Might As Well Get Started.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mgood, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    There are probably a hundred thousand things I haven't thought of yet. I'm still reading and learning.
    But I decided to see if I could make a template.

    I went to Home Depot looking at MDF. I thought I was going to have to buy a whole 4' x 8' sheet. But they had a scrap of 3/4" MDF. I got a piece about 27" x 16" for $0.51 :)



    I put my B4F on it and traced around.




    Cutting this with a keyhole saw. :meh:



    That was getting old fast. So I decided to chop off some of the excess material with a circular saw. Not good for details, but hey.



    Finally, my room mate found his sabre saw I'd asked him about. Now we're in business.




    I'll try smoothing the edges with a sander tomorrow.
  2. Be encouraged. :) You've got to have good plans, & I think templates & patterns fall in the same category. My advice to you(and myself)is not to expect or demand perfection from yourself(at least not right away). Mind you this is coming from someone who has started 3 basses & after more than a year not completed one. :rollno: Keep us posted.
  3. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Thanks. Rather than trying to make plans on the computer and print them out and yada, yada, yada . . .
    I thought that for a first attempt, I could get a head start by copying an existing design for the basic shape.
  4. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Nothing wrong with that.

    That is the coolest looking saber saw I have seen in my life, and since I work at Home Depot, I see lots of cool tools.
  5. isn't it a jig saw??? or is that the same thing??

  6. You will go further faster by smoothing that template with files rather than a sander. You've got to remove material while shaping and the sander is better suited to flat work. You can get a set of Chinese made files pretty cheap from Harbor Freight Tools, Big Lots, WalMart, Home Depot, etc.
  7. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Hmmm. Thanks for the tip.
    Don't know if Harbor Freight is open on Sundays or not. I got directions to one and need to make a trip up there to check out a few things.

    Should I cut the pickup and electronics cavity into this template? Or should I use a seperate template for that? I don't have a P-bass pickup to trace. And I probably won't have one for some time. I'm thinking of getting the P pickup template that StewMac sells. I don't think I need the electonics cavity template. I can trace the cover from one of mine. But I'll need two sizes, one for the cover to recess into and another for the lip that the cover sits on. I'm not exactly sure how to do that yet. Suggestions? Special router bit? Bearing/spacer for a router bit? Or do I really need two seperate templates?
  8. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I think that you should use separate pickup templates, but definitely use a centerline to mark where everything goes. Also, make sure to take proper measurements for bridge and pickup placement. Above all, though, centerline is one of the most important.

  9. Mmm, like Trev mentioned, you are already way ahead of things when you have cut out a body shape and haven't established a centerline. That's primary, foremost, foundational, and essential to beginning a design of any bass even a remake of an existing one. I didn't realize this until he mentioned it.
  10. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Thanks, HB. I think of that as a compliment that an experienced builder agrees with me! BTW, I'm going over to post a thread about my first creation.
  11. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    The first thing I did was draw a pencil line down the center of the board with a framing square.
    Then I lined up the strap button on top of the line and tried to center the neck plate thing over the line before tracing. Is my line not showing up in the pictures? Or or you talking about something else?

    But, the bass moved at one point during the tracing process. I had to reposition it as best I could over the existing traces before I could continue. (Yeah, I didn't clamp nothin'.)

    So I need to re-establish the center line. I really want to lay a neck where it's going to go and stretch a string from the center of the nut to the far end of the bass.
  12. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I went to Harbor Freight yesterday evening and picked up a set of Chinese files. I also got a pack of assorted grains of sandpaper. And I just couldn't resist picking up a plunge router on sale for $40.

    The template is by no means done. But I have smoothed the edges quite a bit with a wood rasp. And I re-measured and re-drew the center line.

  13. LOOKIN GOOD!!! :D :hyper: Keep the pics rolling in and keep us posted as the project progress'! :)

  14. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas


    Alder body blank and walnut body blank from Carvin.

    Walnut moistened to show the grain.
    I haven't decided yet which side is the top.


  15. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I think this is the way I'm going to go with it for the top.
    Though, I'm still open to suggestions.

  16. If this were my template, I would make it easy on myself in this way...I would pick at least 2 spots to drill and countersink holes for mounting the template to my body. One would be in the neck pocket area and the other one under the bridge. I use simple drywall screws for this. Then I would cut and shape my pickup routes for this build right on this template. No reason not to. That way, they will be perfectly aligned with the body. Use your computer and graphics software to make print out some full size patterns with a centerline and other references that you can glue right onto the MDF. Then cut them out and smooth the edges. You can also mark and drill your bridge screw holes, pot holes, control cavity shape, etc. all on this pattern.

  17. this is my choice, too...but rotated 180 degrees...
  18. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I was planning to attach the template to the body with two-sided tape I've got coming from Stew-Mac. But using screws would make it even more secure. Hmm, worth considering.
    I hope to route the neck pocket before I cut the body shape. So I don't know if using the neck pocket for one of the screws would be good. It won't be right up against the template. But it might still work. I could put one of the screws where the pickup route will be. But that would mean I couldn't do the pickup route until later. I also have a P-bass pickup routing template on the way from Stew-Mac, and my router bits. That stuff should be here tomorrow. :)
  19. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Hmmm . . . .
  20. petie-b


    Aug 24, 2005
    orlando, florida