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Advice on building a "Parts" Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by comicbookguy95, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Ok ladies, gents, and fellow TBers who know tons more than I do, I need some advice on doing a parts bass.

    Ive been looking at building a Fender style fretless bass probably using a Warmoth neck and body and then getting electronics and hardware from GC or other sources, then having a local luthier do the assembly work for me.

    So what I want from you guys is some advice on some of the intricacies of this kind of build that I may be missing, i.e. making sure i have all the parts i need, making sure i get the correct hardware, any off the wall problems yall have run into that i should be prepared for, can i buy a bass neck and let it sit for 6 months until the build. Just things like that.:help:

    My parts needed list as it stand now (please let me know if something had been left off)

    Neck (fretless)
    Pick ups
    Tuning machines
    volume and tone pots
    out put jack
    strap pins (probably Schaller straplocks)

    thanks and God bless,
  2. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    Go for it, the you can let any of your parts site for however long you like as long as they treated with care (that means not in a plastic bag in the garage over summer and winter without you ever checking on them).

    The only issue that I have run into with parts basses, and i have built three, is that you will put a lot of money into it, and no one else cares. So if you decide to sell it, you wont get nearly as much as you put into it. Based on that alone i wont build another one.

    I tried to sell two of them one I did sell at a great loss, and the other i was pretty much forced to keep based on what i put into it, and the third I love and play as my main bass haha So this could be amazing, or awful. Best of luck!
  3. +1 recreate.me. Yea, they are great cause you can build them to you own specs, but aren't worth anything. If you are cool with that, go for it. I love all my custom builds, and would never want to part with them.
  4. Another question for y'all, do Mighty Mite necks ( MM2919
  5. Dammit stupid phone..... Anyway do mighty mite necks (specifically the MM2919 neck) fit warmoth bodies pretty well? Looking at a jazz type bass
  6. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Yes Mighty Mite necks fit Warmoth bodies although unless you have a warmoth body, why would you try to mate the two? Mighty Mite makes good quality bodies and necks if you know how to finish them correctly. You'll also have to drill mounting holes in the body for the bridge. Other than that, they make good bodies and their necks fit them better than a lot of Fender's I've seen.

    Good Luck.
  7. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    You can let the neck sit unused for 6 months as long as it's finished and stored properly. Don't store it in a place where you wouldn't store a complete bass.

    As for you parts list, you will also need:
    Neck plate
    Neck screws
    Pickguard and screws (if front routed)
    Cavity cover and screws (If back routed)
    String tree
    Knobs for your pots

    I would recommend buying as much as possible from the same place. That way you know that everything will fit properly. You will also save a bit on shipping.
  8. RaniBrandt

    RaniBrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    If you're doing a front-routed Jazz bass, you'll also need a control plate and screws.

    You may also want some shielding tape (or paint) for the cavities.
  9. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    I would advise you to talk with your luthier about the build. You will not need the services of a luthier if the parts you buy fit well. If not, then the adjustments are best left to a professional.

    I went your route on two Jazzes, see my thread:


    I am sourcing parts for a fretless right now, and what i will do is take the neck I already have (ESP 400 Series) and go shopping for the body, with a perfect fit in mind. If I can't get what I want that way I will go to the luthier again.

    I got two excellent Jazz-style Frankenbasses that I can't sell, which means I get to keep them. The third one, hopefully as well! these are fun projects.

    Good luck!
  10. RaniBrandt

    RaniBrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    What rust_preacher says is true. Assuming you are going to buy a pre-finished body and neck, and your parts fit together well, then all you'll need is a drill (maybe, maybe not), a phillips screwdriver and a couple of allen wrenches (pickups and bridges often come with corresponding allen wrenches, actually).

    You'll save a good chunk of money doing it yourself, and you'll also have the satisfaction of completing a project on your own, which is always a good feeling. I used to send my instruments out to get a set up, and once I looked at an online tutorial and realized that it wasn't as hard as I thought, I started doing it myself. Gotta love the internets!
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you're building a Fender style bass, I would urge you to start with a Fender style bass. Buy a used MIM or Squire and add or remove parts from there.

    My experience has been that you can get a body with neck and hardware attached to it already for less than you can buy a body or neck individually.

    Look for something someone else has trashed, and buy it cheap.

    IMO, YMMV, etc etc.....
  12. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    You should be able to do all of this yourself if you are building a Fender style bass. Unless you have money to burn.
  13. I'm starting to think I could do most of it myself. I would still have someone much more experienced than me (read: done it more than once a never) wire it up and solder the electronics. I think I could put the neck on and install all the hardware myself.
  14. RaniBrandt

    RaniBrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Oh yeah, I forgot about the soldering! It's way easier than you think, though. I had never done any soldering before I built my own fEARful cab and had to solder the crossover board together. Then I did it, and it was done. Practice wiring some scrap wire & metal together until you've got the hang of it, and go for it!

    BTW, you can get an iron (I prefer the pen-style iron over the gun) for less than twenty bucks. Check yard sales, too. I got mine for two dollars, and it works great.
  15. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My specific advice for a first time build would be to source good deals from the classifieds for the body, neck, pickups, pick guard, strings and hardware. Order the electronics and screws from one place (stewmac, ebay) to keep shipping down. You can get a loaded MIM neck or a Mighty Mite for $100 on here. Pair it with a Squier body and you've got a great bass for the cost of a Warmoth neck.

    Of course, if you have a specific custom model that you are willing to pay for, the Warmoth route certainly works. My first DIY builds have been classic Frankenbasses where I didn't have to worry about expensive mistakes, which I tend to make.
  16. I looked at the mighty mite necks and their fretless neck I pretty damn close to the one I made via warmoth for 200 less. Does anyone know how they are finished or if they are finished? I prefer a satin finish
  17. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    have a mighty mite here I just finished decaling for a customer to replace his Fender that went plunk. The Mighty Mite has a thin satin Urethane finish on it, I believe it is standard, and if you order from Mighty Mite, you can order satin, gloss, or unfinished
  18. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona

    There standard finish is a good starting point.

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