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FatStrings Oversized Strat Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FatStrings, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Hi All!

    Just thought I'd start a build thread for this cool project. A fellow TBer (Jumbofriendly) asked me to build him a Strat bass with a few key mods.

    First, he's a big guy, so the shortscale versions I've been building won't do. He wants a full 34" scale.

    Second, he wants to incorporate a MM style bridge pickup and forgo the 5 way selector switch for individual mini toggles.

    Third, he'd like a reverse headstock to give it a Hendrix vibe.

    Here is the drawing we started with. Adjusting for the 34" scale wasn't as easy as I had thought it would be. Just about everything needed to be scaled up to look proportional to the neck.

  2. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    I started with the neck this time around, so I'll show that first. I changed some of the fabrication methods I was using to either speed up the process or end up with a better finished product.

    Truss rod.... a spoke style double acting. The suppliers I've tried usually don't have these in the lengths I want them, so I make my own.

    The brass threaded ends
  3. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    truss rod parts complete, now for assembly...


    Assembled with teflon coated plastic tubing to keep the fingerboard glue from sticking...

  4. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Very nice work! I look forward to seeing the build progress. Are you going to be winding the MM pickup?
  5. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Hello from So.NH
    Nice project, there's nothing lile having
    your own axe made for you.

    Stambaugh owner.
  6. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Thank you Geoff! No, the MM style p'up chosen is a Wilkenson I believe. But I may build one in the future to replace it. We shall see.

    Hello! And thank you MrLenny :) Stambough makes some amazing instruments. I can only hope to be that good someday...
  7. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Brett (Jumbofriendly) let me decide what wood to use for the neck. I like to spend some time poking around my local hardwood supplier, Highland Hardwoods, and pick out a stack and then narrow it down from there. I chose a nice piece of birds eye maple and piece of black walnut for the finger board.

    Here are the rough boards...


    And a little closer...

  8. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Here I've got the truss rod slot in and the heel arc milled. The heel arc won't be able to be milled after I install the truss rod, so that's done at this stage.


    A better look at the heel area...

  9. subbeh


    Jul 5, 2012
    Absolutely love the design and I genuinely can't wait to see it taking shape!
  10. love the attention to detail, waiting for more
  11. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    You sure are productive, sir. I like the concept so far, though it's a shame the bridge pickup won't be one of your own. A dual-coil model of your pickups'd probably sounds great.
  12. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    I'm really glad you like it! I can't take full credit for the design since Brett made a lot of the decisions.


    I wish I could be productive enough to have several builds going at once, but this one is already complete. I'm just posting pictures and info when I have time.

    Yes, I'm anxious to build some p'ups other than the single coil style I've been building. Soon I hope :)
  13. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Here I've glued a small wedge of maple into the top end of the truss slot. This will give it a cleaner, finished look.


    I tried a new (to me) clamping method for gluing on the fingerboard. I use my machine table for the clamping surface. The half round cuts along each edge are clearance for clamping bolts.

  14. iJazz


    Jan 9, 2012
    Sussex, WI
    So close to a Perfomer but yet so far. Great build, there is no question, but if I was going that far it'd be a Performer shape.

    iJazz - The Performer was inspired by the back of the Strat and intended to be the ultimate Jazz.
  15. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Setting up to glue and clamp the black walnut fingerboard...


    And clamped!

  16. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH

    I think the Performer is/was very cool, but i don't see the similarity here. Different shape, different p'up setup, different neck (more like a Ric), and way different headstock.

    But I do agree that a Performer like build would be way cool!
  17. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Here is the blank removed from clamping after drying over night. I'm diggin' the black walnut!


    Set back up on the machine and milling the profile.

    Sorry for the blurry pics. I must have had the camera set for manual focus, doh!!

  18. JavierFarias


    Feb 9, 2011
    I've been keeping my eyes on your work, I must say it's AMAZING!!
    I'd love to have one of these strat basses!

    Congrats from Chile!


    - Javier
  19. FatStrings


    Nov 16, 2001
    Southern NH
    Thanks so much Javier!! I'd be more than delighted to build you one if you ever decide you just have to have one :)
  20. bobbybass85


    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Wow! First off, I'm subbed.

    Second, I'm going to scan in an idea I've had for a Tele Bass... I'd love your take on it.

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