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Wide 5 Jazz Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by thiessen3.14, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Well, the bug keeps biting. So, I thought I'd build up a jazz version of my p-bass that I love so much. I don't yet have fretting tools, so I subbed the neck out to JD Pinckney--birdseye neck and fingerboard. I sent him another old Warmoth wide-5 neck and had him copy it. (I don't have pictures of that at the moment, but I drilled the headstock and have a coat of sealer on it.)

    I got a great curly maple top plate (5/8"!!!) and a 1 piece honduran mahogany blank for the body. So, I glued up the top plate:

    [​IMG]

    So to even up the top and sand off the squeeze out I opted for my super-high-end thickness sander. I didn't use my thickness planer as I was concerned about tearout on the figured maple:

    [​IMG]

    Here it is sanded and naphtha-ed:

    [​IMG]

    So, now I have to decide which way to orient the body. Any feedback from y'all would be appreciated (and no, it won't be blue--was thinking tobacco transparent):

    [​IMG]

    -or-

    [​IMG]

    So, a long ways to go. Planned specs: Machine thread inserts for neck to body joint, custom set of Nordstrand Big Splits for 20mm spacing on order, Hipshot A-style .787 bridge and Ultralite Clover Tuners in chrome, passive w/ CTS pots in Vol/Blend/Tone. Whaddya think?
  2. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    I think it'd look nice in either direction, but the second one stands out to me more.
  3. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Ok, so this might be helpful. I inverted the images and oriented them similarly(?):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. devo_stevo

    devo_stevo

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    Disclosures:
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    #2 gets my vote. Nice piece of maple.

    I think it looks great blue. :)

    Seriously. I like it.
  5. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    yeah, i kinda thought that, too, but i think this is more what i'm going for:

    [​IMG]

    ah, if only it were this easy to actually do it. and to change it.
  6. Big B.

    Big B.

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    I like #1 much more. The grain seems to fit the shape of the bass. For some reason #2 makes the bridge end of the bass look too narrow and the horns look too wide. #2 also cuts out that awesome fan of grain behind the bridge in #1. To my eye thats the central feature on that board. Of course, I could also just be crazy so take it for what its worth. ;)

    Edit: just noticed that the way you laid out the picture of #2 actually does skew the shape of the bass. I still think the wider grain around the fan looks good by the bridge and the tighter grain makes the horns look proportional. I also think that blue color is hot.
  7. suraj

    suraj

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    I vote for #1, the figure just radiates wildly from the bridge end..
  8. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

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    Obviously No.1. Pity to make a boring old Fender clone out of it though. :bag:
  9. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Ah come on, it's just kinda going to be a fender step child, if you will ;).
  10. dremy2006

    dremy2006

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  11. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Ok, so I think #1 will work. I drew this up in autocad. The tricky thing with the wide neck is that the horns have to move out for clearance and making all those sexy curves flow just right takes a lot of tweaking, stepping back, tweaking, zooming, tweaking...

    image-1224971465.jpg



    image-2009812165.jpg



    image-4158487278.jpg
  12. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Well, time for an update, I suppose. I've got some rough cut 2-piece Honduran mahogany blank sets. However, my jointer is only 6". Luckily, these blanks are a full 9" wide. So, I decided to do a 3-piece body with a 6" middle piece flanked by 4" "wings." These jazz bodies are large. Here are the three pieces dimensioned:
    [​IMG]

    In order to get a nice panel joint, I put the faces together and run them through the jointer, so even if the jointer fence is not quite 90 degrees, it won't matter (even though I check my jointer with a machinist square).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Same with the other "wing":
    [​IMG]

    Not gonna see the glue lines on this body:
    [​IMG]
  13. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Do you ever throw away used up gift cards, insurance cards, etc.? Well, you shouldn't--after a little modification on the band saw, they make terrific glue spreaders:
    [​IMG]

    Glue on the edge:
    [​IMG]

    In the clamps:
    [​IMG]

    Getting closer on the body template:
    [​IMG]

    Now, I need a neck pocket template, too. I should have taken some more pictures of the process, but it's not too hard to figure out:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It's a bit snug, but a little sanding will make it right, I hope. And that was just enough time for the glue to get to cheese consistency for scraping:
    [​IMG]
  14. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

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  15. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    That looks like a honeycomb! Anywho, got the top and back cut out and glued up over lunch today. Who needs food, right?
    [​IMG]
  16. dremy2006

    dremy2006

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    looking good
  17. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Out of the clamps:
    [​IMG]

    Routed:
    [​IMG]

    Ok, so when I routed the neck pocket, I was just cleaning things up and the bit slid up in the collet and this happened:
    [​IMG]

    Grrr! But, I now know not to panic, we must just change our plans, right? Now, for those not in the know, CA gel mixed with fine sawdust is great for stuff like tearout and, well, this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I guess the sides/back will have to be opaque now. Here are some pics before I cut the forearm and tummy contours:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  18. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Ok, I could use a little help here. Regarding the knob layout, I'm going to do a rear access rout and not use a metal plate to mount the knobs--gotta keep as much of this wood showing as possible. This bass will be passive; Vol/Blend/Tone. I can't decide if I should use the traditional Fender layout with the three knobs in a line with the jack on the top or if I should somehow modify it to put the input jack on the side/edge. What do y'all think? Is it weird to have the jack on the top if not using a plate?
  19. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    For simplicity of operation, especially on stage, I am a fan of standard V-V-T J wiring and knob placement.

    For pickup placement, since this is a 5 and not a 4, to get the required clarity for the B string, I hope you'll consider moving the neck pickup a little closer to the bridge, at least to where the EA position of a P pickup is, and ideally to where the DG position of a P pickup is. This gives the best combination of fundamental without boom and clarity of overtones for the B string.
  20. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

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    Well, I think the following two reasons will put this out jack on the top in line with the knobs: 1) I almost always practice seated. And sometimes I am seated on the floor while my legs fall asleep. 2) I like to lean a bass against the cab when needed (like, almost all the time because I forgot a stand).

    Does anyone else agree with iiipopes on neck pickup placement for a 5-string vs. 4-string? I've not heard this before. By this logic, wouldn't 5-sting p-bass makers swap positions fore and aft for the bea/dg pickup sections? Just curious. As a side note, I once had a Curbow IEP 5 and it had an angled neck pickup--but the angle went from neck toward bridge. So, I dunno.

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