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Fretless 4 in Progress

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by paintandsk8, Nov 25, 2005.


  1. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Well, after the success of my latest EUB build, I have decided to venture into guitar style instruments. I just finished the full size drawings for a 4 string fretless, so im officially calling it "in progress". :bassist:

    - 34" scale
    - 1.5" nut
    - 18mm string spacing
    - FB - Bocote (w/ 5" radius! & no finish)
    - black limba body
    - black limba neck (+ graphite bars & hot rod trussrod)
    - 10 degree tilt back headstock
    - black gotoh GB7 tuning macines
    - black schaller 463 bridge
    - bartolini "X" shape soapbars
    - passive V/V/T

    Guess that about covers it. Here are some pics of the 1:1 scale drawing (sorry for the crappy pics). I'm going to start ordering wood/harware this week, so keep your eye out for in progress shots to come. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to work on this during school breaks, or weekends I decide to drive home. Comments, criticisms, and tips always welcome.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. pacmanb

    pacmanb

    Jan 19, 2005
    Bulgaria
    Looks really nice :)
    except for the controls, there's hardly any space between the knobs.
    And I think it would be better if you make the head a bit longer, past the upper tuning machines.
     
  3. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    yeah, after comparing the headstock to my other basses, I think I need to make the whole thing larger, it's pretty small I think it will need more mass.

    I'm not too worried about the controls at this point, I'll finalize the layout once I have the actuall pots and knobs I'll be using. I just grabbed a penny to make those circles, so they are probably larger than what I'll end up with anyways.
     
  4. mahrous

    mahrous

    Aug 13, 2005
    Egypt
    the controls and machine heads are too near to the edges.
    you will either snap the wood or run out of it when you are profiling the body. the walls of the control cavity will be a bit weak as well.

    but i like the mix of Gecko and MTD. been working on something like that for a while but without good results like yours! well done :)
     
  5. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    The headstock is already being revamped a little, and I did inset the tuners a little more. I am going to have to move the controls in more, in addition to what you said, I didn't include room for a lip for the cover. duh :rollno:
     
  6. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Just thought I'd post a little update, wood and parts have starting arriving over the last week. I can't wait to get to work, I should be making some good progress over the next 3 weeks, and I'm sure there's gonna be plenty of questions. Unfortunately I already made my first rookie mistake. I accidentally ordered a guitar fretboard instead of a bass one. Doh!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Are you going to angle the carbon fibre as shown in the layout there?
     
  8. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    No, that was just quick layout of all the parts I have right now, no real thought put into it. In reality they will be parallel with, and closer to the truss rod to keep them in the deepest part of the neck.
     
  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    black limba is nice to work with I need to get some more. I haven't seen a black limba neck before.
     
  10. I've seen black limba necks on some guitars. I'm very interested to see how it works out on a bass.
     
  11. fattom

    fattom

    Apr 4, 2005
    i like the wood
     
  12. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I can't wait to see how it turns out as well. Warmoth offers black limba bass necks. There's also another TB'er with a black limba neck in the works, can't remember who though.
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I would. To get the rods out towards the edges, increasing the torsional rigidity. A limba neck will likely need this as much as possible.
     
  14. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass

    I did on my purpleheart 6 string

    http://www.clementbass.com/bass pics/bass34/34 full back.jpg

    Be careful shaping the back of it. :bag:
     
  15. I saw it on the Yves Carbonne 10 string where the truss rods are actually installed like this as well.

    It seems that it would be better for torsional rigidity,which I would be more concerned with on bass with 6+ strings.

    I think that as long as you have your neck profile figured out before hand, it should be no problem. Just keep the rods in the deep flat part of the neck at the edge of where the major contouring begins.
     
  16. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Interesting stuff guys. I'll look at it more carefully on the plans tonight. I may try to angle them somewhat, but I'm not going to push it at all. I can't imagine that the gains in torsional rigidity would be great enough to justify risking any problems during shaping.
     
  17. fattie64

    fattie64

    Oct 3, 2004
    looks like a schecter diamond elite 004 :)

    looks sweet so far good luck
     
  18. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Well, I've been making some pretty good progress the last couple days. Got the body blank prepared and glued up. Cut the scarf joint on the neck and got it glued up. Just finished routing the channels in the neck for the truss rod and graphite bars.

    I'll hopefully be ordering a new FB tonight, but I've got some decision making to do. Unfortunately lmi won't have Mac. Ebony boards for bass in stock for another two months. I want something pre-radiused so my options as far as suppliers are quite limited. I was considering Madagascar rosewood, cocobolo, and pau ferro from lmi. I really like the Idea of cocobolo but there is so much variance in color and grain that I would be nervous ordering one sight unseen. Decisions, Decisions.

    Anyways here is a pic of the routed neck with the graphite and truss rod test fitted, and the glued up body blank. (the glue line isn't as noticeable as it seems here, thats actually the drawn center line for my layout)

    [​IMG]

    And here is the scarf joint (and a big thanks to wilser for his thread on the subject, it was a great help)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Well got the pickup, neck pocket, and control cavity routing done, got the headstock planed to thickness and got the neck and body shaped. All went pretty well, there was one router slip when doing the pickup cavities so both have a small nick in the upper left corner, I'll just call it character. ;) Hopefully in the next few days I'll be contouring the body and getting the truss rod and graphite installed.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    That is coming along very nicely. Perhaps you should reconsider buying a preradiused fretboard. That way, you'd have an instrument that was 100 percent you. And since its fretless, you just need to sand. It also opens up a lot of ideas for the fretboard rather than just ebony. Looking at the marble on the floor certanly give me some ideas. Maybe send the pic to Larry and get his take on a stabilized board. Great work.