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CAD/CAM bass update

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hambone, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. The bass project is moving along towards completion. I passed a major hurdle tonight when I successfully didn't destroy my Warmoth neck by putting threaded steel inserts in it. Whew!! It's these little victories that really count. The body is complete except for finish and all of the hardware is awaiting installation. If things go well I contemplate completion by next weekend. I sort of want to show it off to family over the Christmas holidays.
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Whoa Whoa WHOA! I've only been on the boards since last month,
    and this is the first I've heard of this project. What kinda' neck?,
    what kinda' board?, body material?, body shape?, pup(s)?...
    "Oh won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?" [​IMG]

    Threaded inserts - nice touch! :D

    Are we gonna' get a pic posted? :(

    ( Pssst - love your signature! [​IMG] )
  3. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66

    Where did you get the steel inserts? I've been looking for them but I can only find brass. I was looking for 8-32 or maybe 10-32. What size did you find/use?
  4. Hey guys, thanx for the interest!

    For latecomers here is a complete rundown of the project so far:

    My wife would kill me and not tell my family where she buried my body if I bought another bass. Soooo...to get around the embargo, I decided that building one was a way to get something more than I could afford outright and have some fun along the way. In my work, I use a computerized router so I designed the bass with the idea that all of the design, cutting, routing and inletting would be done on the Multi-Cam. I love Jazz basses and thought it best not to re-invent the wheel so I copied a Warmoth contour from their website. Then I designed on the computer all of the various slots, holes and pockets that a body would have. I cut one blank from MDF as a test, especially to see how the neck pocket would fit. Then after some tweaking I routed the blank that would be the body. The body is a 2 piece AAA flame maple construction with back routed cavity for electronics. I found the raw lumber and did the joinery myself - no commercial blanks. It will use Seymour Duncan Basslines Vintage pickups going through a Fender 2 band Pre-amp. I've made the addition of a pickup selector to go alongside the active/passive switch. There is also a master volume. The design is a string-thru-the-body using a modified Schaller Roller bridge. The cable jack is recessed on the edge of the bass. The neck is a Warmoth fretless with an ebony fingerboard. I don't have the skill to do the neck myself, so this was the best solution. The inserts came from the best hardware store on the planet here in Tucker, GA. They have everything in the world, no really, EVERYTHING. All of the attachment screws are stainless steel. Adjustable tension tuners and Schaller straplocks finish the hardware. The finish will be completed early this week and final assembly will be over the weekend.

    To carry this, I'm planning an unusual double guitar case from aluminum. The original plan was to use it exclusively for the "Twins" project (identical MIJITSO '62 reissue Jazzes - one fretted, one fretless). That will still be the idea but I will also be able to carry the CAD/CAM bass in the same case. Maybe I'll eventually make a single for the new bass.

    All in all the project will have taken around 80 hours in design, planning, and execution. Total costs haven't been tallied. Originally the idea was to produce the bass for less than $450. I have the inkling that it will be just a bit more than that considering there were some special tools needed for the construction. Like I'm fond of saying -it won't be a Sadowsky, but it will be far more instrument than I could lay out for all in one lump. This is the first of many instruments I plan on building - Hambone Custom Bass serial #0001. And you bet you'll get pictures of it when it's done.
  5. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    You lucky so-and-so! ;) Well, all except for the "wife" part
    (check here: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=9020
    But dang! A computerized router?

    I've been knockin' around an idea for an "experiment" based on Warmoth parts.
    I guess you'd describe it as a solidbody Jack Casady or maybe an updated (Gibson) EB-0, i.e.:

    * Mahogany body. Les Paul "Junior" (gu***r) shape.
    * Probably a Gotoh 206 bridge (for through-body stringing).
    * REAL simple electronics: Either a RioGrande Powerbucker or DiMarzio X2N-B, volume, tone.
    (wouldn't have to worry about string spacing with the DiMarzio).
    * Birdseye maple neck with fretless ebony board. No lines! (side dots though...duh)
    * Hipshot Ultra-lites.

    I asked MR (Ken) Warmoth himself if they could do a bass body
    in the shape of the LP Jr gu***r they make.
    He didn't think it'd be a good idea `cause of the imbalance (neck diving).
    Huh. My Casady and old Ripper do just fine, thank you very little :mad: .
    Come to think of it, my old Ripper is kinda' like the "experiment".
    ( never mind :( )

    Can't wait for those pics! :D

    [Edited by notduane on 12-16-2000 at 06:51 AM]
  6. You would have been interested in a little project I thought that I would attempt a few years ago:

    I found, in a local used shop, an unused Kent bass guitar neck. This was an absolutely beautiful specimen - square, bound headstock- bound fretboard, real MOP inlay logo, trapezoid MOP fretmarkers, maple, short scale, and never been mounted. It didn't even have holes! I picked it up for $20 dollars and for another 5 got a mahogany 3 piece Les Paul Junior (copy) body. That was going to be a sweet little bass for around the house. I got some nice sealed Grover tuners and began the body restoration when interest in the project sort of fizzled. I still think that it would have been a sparkler if I had finished. Oh well...

