First Build, any tips tricks etc?????

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rochey6957, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. A week or so ago i was inspired to try and build a bass body from scrath, and use electronics,hardwear, and a neck from different places. I found myself a sweet looking Silvertone neck on ebay (25 bucks) and an old fender p-bass with a broken truss rod($65). The electronics on the fender worked fine but the action was like WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! SO that neck is not part of the project but the silvertone is.The body shape i have planed is basically a Flying V with an SG tophalf (pictures are in attachments). I need to cut the pickguard from the p-bass just a little along the top near the neck but i might end up shaping it a little different idk yet. I wanna do a sunburst finish because i like the look of natural but i dont want to go all natural.i dont have the wood yet for the body the pictures are just of a template. Any tips you guys have would be awsome. Thanks.

    PS: My dad thinks the body is too big, i dont.

    Attached Files:

  2. Punisher Bass

    Punisher Bass

    Dec 24, 2008
    St Louis MO
    Personally I think it is a bit too big just from a looks standpoint, but have you thought about how much it will weigh when it's done? You could end up with what feels like a sack of bricks around your neck. But it is your bass, you go with whatever you want.
  3. Yeah i thought about that. i did try to scale it down a little but it looked kinda weird, maybe it was because i had been staring at it for like an hour. Maybe ill try some more to scale it down. thanks
  4. When making the body... keep fingers and whatever other extremities you care to mention away from the saw blade.
  5. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    The location of the lower horn looks like it may interfere with one's hand when playing the upper frets. Might just be the angle of the photo though. Also, I agree with your dad, it looks a bit big. If you decide to stick with that size, consider chambering the body...
  6. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    not to be a butthead. but change your design. i did something like that with my first bass, well it was a guitar, i wanted it to look absolutly crazy. bad idea. im not sayin, P CLONE, NOW!! im just saying, go with something that is more guitar esque. come up with a cool design, like a really cool design, but something that you can play. take some examples from people, mold your own from elements of theirs, or just sit down with some paper, and go at her. i guartantee that you will much happier with the results than if you go with something like that. like i said, im ot trying to be an ass, i just know that you think that oooh, wow this will be so cool, its so out there, and cool. but when its done, you will say aww crap, why did i do this, its a monstrosity. but good luck, whatever you choose to do. and im just speaking from personal expiriance
  7. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Measure with a laser, mark with a crayon, and cut with a chainsaw.
  8. yeah i see where your coming from but i did actually sit down nd draw it out on a peice of paper first and it didnt even dawn on me untill i finished it that it was a "Flying V-ish and SG". For those of you who suggested scale down i have. The Flying V part was originally about 24 inches it is now about 20 inches. it was originally 30 inches long from tip of the horn to the end of the V and is now 24inches. Not much of a scale down number wise, but it looks a lot smaller.




    I need to cut the pickguard a little around the top part of the neck.
  9. Im actually thinking about changing my shape now. I cant seem to find any really good pictures that give me that "AHH! I LIKE THAT!" moment. I cant seem to find any gallerys of basses on TB either.
  10. bronzehydra


    Oct 14, 2008
    Mukilteo, WA
    You should take Vbass's advice. I'm currently building my first bass, and I went through many different designs. I started out with a really wild single cut that all my friends liked, but was really uncomfortable looking. I eventually started moving towards more conventional designs. Basically, I took the general idea of a Jazz bass and redesigned it to something I liked. So if I'm going to give any advice, you can work off of a pre-existing design, and make it something you like.
  11. ljzimmer


    Oct 24, 2007
  12. Allen_VA


    Sep 17, 2008
    Hokietown, VA
    In general: If you're going to come up with an original body design, it's a good idea to build a full-size, non-playable prototype out of something cheap, like plywood or something.

    - Gives you a chance to cut it out to make sure none of the curves are 'impossible' to do on your bandsaw.

    - You can hold it in various positions, various strap-lengths, on your lap, etc and find out if it's comfortable or even playable. With a fake neck (or an extra neck like the one you plan to use), you can get a feel for how the body feels, how accessible upper frets will be and so forth.

    - A quick coat of varnish or lacquer will seal it, then you can dip it in a tank of water to measure its displacement. That gives you total body volume and will let you accurately estimate the weight of the body, knowing the density of the wood you're using. This is maybe taking it a bit far...I don't know...I've been known to do that though :)

    Building an instrument is a lot of work, and it's a shame to put that much time into something that winds up being no fun to play!
  13. TUT2222


    Sep 16, 2008
    Englewood, FL
    Don't know if this helps, but my old GibsonV guitar is 16-1/2" wide, and 20-1/2" long. It is also about 7-1/4" high in the V from the tips. I would guess the old V Bass used the same body, but I've never seen one to know.
  14. Hey thanks for the link it helped a good amount tht was exactally wat i was lookin for!

    This time i drew it on some old poster board mainly because it is easier to draw(and erase) on then plywood.



    This design is quite a bit thinner and i will really have to Frankenstein the pickguard. I might just cut out the area with the pots and only use tht. how hard would it be to actually cut a pickguard and not have it turn out like $h!t. not sure if im settled on this design yet though. oppinions are always appreciated.
  15. sirpug


    May 8, 2008
    Everett Wa
    Why do you need the pickguard? Personally, I'm not a fan of pickguards. Just use a router to make a compartment for your electronics on the back side and drill holes for you knobs.
  16. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    "First Build, any tips tricks etc?????"

    Go slow, go easy, but most of all, don't go until you've made certain where you are going.
  17. Sirplug-

    Im not really sure wat u mean and the only reason i asked about the pickguard is because all the electronics are attached to the pickguard from the old fender i bought. i am worried about possibly damaging and having to resolder the pots(im not really skilled at this) if i were to remove them from the pickguard.
  18. bronzehydra


    Oct 14, 2008
    Mukilteo, WA
    The new design looks kind of skinny.

    I'm guessing your inspiration was the RD artist? I think it looks similar, in a way
  19. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    i like that shape a lot, even if it sort of looks like a dancing tooth. JK go for it. if you do make a neck, if the blank is large enough for wastewood, and flat on top and back when you cut the truss rod, you can plane a little of the top, until the depth is perfect
  20. Mcfunkinstein


    Jun 22, 2008
    thats such bull you that you came up with it yourself you know you took the idea from zakk wylde's guitar,you know this one
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    Primary TB Assistant

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