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Anyone else into making their own?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BigBottom, Oct 26, 2000.

  1. BigBottom


    Aug 29, 2000
    I've owned many factory made basses, but the one I play most is homemade. It came from a hunk of walnut I copped in Vermont, ran it thru a planer a bunch of times, whipped it on a band saw (using a P-bass as a template)and finished it with tung oil...the electronix came from an old Guild Pilot (I hated that bass, liked the EMG pickups though...it's amazing how much better they sound on the new body).
  2. dot74


    Aug 24, 2000
    I would like to make my own, can you elaborate more on the steps you took?
  3. Her's a pic of my Homemade job. The Body is Walnut, I have tried several finishing techniques with it, right now I have a high-Gloss Tung oil finish on it. The Pickups are EMG, with on-off toggle switches and a volume control for each, with one master tone control, and a phase switch.
    The fingerboard is ebony, with some mother-of-pearl inlay that I did myself.Didn't turn out too bad,I must say! :D [​IMG]

    [Edited by reedo35 on 10-26-2000 at 12:05 PM]
  4. BigBottom


    Aug 29, 2000
    Reedo, that is one beautiful bass...I can't post pix, but it makes mine look like something the dog has been chewing on for a while...Dot, the step I took were pretty elementary...get the wood to the thickness you want with hand or power planes, cut the desired shape with a jig or coping saw (band saw makes this part MUCH easier), and then rout out the cavities for your controls...I used an old neck I had removed the frets from, and I found that getting the neck pocket to fit snugly and still provide the right alignment and angle was the trickiest part.
  5. Holy sh.. reedo, that's SWEET! Looks like it could easily be a custom Alembic. Very nice!

    BB, I'm going to move this thread over to Setup. You'll get some good chat about this there. :)

    BTW, I've noticed a lot of you do-it-yourselvers use walnut for the body. Is this a matter of tone? availability?
  6. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Actually, I think this thread is fine in Basses. But what do I know? I'm not a Mod. =)

    I'd love to build my own custom bass, but there's just one teeny little problem. I have no skills in woodworking, acoustics, machining (bridge and tuners), or electronics. So much for that. =) I guess I'll just have to stick with the factory stuff until I can afford to BUY some customs...
  7. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I just thought of something else. Does anyone sell the body parts to the bass? I know that you can buy bridges, but what about bodies and fretboards? I imagine it would be pretty fun to assemble your own bass from scratch if you can't build a completely new one.
  8. Warmoth sells bodies and necks. http://www.warmoth.com
    Carvin also sells bodies and necks, as well as complete bass kits with all the parts.. you just assemble it yourself.
  9. BigBottom


    Aug 29, 2000
    I't's relatively plentiful, it's pretty easy to work with, it polishes up nicely and it sounds very warm to me.
  10. WOW!!!! That is really impressive.Maybe you ought to get into a luthier program.I was expecting to see a piece of junk,glad I'm dead wrong.Let us know if you make any more,I'd like to see it!!!
  11. Yep, another amateur luthier here.

    I'm currently putting the finishing touches to the data files for the oft discussed CAD/CAM bass. For those new to the board, it's a fretless Fender Jazz inspired instrument that will be made on a high-end router table. The neck is from Warmoth since I didn't want to tackle this most important part of the project - maybe the next one. The body (if I don't change my mind again!) will be carved from birdseye/curly maple with a backrouted design. By doing it on the router table, I can cut and drill all of the inlets and holes in precise locations based on the on-screen design. I will be doing the top cuts first, then flipping the blank, reregistering it's location and cutting all of the back inlets. I am trying to keep the tool changes to a minimum and expect the entire body to be cut and inlet in under 45 minutes. I have already done an MDF test blank to check some tolerances like in the neck pocket and pickups. All of the hardware (save for some screws) is now in my possession and I'll be measuring it for entering in the computer. The upshot of all of the preparatory work is that I will be able to make another body, and another, and another very easily should I want to change any of the features. All told by my estimation and current total, the cost of this bass will come in at just under $400.

    Sadowsky has nothing to fear but this one will turn some heads fer sure!

    Furtim - look at the Warmoth/WD/Allparts comparison thread down a bit lower to see my take on some of the suppliers out there.

