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Blue mahoe build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ruckus_Instrmts, May 4, 2010.

  1. Thought some of you might enjoy this build so here it goes.

    Body:Bookmatched Blue mahoe top/ (3pc)Cuban Mahogany core/ Birdseye maple veneer backing

    Neck: C. Mahogany-Purpleheart-Purpleheart-C. Mahogany(all quartersawn),Two way truss rod, 13* scarf joint, Bookmatched Mahoe veneer for headstock

    Fretboard: Bocote with ebony/paua strips binding. No markers,
    Haven't decided on fretwire yet.

    As far as pickups/hardware, I'm open to suggestions from everyone here as I can't seem to make up my own mind. I'm leaning towards a jazz setup with standard size covers made to match the fretboard.
    Note: Most of the color in these pics are off.
    I cut the top from this section of the Mahoe flitch.
    Here it is before attachment to the mahogany core.
    Here top is glued and shape cut out. The center sapwood blows me away every time I look at it. To me it kinda resembles a ray gun blast from a comic book(or something like that).
    You can see how well C. Mahogany works(with sharp plane blades that is)
    I messed around with different lamination configurations for about two weeks before deciding that less was more. I tried a mahogany strip between the PH, I tried maple veneer strips(which to me looked like large glue joints). And several other options, But this simple config really struck the right cord.
    Truss slot routed.
    4544732474_968f6eba7d. And installed. You can also make out the headstock shape.[​IMG]
    Here is a shot of the fretboard blank.
  2. This pics shows the veneer for the headstock. Note:this not the bookmatched side, that side is still rough. I'll glue it to the headstock then work it down from there.
    And a pic of where I cut the veneer from.
    Now some pics of the rounding over of the body. I do this completely by hand. I start with a 1/4" chisel, then use a draw filing technique(more common to metalworking) to smooth out any lumpyness, then a quick round with a fine cabinet scraper and some 220 sandpaper. Say NO to roundover bits! j/k
    This is how it looks after round #1(chisel). You can also see some marks from the filing in the lower part of the pic.
    And after fine sanding.
    4566276290_c274e51524. 4566277086_885d980459.

    This picture is the closest to the actual color of the wood when mineral spirits are applied.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  3. very cool, I love blue mahoe! Can't wait to see more
  4. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    Dude... that top is amazing! Very crisp work. I love the sap wood inclusion. =)
  5. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    cool stuff. not sure about the shape, but im likin it regardless.
  6. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    The mineral stain and sapwood make this an awesome instrument!
  7. Well got a little more work done. Heres the veneer applied and some hand planing to take it down flat.
    4637072148_2011c17e6d. 4637071042_458477c401.
    And after its pretty well flat I'll use my granite tile with sandpaper to get it dead flat. The sandpaper is applied with 3M super 77 spray adhesive.
    Also slotted the fretboard and routed for the ebony binding. You can make out another one of my sanding tricks in the background. Its a cheap plastic level(you'd be surprised how straight they are) that I apply various grit paper to. The trick is to lay down a strip of painter's tape first then spray adhesive then sandpaper. You can remove and reapply different grits easily.
    And heres how I routed for the binding, using my bosch trim router.

    And a quick look at the overall deal.

    And earlier today I applied purpleheart veneer to the back of the head.
    4637067612_d976bf7e0f. 4636458317_e40bdea24f.
    I've decided to skip on the paua strips along side the binding. I feel it will be too busy in combination with the grain of the fretboard.
  8. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    That is a beautiful piece of Bocote!
  9. BassCycle


    Jan 6, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
    Gorgeous woods!
  10. Thank You,

    And Thank You!
  11. oh man. So beautiful. LOVE the headstock shape. Most custom builds lose me at the headstock, but yours is great. The "reverse" look is very nice. I also really love purple heart for the back of the neck
  12. Got the rough shaping of the neck done today. Asymmetrical profile.
    4639516613_4de61f1bf7. 4639515735_6d65f73584.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  13. Okay so not a whole lot of progress on this bass lately. Neck shaping done, sanded to 600.
    Also attached the ebony binding. I think it works VERY well against the bocote as well as the purpleheart/mahogany on the back.
    4750067806_fac60d5c46. 4749423463_011ea639b0.

    Jescar EVO jumbo gold fretwire is on the way. I think black Sperzel tuners and a black Hipshot Transtone bridge are in order.

    Oh and the binding has all grain running in the same direction so that any seasonal movement will be in the same directions.
  14. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
  15. Very pretty! Sub'd.
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Wow, very nice. The ebony around the bocote is indeed nice.

    The purpleheart spine into headstock backplate really works.
  17. BassCycle


    Jan 6, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
    Looking good!!!
  18. __HM__


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    jeeeeez. I looooove that shape, and all the wood. Particularly the body and fretboard.
  19. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    Very, very nice.
  20. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I love the way the purple stripe down the neck goes into the veneer, it makes it look like you did layers from top to bottom rather than side to side.

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