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Five string neck through build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SlingBlader, May 1, 2018.

  1. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Hello everyone. Long-time lurker and my first build post. I made an introduction post in the the "Who are you?" thread earlier today if you want a little background on me.

    So, long story short, I've built a couple of guitars, but this is my first bass build. I've always wanted a bass with neck through construction, but could never afford any of the brands that I admire such as Smith, Wyn, Alembic, Fodera, etc.

    Over the winter I started sketching out a design on those giant Post-It pads in my spare time. Although I drew inspiration from many basses that I like, I hope that the design is fairly original. It's incredibly hard to not to get close to another design, even accidentally. :meh:

    So, here are the basic specs that I have at the moment.
    • 35" scale
    • Neck through
    • Maple neck with stringers to be determined
    • Mahogany wings
    • Top woods/laminate sammich to be determined
    • Matching headstock laminate
    • Black hardware
    • Hipshot Ultralite tuners
    • Hipshot D style bridge and tailpiece
    • 2 Aguilar MM pickups
    • Aguilar OBP-3 preamp
    I'm really kicking around the idea of building 2 or 3 variants of this bass right off the bat. I did this on my guitar builds and I'm glad that I did. I built one from poplar as the primary wood and I used that guitar to test jigs, tooling etc. It was the sacrificial lamb and it made me much more comfortable with many processes.

    OK, that's probably enough for tonight. :)

  2. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Hey Gary, looking forward to your bass build!
    Those Les Paul’s look great! Nice glossy finishes :)
  3. Welcome to the forum and erm bass building addiction / therapy...
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.
  4. Subscribed!

  5. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks, very kind of you. :)

    Thanks for the welcome! :D

    Thanks, CJ... hoping to post a bit of content soon. :)
  6. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Choices, choices...

    OK, so I know the basic specs, but you may have noticed that I left the top and laminate woods unspecified. I'm almost certainly doing more than one of these builds. Whether they will all be 5 strings is another issue, but they will be variants of the same basic design.

    There is a reason for my indecision on wood choices. I guess now is as good a time as any to admit that I have a problem.

    "Hi, my name is Gary and I can't stop buying wood." :rolleyes:

    Here's what I'm talking about:

    No, seriously... I can stop any time, really! :help:

    Here are some of the top contenders for the top, ziricote, pomele sapele and some pretty stunning quilted maple.

    Here are some precut fretboards that that are wide enough for a 5. Other choices would have to be cut from larger stock, which is certainly an option. I also just received a billet of figured Gaboon ebony that would look stunning on a fretless.

    Right now, I'm leaning toward a ziricote top, with maple veneer and mahogany wings along with an ebony fretboard... or maybe birdseye maple??

    More soon.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    MYLOWFREQ, Rôckhewer, Beej and 8 others like this.
  7. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    My Wood Porn needs have been temporarily satisfied. Please proceed.
  8. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
  9. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Ha! Yeah sometimes too many choices makes me freeze up though. Glad I could help with your fix. :smug:

    Lol. I know, I am so broken. :wacky:
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. Gary, you are a sick man ... my diagnosis is acute W.A.S. (Wood Acquisition Syndrome), and the only known cure is to start shedding stock by building. The only other alternative I can think of is to send some to Japan ... I know a guy that can help you in your plight. Please note that CITES violations apply to both sender and recipient, but Curly Maple is specifically allowed ... in fact prescribed. Failure to heed this warning could endanger your health! ;)

    Beautiful Stash, my friend! drool
    Bobro likes this.
  11. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks! This winter was especially bad for me for some reason. I kept telling myself, "this is the last wood purchase for a while". Then, there would be another sale, or I'd see another piece that I could not resist... Ugh.

    The worst part is that this isn't nearly all of it. The loft of my shed is loaded with more maple, cherry, poplar and walnut.

    I appreciate the offer to help, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for an intervention yet... :D
  12. Dayum! Jealous!
    SlingBlader likes this.
  13. There is some lovely pieces of timber there! Very nice! Just think...in a few years...your workshop floor will be covered in their shavings and dust! That's a really nice workshop and working space you have there. That drum sander's going to come in real handy!
    That piece of quite maple is really very nice. I would be tempted to get that resawn down into a number of book matched tops. It would be a pity to waste it all on a single body.
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  14. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks, man. Yeah, that's just my garage. I did a remodel on it a couple years back and it is pretty nice, I have to admit. New drywall, insulation,, lighting, electrical subpanel, etc. All of the bigger tools, including my workbench, are on wheels so that my wife can still park in there. We have been searching for a place with a more appropriate workspace, but so far, we have not found the ideal place.

    As for the maple, yes, that will become multiple tops for sure. :D
  15. Son, you need help... real badly need help
    SlingBlader likes this.
  16. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    I resawed that ziricote and ran it through the drum sander. Here are some options for a top. I'm planning to do a full top, and not just on the wings.

    The third one may not be possible due to some flaws in the wood. What are everyone's thoughts?





    Oh, and our magnolia tree is blooming right now. Simply magnificent. The fragrance is just overwhelming and intoxicating. (that is our neighbor's house in the background, not mine. :) )

    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  17. No 1 looks fantastic
  18. arctur


    Nov 13, 2015
    Cologne, Germany
    ...so PRS's "Private Stock" is really just them having your phone number? :woot: Seriously, this is killer!
    And I second that I like the first option best. There is something about the symmetry in combination with the wild grain that I think will make for a very satisfying instrument.
    I wish you much success with the build:thumbsup:
  19. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    1+ on No 1 :)
  20. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yep, #1.

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