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Build project: RBM-P2

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rojo412, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    My good friend @rogerbmiller and I talk A LOT about basses. For the past couple years, we've been each others' consiglieri in many a bass matter. And without bouncing ideas off him, I don't know if I'd be where I am today.

    In 2017, I built a bass that I was really proud of, which won the WBO17.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 11.40.48 AM.

    That bass was called P2 because it was my second bass project. And it basically became a shape that I use as a build style. I sent him the bass to check out, he loved it, then his friend actually bought it.

    Long story short, we started talking about making another one. He'd been enjoying his older Fodera as of late, and was thinking about a 5 string kind of along the same lines: EMGs, Haz preamp, fancy woods.
    And here we are now, I'm building up a bass titled "RBM-P2". This is the plan:

    - Mahogany body core (a very old piece I got from a friend)
    - Curly Birdseye maple top and back
    - Walnut accent line in between layers
    - EMG TW pickups
    - Hazlab clone 3 band preamp, with a global series/parallel switch
    - Neck TBD, but Richlite fingerboard, stainless frets, 33.5" scale
    - Hipshot hardware

    One of my recent changes around the shop was making a better set of templates for this body style, so I could accurately make a control cavity, cover, chambers, etc. This is the first bass to use them.

    Plotted the core:


    Then rough cut and chambered it:

    It is LIGHT! And the blue painters tape in the cavity, that's to keep glue drips out of the finished project.

    With the top and back, we ended up staring at the wood for a while (via FaceTime) and determined what should be the top and back.

    It's a crazy looking figure:

    Now when I was thinking about the accent line, I wanted to do something dark, so walnut was the choice (since I almost literally have a ton of it). And I didn't have much luck finding a veneer that was thick enough (or reasonably priced, honestly). In the past, I tried to make thin plates of it, but the planer would shred it anywhere less than 3/16".
    The eureka moment: cut it thin, glue it to the top, then use the planer to mill it down to 1/8".

    Found some of my plentiful stash of walnut that was acceptable for an accent layer:

    (Truth be told, I had to cut a few boards to find this, as the first few were even more top-worthy and I didn't want to hide them)

    Glued it to the top and back parts, then milled it:

    It worked really well. I'm waiting for the treble side of the bass to be dry before doing more, so that's where it stands today.
    I'm really excited about this bass. Most everything I've built so far has ended up right around 10 lbs. Super light is something that has eluded me. But I may have a line on it with this one. Stay tuned!
  2. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Looking forward to it! Nice pieces of Walnut :)
    rogerbmiller and rojo412 like this.

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