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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bongo499, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. bongo499


    Jan 10, 2005
    :bawl: i saw a great deal for a bass kit on ebay .... does anybody know any good internet sites expaling how to create y our own bass guitar l?
  2. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    I've been looking for the same thing for the last several weeks. Most sites talk about guitars. Though simular there are differences. There are a couple of books but I'd think there would be a website with the information needed somewhere.

    I've been thinking of just doing bolt on parts from warmoth.com instead.

    The Luthier helps somewhat. But finding the exact information one is looking for through the search engine is tough.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
  4. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    That's a great site to find parts. However trying to find a website on making a bass is tough.

    What I am thinking of doing is buying a good bolt on neck, like from warmoth. That seems to be the most difficult part to make so I'd get a prebuilt one and work around it.

    The questions I have so far consist of
    Will the burled chesnut I have work for a body?
    34" scale is from the nut to bridge?
    How do I make the neck pocket?
    Where should the pickups go?
    Does body size make a difference in sound? (leading to how exoctic of a shape can I make)

    I have been assuming many of the answers to the questions base on observations. And the stewmac routing templates. But I haven't found a website for building a bass that covers these questions.

    Oh yeah, are their free plans? I have yet to find any free ones. Just ones you pay for on Luthier sites.

    The other thing I might do is just get a Carvin Kit. Those sound awesome.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    The luthier Stewart MacDonald also has DVD's and software on building a solid body guitar.

  6. This is really funny!

    Have either of you looked at the list of forums here at TB? For one thing you are sitting in the Setup forum - I guess there couldn't be anything helpful to the builder here huh? :rolleyes:

    Then down a little further there's the "Luthiers" forum. Luthery is not the practice of civil disobedience in the pursuit of civil rights. Nope, it's the art of building guitars. There might be a thing or two to see there.

    Better watch where yer goin' - you might already be there!
  7. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    But look at what I said!

    Obviously, otherwise he wouldn't have asked the question here!

    Since people talk about simular subjects all the time the search engine for the forum brings up alot of hits. It is not easy to narrow those down to something that has useful information in it versus someone just mentioning something. That's partly why people ask the same question over and over.

    What we are looking for is a website with the information in an organized fashion instead of a tisbit here and a tidbit there that you have to search for. There's tons of sites that show the info with an electric guitar. But what about a bass. There are going to be some differences, not many.

    The other part of it is if someone never did this before they may not know what to search for in the forum. Example from my two questions:
    How do I make the neck pocket?
    Where should the pickups go?

    What should my search string be? If I just do a search for "neck pocket" I didn't see anything that looked like it could be the answer in the first page. You'd suggest search using another term, such as neck routing. However, how would have the newbie known to search with that term if the only term that person heard before was neck pocket.
    Second question, I searched for pickup location. oy, that doesn't yield anything useful to answer the question.

    Also, how would one know to look in the Luthier forum. I didn't know what Luthier meant until about 3 days ago.

    And that's the difficulty with finding info on a forum without asking questions over and over. Now, one of the boards I moderate we've started noticed the frequently asked questions and now have a mega FAQ. So our usual answer is a link to the FAQ now :) Well, where's the FAQ on bass building? Were's the single location the information is organized at?

    Like I said, I've been searching the forum for about a week and a half trying to find the answers to my questions before I actually ask them.

    I think people take for granted the knowledge they know what they think common knowledge should be versus what other people actually know.
  8. maybe this thread will go better in the Luthier's Corner...
    maybe those guys help you out..
  9. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    have you checked out MIMF...http://mimf.com/cgi-bin/WebX?14@7.j3ryab3Lntx^0@/
  10. If you knew me, you would know that this isn't an accurate description of me at all. I know your post was longer and I understand the frustration you express.

    The point of my post was to steer you away from the idea that there is one place that will have all the answers for your questions. There isn't. Building instruments is as individual as the clothes we choose to wear. Every builder has their own way to do things and even when they use a common technique, they will make slight changes in the procedure to suit their taste. Ask 10 bakers to make chocolate chip cookies and you'll get 10 different tasting confections. None of the recipes was "wrong" and yet, if you only had access to one of the recipes, you would be missing out on 90% of the creativity the group of bakers put forth. For that reason alone EVERY tidbit of info is important in the beginning stages of planning a build.