    The Les Paul body WOULD work IMO if it were just a little bit larger in overall dimension than the guitar. Not huge like the Ripper/Grabber, just large and thick enough to help with the balance.

    How about this for a twist - Stewart MacDonald offers a maple neck through bass blank. It's already fretted and all you have to do is cut your headstock shape, add the body wings and finish. That would be a great foundation for your Jr. design. All you would do is make the wings from mahogany and use the lighter colored maple as a contrast. Veerrry Interesting eh?
  7. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Those are some great ideas Hambone! :)
    Unfortunately, I'm kinda' limited right now Re power tools (for shame :( ).
    Although I DO have a cousin who's a cabinetmaker. Hmmmmm.
    Anyhoo. For now, I gotta' stick with the "pre fab" stuff.

    Fretted? :eek: No way man! We don't need no steenking frets! :D
    Stew-Mac's got some nice fretless necks. I guess a scroll
    saw or coping saw would help fab a big ol' squarish 2x2 Gibson-type headstock?

    Just outta' curiosity, how DO you attach wings to a neck-thru?
    (ummmm...biscuits? a real good joiner?)
  8. look forward to seeing pics of the new bass, Hambone.

    I've just finished a P-bass from Warmoth parts- maple neck/fretboard, heavy ash body, baddass II bridge strung thru body, hipshot ultralites (with D-tuner), brass nut, EMG select P p/up and Kent Armstrong double Jazz bridge p/up with series/parallel/s/c selector, and overall 5position rotary selector for pickup panning using preset pots for the sweet spot positions a la Roscoe Beck bass, and a tone and volume controls bypass switch.

    It's HEAVY- about 11lbs, and JUST balances when played sitting down- I think the Warmoth necks are heavier due to the steel reinforcing rods, and Ultralite machineheads are essential- but Warmoth don't seem to drill Fender pegheads for the smaller post sizes.
    It's got loads of sustain, and the strings feel stiffer due to the through-stringing, and the dropped D sounds great.
    I'd like to fit a 2-Tek bridge to eliminate the one dead spot at the 6th fret C#, but the weight would be huge.

    I also fitted an old Eko 2+2 short scale neck from Brandoni music to a Japanese EB2 copy- I'd like to build a long scale semi acoustic at some point, like the Eccleshall played by Peter Hook of New Order and the custom Knight played by Simon Gallup of The Cure- great clanky sound with roundwounds.

  9. Yep, biscuits would do the trick nicely. I've been toying with the idea of building a router table (stationary, not CAD/CAM) that I could use various joinery bits in to do the same thing - like finger joints. The possibilities are endless.

    MTR, your sounds like a sweet one. I sympathize with the weight but you probably knew that going into it didn't you? ;) My Kawai (maple, zebrawood, mahogany) is about like that. He ain't heavy, He's my BASS! The thing that has surprised me so far is that this new one doesn't seem like it's going to weigh all that much. If it does, I can easily design a semi-hollow body with routed cavities for making it lighter. That's the beauty of having all of the body design in the computer. I can just make a new blank and go to town.
  10. yep, the word "heavy" repeated many times in the Warmoth woods description text hinted as to the result, but I didn't think it would turn out heavier than my 10lb ash-bodied Fender P-bass plus. but it's a lot more comfortable than the Fender due to the balance. I had my first gig with it last night, and was less tired than I would be with the Fender.
    driving pickup screws into the dense wood is really difficult- the heads strip out really easily. I also managed to break two of the poor quality fixing screws supplied with the baddass bridge before switching to some decent ones.

    "there's nothing worse than a set of staggered string ferrules"- er..... I knew I should have got a drill press. It doesn't look too bad, but if I send in pics there won't be one of the back.....
    I'm a beginner at spray finishes too (clear gloss acrylic), so no close-ups of the overspray either.
    I am particularly proud of lining up the machinehead holes, though- lots of sighting using bits of string and blu-tac involved. I managed to get the string path straighter than on many production basses.
    There are no gaps between scratchplate and neck and the neck joint is very tight, Sadowsky-style.
  11. Next time try the Tung oil/TruOil finish instead. The advantages are many. First you won't have to worry about overspray. Second, it helps harden the surface of the wood. Third, if dinged you won't see it like you would in a heavy gloss finish that usually appears like a "crack". The gloss is a satin variety and can be enhanced with wax if needed. The only drawback to the oil finishes is that they can't be used on white or extremely light woods without tinting them somewhat. That's OK for my projects cuz I hate white. Natural tans, and ambers are alright. And, if the bass begins to look a little hagard down the road, just strip the hardware off and do some more oiling and polishing. It'll bring the looks right back up the where they were before.
  12. I went for lacquer as I was worried about dirt getting through the finish - Warwicks tend to look awful with dirt marks on the natural oil-finished bubinga, and Ernie Ball Musicman Stingrays with oil finished maple necks look pretty bad too when worn in, in my opinion. I do tend to sweat a lot (not as much as Jason "submersible bass" Newsted, though).
    there was also the question of tone- I thought that lacquer would yield more brightness than oil.
    next project I'll have to check out oil finishes, that's if I can find suitable types in the UK.

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