    By the way Reedo, I haven't forgotten about the aluminum samples that I promised. I have them and will get them into the mail shortly. Excellent job on your axe. It really shows pride and attention to detail. I should be lucky to create one as nice as yours!

    [Edited by Hambone on 10-26-2000 at 05:41 PM]
  12. By the way Reedo, I haven't forgotten about the aluminum samples that I promised. I have them and will get them into the mail shortly. Excellent job on your axe. It really shows pride and attention to detail. I should be lucky to create one as nice as yours!

    Thanks, Man. For you other guys, I failed to mention that my bass is still a work in progress,as I am always trying out new stuff on it. Right now I am experimenting with bridge materials, and Hambone was nice enough to offer me a chunk of aluminum to play with. (Oh, $#!+! Now everyone will want one)!
  13. mr.bassman


    Oct 9, 2000
    WOW reedo!
    That looks amazing!

    I've been thinking about building my own bass for a while since I cannot find a stock one that I like.

    I think I will buy my neck from warmoth, but I would like to build my own body.
    I have a lot wood working tools and work very well with wood. But I am a little worried about the neck pocket and the bridge placement. These are very critical areas of a bass body.

    Does anyone have any tipc/advice for roughting the neck pocket and the bridge????

    Should I go with neck-through? Is there a company that makes QUALITY neck-through 5-peice necks, of varios woods?

    any help would be appreciated.

    one more time, WOW reedo!

  14. dot74


    Aug 24, 2000
    I must say reedo........that is a fine lookin bass.....
    I don't own many tools (a screw-driver, and a pocket nife) but have worked with wood for quite a few years, and I think that I could come up with a nice specimen if given the chance to use someone else's tools......

    How did you do the inlay on the fretboard? And is it easier to use a bolt on neck or a neck-thru type?
  15. How did you do the inlay on the fretboard? And is it easier to use a bolt on neck or a neck-thru type? [/B][/QUOTE]

    Good Question on the inlay Job. Stew Mac sells sheets of mother-of pearl or abalone, that you size and cut yourself with a jewelers saw to the size and dimensions you want,
    (I used a Template-I'm not THAT good! :) ) And then you route out the fingerboard to the depth that you need until it is flush with your inlay. Here's the final secret- any imperfections can be fixed by lightly sanding the fingerboard, filling the gaps in the inlay with the ebony dust and adding a little super glue, and voila! a perfect job with no gaps!And as or me, I like neck-through jobs, even though I had to sand the hell out of the heel to get it right.The wings took a lot of patience as well, especially the pocket. The only really bad thing about a neck through is that there is less margin for error.With a bolt on, you can sort of manhandle it into place if you dont like the fit, where with a neck-through, you got what you got.
    BTW, thanks everybody, for appreciating my work. I don't really plan on making another one in the near future, but you never know...;)

    [Edited by reedo35 on 11-07-2000 at 03:44 PM]
  16. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Reedo, I just saw your pic, looks great. I am sorta, kinda, slowly moving toward building my own. Quick question-did you radius the body edges yourself, and if so, what did you use to get it consistent? (I can't find a router bit with a large enough curve) Or did you just hand-carve and sand?

  17. Sorry,John, Had to do it the long way, By Hand. I couldn't
    find a router bit either, although I'm sure there's gotta be something out there.
  18. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    JohnL: A 3/4" rsdius bit will completely round over a 1 1/2" inch body. They are usually carried by Lowes or most of the bigger D.I.Y. stores. Be prepared to pay around $35.00 for one though,


  19. Just a point on router bits for use on hardwoods. It is a good idea to invest in the more costly carbide bits rather than high speed steel. The reason is relative sharpness of the bit and how that reacts with the tighter more compacted grains of the harder woods. When routing around the perimeter of a body, the bit will interact with the grain in all directions. A very sharp (and consistently sharp) bit will be able to cut cleanly no matter which direction of travel it takes to the grain. Carbide bits are just this sharp and will remain so even after lots of cutting.

    Also, don't go for the cheesy bits that lack a bearing on the bottom. The "stud" style can leave marks that can require extra work to remove. The bearing will allow free travel around all of the curves of the body.

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