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Cabronita Bass Build (CabroNácar)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Reno2, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Hey there!

    It's been a while since I finished this, but I think I'm gonna do some posts about it, in case someone can find it useful.

    SO, I love Telecasters. Telecaster Guitars, not basses. And right now I think there's a Fender or a squier bass with that shape, but not when I decided to go for it. And I love humbuckers, and the look of the Cabronitas. It was a matter of time that I decided to make one Cabronita bass in guitar style...

    Specs (pretty standard actually)

    Alder Body
    1 piece Maple neck
    20 Frets
    Bone nut
    Zebrawood skunk stripe (that was a leftover from other project)
    NO inlays
    1 Humbucker pickup
    Pearloid pickguard
    2 saddle "vintage" bridge
    Volume, Tone

    By that time I thought I wanted to try to be lucky and make the instrument to be sold, so the colours were gonna be black and vintage ambar for the neck. As most of the instruments I was seeing at the moment.

    So, this is what I got to start with:

    2 piece alder body blank


    Birdseye maple blank, big enough to accomodate 2 necks in it

    Gretsch humbucker

    2 saddle bridge

    And some CTS pots, orange drop cap and "regular fender size" chinese tuners (to measure, and be able to replace them for "proper" ones if the bass was good enough)

    I had a Guitar telecaster template, but found that it was really small for a bass (34" bass looked like a lollypop) so I hand drawn the shape mixing a P-bass and a Telecaster, and made a template


    Once I was happy with the result (in the neck template I had marks for the nut, 12th fret and the place where the neck meets the body, 16th fret in Pbasses as far as I know) I marked it in the alder


    I really liked that "eye" and wanted to make sure it was in a place that could be seen, so decided that was the front.

    And this is the classic "I think this might become a proper instrument" pic

    I think this is it for today :)

    SLivinghouse, afa3 and Will_White like this.
  2. Part 2

    Detail of the 2 "twin" necks cut and routed to almost final shape


    And the body


    This is another neck (the pine neck where I showed the diamond inlays) but it's the same day and batch, and this is how I routed the shape, and then back of the neck to insert the truss rod and make it one piece



    And the "in progress pic". I think I did 5-6 passes. One bit at a time, so it's more difficult to mess it up.

    To make the skunk stripe, I had some pieces of wood around, and arranged this "jig" with the router and sanding drums. Not the best result, bot not as bad as it could have been...

    I don't have more pics of this, but basically glue, clamps, time to settle and then a file to remove the extra wood.

    Then... Wood file (rasp? not sure about the name in english)

    1 side first, and then the other half, plus a LOOOOOT of sanding. This pic I think it's been sanded with 180 sandpaper


    Really rough still. And you can start seeing the birdseye popping out


    Sanding is the hardest part (I did it 100% by hand) but the most rewarding also. You see the instrument appear from a piece of wood. I love it.

    Then cutted the headstock for thickness, and MORE sanding. This was sanded up to 320 I believe


    Notice the birdseye, the slight quilted, and the lines in the maple. And the dark crack. It's absolutely gorgeus, even with the crak (for me, it gives the instrument some kind of extra unique character)

    Then a lot of sanding and sanding up to 2000 grit. I did this because it was going to be laquered and wanted to be sure it was perfect. And did it before slotting and putting the frets because wanted to "glue" the frets with the nitro also.



    Then slotted and cutted the frets (presented only, not inserted)


    Slots inserted, and trimmed with a metal file to avoid cutting my fingers



    Looking good.
    That's all for this post :D
  3. Hey there, more wood!

    After having the neck finished, went for the body (so I could make sure the neck pocket was correct, etcetera)

    Now it looks like a bass! After this, neck pocket routed, and overview of the bass in progress...

    I LOVE IT.

    I don't have the pics of this, but in order to find the "Sweet spot" of this bass, regarding the pickup, I made a small "jig/tool": made a small "table" a little bit bigger than the pickup.
    Then I soldered a wire and a jack socket, and mounted the pickup in the "back" of the table. This way you can place this table with pickup in top of a bass, play it, and see where the sound suits better in the string length.

    Then paint!

    Finished it, and HATED the neck, and the fact that this body is not perfectly leveled and you can see waves.. The neck was painted with a brush, so there were parts where the paint got sticky and pulled part of the laquer, leaving a part with no color, as the laquer had the color.

    Then I also hated the black color, so... Decided to re-finish it in GREEN!

    Unfortunately I don't have pics of the process, but both the neck an the body were re-finish

    And I'm falling sleep so will continue tomorrow...

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  4. Hey there!

    I just remembered, I painted the body first in trans-black, because I wanted to be able to show the wood grain, but failed big time... It was looking awful, so then I painted black like in the previous post.

    Next thing I did was taking out all the yellowish nitro, and laquer it with clear

    And then painted the body... Like this


    As you can see, pinted it green, added a thumbrest made of zebrawood, and changed the pickup. First pickup was a gretsch, with 6 poles (apparently for bass, but I think it was a guitar one) and didn't like it. The E string had less volume because wasn't aligned with the poles. So I wrote TV Jones, explained what I wanted, and went for a Thunderblade.
    It sounds AMAZING.

    This is the only pic I can find of it finished and ready to rock. It's a terrible pic taken with my phone along with the rest of my gear, but you can have an idea of it


    So after playing it like this for around a year, one day during the summer, I got to the rehearsal room after being some weeks away on vacation. And found that the truss rod pushed the beggining of the skunk stripe (in the headstock area) out of the neck. I tried to fix it by gluing and re-clamping but it wasn't possible, the truss rod kept pulling it out. So I took a wood bar, drilled a hole in the place where the skunk stripe met the neck, and "clamped" with that bar, reinforcing the joint. I will show the picks when I can go to the rehearsal room with good light.

    And since the bass was all in pieces... I decided to re-paint it. Never really loved the green tone it had. And this is how it looks like now


    Not the best pic (will take some in detail soon) but you get the idea.
    Longer thumbrest, metallic purple finish. And also added the pickguard and a string retainer. Also changed the tuners to Schaller's.

    Good picks of the bass as it is now yet to come. In the meantime... enjoy your weekend!
    metallicafan18 likes this.
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