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How often do you ruin a bass?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jared Lash, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    This question stems from a post by KJung in the basses forum about a Fodera that he once ordered that had some major construction issues. Being a reputable builder, they took it back and built him another, but it made me wonder how often that happens and how much that hurts the bottom line of a boutique luthier or shop.

    So, for our TB builders, I'm curious. How often do you (at any stage in the process) have to chuck something out and start again. Just wondering.
  2. While I was working on the body of the first bass I ever built I made a pass with the router that took off a HUGE chunk of the upper horn. Out of shear anger I threw the body into the middle of the street ( I work in my garage ), then started on a new body.
  3. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    Also have taken out a chunk with a router while doing a roundover on the body. Its a personal bass, and im salvaging it. But it will still look flawed if someone inspects it up close. A pro lutheir might be able to make this look like it never happened, but not me.

  4. Howe


    Feb 9, 2008
    your french frying with your router man..

    your either going the wrong way with your router {usually you wanna go a counter clock wise around your bass} or your router bit bearing is going..or simply you've dulled that bit to hell.

    and I've never actually thrown anything out yet, I've drop a body and chipped off a good part of the upper horn, but I simply re-adjusted my conture plan to fit it in :)
  5. Yeah, you gotta replan and alter your router paths so you minimize tear out. Let the bit climb with the grain instead of working the bit against it...
  6. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    the result of a router mishap where I lost a significant chunk of the body core ... hard to tell, eh :cool:


    the end result is that I had to stray from my original body contour about 3/8" at the worst place

    all the best,

  7. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Shorter neck pocket. I sorta did the same. :meh:
  8. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    The reason I ask is that even if I had the skills to build basses, I'm pretty sure my mind would drift off every now and then and I'd make some catastrophic mistakes. I suppose that's what impresses me about guys like luthiers or great chefs. That they can continually crank out products of such consistent quality without error.
  9. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    They key is like playing, you need to improvise now and then if you run into trouble. There's always a way to make it work.
  10. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    When you're learning, you are bound to make mistakes (unless you are Al Healey, then you just build f'ing awesome instruments in your kitchen, overseen by a creepy egg dude :D).

    The first guitar I ever made, the neck ended up feeling like a baseball bat... that wasn't so bad, as I was able to correct it, but sometimes there are issues you can't fix, and on rare occasions you may end up scrapping the instrument (and all that nice wood).

    When I was just starting out making guitars and basses, I had a high-school student ask me to help him build a bass for a project... The I let him do most of the design work, and just followed up behind him checking on his progress. I handled the large power tools, but let him do things like sanding and finishing oil/wax). I didn't pay enough attention when he was power sanding the neck profile... he took the back of the neck down to within 1/32" of the truss rod channel. Sure, it felt awesome, but when strung up, it bowed like hell, and when we tried to adjust the truss rod, it came right out the back of the neck. Did I mention that it was a neck through bass? All that nice wood in the trash heap.

    Why did this happen? Poor planning and execution. Live and learn. I supplied him with new wood for the neck, bandsawed the wings off the original body, jointed them for him, and more closely supervised him the next time.

    He's got a bass that he loves (and got an A on his project)
  11. BegBass


    Nov 3, 2007
    Los Angeles
    sorry for not reading the whole post. I had no idea that this was about construciton.

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