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2nd Bass build and a LP to boot

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Down & Outman, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Been playing bass and guitar since Hector was a pup. Moved into a nice house and built a shop to build guitars and basses. Kind of a retirement project. I have two builds under my belt, an explorer guitar and a fretless bass. The explorer has a one piece ash body and a stewmac neck. The Bass is a total build, neck and everything. They turned out so well I need to keep this going. So I'm off and in the middle of two more builds. Started with some flame maple, sapele, purpleheart, and rosewood. LP has walnut and hard maple w/ rosewood fingerboard.
    First Bass
  2. Wood and the neck blank:
  3. Glueing the tops
    Oh crap moment! Forgot to slot the fretboard first. I'll use it for a fretless.
    That's more like it
    Looking cool already
    Routing the truss rod
  4. Neck starting to take shape
    Routed the neck to match the body
    Great neck shaper
    Glueing the wings
    Taking shape
  5. I had actually started the LP before I moved. Had the neck blank and the body cut out. Made a jig for my router to cut the binding channel
    Binding channel cut
    Taking shape
    Back side
    Made a fret press after seeing the dings in the fretboard from the fret hammer
  6. First fret job ever! Not bad for a white boy.
    FB glued on

    Still a ways to go, but they are turning out nicely. One bummer is I have a wedding to pay for (FunWow!) so I won't be buying any hardware for a while. I do have a set of dyes from LMII and some laquer, plus a bunch of wood to make more axes, so that'll keep me busy until then.

    Also making the nut out of purpleheart and used some of the scrap off the neck to make a truss rod coverplate.
  7. calebbarton


    Aug 25, 2007
    I manufacture for several companies including but not limited to: Bridge City Sound, Catalinbread, more.
    That looks outstanding. Gives this whiteboy hope for my next build:)
  8. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I really like your shop jigs. It's much cooler to see those than store-bought jigs.
  9. Another shop build: Thickness Sander. Read several plans on the net and came up with this.
  10. Bass-Adrenaline


    Jan 23, 2010
    Besid ethe lower horn i like the shape of the body on the bass. Not a huge LP fan but its still a nice build. Keep up the good work. I really need to actually give this a shot since i have a build all planned out. lol
  11. Well I like the lower horn, gives it character. But thanks for the reply.

    Been sanding my brains out. Hot out in the shop so I had to get a drink and cool off. In the 90's here in Georgia. Picked up a small plane (6.5") to smooth out the rough places on the neck. Set it so it barely cuts and ran it over a bunch of times to take out the high places. Used my 4 way rasp on the neck joint to even it up too. When I glued the fretboard on and sanded the sides I tended to flatten out the fretwork I had done, so I had to go over the frets again. I'm beginning to think I would have been better off installing the frets after glueing on the fretboard and getting it the way I want it. But that's what these early builds are for, for me to learn on.

    I'm trying out a symetrical neck design on the back side. Really feels good, I think I'm gonna like it.

    Next is the purpleheart nut. I've cut two so far, but came up with another idea to have it longer and contour with the neck.

    Playing with the idea of a wood bridge as well. Got plenty of Ipe and purpleheart to fool with. Was going to use single string bridges as I made it with the strings closer together than my P Bass. Standard bridges are too wide for it. That's how I made my fretless and I love it.

    I don't know if anyone picked up on my thumb slap on the fretboard. On my fretless I made the wave design, but it gets in the way of plucking with my fingers when I slap, so I turned it around to the bass side to give plenty of room for going nuts with it.

    On my fretless I made it with the fretboard even with the body. It actually works pretty well except I had to lower the wood around the bridge. This one I raised it a bit make it even with the bridge.

    That's all for now. Got to get back to it and see what I can tear up.
  12. What size motor do you have do you have on that sander?
  13. An old 1/2 hp Dayton motor. Older than I am and still kicks butt!

  14. Bass-Adrenaline


    Jan 23, 2010
    Thats all that matters!:)
  15. Got busy this evening after chowing down on tacos w/ jalapeno's.
    Fiddled around with a new design for a nut. Hard to keep from burning the purpleheart on the sander. Looks pretty cool up next to the stealth coverplate I made earlier.

    Sanded the snot out of it w/ 100 grit, then 220 grit. Starting to look like something.
  16. My wife caught me trying it out. :bassist: She grabbed the camera and took a quick pic of me, then laughed saying I didn't even need strings.


    Rubbed it down with alchohol to see how it was coming along. I think I like it w/ an amber color to it. Got some scraps to test out the dyes and see which I'll use.


  17. .....ok cool..good to know..that's what size motor that I have..will be building my thickness sander soon.... thanks for the info.... love the bass..!!
  18. That's got a very nice Alembic-y vibe. Now if you trimmed the lower horn, I'd consider that one of the nicest designs I've seen in a long time. Very smooth and sleek.

    BUT, as the other poster said, it's your bass, and if you dig it, super cool.
  19. Well that's 2 votes for cutting back the lower horn. Glad you all like it so far. Somebody show me how far back to cut it so it is perfect! How about the headstock design? Planning a 2 x 2 tuners, offset with each other with them angled back towards the neck.

    Since I'm on a purchasing moratorium till my daughter's wedding in Aug. I thought about stripping the hardware off my fretless so I can finish this one up. I want to rework the fretless a little anyway. Straighten up the headstock, sand some buggers I left in it, and go over it with more oil and shine it up. I have my trusty MIM P bass that I worked to make it play sweetly to tide me over.
  20. Well, if it were my bass (which it's not), and if my opinion was worth anything (which it's not), I'd pare it down righ about where the upward curve starts.

    I really like the headstock design actually. I can't decide if 2 + 2 or 4 in line would look cooler. If you forced my hand, I'd go 4 in line.

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