Hi Everybody, I've been wanting a fretless for a long time and lately I've been thinking, why not build it myself. This forum has been really helpful in the planning process, so I hope to give something back through progress reports here. I've got a full furniture shop and quite a few years of making wood things behind me, but I know exactly zero about gee-tars so it should be an education. What's really gotten me started is a beautiful piece of subtly-figured english sycamore I picked up a few months back for a box project. I think it will make a very nice top. The rest will be maple with bloodwood veneer accents and a bloodwood fingerboard. The sycamore and maple are very similar in color, so I should end up with a nice, bacon-y white/red axe. The overall design I'm taking from the Alembic Stanley Clarke. I love the symmetric, broomstick-in-a-pumpkin look. My current bass is a Warwick Thumb BO and I'm very happy with the feel so I'm pulling the overall dimensions off of that. So anyway, I've got tons of questions and would appreciate any help, speculation, criticism, questions, whatever. Specs at the moment are: Neck-through -- 5-piece maple with 2 bloodwood pinstripes 44" overall length 34" scale 2" body thickness -- sycamore/bloodwood/maple/bloodwood/sycamore lam. Neck width -- 1 1/2" nut, 2 1/2" at 24th fret Neck thickness -- 3/4" nut, 1" at body joint Electronics and hardware are undecided at this point, but I'm leaning towards the butt-simple side: a single passive middle pickup and one volume control. I'm very much a minimalist in that respect. Here are some problems I'm seeing already -- On the Warwick, the fretboard is raised 5/16" above the body. But since it's a bolt-on, 2/16" of that height comes from the neck stock and the fretboard is only 3/16" thick. If I want that height on a neck-through, I'm going to need a 5/16" fretboard, right? One reason that's an issue is up at the nut end .. If I'm going for an overall 3/4" thickness there, and trying to install a 3/8" deep trussrod, I'm going to be left with a 1/16" wall between the trussrod channel and the back of the neck. That's not going to work. Another concern, apparently Alembics have serious neckdive issues even with their short scale. Adding 3 1/4" to the neck can't help, and sycamore is a pretty lightweight wood. Should I go for a thicker body to help counterbalance? But if I go much beyond 2" will it start looking too much like a banjo? Relatedly, where is the neck-side strap button on the Alembic? Is it on the neck? Anyway, at this point, I've laid out the plans on a piece of MDF which I'll use as reference for now and eventually cut out as a template for routing the final body shape. And I've glued up the neck blank. Photos below for your entertainment. Further pix, details, questions as things progress. --six To give you an idea of the colors I'm going after, here's the box that got this all started. The sycamore has some nice figuring and is pretty easy to work with and just glows under a shellac finish. Bloodwood I've got a ton of from an earlier project and I try to work some into everything ... Here's the raw stock. 4/4 sycamore in front, a pair of short 8/4 maple boards, and enough 4/4 bloodwood to make 50 basses. please ignore the mess, the redwood stump, the extraneous piles of lumber ... Drew out the body shape in photoshop, printed, then transferred to MDF template board. Birdseye view of the extent of my planning process so far. It was hard to train the shop bird to use a camera, but oh so worth it. Neck glue-up. Looks like some big fun scraping off the squeeze out later: The shop jointer is this monstrously dangerous and out-of-tune hunk of iron. I'm going to avoid using it as much as possible. Good for a quick pass to clean off the glue on one side, though. Jointing on a table saw works if you're real careful. Getting the blade absolutely perpendicular to the table is crucial. An engineer's square is probably my most-frequently used tool. Cleaning up nice. Ta da!