guitar building

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rico849, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. Rico849

    Rico849 Guest

    this may sound stupid, but i know nothing of bass guitars and would like taking on the challange of building one. but i need someone who knows what they're doing who is willing to help me out for free. i need to know of anything important that you need to do while building a bass guitar and the best kinds of hardware to get.

    e-mail me at [email protected]
    thank you for your time.
  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Mouph, you're asking a's a full time, or long time endeavor to build a bass. But rewarding.

    1 - Read a book on it!
    Roger Siminoff's or Martin Koch's. IMO, Melvin Hiscock is OK, but not to the level you'll be after reading the two first.
    2 - Make sure there is no series made axe that you want to copy! If so, forget it, and buy the thing! Cheaper, and often better - except for the pleasure in the actual making.
    3 - Then make up a specification and get back to us :D

    Unless someone mails you right away, that is!
  3. your right, it does sound stupid

    no offence meant, but you admit that you know nothing about basses or bass building, you really are throwing yourself in at the deep end.

    i'll give you an example of the amount of time it takes to get to the design stage.

    i've just finished the body, neck and headstock designs ! for my 6 string fretless.

    this is after at least a year of reseach, thinking, etc. to be honest, it's been on and off, but in this time i've purchased a hand built instrument, thats been used as reference, and a model for my design, i haven't copied the bass, just used in for dimensions etc.

    i've got melvyn hiscox's book, and while it doesn't go into considerable deatail on every subject, it does cover alot and in the books defence recommends that you do read books on specific subjects first.

    right, you've got the designs, in this time you should also have decided on the wood to use, construction, thru-eck? bolt on, multi laminate

    what woods good for what sound, how dense is it

    alll these take time, and they have to be thought through you don't want to spend loads of money on a bass designed for a bright sound and you've made it out of walnut and wenge, for example.

    then you have the question of scale length, fretted, fretless, electronics, the list goes on.

    i really think you should do some reading, get out, look and touch wood, play the basses that are made out of you chosen wood, hear the electronics.

    i've got the designs for my 6 string finished now, they've gone through a bit of developemnt, and to be honest they took all of 2 or 3 hours, but thats because i did my research first, i played 6 string fretless basses, made out of walnut,

    i had the designs running around in my head, i asked myself, what do i like about my bass, or ones i had played etc.

    and to finish i had a bit of an advantage when it came to design as i'm a trainee graphic designer with an engineering/ art based background, i produced scale drawings first.

    you may be experienced with building i don't knwo, you haven't mentioned it, you also make have excellent design abillity, again i'm sorry if what i said is no good,

    but i wouldn't try to build an acoustic design without knowing guitars, i think you should think about it, discover bass and save yourself money and tears :)

  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I suggest you consider building a kit bass first, to get a feel for some of the issues.
  5. Rico849

    Rico849 Guest

    ok, thanks everyone. i will read up on it and buy a few other basses before building one. could you please tell me the name of some good books i can read up on on the subject?
    as to my skills, i am experienced in woodworking and can do a bit of drafting.
    i was thinking of making my electric bass out of walnut and teak, oak, or maple, but i do not know of the sound quality of each so i cant decide (if teak sounds good, that would be my choice). and hardware, that's one of the main things i was hoping to get help with. i read in another post that fretting was expensive, therefore it must be tough, is it?

    thank you all very much for your time and help
  6. Rico849

    Rico849 Guest

    wow, thank you heavyduty, that site will help much when i decide to make a bass.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Rico -

    Like that one? Here's another, if you really want to build it all:

    They have LOTS of books, too. Request a catalog - it's an education in itself.

    Good luck, and have fun!
  8. what you have to remember is that nothing is hard as long as you know what your doing.

    when someone finds something hard it's because there not used to it or have no experience, sure the first time for everything can be a daunting prospect, but read into, practice and building an instrument will be a joy.

    another good bit of advice, find your local builder, get to know them and when you do satrt it there always there for a bit of support and advice.

  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Nothing more to add except...

    I know a guy who started out on the 'kit' path and after years of hard work and tweaking makes his own guitars. These are unique designs and are simply awesome. He sells them for about the same cost as a Mim Fender and subjectively they are better.

    I'm drooling now and my credit card is frightened.

    Thanks a lot.
  10. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    It costs the same as a MIM Fender? Where can I get a hold of this guy?
  11. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    he is uk based an only makes guitars sorry

    I was using it as an example for Rico to start on kits.
  12. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Oh. Oh well, can't win them all.
  13. Rico849

    Rico849 Guest

    thanks guys and gals, your great, thanks for all the help.