1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Build #3 Mahogany 32"

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rdrr, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    It's been a little while but starting another build. Keeping it a bit simpler this time around. Going to scavenge some items from the first bass I built, tuners, pickup ...

    flat sawn maple neck
    Rosewood fretboard
    Mahogany Body

    This is a single cut version of my last bass. Heres the body blank cut out and sanded to shape.


    Fretboard slotted. I vow that this will be the last time I deal with fretfind templates and hand sawing the slots. Has more to do with the templates then the handsawing. My printer blows so it takes a while to get things lined up correctly. I should have a table saw by the time I start another build so I should have either the stewmac or LMII blade and templates by then.

    Scarf joint. Another reason to get a table saw, hate doing his on the band saw.


    Neck truss rod channel routed. I add a small strip of painters blue over the rod to keep the glue out.


    Fretboard being glued on.


    Built a simple little fretbender .

    I may scavenge the pickups or I actually may wind my own. Here's the Pickup winder I built. It's just about done, just need to add a guide and limiters for the wire. I have guide bar but need to get a 3/8 drill bit (some how lost mine) to fit it in.


    I knew building basses was going to be addictive but nobody told me it was a gateway drug into winding pickups too. On top of that I looking into preamp schematics as well. I feel like there should be some kind of 12 step program for this ;)
  2. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Is that bamboo laminate? What is it like working with it?
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Your bandsaw blade is dull. ;)
  4. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    Oh, I know it is.

    Yeah, I have some left over from building out my office. Drills, cuts and sands pretty easy but it's pretty hard and can get a little chippy. Takes a finish really well. Bit heavier then plywood and dimensionally really stable. Like MDF mold will grow on it if left in a damp area and it's unfinished.

    Not cheap, cost me about 280 a sheet a couple years ago.

    I have a couple of larger pieces left that I'ld like to build a bass out of. Thinking of using one as the inner body laminate because the I think the inner lams of the bamboo would look really cool as a body core.
  5. Anyone ever done a scarf joint on a miter saw? Sorry, that just popped into my head when I saw your cut. It is looking good.

  6. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    If by miter saw you mean a mitering chopsaw, I believe the smallest angle they can produce is 45° off of parallel.

    If you mean using a miter box and a hand saw, I custom-made a miter box years ago to do scarf joints, but retired it when I made my tablesaw jig.
  7. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    There is a 12 step program, you are at step 9 when starting into winding pick-ups,:eyebrow: when you start having your preamp design built in quantity in Korea or some other foreign country, :eek: you will have hit step 11, once you begin to mill your own brass saddles and bridge plates, with your new Bridgeport, you have hit step 12 and should either be teetering on bankruptcy, or starting a small school for aspiring builders.:meh::rollno::D
  8. I'm subscribing to this, your previous one looked great!
  9. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA

    Oh no, I've started looking at mini mills already for just that purpose. I am so screwed :)

    Thanks, This one is not going to be any where near as elaborate as the previous one. I want to take a step back on the next couple and perfect some technique and tweak this basic design a little bit here and there. At some point I hope to make this at least some sort of side business (that hopefully breaks even at worst), but I want to be a bit more proficient at it first.
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I got rid of my bridgeport, have my eye on a smaller South Bend mill lathe. Be careful of the mini mills, a lot of them have plastic and nylon gearing and lose their precision quite quickly.
  11. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars
    Yes sir on the first neck I ever attempted to make. I decided to make creative use of the mitre to cut the scarf. It did work but I decided there had to be an easier less dangerous way. I was correct.
  12. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    QUick update. I've been a bit busy lately havent had time to work on it until recently. I got the neck shaped just need to do a bit of finish sanding drill the tuner holes and fret it.
    Also rounded the edges over and routed the neck pocket and control cavity. I've been neglectful in taking process pics but here's where things stand currently. Hope to finish up the neck this week and then move on to finishing the body. Current plan is to do a burst or gibson cherry finish.





  13. Stone Age

    Stone Age

    Apr 13, 2008
    That is a really nice bass.

    I tried using a table saw for fret slots once. It was only slightly less irritating than a hand saw, and less accurate for me. A radial arm saw was the solution for that.
  14. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    Finally getting this going again, been spending a good amount of time looking into pickup winding so this was put on the back burner for a while.

    Body sanded getting ready for staining.

    Stained with water based black transtint stain in a sudo sunburst sort of fashion.

    After the staining I applied a couple of coats of amber shellac , then applied wipe on poly and finished with a coat of wax.



    So I have one of the 2 pups finished that will go in this. Both are sidewinder pickups. Here's a shot of the first one admittedly it's a bit rough looking but they'll get better, especially after I redo the master and molds.

    And this is what it looks like on the inside, after the coils have been potted in wax.
  15. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Call Louis Iturra and get your bandsaw pimped out with a Starrett bi-metal blade and you'll love it again. He can probably help you tune it in a number of other ways. The catalog alone is amazing. The guy is the bandsaw master.

    Any chance you bought that rosewood from Allen guitars? I bought a bunch from them a while back that look just like that. Don't see too much plantation-grown rosewood like that in the lumber stores.
  16. Nice work on the bass, and the winder! I just built my first...using carpet tape and a sewing machine :scowl::rollno: I recently started collecting parts to build a real winder, too, so I hear you on the addictive aspect.

    Anyway, back on topic- that's a great looking bass, can't wait to see the finished product!
  17. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    Thanks for the compliments. I thought about that but the sewing machine I got for free didn't have a cord or the foot control and was old enough that I couldn't find one so I ripped it apart for the motor.

    I really do need to take a bit better care of it, really just needs a couple of new blades. I'm afraid of the word catalog , it makes my money disappear :)

    I did get the rosewood from Allen, still have a couple of blanks too. Your info says your in Mass, but I thought you moved. Just curious as I think I live in the same basic area you did, I'm in Newburyport.
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Ah, I used to be in Easthampton, MA, but now I am down in Maryland. Those fingerboards were a great deal. I still have a couple myself. Is Righteous Hardwoods still open down in Rowley? That place will make your money disappear.

    The Iturra catalog is as much a book on bandsaws as it is a catalog.
  19. rdrr


    Mar 29, 2005
    Newburyport MA
    Almost finished. Everything is put together but it still needs some knobs and to be properly setup. The only allen wrench I have that fits the bridge has gone missing, I believe my cat knows where it is though, so until I get another one I can not adjust the string height, which is currently higher than Charlie Sheen.

    Obviously got the other pickup wound and encased in epoxy. I attached a sound clips of some quick messing around with it. The clip is recorded straight into garage band, both pickups up all the way with no tone or effects. The strings are a bit dead as I took them off another bass to put them on this to test it out, but you can get an idea of what it will sound like. I'll post some additional clips once I get it setup and some new strings on it, but let me know what ya think.

    Anyway here's what it's looking like.


    Attached Files:

  20. TapyTap


    Apr 26, 2005
    Sweet sound there...thanks for the build notes and the sound clips. I look forward to hearing more clips of this bass in action.

    What are the electronics inside this bass? By the way, I love the sidewinders! Would you tell us more about them? I am also interested to know how you determined your pickup placement.

    Good Work!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 2, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.