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5 string fretless build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Phendyr_Loon, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    Hello all. I've decided to start a thread for my new project. I'm building two basses of identical woods. One will be fretted (for a friend) and the other (for me) will be fretless. Here are the specs for my bass.

    5 string lined fretless 35" scale
    black walnut top, poplar body, jatoba FB
    Gotoh tuners, Kahler bridge, Bartolini PU, preamp TBD

    I've tried with no luck to get the actual image posted in my thread so here are the links.

    I built up the laminates of the neck and body cores first so they all lined up.


    Here are the bodies will the wings assembled and the control cavities cutout.

  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Nice! I really like the body shapes.

    Poplar is a bit on the soft side - how will you be finishing it?

    Which Kahler bridge - the 7450?

    (You can surround your image URLs with "[​IMG]" to make them appear in-line.)
  3. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Sort-of. Doesn't work for Flickr feeds. But they do have BBCode on the "Share" button.

  4. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    I'm on the fence between poly and truoil. I'll be using the 7450 hybrid.

    Thanks for the help, so can I surround the BBCode with "[​IMG]
  5. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Thanks, HaMMerHeD - my apologies for being a bit confusing. I don't use Flickr, so I didn't realize that was slightly different.

    My opinion - TruOil gives a beautiful finish, but Poplar typically doesn't have much grain to show off, and the poly would actually be more durable than the TruOil (depending, of course, on the poly used...).

    Big fan of the 7450!
  7. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    IMG_0683 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/90847727@N06/8250299918/]IMG_0692[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/90847727@N06/]PhendyrLoon[/url], on Flickr

    Here is the scarf joint in clamps and the body ready for the top.
  8. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    More progress on the body

    IMG_0693 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0694 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    And progress on the neck

    IMG_0703 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0682 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    I had to make a jig to level the neck with a router, the scarf joint slipped a bit in the clamps and left the surface not level.
    the router only took off a 64th, but now the neck is level up by the top of the neck.
  9. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    I made a template the rout the control cavity, the recess for the backplate was done the old school way.

    IMG_0704 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    Slotting the FB, I was too cheap to buy the jig so I made my own.

    IMG_0688 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    Here I veneered the headstock and fitted the tuners.

    IMG_0696 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    My friends bass on the left, mine on the right.

    IMG_0687 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    Thats about as far as I got. Hopefully the next set of photos will be the bass with some sort of finish on it.
  10. Essen

    Essen Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    That body shape is great! Nice work!
  11. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    Thanks! The design process involved quite a bit of erasing and redrawing to get a shape I was happy with.
  12. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    This the last photo I have of the bass before finishing. It is partly assembled for visual reference and also cause I just got the bridge marked and mounted.

    IMG_0701 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    I start finishing it today. I'm super stoked.
  13. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
  14. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    Ok, so here is an update.
    I applied two coats of poly sealer and one coat of topcoat to the neck and body. The finish really made the grain in the walnut top pop. I sanded the fingerboard down to 220 and applied a few coats of danish oil.
    Then I assembled the preamp, it's an Aguilar OBP 2 with an active/passive mini switch and a series/single/parallel mini switch.
    Then I got the bass strung up and took some pictures today. The only thing it needs now is control knobs and a setup.

    IMG_0722 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0727 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0725 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0726 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr

    IMG_0728 by PhendyrLoon, on Flickr