Making a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jsbassist, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. I am in 10th grade, and I am going to make a electric Bass in shop class. My plan is to have a gibson X-Plorer electric guitar body. If you guys could give me suggestion that would help a lot. Should it be made out of maple, ash, or Mahogany, etc.
  2. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I would say maple. From what I've read it's easy to obtain, work with, and finish.

    If you really want some good info, try searching the luthier's corner, it's kinda hidden down at the bottom of the bass guitar forums ;)

    Try searching for what you need first, and then if you can't find then post a question. You should be able to get some feedback from some bigshot luthiers, and from some local and hobby guys, too. Lots of valuable info can be had there :)
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have a solid maple body Warwick. That body is small and it still weighs a ton.

    A solid maple body in the size of an Explorer would be one heavy dude.

  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Maple sounds great and looks cool, but is heavier than hell.

    Most Gibsons are made entirely of mahogany, but Fender uses alder and ash with maple necks.

    I recommend that you either go an all mahogany route (which may still be a little heavier than normal) or go with a combination of woods.

    Check out the luthiers forum.

  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I've built a few basses, and I agree that maple would be a bad choice. Major weight! Alder or ash would good. I actually like the sound and weight of the cheaper woods, like poplar and basswood. They dent easily, though. You could make the body out of poplar, which is cheap and easy to work and sounds good, and put a thin maple top on it.
  6. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    jsbassist, I'm certainly no expert, but if I can be of help, e-mail me. I wish you the best of luck. It is way cool to play on an instrument you made yourself.
  7. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I will be building a bass as well with my dad sometime soon. As long as this thread is new I'd like to ask what it would cost to get blanks of plain alder or ash? (Typically)
  8. Well I am buying wood tonight, and I am making a ibanez Sound gear 5 string body instead. When I start making it I will start a new thread full of pics of the bass in the making, and you guys can tell me what you think. I'm going to check out the luther forum nows. Thanks guys!:cool:
  9. Oh yeah I forgot, I am a little scared to ask but how much will pick-ups and stuff cost, like how much to get the steel rod in the neck(no way, I would screw it up lol) and other stuff like that. I want like some humbuckers, and something chruchy.
  10. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Pick up some MightyMite picksups. Not the best in the world, but cheap, and they work well. If you make a horrible mistake, you're only out $20ish instead of upto a couple hundred (Barts, EMG, etc). have ready made very good 2 piece trussrods ($17 for bass iirc). Those are what I use, and they work well.
  11. Hey guys, I made the body out of Ash. I got the wood last night, and it cost $20 for a 10 foot long, 2in. thick, 5 1/2 in wide pice of ash. I got it all plained and glued. I will cut out the body tommorow. Till then.;)
  12. funkasaurus


    Apr 23, 2001
    Los Angeles
    How about some in-progress pics? :D
  13. I said I would, but I don't think you want to see 3 rectangular pieces of wood. That's all I have right now till tommorow
  14. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Good luck! And cut slow :)
  15. I got it cut out, and It looked great, but I notice a crack after I left class. It is a big crack down it the bottom, it almost goes all the way through. PLEASE PLEASE help me, what do I do? Please reply I though it was perfect but now....:( :( :(
  16. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Get some clear epoxy, preferably heavy-duty stuff, and fill in the crack. If it's a small split (an inch or 2), woodfiller/paste would work and it would be a bit 'better' acoustically, but it's not as strong and remains visible after the bass is finished (unless you paint it). If it's a large crack (sounds like it), use epoxy.

    Also, when filling, try to let it bubble over the end of the wood a tad - it'll even when settling. Try to keep it from getting on the surrounding wood, because it can look a little hinky. Fill it over, because you'll sand it down which will guarantee a flush surface with the rest of the wood.
  17. Well its not a thick crack, but a long one, about 1 1/2 inch long.
  18. and yes i want to paint it metallic blue or purple
  19. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Either will work.. epoxy is stronger, but fakewoodinacan might sound a tad better. They're both cheap (Home Depot), and your shop teacher probably has both - at the least epoxy. Just fill it completely :)

    When building my bass, I had a few knicks here and there, and I filled them in with the fake wood, but it was very noticable with the natural/satin finish I had. I ended up painting the whole bass because it irked me. I used epoxy with a few things on the fingerboard, and it hasn't been a problem.