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Bass Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jeff Mills, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    My first log to bass build is finally done :D. Everything I mean everything down to the last screw is made in USA except the roto 77's which are my favs.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Very cool! But I know I speak for all of us at the LC when I say... we need to see progress pics! And right after that, sound clips!!!
     
  3. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    Sorry man... although I have a large number of work in progress photos for future reference as well as detailed drawings. Honestly I don't have the time or the will right now to post them to the internet, create links and write a synopsis of the build process. I may find time to record a little soon but right now I'm just thoroughly enjoying playing her.

    I guess I may have posted to the wrong forum, sorry I didn't know all that was required.

    Thanks
     
  4. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    yah right, you took all those pictures and spent all that time making it...and your not going to show one stinking build picture.

    gee wiss, my gosh, holy molly, holly trolly molie.
    scooby dooby snoobie.
    hartsy fartsy

    im just going to keep saying stupid crap until you post pictures.
    nice fretless ehh fancy switcher thingys too

    poodle toodle woodle
    dokey pokey smokey.......:oops:
     
  5. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    OK OK OK :eyebrow: here's a few more pics

    End profile
    [​IMG]

    Finger board
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. J Lund

    J Lund

    Aug 6, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Jeff,

    Maybe my post came across the wrong way. Build pictures and sound clips are not "required", but they are customary in a build thread. Thank you for extra photos, but all four are of the finished product (three of which are the fretboard). I'm not going to say that you fall into this category, but there have been a few threads at the LC started in the past that were fraud. People create a "build" thread and only show pictures of the final product claiming that it is their "handiwork". Then when asked for progress shots, they drop every excuse in the book for why they can't post those pictures.

    I am not intending accuse you of anything, nor do I want to spoil this thread for you. I just would like to see some pictures of raw wood, sawdust, and some evidence of elbow grease. Not only that, but this is a community that builds off of sharing methods and techniques. I think we all would enjoy seeing a few pictures of how you accomplished certain elements of this build.

    Again, I think this is a beautiful bass, and I mean you no disrespect.

    Best wishes,
    Josh
     
  7. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    No worries Josh, now I completely understand where you are coming from. This is no fake build I cut ever last piece of lumber from logs that I harvested here in NC them made lumber on my sawmill, air died the lumber then kiln dried it. Actually this is lumber left over that didn't sell. I wished it were that easy. Sawdust did fly, lots of it. Let me scrape together some pics of the build and I'll try my best to explain how I built it.
     
  8. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    Well I snapped a bunch of WIP pics with my old cell phone which has now been replaced (darn-it) I did manage to find a few WIP pics and I'll try and explain the method to my madness.

    The body mainly consists of two 1" thick pieces of poplar. I hollowed them out with a forstner bit cucked in my drill press and 1/2 straight bit and template bushing in my router to 3/4" from the edges and 2" from the center line, which left me with a 2x4 that runs the length of the body after gluing the two halves together.

    As you can see the centerline is 1/4" wide strip of poplar on ether side of that is 7/8" wide hickory then widths of poplar to make up the body width. Why use hickory? Well they make tool handles out of hickory although it's not a tone wood it's strong as heck, so my neck body joints are made in the hickory. As you already know poplar is a pretty softwood and very bright sounding as far as tone woods go. Poplar is to weak in my opinion to be joining a bass neck to a body in. So by gluing up hickory in with poplar I was able to reap the benefits of using the tonal qualities of poplar and adding the strength of hickory.

    The neck is attached via a mortise and tendon or pocket joint that runs just a little past the second pickup. Two brass inserts screwed into the bottom half hold the neck down to the bottom with 2 1/4-20 hex head screws and 4 1/4-20 sets screws allow for neck tilt within the pocket. All the connections are made in the hickory strips. Why did I do this? Well routing a long pocket allowed me to flip my template and get a near perfect centered neck. The connections are hidden under the pickups. I can slide the neck out easily. Is strong as heck... I'm a pretty big guy and I jumped up and down on the joint and tried to break it before I went on with the build - it just laughed at me. I'm currently tooling up to build a fretted neck. When all is said and done this bass will have two necks a unlined fretless and a fretted.

    I then glued the two body halves together and scraped the sides flat ran a 3/8 round over bit around the edges. Sanded primed and painted... Now I'm getting tired of typing....

    Roughed out, the body is held together with masking tape on the edges at this point, stung with a set of old rounds for testing. Knobs are on lengths of 1/4 dowel rod
    [​IMG]

    Body being glued together, you'll notice 7 wood screws used to clamp the center together while the glue sets up. The wood screws are placed exactly where the center screws for the pickup are located and one under the bridge. I removed them after the glue dried because they were no longer needed and just added weight.
    [​IMG]

    Pickups fitted and wired, Hipshot brass bridge set for 33 1/4" scale length.
    [​IMG]

    Peghead truss rod cover shaped like a claw (1/8" thick maple pained bone, daughter painted the lettering) - Hipshot HB1 tuners fitted. I used enamel paint which never dried so I had to scrape and sand that off and use lacquer instead.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  9. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    Guess I bored everyone - I suspected I would. I'm preparing for my next build, I would like to do an octave 8 string along the same body style. I really struggling finding any octave 8 string bridges and nuts does anyone know of any suppliers? Thanks
     
  10. You can find 8 string parts at Warmoth and Allparts.
     
  11. JayGunn

    JayGunn Supporting Member

    Not boring, but a bit confusing about the neck construction.

    What is the size of the mortise that the neck tenon slides into?

    Oh, and what wood is that for the fingerboard? Looks like some hard maple heartwood, quartersawn? Or yellow birch heartwood? The rays look good there.
     
  12. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills

    May 12, 2011
    The mortise is .750" deep X 2.200" wide X 6.625" long.
    The tendon is .0625 thick X 2.200" wide X 6.500" long. This allows a 1/8" for neck tilt.

    The fingerboard is heart wood quarter sawn hard/rock maple and measures .0375" thick at the highest point of the 10 degree radius, 1.6875" wide at the nut and 2.200" wide at the other end (where the 20th fret would be - if it were fretted). The fingerboard is also unlined and bound in white binding, has, 3/32" black side dot markers placed @ 1,3,5,7,9,12,15,17,19 fret positions instead of in between the frets. There is about a 10 coats of clear gloss lacquer on the finger board, rubbed with 0000 steel wool for easy maintenance.


    If you like I could post some pics of the body/neck mortise/tendon and how it fastens in - I snapped some pics of the final assembly with my camera - so I do have those pics.

    Thanks
     

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