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I'm building a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peter Parker, Aug 21, 2002.


  1. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    In the last couple of weeks I've decided I wanted to build a bass, as many here in Talkbass land have shown an interest in doing. I bought a few tools and some wood and hacked away. Today, I cut my first body. It's out of mahogany. It came out OK. As you can tell from the pics, the shape is very inspired by another big name builder. I have no intentions whatsoever in building instruments to sell so most that I build will be copies of something else. I'm sure I will come up with my own design at some point. I do not yet have all the tools needed to build a neck so I will probably go the warmoth route on the first few. I must say, eventhough I've just begun, it is extremely rewarding. I have a lot of ideas that I want to try in regards to pickup placement and the like. It should be fun. I've got the wood for the second bass but it will be a little before I start it. There's much planning to do.
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    Here's a full shot with a Fender neck attached. As you can see, I haven't routed for p/u's yet. I'm not sure what I'm going to use.
     
  3. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    Very cool!!! Keep us updated with pics!!

    Darrin
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    By the way, the bridge is not attached to the body with all the screws, just one in the middle. If it looks like it's not in line, it's because I haven't put the other screws in and the strings are pulling it to the side a little.
     
  5. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Very nice!

    Actually, the neck is the most 'fun' out of building a bass..

    all you need for tools (very cheap): a good power sander (belt sander is preferred, but a normal one is fine), and a rotary grinder (variable speed, 4"+, supports sanding discs)

    I used the grinder for all of the shaping my neck (practice first), the sander to clean it up. Use a hand plane to straighten the sides, or if you have a belt sander, it's super easy to straigthen things up.

    Then just work things to perfection by hand with 220 sand paper. Practice on some maple blanks from Home Depot, but you could probably do the whole shaping in a single evening.
     
  6. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Also, maple blanks from Home Depot are actually good neck wood. It's dry, they actually have good looking stock now and then, and it's cheap $$, so if you mess up, just find another good blank, and start over. It's also jointed/planed so it's easy to get started.
     
  7. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Make sure you have a truss rod ($15 from stewmac or exoticwoods).
     
  8. Looks great Peter!

    Keep us updated with pics!
     
  9. stop_drop_pop33

    stop_drop_pop33 Guest

    Aug 15, 2002
    under your bed
    wow. excellent craftsmanship on the wood cutting (somebody got an A in woodshop lol). check out some mec electronics and pickups unless you want seymour duncans :rolleyes: http://www.mec-pickups.de/
     
  10. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Patrickj, you've given me some good ideas. I'm all about practicing first. I've probably cut out ten bodies using 1/4" plywood. Going to the mahogany, though the wood itself is MUCH harder and I had to go slower, the cutting went well. I will try your neck idea.
     
  11. I say, use 1 big Gibson EB-O humbucker:D :rolleyes:
     
  12. or a DiMarzio Model 1 (Same thing except they are easier to find)
     
  13. So it agrred, We all think a gibson pickup would be the best!:D :D :D
     
  14. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Man, that looks great! Here's a p/u option for you to consider, get a bridge w/ piezo saddles, and leave the body alone. It just looks too good the way it is.
     
  15. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Oh, one other thing. Did you just go to Home Depot and say "I need a slab of mahogony"? Or do you have to order the wood? Basically, where'd the wood come from?
     
  16. Looks good, here is mine so far. It is actually a bit further along now, but I don't have my digital camera right now.

    [​IMG]

    Geoff
     
  17. Geoff:
    that 7-string looks amazing. I don't want to hijack the thread, but how did you get the neck put together? Is it 6 or 7 peices of purpleheart and maple? Also the angle of the headstock is righteous, again any hints?
    thanks
    frank
     
  18. funkfish

    funkfish Guest

    Jun 20, 2002
    U.S., Princeton, NJ
    i like. one too many tuning machines.
     
  19. The neck is an 11-piece laminate of wenge and purpleheart. I glued it up in a numer of stages, to avoid a lot of slippage and waste. The headstock has a 15 degree angle and and is spliced on.

    Geoff+
     
  20. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    That looks great Geoff. My next bass will be much better. I've learned a lot from this so far and can think of many ways to improve my methods. I have another piece of mahogany and I have a very nice piece of quilted purpleheart that I'm going to use for a top.

    I got the mahogany from a local hardwood supplier. They had a couple of boards that were 15" wide and an 1 3/4" thick. Each body blank cost me $24. They have some peruvian walnut that I'm going to pick up soon for the third bass.