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Building 7 Fan Fret Basses

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jay Jillard, Mar 28, 2015.


  1. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    Hey everyone, i know my last build thread sorta..died.. and that's because videos are too time consuming, so i'm going back to the old fashioned way of doing things. Pictures!

    So basically i'm building 5 of my 'Armada' Model, four of them are five strings, one is a four string.

    Ash bodies
    walnut tops (except a couple)
    birdseye or wenge fretboards
    fan frets 34-36.75" for a 5 string
    custom bridges
    all oil finishes


    here is what we're shooting for (have't decided on the last two, since they are not claimed)
    l5VeyOP.
    o4v9AY8.
    97uQ7aU.

    and here's what we've got done so far.
    picked out a bunch of amazing ash (bought it from fbass' overstock)
    sDrZy3d.
    planned them down and glued them up
    kkdQKbG.


    all bodies are weighed before and after chambering, hitting that 4.5ishlb sweet spot.
    [​IMG]
    T7tqdwK.
    6Vm7Hdb.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    9jypjMW.


    and here's where i'm at with bridge design.. still a lot of work to do... basic abm style, but ff and from wood. need to figure out the string anchor system from brass that will sit underneath this.
    eH7Rgdg.

    Also, I've been trying out a new template system, where most templates index off the 4 neck bolt holes, until i route the neck pocket, which indexes on the pickup cavities. so far they are working extremely well.

    Feel free to ask any questions!
     
    reverendrally, Randyt, renniw and 6 others like this.
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I just came back down with another case of shop envy. Its quite contagious around here.
     
    kaoskater08 and thebassbuilder like this.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I suffer from it as well. And it's getting worse.

    Looking forward to your progress!
     
  4. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Jay, did you build that boat?
     
  5. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    I like that blue one! Great design!
     
  6. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Apr 16, 2001
    ICT
    These look cool, I dig the square knobs. Subbed.
     
  7. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    haha, me too! because that isn't actually my shop lol. That is a family friend of mine who has been a woodworker for 30 some-odd years. My shop is a little less glorious, due to it being my parents garage.

    This year i'm working towards buying a house with a full basement shop, so that will be part of my adventure soon!

    also no, it was the guy who owns the shop. =]

    thanks, the knobs arent actually squares, they are just sideways, here's the prototype to show what i mean: *the mods asked that i remove the other photos of the prototype, except one to show the controls:
    Wvc8zBZ.


    if you want to see my shop, there are some good shots of it in my old video series 'offcuts':
    Offcuts - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  8. Tenberge

    Tenberge

    Mar 15, 2015
    Sydney, Aus
    Ive been following you for a short time now Jay, you really caught my eye with your designs. the control knob pocket, sound chambers and body shape really takes it to the next level for me. I mentioned on FB I'm interested in a fanned 5. I will miss this run, but I'm looking at a massive pay bonus end of this year that I'm hopefully going to allocate some of it to upgrading my 25 yr old equipment. The next thing for me is to try my own hand at building my own rig. I would really like to have a go at a EUB. It should fit in well with me playing in a Big Band. Sub'd on your thread mate. Really want to see your progress. Keep feeding the photos please.
    Rob
     
  9. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    OK another insane great builder and bad ass basses to watch... I'm never going to get anything done. Thanks for posting all the designs and pics I can't wait actually!
     
  10. Yaal

    Yaal

    Feb 12, 2015
    Montreal, Canada
    Really cool design! I like the blue one. The fretboard looks like water flowing towards the headstock...
     
  11. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    that sounds awesome, i've been wanting to try an electric upright for a while too, but its jsut one of those things i won't get around to for quite a while i think... going to build myself a fanned fretless first.

    Thanks!

    the wenge boards are going to be cool, i've developed some pretty sweet finishing techniques over the past year or so, excited to start using them more!


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
    Deep Cat likes this.
  12. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    On the non-prototypes; Will the heal of the neck finish where it enters the body or hang over as it does on the bass in the pictures?
    The overhang gives it a bit of an unfinished feel, I think.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    I know your pain, all of my tools are at my parents place which is about an hour and a half drive from my apartment.
     
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Wow I just changed my shorts (turned them inside out) I can't believe some of the talent folks have around here absolutely amazing
     
  15. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars

    there will be some changes for sure, heel will be smaller for sure, havne't fully decided what my plan is. Because the neck joins body at around the 22nd fret, having a heel really doesn't get in the way for normal playing. the 24th fret is still easily reachable.

    but there will be some redesign because it's a bolt on now, as well as a thinner body will result in a thinner heel.
     
  16. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Oh , I am not talking about functionality as I am sure your designs are well thought out. I was commenting from a merely aesthetic and subjective point of view.:)
     
  17. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Great design and execution! How's the string volume balance on the prototype's pickup? I'm having a difficult time picturing coils that would cover the B string but I see it will be different in production.
     
  18. Jay Jillard

    Jay Jillard Commercial User

    Apr 12, 2014
    Brampton Ontario Canada
    Owner/Luthier, Jillard Guitars
    the prototype had a pbass style pickup, so the bass strings were only towards the neck half of the cover, and the treble strings kinda zig-zagged towards the bridge side of the cover.

    so the poles are under each string, but the cover makes it look a little weird, one of the reasons i changed it.


    the new pickups are stacked single coils.
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  19. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
     
    Jay Jillard likes this.
  20. blindsagacity

    blindsagacity

    Nov 7, 2013
    Hey, Jay.
    With the dyed wenge fingerboards, are those just straight dyes over the wenge, or do you bleach them first or something?
    They look incredible.
     

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