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First build/assembly bass.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Davidmh, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK
    I hesitate to put this on the same forum as some of the builds on here, but I want to document this one so here goes.

    This is a cheap build, but the end product should be ok.
    Having assembled a stratalike from ebay parts last year I have a reasonable idea about what to do - I'm guessing putting a bass together won't be too different

    The body is from a cheap Encore bass. It's a one-piece solid wood body with a durable (according to the reviews about this guitar) finish. I think you'll agree - it looks good.

    Messy routing job....

    Anyway, I've changed the strap buttons from crappy Fender knock-offs to crappy but more substantial buttons. A new, more substantial than the original (generic) bridge is screwed on, and will be hidden by a cover eventually.
    The electrics cavity is now properly shielded, and the body is good to go.
    Cost £46.00 in total (inc hardware).

    The neck.
    The neck is from an Ibenez Gio Soundgear. It's a budget 22-fret neck.
    It was sold as damaged (snapped) but the truss rod was fine so I thought if I can glue this back together it may work.
    The snap was fairly clean, through the scarf joint. Its now glued and the joint seems fine. Everything is nice and straight.

    If it works I've learned how to mend a broken scarf joint.
    The neck was stripped before purchase so I had to buy a truss rod cover and new nut.
    Total cost £17.00. Machine heads will bump the cost up, but not by much.

    More to follow...........
  2. Wow! I have never seen someone fix a cracked neck (which isn't saying much. I've only been a bassist [sorta] for 2 weeks) it looks smooth! Great job!
  3. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK

    We don't have strings on yet though, so I'm not getting excited:D.

    Big problem - Encore make their own pickguards - they are a strange size and as far as I can see only an Encore pickguard will fit the body without redrilling and spoiling the finish.

    I can buy the material for a new pickguard for around £20.00, but I picked up a complete Encore p-type-bass over the weekend for £49.00. I plan to swap the pickguard and use the rest for spares (if the Ibenez neck snaps for instance).
    The new one has a trans-blue body finish. I'll post a pic when it arrives.
  4. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK
    Well the donor guitar arrived today. First appearances not to bad. It's strung with roundwounds, the pups work and the tone and volume pots are fine too.

    What's bad.
    The body has been dropped at some stage and the paintwork is cracked. The neck is some horrible wood. It looks like stained pine but it can't be, can it?
    The neck and fretboard are not a good fit. Nothing some careful sanding won't handle though.
    The body is solid wood, but three-piece, which I don't like personally.
    The headstock with those tuners looks pretty industrial to me.

    The action is way too high. The bridge is adjusted all the way down so I'm guessing this bass has never been set up properly. And the nut is missing a piece of the end,
    The hardware is generic and cheap.
    I'll be selling off the bits left over once my bass is finished - I may get £10.00 for the machine heads and another £5.00 for the bridge. The strap pins are standard Fender knock-offs and worth maybe £2.00 on a good day.
    No shielding in there, unless that paint is shielding, and those foam supports are cut a tad on the mean side.

    Whats good.
    Not a bad routing job.

    The neck is nice and straight (and the truss rod works).

    The tone and volume knobs are your everyday standard heavyweight P-bass knobs.

    The paint-job is nice.

    The scratchplate will fit the sunburst body.

    I won't be keeping this as my first bass:D.

    I wonder how many people have been put off playing because they started to learn on an entry-level guitar or bass?
  5. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK
    The scratchplate was removed from the donor bass, tidied up, and - it fits!

    Starting to come together.........
    The scratchplate was, of course, unshielded. That's fixed.
    The jack is your normal standard everyday jack, so that stays, as do the pots which are smooth and work well.
    The knobs (suprisingly nice heavy chromes) stay too.
    I need to drill a few holes and fit a new earth/ground. The pups are fine for the moment - I'll change them for something better when I'm a bit further down the road.

    Waiting for tuners now. If the neck stays straight once the bass is strung (I'll use the old donor strings if I can) I'l plan something for the headstock - perhaps just paint over the Gio Soundgear part of the logo?
    Thats to think about - I love this stage of the process!
  6. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK
    These arrived this morning:D.

    Stripped unit in background. Assembled unit in front.

    Ok, they aren't Schaller, but they are in keeping with the rest of the build.
    I've worked with cheap tuners before. They work better much better if they are stripped, given a good wipe/polish and lubed before assembly. Only the metal parts need lubed.

    Actually I'm very suprised at the quality of these tuners - solid and the brightwork is nice and smooth. They were under £10 for four, inc postage direct from China. They are advertised as Ibanez tuners, and (hold your breath - I did) they are a perfect fit on the Ibenez headstock. They look good too!

    Here they are in place and beside the cheap and, frankly, highly unattractive Encore headstock.

    I like!
  7. Those are the same tuners I got for mine! Well mine are black, but same style and same build. I stripped mine too. Only problem I had was they were too tight for the holes in the head stock. A little sanding and it was all fixed! By the way, this build is looking great!!


    I paid $14 for mine, but the quality seems pretty good
  8. Davidmh


    Jul 12, 2012
    Wales, UK
    I think the quality is great for the money.

    Sooooooo - the bass was strung and left on Saturday night.
    Sunday morning the neck hasn't moved so I think everything is ok and I can move on to the next part - which is building up a boiled linseed oil finish on the neck.

    This could take a while...........:eek:.

    Thanks for the compliment BTW. I think you are right to go passive for the moment.

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