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Fretless 5 comp/showcase - the "*@#$ Cancer" Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kev2007, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Okay, I'm in.

    First a few words about the name; I'm a super healthy 42 yr. old who by the (bad) luck of the draw was diagnosed with cancer last October. It's a life-changing event, to make an understatement. After the initial shock, I determined that the disease was not going to rule my life, but rather, the other way around. Still, there are a lot 'dark' moments and uncomfortable thoughts to work through daily, sometimes hourly. I'm a full-time musician, and playing is one of the only times when I'm truly absent from the bad thoughts. But any act of creativity also takes my mind away from it. I'm an experienced amateur woodworker and a voracious lurker of LC here on TB. I've got too many slab fretted basses so another fretless fiver is exactly what I had in mind for my first build. Designing this bass over the past week or so has been a joy, and had given me energy and drive to look forward. So, in honour of where I'm hoping end up with the bass -and the disease - the *@#$ Cancer bass is born. :) Hope the name isn't offensive, but it really does represent my determination to beat this awful thing.


    - 5 string fretless, 34" scale
    - 17mm string spacing (I'm copying my favourite neck - my 1990 Warwick Thumb NT fretless)
    - slimline archtop, 'semi-single cut', carved and graduated front and back.
    - figured cherry ribs (maybe maple), bent over a form
    - 7 piece neck, maple/cherry lams
    - two piece top, 1/4 sawn western red cedar
    - three piece back, figured cherry
    - jatoba fingerboard, unlined
    - wooden bridge, hopfully archtop style w/piezo
    - hipshot ultralite tuners, 2+3 config.
    - 1 magnetic pickup TBD (any ideas?), wooden cover
    - preamp TBD

    The wood is all stuff I've had lying around in the rough out in the barn.

    crappy pic of the scale drawing:


    Not sure yet about the sound holes, or the number of knobs. I'd like to keep the knobs to a minimum by using stacked if possible.

    I'll post more pics ff the wood for this soon.

    Oh - does this comp require the obligatory hair shot?:cool:


  2. Praxist


    May 28, 2010
    British Columbia
    Inspirational and not offensive to me at all. For what its worth, my dad's friend was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and was given 6 months. He changed diet and lifestyle and focused intensely on life and positives and it went into remission and that was over a decade ago. i love the shape of this and the plan -this competition's getting interesting!
  3. I read the title wrong at first, and thought you meant it to be the arse cancer bass. I'm glad to see it was just my dyslexia.

    But yeah, sounds like an awesome idea. Right on, brother.
  4. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Yeah!! :)
  5. Sorry to hear you're been diagnosed with c. I like your design a lot and I hope building turns out what you've expected from it. From what I know, it will be better :smug:. I wish you all the best.
  6. Nice design, looking forward to seeing how it comes out. Good luck, on both fronts.
  7. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    The name isn't offensive, the disease is. My prayers are with you. It looks like it's going to be a beautiful bass.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  8. Subscribed!!

    we'll need some official response conerning the hair shot!!!
  9. Thanks, guys. I'm going to mill the wood today and maybe get some templates made. It's going to be an exciting - and therapeutic - project!


  10. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    I think a hair shot is in order - and should probably be mandatory to all contenders.

    and shots of the woods too! :D
  11. ddshelden


    Oct 31, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I was diagnosed in 2007, subscribed!
  12. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Very cool. I have always been intrigued with the thought of building an electric bass on form bent ribs. This is going to be a great competition.
  13. ddshelden


    Oct 31, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    It might not be the best idea asking a cancer patient for a hair shot.
  14. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I think the hair shot in this case is up to the builder. Call it a "builder shot", we just wanna see who's making what seems to be a cool bass.
    Subscribed here.

    I'd love to get in on this contest, but I'm midway through a four string fretted build, so I'll just be following this time.
  15. Grant Bass

    Grant Bass

    Oct 14, 2010
    were with you man! best of luck on both fronts.
  16. BassCycle


    Jan 6, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
  17. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    I'm Not offended by the name! Praying in San Diego!

    Dan K.
  18. Okay, I got the wood milled today. Most of it is from a wood lot about 10km from my house. The jatoba f/b is from a stair tread a friend gave me, the cedar is from a specialty store.


    Made up some templates and started on the form:


    I go for a chemo treatment tomorrow, I probably won't feel like doing much afterwards. Maybe I'll glue up the neck, that's pretty easy. Thursday I'm off to Ohio for a NYE gig, so guess I won't get much done until I get back on the weekend.

    Oops, almost forgot the hairshot:


    Ironically, the chemo I'm on doesn't cause your hair to fall out. What you're looking at is 100% genetic. ;)

    Happy New Year to everyone! Thanks for dropping by my build.


  19. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    What this guy says.^^^
  20. Grant Bass

    Grant Bass

    Oct 14, 2010
    where in the great white north are you?
    good start to the project