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first p-bass build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jimuhl, May 2, 2010.

  1. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Okay, I have been lurking here far too long, it is now time for me to build my first bass! Amatuer woodworker as a hobby, mechanical designer by profession. Play bass 3-4 times a month for our church worship band (Contemporary Christian style of music). But enough about me, on to the rest of the story:

    -p-bass body
    -warmoth tele-bass neck 1-1/2" at nut
    -Schaller tuners
    -Gutoh bridge
    -SPB-3 p-ups
    -Stew-Mac p-bass wiring kit
    The brown truck showed up -ON MY BIRTHDAY- with most of the parts, from warmoth, stew-mac and elderly instrument.
    The wood I've selected:
    So, hopefully by posting this thread, it will make me actually work on this build, and not let the parts sit around.
  2. Subscribed! Can't wait for more.
  3. mkress77


    Feb 27, 2005
    Subscribed as well.
  4. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    So, being a mechanical designer, have you worked everything out on CAD first? Solid models????
  5. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    I've worked out most of the design in 2d Autocad from some of the available drawings and pdf files. No 3d here. Old dog, not enough new tricks.
    Thinking so far:
    -solid purpleheart down the middle from 8/4
    -chambered maple "wings" with approx. 1/4" purpleheart front and back
    -rear load electronics, no pickguard
    -tele style side mount output jack
  6. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    Curious to see more. =)

    Old? Like... R10 and a digitizer?
  7. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    No, just old like 49. Plus I only use Autocad LT, non-3d. So never really learned to start with 3d stuff. But boy do I remember R10 and the monster digitizer!
  8. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Okay, here's the first try at .dwg to .pdf to .jpg
    purpleheart center section, maple "stripes", maple wings (chambered), purpleheart cover front and back
  9. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Well, started squaring up the purpleheart and maple blanks, I think every blade in the shop is dull or nicked. Managed to work through the planer and jointer, but the tablesaw is a no-go. Duller than dull. Purpleheart plus dull = buy a new blade before you start.
    So, here is what I have so far:
    Maple wings
    Purpleheart center block (some figure!):
    Purpleheart wing "covers" will be cut down to four 1/4" thick pieces (also with figure):
    So, I guess this weekend is replace or sharpen all cutting tool blades weekend. Then I can start making some progress! (As long as the "honeydew" list stays hidden.)
  10. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Replaced table saw blade, boy what a difference! Was able to get a few things done and the center block glued up with the maple side stripes:

    Router table set up and ready to go

    Center block with female keys cut

    Center block and maple stripes before fitting

    Center block and stripes fit up ready for glue

    Glue up #1

    Glue up #2

    That's it for tonite! Tomorrow on to the wings and more sharp blades. Unless it DOESN'T rain here, then it will be mowing the jungle that is the backyard for a couple of hours.
  11. Nomad98


    Dec 13, 2005
    Looks good so far, how are you going to deal with the tummy cut and forearm contour with the chambers?
  12. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    I'm thinking that the chambering will stay about 1" from the outside of the outer contour of the body, and not at all under the forearm contour. I'm hoping I haven't overlooked anything, don't want any blowouts!
  13. bass_snake

    bass_snake Banned

    Aug 13, 2008
    Stouffville, Ontario
    Goodluck! Looking good so far. :cool:

  14. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    Looking good. I like the aesthetics of the center block tongue and groove.

    Liking that Incra fence?
  15. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Love the Incra fence. Use it for the table saw and the router table. Have two positions for it on the extra large router table that doubles as a side table for the table saw.
  16. quido228

    quido228 Guest

    Sep 28, 2008
  17. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    In between and after 4.5 hours of mowing (argh!) I actually got a little more done:

    The Maple wings got chambered.

    Purpleheart got sliced into 5/16" thick pieces, and are ready for glueing.

    End view of all the body pieces. Wings ready for glue up.

    Center block with maple stripes machined.

    Wings glued up. You can never have TOO many clamps! If you look closely, there is another piece of Purpleheart on the table that is currently 1/8" thick that was left over from the wing covers. If I can get it thin enough, it may be used to cover the headstock!

    That's it for tonite. Maybe more tomorrow, maybe have to do something for the wife, only time will tell!
  18. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    Another day in the shop, more pictures to share:

    Center block ready for glue up. Drilled 1" dia. holes in each side, but not all the way through. Got body parts from 8.0 pounds down to 7.2 pounds. Weighed other parts (neck & hardware) at 2.5 pounds for a total of 9.7 pounds. Lighter than I had imagined!

    Wings milled, ready for glueing.

    Starting to look like a bass! Final fit up before glueing.

    End view of assembled parts.

    Glue up part 1.

    Glue up part 2.

    Looks like a p bass!

    Well that's it for tonite! Hopefully will get some time this week to venture back into the shop.
  19. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    man thats cool with the groove joint.
  20. jimuhl


    Sep 2, 2009
    Boring, OR
    With all the pieces I wanted to use, it was the only way I could think of to get everything to stay put when I glued it up. It seems, for me anyway, that the glue up is when things start slipping around. 1/2 the clamps are on and now you have to try and corral the parts and pieces before installing any more clamps!

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