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First bass build - trying to use only recycled native New Zealand woods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by joppo, Feb 10, 2018.


  1. Shaping the neck. I found this bit terrifying at first, but wasn't too bad in the end. Starting to look like a proper neck now.
    file.jpg
     
  2. b3e

    b3e

    Sep 5, 2017
    Warsaw, Poland
    I like the concept and how you are moving along! :))
     
  3. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    I am in Mr B3e's camp!
     
  4. So, here is the nearly finished front and back of the neck. It has been french polished on the back and the fingerboard has been oiled to bring up the grain. Still a bit of sanding to do, plus drilling the holes to bolt the neck to the body, glue in the nut etc. But it gives a pretty good idea of what it is going to look like.
    file.jpg

    Time for some images of the body!
     
  5. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    Detroit
    Looking real good. :thumbsup:
     
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :thumbsup:

    really looks nice!
     
  7. Body shape
    Here is the template for the body shape. The body is kind of small, so will compensate by having a bit more depth to balance the neck
    upload_2018-2-26_9-55-35.png
     
  8. mark5009

    mark5009

    Feb 17, 2018
    Sydney, Oz
    It's fun to see how this project of yours is progressing. Love that timber! Out of interest, how thick are you going on the neck, both at the heel and the headstock end? I'm building the neck for my 5-string at the moment and thinking about the carbon-rod trade off.
     
  9. I'm just across the ditch in Sydney. Good to see some more stuff coming from our part of the world. I've used a lot of kauri pine for bodies. Soft, but nice and light.
     
    joppo likes this.
  10. I have made it 28mm deep at the heel (bottom of the heel to top of the radiused fingerboard) and 15mm at the headstock. The heel without the fingerboard is 20mm. I took the measurements off a Jazz bass I have that I like the neck on, but the fingerboard is thicker than on the Jazz. It means the string angle from the nut to the tuners is going to be a bit steep, but I'll put a string guide on to compensate.
     
  11. Joining the kauri for the body. A single thickess isn't deep enough so I have two of these
    file.jpg
     
    franksidebottom and J.D. Detroit like this.
  12. This is going to be the top plate - beautiful straight grain. The two stained screw holes in the center left are going to be visible to show it is recycled wood. I'm thinking I'll fill them with epoxy so there isn't a hole left. The other hole won't be visible under the neck joint.
    file.jpg
     
    reverendrally and Matt Liebenau like this.
  13. JSC

    JSC

    Mar 25, 2016
    If you're going to fill them with epoxy, what about using some native/recycled distinctive stone and crushing it up for inlay in there? But then maybe they wouldn't be as identifiable as screw holes.
     
    joppo likes this.
  14. I actually like the fact they are screw holes, and put them somewhere they can be seen, but I really like your idea to do some sort of inlay there.
     
  15. mark5009

    mark5009

    Feb 17, 2018
    Sydney, Oz
    Nice :) I'm doing a similar thing with some Aussie floorboards and have the same "I want the screw holes." I tend to prefer using some ebony stained filler (to match the old holes) rather than epoxy. It seems to work better with oil finishes, somewhat softer, than epoxy. The other thing I've done is to fill with epoxy, then use CA glue, lots of dust, and sandpaper it when still damp. Messy, but the end result is nice, IMO.

    Like all of these things, your mileage will vary with application ;-)
     
    joppo likes this.
  16. Hardwear
    I've taken longer to made a decision on this than any other part of the build. In the end I decided to keep it simple. I've got plenty of passive and active jazz-style basses, so it's going to have a passive P-pick up and controls. Here are the bits that have turned up on my doorstep.
    Hardwear.JPG
    I've gone for the Lace Aluma-P pickup to save a bit of weight in the middle of the bass and a good solid Schaller bass bridge. Since I don't have an upper horn, in my mind this will help a little with balancing the bass. Probably doesn't make much difference. Anyway, chrome hardwear with gold fittings should work really well with the color of the Kauri.
     
  17. Top half cut to shape, and neck, pickup and sound hole routing done. Shape drawn on the back half. The grain on the front is very straight. There is a bit more variation on the back.
    upload_2018-3-11_22-39-6.png
     
  18. The two halves are now glued together. Control cavity has been routed as well and the screw hole and earth for the bridge drilled. Starting to look like a real bass body now
    file.jpg
     
    Matt Liebenau and J.D. Detroit like this.
  19. All glued together and most of the routings/holes drilled. Control plate is mostly wired up, and I've just fitted it to see what it will look like.Still a little excess wood on the bottom side of the neck. I'll remove that after I get the neck holes drilled and fit the neck.
    file.jpg
     
  20. Newbilong

    Newbilong

    Aug 14, 2018
    And then what happened?
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 10, 2021

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