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barebones Bass Making Workshop

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by THIRSTYGUMS, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. This summer i intend to build my own bass, ultimately i would like to get into it professionally. What are the minimum requirements (Machines, Hand tools, chemicals e.t.c. even reading material) i need to get started and make a successful and beautiful Instrument?
    I am currently doing a design degree so im quite handy with a Pencil, a p.c. and a glue gun!
    Cheers E'erywun:bassist:
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Building Electric Guitars: How to Make Solid-Body, Hollow-Body and Semi-Acoustic Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars
    by Martin Koch
    Martin Koch's website

    Make Your Own Electric Guitar
    by Melvyn Hiscock

    To a lesser extent (though I found it useful):

    Make Your Own Electric Guitar & Bass
    by Dennis Waring, David Raymond

    Good luck!
  3. Thanks Basschair for taking the time, I will look into all of those suggestions.:hyper:
    Have you made, do you make your own instruments?
    If so do you have any phots?
    THanks again
  4. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    I have and I do still, but have been very neglectful in taking digital pics...I've got a decent camera, but I'm photographically slow :rolleyes:

    I'm in the process (stalled at the moment due to weather) of a 4 string fretted, walnut body, wenge/maple lam, walnut burl top bass, as well as a 6 string fretless, so I'll probably get some pics up in a few weeks (hurray for spring break!).

    As far as pics of end-products, here's a link to a thread here:

    There's usually some good stuff there.

    As far as tools go, don't think so much about exact tools, but rather the procedures that need to be undertaken (and of course, some of those can be side-stepped if you know someone who can do it for you, or you order stuff pre-worked). For example, you may need to cut out a body shape from a blank. You'll need something to cut with: depending on the wood type, you may need a bandsaw with a high-quality blade, or you may be able to do it with a coping-style saw (not recommended). You'll need to create pockets and other voids for your neck (bolt-on), pickups, and electronics...a good router is the best way to go in my opinion, though you can use a drill press, some Forstner bits, and some carving tools (again, not ideal).

    Basically, you'll need a cutting tool, a routing tool, something to do rough/fine shaping (I love my rasps...Nicolson are fantastic), perhaps something to plane (either a machine or handheld), maybe something to join wood, DEFINITELY lots of clamps to hold/squeeze wood while gluing, a drill press or drill (go for the press), etc. There's always going to be a hand tool that will do what a power tool will, but you've got to consider efficiency, time, and precision.

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