1/3 full containing equal parts of epoxy and hardener. the other is no more than 1/3 full containing equal parts of epoxy and hardener plus a 2 or 3 parts dust to one part mixed epoxy. I take the pure epoxy and coat the bottoms of the inlay route with a thin layer. All inlays are arranged just to the side of their respective holes and arranged to shine the same direction. I quickly put all inlays in their slots and push them in tightly.
    Lastly, I take the wood/epoxy mixture and sort of fingerpaint the entire area, focusing on pushing this mixture into anywhere it will settle into.

    the result is this
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    here it is after cleaning up with a flat file and then sanding
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    stepping foward again, The bass has been fretted and cavities routed
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    As of today the neck has been carved and the body contours have been 85% sculpted. I should have more pics tonight or tomorrow.
     
  7. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    Very nice. Great job on the fingerboard and the inlays. Top notch!
     
  8. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    A quick update.

    I finished carving the body and neck. Most of the bass is sanded to 120 grit.

    I also have been doing some work on the control cavity.

    here are some photos

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    Lately I have been adding a little finger slot to help pop the cover off. you can barely see it in the above and below picture, but it's there.

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    I want to take better photos of the neck, although it may have to wait til the bass is done to really show any detail. Historically I have made the neck like a fender Jazz bass neck with a slight variation where the neck meets the headstock. This neck is 1/8 thicker and rounds to a softened V.
     
  9. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    Very cool! Sub'd
     
  10. josiah goldfish

    josiah goldfish

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    E.Sussex UK
    Very cool. It's nice to see a 4-string being made as well, seems everything's about 5/6ers nowadays :)
     
  11. skullservant

    skullservant

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
  12. Snort

    Snort

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    A Brit Abroad Halifax Canada
    I love your headstock and neck binding, it looks like the white stripe actualy goes into the fret slots almost like anchor points or is that just my imagination? any chance of you describing how you achieved these results they are very impressive?
     
  13. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    Snort, I didn't take any pictures of the rough fingerboard to finished product, sorry. Here's how I do it.

    I normally order the board from LMII or Stew mac. this one was a stew mac board. I will normally work on the board first while glueing everything up to start the project. I mark the center and then use a razor knife to score the ends a little incase the mark wears off while working the board. I determine my nut width and 12th and 24th fret width and mark the overall dim's of the board. I then calliper the binding (ebony) along with the plastic white stripe and use that number to make a second marking inside of the overall dims. I cut as close to the second inner marking as possible with my scroll saw and then run the entire board through the planer set to 1/128 +/-.

    once the board is prepped, I glue the binding together. in this case i used #16 fastset acrylic glue. once the binding was glued I quickly glued it to the sides of the fingerboard, taped it tightly and let it cure for a few hours. I trimmed the end where it meets the body at a 45 degree angle and repeated the process for the end of the board. let it cure overnight and clean with a flat file and sandpaper.
     
  14. Snort

    Snort

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    A Brit Abroad Halifax Canada
    Thanks for the explanation, I realy admire that workmanship.
     
  15. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    Thanks for the compliment.

    I hope to have some more to show here shortly
     
  16. jaredkurtov

    jaredkurtov

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    West Asheville NC
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: Kurtov Stringed instruments, West Asheville Lutherie
    I realized this morning that I never posted final pictures of this bass.

    enjoy

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    A friend of mine is close to Mule, here it is with Jourgen.
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  17. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
  18. metallutca

    metallutca

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Malaysia
  19. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    MI
  20. KramerDon

    KramerDon

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Southwestern Michigan
    Great work!! It's seeing beautiful instruments like this on this forum that have inspired me to try!!(altho I'm doing a much more basic build of course)
     
  21. SPYD3R #9

    SPYD3R #9

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    gorgeous bass!! i just fantasizing that bass with saome tremolo bridge and some detuner maybe...
     

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