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FatStrings five string, Bass VI inspired...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FatStrings, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    I finally have some time to post one of my latest projects, a Fender Bass VI inspired five string bass. I just love the look of the originals, but don't have much use for one.

    I'll be shooting for a real pre-CBS feel on this one. Nitro lacquer finish, thick tort pickguard and lots of chrome!

    Here is my CAD drawing that I'll be working from. I like to build things in CAD first, it really helps eliminate a lot of guess work and mistakes. This drawing was very much done by "eye" and I'm quite sure none of these parts would fit a real Bass VI. If they did it would be a miracle!

    As you may have guessed, I like to build basses that never were (but maybe should have been :p )

    You can also check out my other builds by following the links in my signature.

  2. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    I'll start with the pickups. I was winding several sets at once for a few different projects. These will be A5 magnets, AWG 42 wire, push back leads and wound to around 8K ohms. RWRP for the middle p'up.

    Bobbin material. Gray bottom and black for the tops.


    Machining the bobbins....

  3. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    OK, ready to start assembling.

  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Groovy idea, and nice machining!
  5. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Thanks Bongo!
  6. Sub'd... gotta love a bass built from the ground up
  7. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    After brushing a few coats of lacquer to insulate the magnets, I've mounted the bobbin in my winding setup and let it spin! This pic is of a four string p'up, but otherwise identical.


    These came out nice. And vary from 7.8k -8.4k. I'll probably put the 8.4k in the bridge position.

  8. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    After wrapping the coil in white cotton string, these have been wax potted. They're looking vintage already! :bassist:

  9. DWest1981

    DWest1981 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Extremely cool! I'm really looking forward to watching this one come together, really enjoyed the other two also!
  10. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    I feel the same way!

    Thank you DWest! I'm wicked glad your diggin' it :)
  11. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    The other two were amazing - I'm sure this one'll be too. Subbed.
  12. ShiftyShift


    Mar 12, 2012
    Sub'd, I LOOOVE your builds. What are you planning to use for the tremolo on this?
  13. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Thanks for the vote of confidence man!

    And thanks to you too! No trem planned for this build(IMO trems belong on guitars not basses :rolleyes: ), but I will have to make the bridge, as I don't think there is anything out there that looks even remotely right for this.
  14. you da man!
  15. ShiftyShift


    Mar 12, 2012
    Something like a modified Jaguar bridge I'm guessing?
  16. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH

    Yeah. Nothing fancy, just functional and cool looking. More of a combo design, but made from scratch.
  17. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    On to the body...

    Here I've glued together a body blank from a few American Cherry scraps I had from previous builds. I'm recycling!


    I made a cardboard template to check the blank size and outline position. This should work nicely!

  18. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Starting to mill the outside profile. The body is a little too wide to mill it all in one step, so I have to do the upper portion, slide the machine head out, then mill the lower portion.

    It's starting to look like something already!!


    Pickup and control cavity done, along with pickguard and bridge holes.

  19. MarkusBass


    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    Me too! Sub'd!
  20. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Looking good!