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Custom 'Bach' Bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Josh Curry, May 23, 2005.


  1. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Local Luthier, Aron Bach, is building me a custom 4-string bass. Code Named: "The Slap Monster"

    Here's some specs:

    - 4 strings
    - 34" scale
    - Lacewood body & headstock laminate
    - Birdseye maple neck
    - Ebony, 21 fret, fingerboard
    - EMG 35-DC pups w/ BTC system.
    - Hipshot Type 'A' bridge (Chrome)
    - Hipshot Ultra-lite 'Y' key tuners (Chrome)

    The really cool thing about this bass is that I have been there for about 80% of the construction. It will probably be finished today, however, the pups and hardware won't get here until wednesday.

    I don't understand why some luthiers take months to make a bass. This bass is going to be complete with about 4 full days worth of work. I know, I've been there.

    Sorry, no pics yet, you guys know how bad I am about posting photo's ;)
     
  2. Can't wait to see it!
     
  3. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    OK, check this out......

    This is the neck after about 3 hours worth of work.
    [​IMG]
    Here's the body ready to get cut out and rounded on the shaper.
    [​IMG]


    The body after the shaper
    [​IMG]


    Aron did NOT use a router on this cavity. Forstner bit and a chisel. Talk about old world technique :)
    [​IMG]


    The headstock rough cut and shaped. Neck is already fretted and sized to fit the body. Ready for shaping the back of the neck.
    [​IMG]


    This is the back of the body after 400 grit and water to show the grain. The back plate is cut from a scrap of the body wood and fit onto a very tight. Look really close.
    [​IMG]

    Total time so far: about 2.5 days.
     
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Shoot, Steve can whip out a bass for you during your lunch hour.
     
  5. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Steve who?
     
  6. wishnevsky's 1st name is steve I think :meh:

    very nice job on the back plate btw
     
  7. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Awe man, comparing anyone to Wish is a huge insult. You'll take that back once you see this thing finished. I don't even have pics of how we left it at the end of the day today. Just wait.

    The back plate is so tight that it doesn't even need screws. I think we are going to add a groove or some other kind of lift point to it.
     
  8. My theory: It was one of those "joke" things that Munjibunga is always doing. They're getting pretty popular these days.
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Do you mean to say that you thicknessed the blank, cut the scarf, dressed the scarf for gluing, glued the scarf, let the glue cure (most people would give it at least 24 hours I think), routed the trussrod channel, inserted the rod, glued on the fretboard (most people would give this at least 24 hours too, I think), shaped the sides of the neck, slotted the fretboard, prepared the face of the headstock for gluing, and glued the headstock veneer, in three hours?
     
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Cool Josh, I can't wait to see it finished.
     
  11. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Fair enough question. When I say 3 hours of work. I mean actual work, not including wait time for things like glue drying. Also, I forgot to mention that the fretboard was pre-slotted. It was one he had sitting around ready to go. Also, the sides of the neck weren't shaped yet in this photo, I guess it's hard to tell.
     

  12. Thanks for posting this thread! I'm going to a luthier school in January and I'm trying to soak up what I can now. This is much appreciated!
     
  13. shnapper

    shnapper

    May 1, 2005
    Az
    This time frame question has sparked my curiosity so I did a search :)

    I found a site, Hoffman guitars (acoustic guitars) and this guy has a step by step process page for everything. Granted these are hollow body acoustic guitars, but the neck process is fairly extensive and must be similar to other guitar neck building techniques.

    GW also has process pictures and the necks appear more "raw" while being built. Maybe certain types of necks and so forth take longer. Not to mention making more than one bass or guitar at a time.

    I was just wondering if the neck on the "Bach" is a 3 piece, 5 piece or single piece using several different woods?

    Does it have a truss rod?

    I can only assume you guys knocked out a guitar in record time because he dedicated all his time to a single unit.

    Cool pictures, looks like a nice instrument. Let us know how it plays and sounds when you get a chance. :bassist:
     
  14. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I don't know much about Hoffman so I can't really comment on that.

    The neck is a single piece of Birdseye maple, no laminates. It does have a truss rod that is accessable at the base near the body.

    Yes, it is going so fast because he's just working on this bass right now and his shop is very well equipped.

    I should have final pictures tomorrow after the hardware shows up. Basically it will be done today but I couldn't get the hardware and electronics any faster without getting killed on shipping costs.
     
  15. Sutton

    Sutton

    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    If you dont mind me asking, how much did it cost?
     
  16. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I have a special arrangement with Aron for this particular bass. I'm not really at liberty to discuss it without his permission. But, I know his prices are fair. It's also pretty specific to each project. He only makes 1 at a time.
     
  17. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It will need screws in the winter. In regards to time certain things are naturally time consuming, like spray finishes and multiple laminate glue drying, etc. Plus I approach carving like audio mixing - its best to let it sit a little while and come back with fresh ears (or hands and eyes in this case) every once in a while.
     
  18. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Hi Aron Bach here
    Im pretty new to the whole cyberspace thing. This project that I am doing for Josh has been alot of fun. I actualy dont build instruments anymore but decided to do this under special circumstances. I do not live in the united states. I live in Germany as I have moved there a year ago for Master Carpenter school or Tischlermeisterschule. I am a career Carpenter and furniture maker....or atleast that is how I pay the bills. I came back to the states for 2 weeks to visit my dad and to build an EUB for German Bassist Alex Lauer. I am only here for 2 weeks as in Germany I have vacation from school at this time, and will be returning to Germany on the 30te of May. I Happened to meet Josh at Woodcraft supply and the Idea came up to Build the 4 string. My dad actualy had all my old templates so we were like why the hell not. So when I finished the EUB we started the 4. I really do love building but getting out of California and getting my education is more important right now than trying to make a career out of building high end instruments. I mean there are so many talented folks Building I feel quite unworthy trying to pedal my ware or trying to compete against them.
    By the way the the neck clocked in at 4 hours and 25 minutes with out final fret dressing
    that includes
    -planing and surfaceing
    -scarf joint
    -truss rod slot
    -gluing and drying of overlay and fingerboard as we used Cyanoacralate with accelerater
    -shaping with templates
    -radiusing
    -hittin the fretts in
    -hand shaping with rasp and scraper
    -final sanding
    -micromeshing
    -wax
    Josh had not payed as much attention to the time as I had ....I mean I work in Germany.....time and calculation is everything...I try to be as accurate with this as possible.
     
  19. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    More Pics!


    The finished body with the bridge and electronics all ready to go.
    [​IMG]


    Check out this headstock! Definitely my favorite part of this bass. People will notice that!
    [​IMG]


    Aron and Alex with the finished products.
    [​IMG]


    Myself and Alex each with our respective instruments.
    [​IMG]


    The total time to construct BOTH of these basses was about 7 days. And we spent a lot of time running around looking for specific parts and things like that too. We started on Wednesday the 18th, and finished on Thursday the 26th. Yeah, do the math, that's 9 days. We took the 24th off and had 2 half days in there to catch up on sleep. Aron does good work extremely fast and effeciently.

    Aron and Alex both will most likely be joining us very soon on TB. They were impressed to see a site dedicated to bass with so many users from across the globe.
     
  20. schmittuml

    schmittuml Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    that headstock reminds of me of a Carl Thompson....... nice choice.