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big snag on my first build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mrniceguy715, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. mrniceguy715


    May 2, 2006
    Well I can't draw. I know what specs I want and already shoping for parts a nd woods. I know the measurements and all that jazz. The problem lies in getting the shape out of my head and on paper or cad or something. Its not a complex design just having trouble with drawing in to scale or at full scale. The person helping me on the woodworking portion doesn't draw well either just does mostly free hand furniture making.

    So my question is are there any tip or tricks to getting design down
  2. What I did was made a drawing on graph paper so that 1 square was 1". I started with the neck and bridge as I knew that was 34". Then I took my time and roughly drew in the shape I liked. It took me a few weeks of tweeking before I was happy with the final shape and the dimensions that were correct. Then you can blow that up with a photo enlarger to actually match the 34" scale etc.
  3. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    just like with playing bass or herding cats, it's practice practice practice.
  4. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    What I did was draw it out on a small regular piece of paper. Then I started with critical dimensions; scale length(center line), nut and bridge placement, pickups, and fingerboard on a large piece of freezer paper. and then I drew out the body shape. It took a little while and I had several ideas drawn out at the same time before I was satisfied. Be patient. Print of some pictures of basses that have inspired your design. Don't copy them but let them inspire you.
  5. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Draw it small on graph paper to your correct dimensions. The smaller you draw it the easier it becomes. I like to make every 1/4in. sq. equal to 2in. sq.

    What I do then is make a copy of it on transparency paper and find someone with an overhead projector. Tape a piece of newsprint to the wall and trace the projected lines. Make sure that your scale length is correct, and the shape will be perfectly proportionate.
  6. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I drew my first one on graph paper as stated above, but quickly went to a new method for designing:

    I use Fret Find to create a full size fretboard template, then I use butcher paper to account for the body and headstock. I tape the fretboard template onto the "body" area, mark the center line, and measure out placement of critical items, like the bridge, upper strap button (in my case, I generally line the strap button up around the 12th fret, and about 5" or so away from the neck).

    Then I measure the maximum body width (which for my taste is ~13", so let's say 6.5" to either side of center) and length (I like 22" from stem to stern), and I have a rectangle in which to work. As I have generally have some idea of what I want (narrowness of the waist, etc.) I'll start there, and work my way around with rough sketches.
  7. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Start by drawing a straight line representing the center of the fret board from nut to theoretical saddle.

    The rest will fill in itself.

    If it doesn't then mark out your outer strings at the nut and then draw in your compensation at the saddle and mark out the string locations there.

    The rest will fill in itself.

    If it doesn't then mark out the outer limits of the neck parallel to the strings and mark where they meet the body.

    The rest will fill in itself.

    If it doesn't at least you have the necessary/required information to start the creative part. That I will leave to you.

    The rest will fill in itself.

    Greg N
  8. mrniceguy715


    May 2, 2006
    thanks for all the advice when I get a good looking visual I will post a lil something
  9. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    You should try to overcome the Ican'tdraw syndrome. keep a piece of paper and pen handy and just keep sketching till you hit it. It will come out of your hand trust me on this . My first build? I had a pad full of the worst line drawings ever, then one day they just began to smooth out and I copied the final, enlarged it and ran with it. Another cheat is to trace a bass that's somewhat near your vision, make copies and modify the trace to suit. Good luck.

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