25" bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Smilodon, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Smilodon


    Feb 18, 2012
    Hello everybody!

    A few weeks ago I finished another project. Originally I wasn't planning or making a proper work log because this was going to be a Christmas gift and I was short on time, so this will be a very basic build log.

    The bass was going to be a gift for my now 5 month old niece. Yes, I know i'm a bit early... ;)

    The wood slabs for the body:
    Mini 1.jpg
    Not pictured is the center veneers. They are 0.6mm white/black/white veneers. The yellow rings are worm holes. One was in the area where the pickup was placed, and the other was in the waste area, so no problem. :)

    Thinning down the slabs in a CNC router:
    Mini 2.jpg

    Top routes done:
    Mini 3.jpg
    I don't have any end mills long enough to go through the slab, so I had to route from both sides. I had to do this anyway to make the rear cavities. The holes in the corners are there to help align the piece for the rear routing. I also cut the screw holes for the bridge to save some work with measuring the placement of the bridge.

    The channels for the pickup and bridge wires were routed before the body was glued together. You can just about see the missing veneer to the lower left corner of the pickup cavity. As you can see I did hit my target of the glue line of the center veneers and the back wenge piece. :)

    This is the index plate for the rear route:
    Mini 4.jpg
    The holes was milled to match up with the front holes of the body, and the body clamped on top of this sheet. with some wooden plugs in the holes.

    Outline of all the cutouts milled with a 1mm bit:
    Mini 5.jpg
    This is to reduce tearout when using 3mm and 6mm bits.

    Rear routes cut:
    Mini 6.jpg
    I also made the recesses for the neck screw ferules and the holes for the neck screws in the same run.

    And we have a basic body!
    Mini 7.jpg
    The roundovers and contours were done by hand later.

    Rough cut scarf joint:
    Mini 8.jpg
    I cut from both sides using a hand saw. Pretty close...

    After a few minutes with a hand plane I have this:
    Mini 9.jpg
    The top of the neck was later milled down, so all the roughness on top wasn't any problem. This picture was taken after I had milled the headstock shape.

    Headstock before glue:
    Mini 10.jpg
    The discoloration on top is from some tearout that I fixed with some CA. That happened when I was removing the waste material after milling. I hadn't milled deep enough, so some fibers broke off. This happened because I was milling this from the back of the headstock to allow for some thinning down of some of the piece.

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
    wmhill, vmabus and Morten_B like this.
  2. Smilodon


    Feb 18, 2012
    Neck and fretboard cut and truss rod fitted:
    Mini 11.jpg
    The neck was cut in the same was as the body, for both sides using index pins. Fretboard was cut in one go. Fret slots was cut about half a mm deep just to mark their position. I later cut to final depth using a fret saw. Routing using a 0.02mm mill takes forever, and the next size I had was 0.6mm PCB mills which is ever so slightly too large.

    Luckily a guitar truss rod fits perfectly on a 25" scale bass. :)

    Fixing rod rattle:
    Mini 12.jpg
    I forgot to ass some dampening to the rod. When I knocked on the neck I could hear the rod rattle, so I figured it was bet to get that fixed. I drilled a shallow hole under the 9th fret marker and a smaller hole right beside the truss rod at an angle so that I punched through into the space between the movable and the stationary part of the truss rod. I then filled a syringe with silicone and injected into the hole.

    Like that:
    Mini 13.jpg
    After fitting the inlays nobody will notice. Much easier than removing the fretboard again. :)

    This is where I forgot to take pictures, but the rest of the process was pretty standard. The finish consisted of Z-poxy for pore filling and matte a matte rattlecan clear coat. finished off with a light brush with a soft scotch brite pad.

    And this is how the finished result looks:
    Mini 14.JPG Mini 15.JPG Mini 16.JPG Mini 17.JPG

    Size comparison with a 34" bass.
    Mini 18.JPG

    The strings are a 5 string set to be able to get standard bass tuning on such a short scale.

    Thanks for watching. :)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
    scourgeofgod, Spent, MTFD24 and 8 others like this.
  3. potomac


    Dec 18, 2011
    White Plains/NY
    That little thing looks like a great bass!
  4. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Albany NY
  5. I want one to
  6. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I want a tiny bass.
  7. Pretty cool! How's the intonation?

    How's she play?
    squidtastic likes this.
  8. Looks great!

    Interested in hearing a sound clip, or seeing a video demo.
  9. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Have you thought about trying the Kala strings on it? Would they fit?
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Whoa! Nice!
  11. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    What a cool build! Brilliant!
  12. Smilodon


    Feb 18, 2012
    Thanks for the comments everybody. :)

    Intonation is just like any other bass. a 22" scale is basically a 5 string bass with a capo at the fifth fret. It plays pretty well. The spacing is a bit tight, but it's surprisingly comfortable to play. :) I'm almost tempted to build one for myself.

    They may fit, but AFAIK Kala strings are synthetic gut strings so the pickup won't work.
    Larry V likes this.
  13. Smilodon


    Feb 18, 2012
    I just realized that I made a slight mistake... The bass is 25" scale, not 22. :oops: Sorry about that.

    I have updated the title now.
  14. potomac


    Dec 18, 2011
    White Plains/NY
    Ahhh! Much better, now it makes sense ;)