1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Frank's new bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by T2W, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    well here goes another bass. It's a five string neck through, and the one big challenge is this is a leftie. Just drawing up the plans today and did them for a righthand bass. Can't do that when its time to cut up the body... hihihi. Here is a quick shot of the plan.


    Do not be mistaken and confuzzled now, this is not a headless, I just didnt draw the headstock. Its pretty awesome that Frank wanted my design, especially as a leftie, this'll be cool. Here are the woods we are gonna use. The wings will be Zebrawood 1 1/2" thick. The neck is Purple/Wenge/P/W/P. I will route out the top of the neck blank about 1/4" and glue a Zebrawood piece on there, then final taper. Ill add 1/8 strips of Purple/Wenge between the wings and neck. So from top itll look like a droptop but with stripes following the taper.


    I cut all that up today and ended up with this. And then... ta ta tada.....


    I resawed all this on the table saw, then took out my planer. I started with the Wenge fingerboard, it went about 2 inches in before the planer started screaming for mercy and suddenly... nothing. It aint the braker it aint the fuse on the machine its dead. period. I took it all apart and the motor really is messed, even direct it doesnt work. So I guess I wont be making too much noise in my shop nowadays HAHAHAHA I shouldnt laugh this really sucks. luckily my Dad has the same planer in his shop so ill plane down these pieces over there. With birth comes death I guess. RIP planer.
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Lefty Subscribed!
  3. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    You should come here. There are guys who can revive anything and you don't even have to wait till the third day!! :p
  4. dude, there's no challenge in it being left! you just remember to lay the body and headstock template backwards, everything else is the same! :D

    looking good.
  5. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Thats already way more than I can handle... I just look at the drawing and I feel dizzy. hahaha.
  6. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Well it seems like I thought about the problem more than I should have thought about the solution. My step father is pure Italian and knows half the city, when I told him about my planer, he called one of his friends, I brought the motor to him, and not only did he fix it the next morning, he didnt charge me a penny. Its great. So yesterday I went to the shop with my motor, bolted it in place and planed all the wood for Frank's bass.

    First issue I had was this particular piece of Purpleheart. When I resaw, especially expensive woods, I tend to always leave about an 1/8 extra. That way if I got a bow in one of the pieces I can plane it straight. I do this as much as I can and I dance and sing everytime it (a bow) happens. This piece of purple bowed a little as soon as I cut it. I nailed it to the other piece of purple and shimmed it. That way the piece doesnt move at all under the pressure from the rollers in the planer, I start planing it right in the middle, not at the edge. To give you a bit more info, I even push the shims in a little, that way when I plane it down, and I take out the shims, I create another very, very slight bow but in the other direction. Works everytime, just had to think about it. (I did the mistake of glueing up a piece of bowed wood in a neck once. never again)


    Here are all the straight lams together. All bookmatched. Ill show in a pic later on.


    Glue up.


    and here is the Wenge fingerboard slotted. 35" 24frets.


    The board with the beer. :smug:


    I woke up on my workbench with sawdust in my beard (no joke) and got straight to work on Franks bass. I planed the neck blank.


    Then routed for the truss rod.


    routed out 9mm off the top at the end of the fretboard and glued a 7mm Zebrawood piece.


    While it was drying I cut the headstock angle, cleaned it up, and glued a 3mm zebra plate.


    I then finished the truss rod route with a 'dish' bit, the Zebra is only 7mm and the channel is about 12mm so I dug past the zebra and into the wenge/center lam. It looks awesome. and the truss rod is neatly tucked under the board.


    Final tapered


    Its tapered all the way through. Fingerboard glue up.


    Im goin back to the shop later on tonight to trim the board and put in the side dots, start rough shaping the neck. Thanks for checkin out the progress. More to come.
  7. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    REALLY nice so far... keep posting the process pics... I love them!
  8. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Here is a quick pic of the side dots and two thin coats of polyurethane on the board. Id like to fret this one on monday.

  9. Gone


    Mar 21, 2006
    Cape Town
    Jayda custom basses, builder
    Looking good!
    I've gotta have a go at a purpleheart neck sometime.
  10. Very nice so far. Looks like a quality bass in the making.
  11. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Mario why you put the poly coats before fretting the FB?
  12. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Irvine, CA
    My guess is so that the wenge doesn't give the player splinters and if he does it before the fretjob he doesn't have to remove the finish from the frets later. Just a guess. :)
  13. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    I always wondered why all your fingerboards have that circle watermark ;)

    How is Wenge for fretting, do they go in nicely or is it a pita like Purpleheart?
  14. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    Can't wait to see this finished. Some pretty wood you've got for it.
  15. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    I put the poly first, let it dry, then fret. I got those little aluminum pieces with the groove so I can work and not damage the finish. Also when im done with the fretting I cover up the whole board with masking tape. Its kinda annoying but hey, at one point, we gotta be careful working on a bass, lay it down on a clean surface, free of small pieces of wood that could damage a Mahogany body.

    Wenge is alright to slot, it was my first and I was surprised. I could feel the grain through the saw. I must say, I love Frank as a friend, but I surely don't love him for the woods he chose. Purple and Wenge are some of my least favorite woods to work with.
  16. pure italian huh? Since he helped you out, one day he will make you a proposition you will not be able to refuse :)
    BTW I was in your city yesterday, wonderful place, we had a great time, and it is great to be able to use my French, loved it...
  17. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Yep wonderful place indeed, I aint from here but im happy my folks brought me here when I was a kid.

    Some more work today, I fretted the neck. I think Ill be patient and do as much work on the neck before gluing on the wings.



  18. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Work has been goin very good on this bass. Pic of fret ends glued and headstock backplate.



  19. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    about 26 hours in and thisis what I got so far. Not bad for a week's work.



    I love this bass and Frank is coming to the shop tonight to check it out. I hope he likes it just as much as I do.
  20. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Frank came over today and we shaped up the bass a lot, drank a few beers and threw MDF around the shop. I also routed out the cc, Ill finish it off tomorrow after getting some double sided tape to hold the template.



Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.