    As to your specific questions - none of them relate only to the bass and that's another thing to learn. There is much that is transferable between guitars and basses. That's why books like Hiscock's are often recommended to folks starting out. It covers many topics by using a guitar for an example but the principles are the same for the bass. And right here is where another point comes up - You are a beginner - nothing wrong with that since we all were at some point. But since you are so new, you need ALL of the knowledge, not just quick answers to specific questions that you think are very important. You should be reading everything as you come across it - whether it seems to be in context with your immediate questions or not - and making notes for further research. In fact, this is about the only way to do it on the internet. Discussion forums are fragmented by their very nature - no real organization for subject or indexing for searches. You'll just have to deal with it. While you are doing this woodshedding, you'll be developing a better picture of the process AND revising your list of the most important questions. I personally took several months for research and design before I began the actual woodwork on my first bass. I already had a good grasp of the basic concepts of the instrument (after playing for a coupla decades) so I had to learn the geometry's and nuances of the instrument and how that related to the construction process. At the same time, I was also learning the woodwork aspect of the task. And I can't emphasize enough that no matter how much you think you know about building a bass, if you don't have the woodworking skills, it won't make a bit of difference. You'll turn out crap as well as the next guy. So there are actually 2 disciplines to be familiar with here.

    If you've got a question about what "scale" is, it's a sure sign that you probably don't need to worry about whether burled chestnut is a good tonewood. After all, that determination is subjective and someone's opinion may not be consistent with yours. The tonewood question is better left for a little later. Get some more basics under your belt - believe me, there's much to learn and even though it's not rocket science, there are a lot of little details that make the whole experience more fun.

    BTW, for all of you newbies, FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE! It is helpful to know who we are talking to.
  11. I think what Hambone is trying to tell you guys is that you need to start at the beginning! Forget the websites for now! Invest in some good books 1st, the information is laid out in a sequential order, and always at your fingertips. The internet is not the answer to everything. :eek:

    Learn woodworking skills, you need skills, and tools to build a bass, or anything else for that matter. The skills will follow you for the rest of your life too :)

    Learn set-up and repair skills. Get a used cheapie or maybe one of the $99 Kramers from MusicYo, take it apart and put it back togather, upgrade and replace parts and components, measure things, examine how they fit together. Practice your lutherie skills on plain old lumberyard wood 1st.

    In short educate yourself :cool: and quit relying on the 'net to solve your problems for you :scowl: there are no easy answers to this one. :crying:

    When you have some confidence....... build a kit!

    Excellent idea! :hyper:

  12. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Heres a good first project... Saga makes a great P-bass kit you can get for a hundred bucks... it includes everything you need and you dont need to invest in any tools other than a jigsaw and some sandaper to put one together. I did a thread on mine a while back although no-one seemed interested in it. Here the thread:http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=159090

    These kits will teach you some basic skills in cutting, assembling,finishing and setup. When your finished, it may or may not look like crap, but for a that hundred youll have learned that much in skills.
  13. Jim, I recall reading that thread when it was posted so I was interested :hyper: I just didn't have anything to add to your complete recitation. And I agree - that bass came out beautifully. I would like to add that if one were to get a kit like this, there are lots of other things that could be learned even if it has been mostly prefabricated.
  14. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2002

    I figured you were following that one Hambone cause you helped me on the other one regarding the finishing process. I was just kinda bummed because to me these kits seem like such a great cheap way to not only learn a ton about the process but also they're just a heap of fun to put together plus theyre cheap as hell. As far as i could tell, no one else had posted before on building them and i guess i just expected to spark a bit of dialog. Oh well...its just the nature of TB...things flit by really fast here.... by the way, that cheapo P-bass has become my number one player, and i havent even started upgrading it yet. I will soon though. :bassist: