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Andy Zoldo custom bass build underway

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Macrocosmcwh, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. click here for specs

    Just thought I would share. I feel so lucky to have met Andy and for him to take on my build. I will post pics as the build progresses.
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    From his few threads/posts on TB, Andy sure seems like a nice fellow and does some good work: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/first-bass-6-years-546434/index2.html

    At the same time, have you read the mikeyswood threads yet? Andy has no web presence and very few endorsements here, and has not posted a great deal of evidence of his building skills here. Not that this is a slag on him, but remember what happened in those situations I've mentioned and keep yourself from being burned. Here's hoping Andy's work proves my worries wrong and makes my words look childish and negative... :)
  3. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    Beej, I fully hear where you are coming from. I am definitely a serial lurker, and always tell myself to make more of a contribution. I have been following that whole Mikeyswood thing, and it is a sad story with a very good ending though. A quick background on myelf. I have been building 10+ years, a lot was learning the art. Served 4 years in the navy, and moved back to MI in 2009. My biggest culprit for not posting is time. I work 48 hrs / wk, have 3 young kids and recently started back at college. I make time to build at work (lunch/ breaks/ after hours),and when I get home its daddy and husband time. I will post progress on this build because I am extremely excited and want Christian to see his bass come to full fruition. Hopefully I can make your words look childish:D
  4. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    I just wanted to post this picture of the design before I have to put the kids down for the night and start that circus. I will have more progress pics and details in a day or 2 once I have time to load them in. I also want to say that it has been a joy working with Christian on this design so far. He is very enthusiastic and a true gentleman. Some design aspects are still being tweaked, like the knob location. I just wanted to post something to wet your whistle so to speak. Sorry, but no fancy CAD drawing, just me and my drafting table. Haven't posted pic in awhile, so hopefully it works good
  5. IMG_1554.
    This was the original design...

    Just a note about the changes in design.... In my former life I was a cellist. I asked Andy to make the ribs more like the ribs of a cello. I think he did an amazing job giving our bass the spirit of a cello.
  6. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    That design is incredible. :eek: I'm gonna enjoy watching this come together.
  7. Awesome stuff
  8. Yes it is.... I am very excited!!! It is just a special feeling that I will have a bass in my hands that was handcrafted for me. This one will never leave my hands. I own a cello that was built 107 years ago. I have thought about how many hands and players it has gone through in its life. It has breath because of that. This is what it was like for the first person to have ever touched my cello will be like. To be the first of many hands is an impressive thing.

    When a luthier makes one instrument I often wonder if they know how many lives they effect? I am excited that my life is first...
  9. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    I sure hope that this bass will have a positve influence on many players. It is exciting knowing that lives can be positively affected by something as simple as an instrument. The process of building is what brings me joy, and playing these basses is what brings others joy. With that being said, I have a few updates. These pictures were taken Tuesday and Wednesday, no pictures from todays progress. My wife laid into me pretty bad when I told her I borrowed her good camera to take pictures at work. So now I have to bring the progress home, take pictures and then bring the bass back. Not a big deal, just won't have any working photos, sorry.

    11 piece neck glued up and thicknessed. Maple/Lyptus/ Maple veneer/ Wenge/ Maple veneer/ Sapele/ repeat

    scarf joint cut and ready to be cleaned up with router and jig

    clamped up


    Fretboard ready for slotting (Jatoba fretboard)

    All slotted and ready for some wenge inlays

    This is the setup that I use for doing these inlays. 3/16 router bit set just shy of 1/8" deep.

    Here is the inlayed board with the Wenge sitting just proud of the face. I sanded everything flush today, will have picture tomorrow.

    Here I wanted to show what the bridge would like with the fretboard. The Jatoba will redden quite a bit with time. I should have taken a picture of a piece that I had sitting around for awhile to show the color difference with age. This bridge is obviously for a 5 string, but I wanted to get Christians input on the idea. The blank setting below is what I cut into today and started detailing it out getting ready for channel routing. The Fretboard will also be bound with Wenge.

