First Bass That I Built Myself

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RJensen615, Jun 24, 2022.

  1. RJensen615


    Nov 8, 2017
    I have been modding a lot of the bass guitars that I buy. Well I decided that I would build a bass with a body that I would make myself. I had some leftover pieces of 2x4 lumber, from a workshop I built to work on my guitar equipment. So I glued 5 pieces together for the middle section of the body. I left a 2x4 running up the center to mount the neck, drew a body shape and cut away the middle of the side sections to leave 1 1/4" frame on the outside upper and lower bouts. So I guess you could call it a semi-hollow body. I had a few pieces of cabinet refacing plywood,that somebody was giving away, to use for the top and the back. I chose the side of the plywood with no finish, so I could finish it how I wanted. The finished side was cherry, and looked good, but not what I wanted this time. Cut the neck pocket, and pickup cutouts. Made my own knobs. Stained all wood with a walnut stain, and finished with boiled linseed oil. The other parts were all purchased from ebay, to save costs. $173 total. Fender MIM tuners, high mass bridge, Guitarmadness ceramic lipstick humbucker pickups, alpha controls, and D'Addario EXL190 strings. I wanted to build this as inexpensively as I could. It was a good learning experience. I will do the next one a little differently, as it is neck heavy. Also a different body shape. IMG_0034.JPG IMG_0035.JPG IMG_0036.JPG IMG_0038 - Edited.jpg IMG_0039 - Edited.jpg I wasn't sure how I would like it. Not the nicest looking bass, but it sounds amazing !!!
  2. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Way cool! This post might better fit in the Luthier’s Corner. In any event, you’d probably like it there. Congratulations on doing your own thing :thumbsup:
    C Stone, Killing Floor and JRA like this.
  3. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Nice job. I like the offset waist body and lipstick tube humbuckers. I also used those pickups on a couple of my own mashup builds. I'm considering installing one in middle position of my Hofner Ignition Club bass.

    I have a body blank of Paulownia and I sketched a body of a similar shape on it about a month ago.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022
    C Stone and PennyroyalWe like this.
  4. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Nice looking " Woody Lipstick-Tang "
    C Stone and Killing Floor like this.
  5. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    Bass? I don't see a bass. I think I'll sit on this nice sofa--- OUCH! :)

    Yes, I think the folks in Luthier's Corner would be thrilled to see this. Off it goes.
  6. Snert


    Oct 3, 2021
    Great job. I think it looks neat. Have fun with it, and I especially like the dual lippy pickups.
    Killing Floor likes this.
  7. Looks great. I’d bet the body shape would balance better with lighter tuners but also as a medium or short scale. That’s what next time is for! Welcome to the rabbit hole! :laugh:

    What did you make the knobs from? Body off cuts? Also, more in process pics next time. :D
  8. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Excellent results for your first instrument!
    Dust2Dust likes this.
  9. Cool shape and color.
  10. Eddie Jones

    Eddie Jones

    Sep 18, 2019
    Sylacauga AL

    Dude, that looks amazing for a first effort. And you built it yourself. Hang onto it
    Dust2Dust and Spidey2112 like this.
  11. RJensen615


    Nov 8, 2017
    Hello Matt, I made the knobs from a piece of oak, that just happened to be by the drill press. I used a hole saw, and removed the drill bit from the center of the hole saw. Then clamped the piece of oak in a vice and made four cutouts. Carefully marked centers, and drilled them deep enough to fit on the pots. Sanded them on a belt sander, and then stained them with the same walnut stain as the body. No other finish , as they already had a matt sheen ??? Not sure how that happened, but was glad I didn't have another step to finish. I have licensed Hipshot tuners for the next project. This bass was to see if I could even build a decent bass guitar. Don't like how some things turned out, but I'll know better for the next bass. It does sound really good. One of my favorite sounding basses at this time. Next bass idea is a Ric bass shape, semi-hollow. But I will use maple boards glued together for the center of the body, as I just picked up a 1 3/4" solid maple table that somebody was giving away. I'll use pieces from the table base for the semi-hollow, and use the table top for some solid body bass guitar ideas that I have. I own a Gibson Ripper bass, and a Grabber G3 bass, but don't have a Grabber. The bodies are all the same [ maple ], with same pickguard , so I thought that I'll make my own Grabber bass. I'll try and remember in process pics the next time. It's just that when I got going, I didn't feel like stopping to go grab a camera. The work went by pretty fast. Waiting for the finish to dry, took up the most time. As I enjoy working on bass guitars, time goes by fast. If you enjoy your work, it's not really work, it's pleasure. Thank you everybody for the kind words ! It makes me want to continue building more basses.
  12. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Excellent job!. I'll bet you learned a lot.
    C Stone, Killing Floor and Spidey2112 like this.
  13. RJensen615


    Nov 8, 2017
    Hello mogo2, Thank you. I will definately be buying some more of the dual lipstick pickups, as they sound so good in this bass. I wired each pickup to a three way toggle switch for series/split/parallel. Wow, nice to have different voicing with just a switch. I think the pickup would sound amazing in your Hofner Ignition Club bass.
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  14. RJensen615


    Nov 8, 2017
    I just weighed the bass, 6.5 pounds on my bathroom scale. I was just now thinking, maybe I could drill a hole in the lower bout and add some metal type of slug to add a little weight to the body. Might eliminate the neck dive some ??? What does anybody think about this idea ? Or, just leave it alone ?
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  15. You could tie a helium balloon to the headstock :cautious:. You could experiment by adding a bit of weight at a time to the bottom strap button to gauge whether it’s effective or not and how much is required.
    fourfinger likes this.
  16. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Nice--I really dig the body shape.
  17. 5tring


    Sep 16, 2018
    Great work!
  18. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    That looks awesome. Great job. There’s absolutely no way that I could build a bass. I’m just not good at small details, and it’s all the little stuff that makes a great instrument.
  19. wiscoaster


    Mar 28, 2021
    Well done!! Superior result for a first effort.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I think it looks cool. Those pickups! Do you like them?

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