it begins...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by patrickj, May 7, 2002.

  1. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I've started constructing my first bass.

    5 string
    35" scale
    ash body
    wenge neck (I advised against this to someone else, but I think I was wrong :D)
    flamed maple fingerboard
    musicman style pickup (Seymour Duncan Basslines 5 string)
    fake fender style tuners
    real fender 5 string bass bridge (eBay'd it for $8)

    The body shape is sort of a cross between my BTB6 ( and a bass design I liked on DPCustom ( ). I'm intending to make this fretted (but you never know what'll happen ;))

    I'm still shopping for a preamp for the pickup, but if I can't find anything reasonable, I'll probably go with out (I've got a good EQ, I just don't use it).

    I thought the tan/dark/tan wood selections would look kind of neat (ash/wenge/maple) - a sort of inverse Seinfeld 'Black and White' cookie.
  2. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
  3. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I also just started working on my first bass, which will be a five string neck-through. I am usin Bubinga for the face with walnut behind it. I am making a five piece neck with Maple/Walnut/Ipe/Walnut/Maple laminations. It will be a 35" scale with, at this point I am thinking, a Pau Ferro fret board. I am using some Bartolini pups that I picked up off of Ebay. The bridge is a Schaller roller bridge that I also got off Ebay, it seems to be very solid and well made. I will probably use Gotoh GB7s for the tuning pegs. I am going to use carbon fiber re-enforcement in the neck for added stiffness.
    If you have not done so already I recomend that you check out the Musical Instrument Makers Forum at . there is a huge amout of information available in their library. It answered almost all of my questions, and a few I that I did'nt even think of :D

    Good luck with your project. I will post pics of mine as soon as I can get a camera to do so ;)
  4. Nice. Is the wenge neck going to be a laminate, or just a slab neck?

    I am currently working on my second bass (I also built 1 g****r), you can check it out in the link in my signature.

  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Good luck. Hope it all goes well. Be sure to keep us posted on your progress!:)
  6. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD


    I was originally just planning to mimic a MM5 body, as I have access to one to use as a template, but I thought I'd get a bit creative (yet not too complicated - I hope ;)). I did the body design in 3d studio, printed it out on 4 sheets of 8x11, trimmed/taped them, then traced the outline.

    Geoff, slab neck. I was originally intending to do a neck-through maple/wenge laminate, but I don't have access to (or the green for) the tools that would allow me to cut out a 5 layer laminate (quality band saw, etc).

    I've got a REALLY nice flamed (spalted?) 4A maple slab that's the correct size for the neck, but it has a slight twist at the end of it. I'm good with building/constructing things, but I don't consider myself knowledgable enough in woodworking to be able to use it yet (saving it for the time being).

    Already on MIMF :D
  7. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD

    for the support in the neck, wenge feels super strong (I'm afraid it'll crack under the tension before it bends). I've got a dual piece truss rod, as well as two graphite rods to keep it steady. The wenge is a bit heavier tho, so I'm not sure if I'll be using them. I'll put it altogether and see how it feels before I route out space for them.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Oh NO! The Building bug bites again...

    Crap. And I got a big ol' slab of purpleheart laying around from the canoe my folks are building (it's about 5"x4'x3/4"...Perfect for a fingerboard, or maybe laminate strips...mmm....)

    Maybe I'll buckle down here in a few weeks and get to it, once the canoe is finished...

    Tenative Specs-
    5 string
    Bolt on (maybe NT, but Let's not get ahead of ourselves here)
    35", 24 frets (mebbe zero fret? It's in the air)
    Paduak top
    Mahogony body
    Neck woods in debate-
    Pau Ferro fretboard
    Passive electronics (no batteries to fuss with)
    On/off switch
    Active, 9 volt, 3 band EQ, Active/Passive switch.
    Single pup, Soapbar P type.
    I'm looking at brands. For some reason, and SD pup and Bart pre apeals to me.

    And then a fretless 5er if this one turns out nice enough. I'd make the fretless first, but the fact is that in a rock setting, fretless is lost a fretless is a luxury for me on my own time.
  9. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    i've heard that neck through is actually easier than bolt on because bolt on alignment isn't an issue, and you don't have to route out the neck pocket, etc. I've done about a half dozen practices for the routing so far, hella hard.
  10. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    Thats what I thought, and why I am building a neck through. I have not built a bass before but the neck through just seemed easier.