    Here is a better picture of the bridge. Tried to rotate the picture, but didn't work out. The holes for the string through body aren't drilled yet. This bass is on hold since I was just starting it for fun.
    I will be ordering all the materials this evening so I can really get going on this bass. There won't be much to do until I recieve everything. I did route for the truss rod today, but I need the carbon fiber before I can go any further. This week and next will be about templates and jigs, as well as getting the bridge complete. Stay tuned.
  10. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    The other day I started working on the bridge and got really excited to try some new things. The spacing between strings is 16.5mm. I wanted to break up the binding from the core, so I sandwiched some maple veneer between. I think that it turned out pretty good. I still need to drill holes for the string through body and clean everything up,, but this is where it sits right now. I also found time to route the truss rod and sand the fingerboard. I am really enjoying this build, and can't wait to get the rest of the materials this week.







  11. happy!!!
  12. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Nice work! Every day that passes, I look more and more negative and childish... :D

  13. Hahahahahaha!!!!!! That cracks me up! Thanks for peeking in Beej. I cant wait to get this bass in my hands! So excited!

    I did read the whole Mikeswood thread, pretty crappy stuff happened to that guy. My gut tells me this is NOT THE CASE with Andy. He is just such a good guy... and as excited about this build as I am. hahaha And he already has more built in two weeks than Mikeswood had built in two years! =)

    Anyway... Thank you for keeping in touch. I am excited!
  14. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    Just wanted to post an update real quick this morning before the rest of the family wakes up. Its going to be a busy family day today with seeing santa and I guess a cookie bake off with my wife and her sister and mother. I did recieve the carbon fiber bars yesterday in the mail so I will route the channels for those and epoxy them in tomorrow. I got the full scale drawing done this morning, so I need to spray adhesive that onto some MDF and get that template underway. I don't think that I do anything out of the ordinary when it comes to making my templates. I start off with a 1/4"=1" drawing and just transfer certain pick points onto a 1"=1" graph paper (or full scale). I cut that out and use the super 77 spray on MDF and cut and sand. I also wanted to show you guys this sketchup drawing of the pickup housing. I wanted to make the pickups somewhat adjustable, so this was my idea. There will be enough space for a pretty wide range of configurations. The strings would have to be removed and the pickup housing would have to be pulled, but it does leave room for quite a few options. The picture is of the underside of the housing.

  15. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    Really enjoying this build. I was able to route and epoxy in the carbon fiber reinforcement bars today. I will take some pics tomorrow once the clamps and caul are removed. The mail lady just showed up about 5 minutes ago with the electronics in hand, so I will probably start detailing out the pickup housing which should be a lot of fun. I wasn't expecting the electronics this soon, so that was a nice surprise. I was also able to cut out the body template as well as rough out the fretboard. I always cut my fretboards a little heavy and then flush trim them to the neck once glued on, just in case anyone was wondering why the cut look a little sloppy. Just wanted to do a cheesy little mock up, because...well I just wanted to.


  16. subscribing!! loving that bridge!
  17. I am excited to hear how a wood bridge will effect the sound of the bass. Andy, you should get in touch with the guy that purchased your last bass off of ebay and get him on TalkBass.com to talk about the sound of your last bass. I would love to hear from him.
  18. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    I will try and get a hold of him to see if he would be interested in doing so. I did get some work done today, but I am probably going to wait a few days before posting anything, since a lot of it isn't that exciting. The carbon fiber is epoxied in and turned out great. I was able to finish up the headstock template today and mess around with the bridge a little bit more. I am hoping to get the body core glued up this week while I wait for the burl to arrive along with everything else. I am hoping that after the new year, withing a week there should be a lot of progress. Just a lot of resawing and bookmatching, and after that I can glue on the headplate , glue the top and back together, Cut the neck and glue on the fingerboard, etc. Just making plans to keep the machine running while I wait. :oops:
  19. hahahaha Just checking in.... Friday.... =) end of the world... awaiting bass picture goodness.
  20. ZoldosCustom


    Nov 27, 2007
    I know, I know... Gonna have to wait until tomorrow when I have some daylight to take some pictures. Just gonna do a montage of pictures, jigs, templates, whatever I have done. I did get the skeleton of the pickup housing done. Can't cap it off until I get the Myrtle burl, which according to tracking info will be tomorrow. But I won't be able to actually do any real woodwork until after the new year. I might start the headstock inlay over Christmas vacation while I have time to do so. Stay tuned.