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First Bass Complete!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Geoff St. Germaine, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Hi all,
    I've pretty much finished my first bass. It's a 7 string fretless. Specs are:

    35" scale
    Bolt on 7 piece wenge/purpleheart neck
    Two dual action truss rods
    Stabilized quilted maple fingerboard w/ abalone front and side dots
    Hard ash body with quilted maple top
    Bartolini G67 pickups
    Bartolini NTBT 18V Preamp (vol/blend/bass/treble)

    The only things I'm missing are a C string (it broke!) and the screws for the pickups... once I have those I'll be ready to rock.

    There are a number of small errors on the bass, but all in all I've pretty much figured out how to correct most/all of them for next time. I'm just waiting for wood to start #2, should be here next week.
  2. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    wow, nice job man. The body shaping and contouring looks great. And that fretboard is unbelievable.

    What's up with the cavity covers? That's the only place that looks a little rough.
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Oh, there's more than that that's a little rough. They are clear acrylite right now and the copper colous is copper tape. So there are some lines in the tape which show through. Once I sand them flat the lines should show, just a hazy copper colour... I hope.
  4. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    Haha. There's always errors.
  5. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    im really digging that fingerboard!!!
  6. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Every time I see a new "I just finished my first bass" thread it makes me realize just how slow my project is coming. I did finally get some clamps the other night, though, so I should be gluing up my body halves soon :D.

    I love that body shape, and the neck seems to have come out nice. Like teej said, that fingerboard is awesome.
  7. davepack

    davepack Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Looks great! Where'd you get the fingerboard? Gallery Hardwoods?

    My first should be complete in a couple weeks...
  8. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    its a beauty. When/if I make one, I hope the wood looks that nice!! The fingerboard is just amazing!
  9. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    The fingerboard and top are from gallery hardwoods. Larry is a great guy! I bought all the wood for the next bass from him.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Perfection dosen't come out of human hands, and you covered your mistakes pretty nicely. Great result!

    But there are no tuners...you might need some... ;) ;) :D
  11. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Wow.. did you have extensive woodworking experience before attempting this? I'd be worried to do my first bass with such gorgeous woods :p

    Congrats on the bass - it's stunning (at least from this distance ;) ) :hyper:
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Nice. How much does it weigh ? Lol. I think Larry is single-handedly supporting the whole beginning bass builder market !
    Again, Very nice work!
  13. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I was thinking about putting some on.
  14. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    This is technically speaking the third instrument I've worked on. I've also helped a friend build 2 guitars.

    Also, I've done a fair amount of woodwork with my dad... mostly cabinets and cupboards.
  15. Best looking fingerboard I've ever seen, ever.

    Why not just attach thin copper sheet to the acrylite, cut to size?
  16. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Yep, Larry sure know how to pick 'em.

    I could do that, but I'm going to see how it looks once the acrylite is more translucent as opposed to transparent.
  17. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Thought you might!
    That's a loooong headstock, 'bout the longest I ever seen, from nut to first tuner. :eyebrow:
  18. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Yeah, I did that on purpose a little as an experiment. As for the results of the experiment, the only thing I can tell you is that it's brother's headstock will be considerably shorter.
  19. Geoff, here's a little idea that I tried and it held some possibilities for the future:

    Like you, I put some copper tape on the back of some clear acrylic. It looked OK from about 5 paces but the adhesive wasn't smooth enough to look perfect so it had little dinks here and there. This copper was used as a 1/2" band around a clear cavity cover. To camouflage the imperfections, I took a ballpoint pen and began making a regular, running pattern across the entire strip around the piece. Very small circles, hatching, dots, all broken up with long dividing lines. I wasn't duplicating any known pattern - just making it up as I went. The copper was soft enough that the pen impressed a neat line into the metal. When the pattern was complete and I turned it over - WHOA! - the impressed lines now were rising up from the copper surface and it looked like some sort of intricate cast piece of filigree jewelry. It was a look you couldn't get any other way but to support the copper to make the design from the back. I bet you could adapt this to your design there and make something beyond the ordinary to go along with the rest of the wild things you've pulled together in this instrument.
  20. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Thanks for the tip! I'll give that a whirl.

    All my threaded inserts and machine bolts arrived today so it looks like I can attach the pickups properly now.