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La Cabronita bass build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by storyboardist, May 12, 2011.


  1. Been lurking around for a while and thought I'd finally join. Thought you all might be interested in a bass I built for the Telecaster Forum's build challenge. I've always dug Fender's La Cabronita Telecaster and figured since Gretsch made FilterTron bass pickups, why not build a bass version? So without further ado, here's the pics.

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    Double bound pine body, 32" scale neck (first neck I built myself and it feels great!), and a Gretsch FilterTron pickup. Not really sure how to describe the sound... Not the loudest bass I've ever played, but it has good clarity. Sounds kind of like a bridge pickup on a J-bass, but not quite. I can post build pics if anyone's interested.
     
    sneha1965 likes this.
  2. BarryS

    BarryS

    Oct 17, 2004
    We love build pics. Throw them up.
     
  3. You got it.

    Started with a pine 2x8

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    Cut out the body shape on a 16" scroll saw. (Don't laugh, I live in an apartment, so I make do with what I have lol)

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    Used my tele template to route the shape out

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  4. Since a bass neck is a tad wider than a normal 6-string tele neck, I bumped the template over a bit on either side to make the neck pocket wider.

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    Finished routing the shape

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    Had a little tear out on the bottom side, but it came out with some sanding.

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  5. Moving onto the neck. Got a nice piece of maple with some flame to it. Enough for a couple necks.

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    Set up a straight edge and routed the truss rod channel

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    Then back to the scroll saw to cut out the rough shape

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    Moved on to routing with my neck template...

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    ...and then realized my bit was really dull and I needed a new one. Major tear out at the heel and a some along the headstock.

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    Yeah, so that was frustrating. I ordered a new bit.
     
  6. While I waited on the new bit I took care of some other things. The FilterTron I got had tabs on the side so I cut them off with a little grinder bit on my Dremel.

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    Sanded the crap out of the body

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    And found something to cut the pickguard and rear control cavity cover out of. Thank you Rubbermaid. :D

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  7. Used a binding bit from Stew Mac with my Dremel and the router base and cut the channels for the binding (a birthday present from my wife :D). Worked pretty well, but in the future I think I'll get one with a guide bearing.

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    I also made a template for the neck pocket. Surrounded the heel of my neck template with scrap MDF and screwed the pieces down onto another piece of MDF.

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    Cut out the excess

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    And routed it flush with the scraps.

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    Then I routed the neck pocket to 5/8" deep.

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  8. Nice bass! the binding gets lost in that third picture, i suppose because of the light?

    so rubbermaid makes some good looking pickguards?! I can't wait to see the rear cavity cover!
     
  9. Back to the neck.

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    Routed the truss rod channel

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    Much cleaner this time than my first attempt.

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    Cut out the shape on the scroll saw

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    Slapped on the template and went to work with the new and quite sharp bit.

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    Much better.

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    Only had a little bit of burn on the bottom side of the headstock

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  10. Yeah the lighting wasn't great when I shot those pics. It was pretty thin binding in the first place.
     
  11. Routed the rear control cavity. Felt weird doing this on the backside of a tele. lol

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    Not the cleanest route, but not my worst ever either. I can live with it.

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    Drilled the jack hole

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    A tad off center :(

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    Drilled for the ground wire

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  12. Time to take on the p'up cavity. After I made a very shoddy template I found my laser cut P90 template and realized with some finagling I could make it work.

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    Taped it down with a stopper on one side

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    Then repositioned the template

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    And we have a pickup cavity.

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    Had to sand a little in the corners so the FilterTron would fit, so I grabbed my Dremel again with a small sanding drum bit

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    Like that

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    Drilled the for the pickup wire

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  13. Time to cut up that Rubbermaid top. Took a print out of the La Cab pickguard and taped it down (I didn't feel like making a pickguard template that I would probably never use again)

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    Then cut it out on my scroll saw along with the rear cavity cover.

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    And couldn't help but do a quick mockup

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  14. Next up: binding. I'd never done a bound body before, but I grabbed some super glue and went at it.

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    Used a big clamp with a socket in the little hump by the neck pocket to hold the binding snug.

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    On to the back...

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    and done!

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    The binding strips themselves stood a little proud so I sanded them flat with the top and bottom of the body.

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  15. Back to the neck. I ordered a 32" pre-slotted rosewood fretboard from LMI.

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    Grabbed the Tightbond and used an old insurance card for a spreader.

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    I think I need more clamps

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    Clamps removed the next day...

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    Now on to trimming up the fretboard. Took off most of the excess with the scroll saw.

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    Then flush trimmed with the router.

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    Went ahead and cut the slot for the nut with a coping saw.

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  16. Now for painting (my least favorite part of any build). Masked off the binding with painters tape after several coats of sanding sealer.

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    Ready for this stuff

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    I needed something that would dry fast since I had about 2 weeks until the challenge was done and didn't want to be left with a soft finish on already soft pine.

    First coat

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    Needs more sanding.
     
  17. While the paint dries, I shaped the neck. I was going for a D shape, but it ultimately turned into a "yeah that feels right" shape. lol

    Used this big ol' flat file to do most of the dirty work.

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    Then followed it up with lots of sanding. 80-600 grits

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    Once that was done, I flipped the neck over and used a friend's drill press to drill the marker dot holes.

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    Instead of buy some plastic dots, I went for the clay dot look and used Elmer's wood filler in natural to fill the holes.

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    Sanded off the excess after it had dried

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  18. Scribbled some pencil along the length of the board and grabbed my 9" radius block with some 80 grit paper...

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    ...and went at the fretboard till I couldn't see the pencil markings.

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    Now for the frets. Took over part of the kitchen counter and hammered them in.

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    After trimming the ends flush and rounding off the ends, I leveled and crowned them

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  19. At this point I was getting really pushed for time, so I forgot to grab the camera for a few things. I got the paint job finished, which turned out much better than I anticipated given the time crunch, and scraped the bindings. Rubbed some Minwax Tung Oil on the neck, which popped the flame on the headstock nicely. Wired up 2, 500k Alpha pots and a Switchcraft jack with some real nice cloth wire and a .022 cap.

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    And from there I went on to final assembly.

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    Put my personal logo on the headstock.

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    Here it is in front of my old Peavey 115BW cab (that I need to buy a new head for).

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  20. Currently it's strung up with Fender flatwound 55-105 strings. I think I want to mess around with the pot and cap values some, but other than that I'm pretty happy with it all. Learned a lot and looking forward to building more necks in the future. Hope you all like it!
     
    Skillet likes this.

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