First build thread 'Roberts JB4'

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by roberthabraken, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Hi there, going to start my first build after weeks of reading, drawing and thinking about building my own bass! Very excited about this! I have some wood working experience, but not much (I built RC planes in the past and always liked working with wood) and I am a musician for about 20 years (saxophone / guitar / bass)..

    Some specs I have in mind:

    - Mahogany body with nice top & laminated center (ash / sucupira e.g.).. semi-hollow /w tone holes, maybe with a transparent red finish
    - Indian rosewood fingerboard /w 24 frets, no inlays and almost flat (40" radius or something like that)
    - Wengé neck (or maple... not sure)
    - 4 Strings
    - Ultra Jazz pickups from DiMarzio / passive / only 2 volume controls
    - All golden hardware (Gotoh bridge and tuners)

    And a photo of the design, paper template and plywood (for the template):


    Still working on the headstock design..

    I'll keep you posted!
  2. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    well that is an awesome design ! have fun with the build !
  3. Jeronimofesto

    Jeronimofesto Luthier: JC Basses

    Oct 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    Looks great. I like the sound holes a lot.
  4. I made some progress today.. it's a slow build, or at least, for now, because I had to clean up a bit and create a decent working space first. Also bought me a new jigsaw, with more power and accuracy. It is capable of handling thicker wood, so maybe I am going to do the rough cut of the body blank with my jigsaw too... saw some band saws, but they cost a little more than I want to spent on tools for now.

    So here's some photos of the plywood template. I am happy with the result, but still needed to fill some minor gaps. Next thing is sanding it to a real smooth template, so I'll be on this for another day I guess..


  5. That's going to look really great!
  6. SirBass


    Jan 1, 2007
    Sweet home...
    nice design
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Very nice design - the lower bout reminds me of some of the Schecter designs, which I find very attractive.

    I have done a few bass bodies with a jigsaw; it works out fine for me, because I follow it up with a template bit on the router table.

    Sound holes for a first build? You're ambitious, aren't you? Just don't get in a hurry, and you'll be okay!
  8. Yes, I'm going to follow it up with a template bit on the router anyhow. And for the sound holes.. not sure about that, but I really really like them, so if I have the guts, I'll go for it!

    And yes, I am ambitious.. and also a perfectionist :D. Since it is my first build, I am working very very slow and as accurate as possible.. don't want to mess it up :smug:.
  9. If you don't mind my asking - what is this "template bit" you guys are referring to?

    It sounds quite useful...
  10. It is a regular router bit with a 'guide' on top of it. After you cut the body blank roughly, you screw the template on it (at the neck pocket and pickup locations e.g.) and then you route the body. The guide of the template router bit follows the contours of your template and the shape will be transfered on the body.

    The only thing you need is a perfect and smooth template..
  11. And to be really careful where the contours go against the grain - otherwise tearout happens :(
  12. What can you do to prevent this? Slow down the speed of movement or lower speed of the bit?
  13. Ther's nothing wrong with a bit of Drozd inspiration, very, very nice basses.

    My only observation is that I don't think you need that narrow strip to make the neck pocket on the treble side, it should still be structurally sound if that was removed and the treble side horn blended into the neck
  14. Im a total beginner with a router, I found a lot of problems but not too many solutions yet :( Next time, I'll just use hand tools to tidy up the outline.

    Ideally I'd do a course on routing but Ive not found any venues locally that do them. I did find this tho:

    At about 7 minutes in he talks about where tear out is likely. To avoid it, he removes as much material up to the line as possible using other tools, so the router bit only needs to take a very shallow pass at the trouble spots.

    I'd like to see how other people solve this problem?
  15. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    nope, that sounds about right, you could go with the grain for all of it, if you started and stopped and moved the router so its always going with the grain
  16. Yes, you may be right.. but after I drew it for the original purpose I started to like it there, it's unique and I think it looks great.
  17. Thanks! Maybe we should start a thread about it / or there already could be one..
  18. Good idea, but to do this youd have to flip the workpiece over so that the bit is spinning the other way relative to the workpiece.

    So, if you started with a bit with the bearing at the top, when you flip the piece over you'd have to swap it out for one with the bearing at the bottom. Definitely doable!

    Cheers! :)
  19. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    yes, do able but alot of work. so screw it, hahaha
  20. Still sanding, filling, sanding, filling... :smug:


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