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KD Custom 001- progress thread

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kibuddy, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    Hello all.

    The bass to be built:

    -6 string fretless bass
    -Unlined fingerboard (I still haven't decided on what wood to use :help: )
    -34.5" scale
    -24 "frets"
    -Maple/Cocobolo/Maple neck
    -Ash body wings with birdseye maple top.
    -Singlecut body

    I've since revised the body shape. It's become a bit skinnier, and the treble side bout is normal sized, rather than having that massive cutaway.

    Before I start with the pictures- for those of you who have been reading my threads about my body design, I've decided not to go through with the 3 octave fingerboard. I'll explain why a bit further down. The body shape was subsequently modified.

    So, here we go!

    Here's the top wood I'll be using for one of the wings:

    A sweet plank of cocobolo my dad found. I'm using part of it as a neck laminate, and the rest to make knobs and a pickup cover:

    More birdseye maple and cocobolo:

    Those were all taken a few days ago. Yesterday I glued up the neck laminates, and today I started sanding and jointing. I still have a tiny bit of sanding left to do, but it's looking good so far.

    The neck:


    Yes, I'm aware that there is a massive strip of cocobolo in there. I quite like it, though.


    Check out that grain!


    That grain is why I can't go through with that huge fingerboard. It's just too pretty to cover up!

    You can see some of the marks I made on the first neck picture, but this camera is pretty bad, so it couldn't pick all of them up.

    Tomorrow, I cut the scarf joint for the headstock. Heopfully, the wood for the body wings will arrive tomorrow as well.
  2. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    making some fast progress on this baby. good luck with the rest of the build!
  3. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    Oy. I finally had some time to work on the bass today.

    I went to make the scarf joint for the headstock, but I didn't have access to a bandsaw, or a reliable hand saw to do the trick. So, silly me, I decided to try using a miter saw.

    Yeah. It didn't work.

    The angle of the headstock (11º) was too much for the saw in the normal, safe position. So I tried to make up a little jig that would put it in a position where I could make the cut. The saw blade just wound up chewing up the wood, burning it, and making a huge mess of the neck blank. What a terrible mistake that was...

    Fortunately, none of the damage is unfixable. I'll be spending a few days with a planer and a whole bunch of sandpaper, but it should all be okay with a bit of elbow grease. Lesson learned.

    No pictures of the carnage, but I'll post pictures when I get the scarf joint all squared away and glued up.
  4. Thonk


    Sep 14, 2003
    Hiscock page 3 paragraph 4 ;) but as you say lesson leaned
  5. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005


    It's funny, because as I was doing it, I was thinking "You know, this is a really bad idea..."

    Too late now, though. I'm just glad my neck blank wasn't reduced to an expensive hunk of firewood.
  6. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    Good news. I was able to repair the damage done by the miter saw. It took about 4 hours, but it's all better now. I'm gluing the joint as we speak. Pictures tomorrow.
  7. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005

    There's the angled-back headstock, ready for planing and sanding. The top of it overlaps just a bit, but that wil get sanded flush later today.

    I did run into a little problem, though. You can see on the side, there's a little gap running along the length of the headstock. I'm thinking I can get away with filling that with woodfiller (it's maple, so it's not like I'm trying to match up an exotic wood). Are there any other ways I can fix that, though?
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    How's about a cocobolo fb? I have one I just receieved from LMII, and it's sick! :smug:
    Straight longitudinal streaks of vivid red, black, orange and yellow.
    So if you go with that, then you wouldn't mind covering up some of the neck, would you? ;)
    I think I'll make a 28-"fret" fb out of mine.
    Also, its cheap. Its $14.50 for a piece ~3,5" x 27,75" - money well spent.
  9. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005

    $14.50?! Oh snap! I may have to take a good look at that.

    Sure beats the $25 I would have paid for purpleheart, or the $30 for wenge.
  10. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    Well, it's been a long time, but I've finally made some progress.

    Due to time constraints from school, I haven't had any time to work on the bass. Yesterday, however, I managed to get the body wings cut out on the school bandsaw.


    This is a different piece of wood than I had planned on using. It's maple with a bit of the sapwood on the edges. I like it so much that I don't think I'm going to use a top. I'll use that birdseye maple I got for a pickup cover or something.

    Later today, I'll cut the neck taper and glue the body wings on.

    As you can see, I modified the body shape, too. I changed the fishtail, and reproportioned the body. I like it a lot more.
  11. thats nice, a big improvement on the tail there, goodluck!
  12. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    I like your new body shape too! I think the lower horn especially looks better.
  13. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I really like the body. Good work. I don't know that you'd need the top, that is some nice looking wood. The one thing to consider is that you'll still see that on the back, so you could have the birdseye top (which I think is killer) and still not be totally hiding the nice wood underneath.
  14. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005

    Oddly enough, the dark part stops about a sixteenth of an inch from the back, so it doesn't quite go through. :meh:

    I'm quite content with the way the wood looks as it is, though. So if I can't find a use for the birdseye on this bass, I'll just use it on the next one (which I'm already planning :help: ).
  15. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    nice improvement to the overall body contours - definitely has a better flow to it now.

    all the best,

  16. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    Alright- I need some help fairly quickly.

    My dad wants to cut the neck taper with a skill saw and a guide. After what we did with the scarf joint, I'm extremely afraid to use this method. I'm sure there's a safer way to do this. Could I use a bandsaw or a router to cut the taper?
  17. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    Use a bandsaw to get relatively close to the lines of the taper (leave between 1/16" and 1/8"), then use a router to clean it up. As a template, you can use any piece of wood with a strait edge that is wide enough to support the router. Clamp that strait edge right on the line, and use a flush-cut bearing to clean up what you left with the bandsaw.
  18. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005

    Alright, so I was on the right track.

  19. Dusty G

    Dusty G

    May 30, 2006
    I love the body design! What did you end up doing w/ the headstock tho? That joint needs to be really tight....there really can't be any gap.
    If you don't have the means to match those surfaces perfectly, you could do a "scoop" headstock, by turning that piece upside down and glueing it to the back.
    Just concerned, cuz the bass looks sweet!
  20. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005

    Took it off, re-jointed it, then glued it back on. Should be all good now.

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