Dale Bluebond tribute bass, second build (kind of)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ArtGuy9516, May 11, 2015.


  1. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I've been lurking here for a while and have been bitten by the build bug. When I lived in Philly in the early 90's I got a lot of help from Dale Bluebond building a fretless four string (the green one). I have no build diary for this bass the body of which I carved and shaped while Dale did the rest of the work. In truth I wanted one of Dale's basses but couldn't justify spending the money to buy one. Since being bitten I am going to try to emulate one of Dale's classic body shapes which I free handed onto some butcher paper. I looking for feedback right now on the body shape and proportions compared to his six string version. My completed bass will be a 4 string bolt on rather than neck through. The body will have a maple back, a walnut and sycamore top, and a Carvin neck. Once I get started I plan to keep a build diary which I will post.

    BRG-01 copy.jpg Bluebond01ab.jpg Bluebonnd tribute MK1a.jpg
     
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  2. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I love your take on his design, not a direct copy but enough to give a nod in his direction for sure.

    In regards to some minor feedback, you might try making the upper horn a little thicker than it currently is - looks like it could be up to half again as thick and stay in proportions. You might also try drawing the upper horn closer to the body - see how far your lower horn sticks out in comparison to the lower bout? You could measure the tip of the small horn to the centreline, and then transpose that distance onto the upper horn. Whatever that distance is, try the upper horn no further away than that distance.

    These are just suggestions though, feel free to completely disregard, lol :)
     
    Dark Horse likes this.
  3. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    What ^Beej said !!!


    Nice looking design overall...I'm looking forward to watching your build develop !
     
  4. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I modified the shape and width of the upper horn to bring it closer to the body. I think it brings it closer to Dale's design compared to the body shape I was contemplating . Which body style is better (A) the one on the right or (B) the one on the left when compared to the source of inspiration (above).
    Bluebond TributeMK2 copy.jpg Bluebonnd tribute MK1a.jpg
     
  5. I'd go with "B"...
     
  6. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    After a long hiatus i am back to building! I have finalized the Bluebond tribute’s shape. The body will be a maple back and a walnut and sycamore top. With the help of my father-in-law i thicknessed the timber and have glued up the back
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Welcome back.
     
  8. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks
     
  9. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    The. Top is glued up as well. When combined the timber is about. 1.25” thick. We glued up some more maple with a sycamore center plank to bring up the thickness to over 1.5”. Guess I’m makin a samich.
     
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  10. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Rough cut the body pieces today with my jig saw. At times the bladee would pop out. It felt like i was cutting a cm at a time LOL (crummy ipad photos)
     

    Attached Files:

    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  11. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I’ll clean up the pieces with a router or router table depending on what i can access. I don’t really have a workshop at home.
     
  12. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I haven't decided what to do with the middle layer of the samich. Should I leave it natural or dye it? I spent some time yesterday rounding over the wood sample yesterday with rasps and a spoke-shave. I'll probably wind up using a round over bit though once the bass is all glued together.
    IMG_0336.JPG
     
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  13. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    My brother in law mailed me his router and some bits including a flush trim bit. I haven’t used the router yet. Waiting until I get a ortable work bench and learn some more about routing. Patience....I’ve got loads of it...but still want to build!
     
  14. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    So it's been a while and I thought it was time for an update. Initially I was using a board across a pair of saw horses for my work bench. It could be pretty unstable. I bought a workmate to replace it. It's nice to have something that isn't jury rigged.:)

    So I took a class on using a router in February since I've never used one before and bought some poplar which I glued up to make a practice body blank. I then used a template bit. Chewed up the blank somewhat...when the bit slipped off of the template which is only 1/4 thick. Ugh. Good thing it was practice. I think I'll just sand the shape flush once I've made my sandwich. IMG_0366.JPG
     
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  15. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Fast forward to April. I joined a local maker space to get access to a wood shop. The rate is pretty reasonable and I will have access to soldering stations and a laser cutter too. So this weekend I went in and made up some clamps from a 2 x 4 and bolts. I got the idea from somewhere on the web to do this. So last night I glued up the bottom and middle sections together and put in the top so that the clamps would work. I know that this is kind of a poor man's clamp farm but the technique worked for the guy who inspired it so....
    IMG_0373.JPG
    I took the body out of the clamps today and routed channels for the pickup wires and the bridge ground:
    IMG_0374.JPG IMG_0374.JPG I'm debating whether to add a chamber to reduce some weight. Next step is to make the control cavity before I glue on the top. I'll be out of town this weekend so I won't get to any more work this week.
     
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  16. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    Well. I did get to do more work last week before I went out of town. I made a chamber and carved out the control cavity. Since then I have glued on the top, inserted a bridge ground wire that I can't move because it is mashed in between the top and the two other layers and spent a lot of time with a spindle sander last night cleaning up the sides so that I can route the body shape if I want to. I have to fix the template from where it is chewed up along the neck joint area. I have really been enjoying the maker space I joined and using the wood shop. It's nice having access to proper tools. IMG_0375.JPG IMG_0376.JPG
     
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  17. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    I had a disaster that I don't know how it happened...A portion of the bottom layer around the control cavity broke. IMG_0379.JPG I was able to glue the pieces back in place without too much difficulty. I had some other disasters when routing the body against the template but have sanded out most of those mistakes. IMG_0381.JPG
    I'm probably going to sand out that remaining divot on the top half of the body later this week.
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  18. Ouch! That’s where a natural finish becomes a solid color.:):banghead:
     
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  19. ArtGuy9516

    ArtGuy9516

    Apr 10, 2012
    Richmond, VA
    There doesn’t seem to be much of a seam along the side of the bass. I’ll look at the back tomorrow. Ill try to fill any gaps with wood dust. was planning on staining the maple anyway.
     
  20. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    If you glued it up cleanly and there aren't too many missing chips, odds are it will be hidden pretty well once sanded and finished. :)
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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