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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. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    Big lag in posts. Please update us.
    Haroldo likes this.
  2. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    I concur with the two previous posters: please fill us in on how this thing has progressed!
  3. It has taken a while to figure out a good solution to an issue, but definitely well overdue for an update. I was unhappy with the join between the top and bottom halves of the body. There was a small gap at the neck end and at the bridge end where the thicknesser had taken out a little more than the rest of the body. I wanted to cover it in some way to hide the join. My Dad had some 40 year old mahogany veneer which I thought would make a nice highlight and cover the join well, but I'd have to compromise my concept of only using recycled NZ natives. Couldn't think of a way around it, so decided to go with that.

    Next problem was how to make a binding slot that would work now that the two halves are joined together. I got a binding bit from StewMac, and just managed to get a good slot with the bit on maximum extension. A Some careful work with the Dremmel and I removed the remainder of the wood in the center to make a good slot for the veneer. I also rounded the edges of the top and bottom plat at the same time as you can see here.

    ReasonablyHappy likes this.
  4. The veneer is just under 1mm thick, to was quite flexible, but pretty fragile as it has been sitting in Dad's shed for around 40 years. Rather than do the whole body in one go, I decided to do it as a top and bottom halves. A long soak is hot water softened it nicely and then I taped it into the slot to dry in roughly the right shape. Once it was dry, I glued it in place which is easier to say than do. Clamping was rather 'interesting', but I'm happy with the result. There were a couple of loose spots which I have now superglued down to make a really good fit. Here is how it looks after a little sanding


    I've still got to fit the one to the bottom edge, which will take some heat and patience to get around the tight curve on the bottom horn. Luckily I've got lots a veneer so I can have a few attempts to get tit right.
  5. Newbilong


    Aug 14, 2018
    Looking fantastic!
  6. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    Thank you. Keep up the good work.
  7. Finally got to test out the little plane I bought for this build. What a joy to use - it carved like it was a hot knife slicing through butter. The back is now shaped for my advancing middle-aged gut.
  8. Binding in place all the way around. I've giving it a coat of French Polish (contains Shellac) to bring out the warmth in the color of the Kauri. It also shows where I need to spend the time sanding. The neck is now fitted properly. Starting to look really good.
  9. Almost ready to start varnishing. Here I am filling the screw holes I used for the pickup template. Gluing in some little scraps which will be sanded off and be largely invisible. You can see the features in the Kauri grain in this shot.
    Beej and ReasonablyHappy like this.
  10. First coat of varnish on. I'm using pre-catatalized lacquer which is easy for a rookie like me to get a nice finish.
    Beej, ReasonablyHappy and tbrannon like this.
  11. mark5009


    Feb 17, 2018
    Sydney, Oz
    I love how kauri comes up under shellac. Such a warm wood
    tbrannon and joppo like this.
  12. Spent last night polishing the front and back. Still have the sides so go. I've also started shielding the pickup and control cavities.
    IMG_0299.JPG IMG_0298.JPG
    Beej, Teacher, tbrannon and 3 others like this.
  13. Back into the workshop. Finished all the shielding for the cavities and under the bridge with self adhesive copper foil. I soldered wires between each one so they all earthed together. The bridge and pickups have now been fitted and the control plate is ready to go in. I now need to find the wiring diagram for the pickups. I went with Lace Aluma-Ps - I liked the chrome look with the exposed magnetic strips.
    ReasonablyHappy, jhb138, Beej and 3 others like this.
  14. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    Really cool. Keep the posts coming.
  15. Serial number (#001 was a kitset ukulele and #002 a kitset guitar). Now I have to finish it in November. IMG_0304.jpg
  16. Newbilong


    Aug 14, 2018
    Looking forward to seeing the final product and hearing a sound clip, if poss.
    joppo likes this.
  17. Here it is! Neck finished, nut and tuners installed, and strung up with a set of GHS Precision flats. Still got the setup to do, but it's been plugged in and played. It was a very nervous moment for me, but I'm happy to report it has a very big rich warm tone. Today was a very good day!
    Haroldo, I-Am-The-Slime, BAG and 10 others like this.
  18. Newbilong


    Aug 14, 2018
    O for oarsome! Will you be able to give us some sound when you have it set up?
    joppo likes this.
  19. Sure will. Give me a couple of days to get it set up and I'll record a couple of clips
  20. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    Really nice !
    joppo likes this.
  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 16, 2021

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