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My first custom bass (Gecko 5 Wide)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Insederec, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. It's kinda funny to think just a couple of months ago I was hopelessly dreaming of buying parts to make my own bass.
    Now here I am with the whole bass planned out and a body already with me. I plan to document the progress of my first bass build here on TB, if for no reason other than to scrapbook it. I do hope someone will come along here and offer some advice (because I will most likely need it) at some point, but I'll consider this thread as a personal project more than anything.

    So, to business.
    I just received the body for the Gecko today. I am absolutely blown away by the quality of the wood and the routing. Every hole looks perfect, and I am absolutely loving the grain. It's already been sanded perfectly. I can feel the pores of the wood, but it's still comfortably smooth. I don't think I'll be sanding it any further. The next step is to oil it with gunstock oil. I'll be doing this tomorrow under guidance of my dad, who will be funding half of my adventure here.

    Here's some pictures of the bass right out of the box:




    And the specs for those interested:

  2. mfbolton

    mfbolton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Owner - MFB Enterprises, Craftsman - Notlob Basses
    Looks nice. I like the Black Korina top.
  3. Me too! I was worried at first that I wouldn't be getting good looking wood, but Warmoth definitely showed me that they've got a good selection.
  4. Yesterday my dad picked up some tung oil so we could apply finish to the bass. I figure the quicker we finish it the less likely it is to sustain any sort of damage.

    I love how the oil made the walnut stand out really well as soon as it was applied. I was also worried I would lose detail with a finish, but it actually improved it. So I suppose I've been worrying about a whole lot of nothing. :D

    Applying the finish:


    At first I ran into a slight problem. We don't have any wire hangers to hang the body to dry it. With some quick thinking, my dad found some electrical wire. It actually holds it without a problem, and the rubber insulation will prevent any lines from appearing in the wood.

    Here it is hanging in my closet (because my room is very dusty):

  5. I will continue the finishing process for the next month or so. During this time, I may be able to scrape enough money from under some benches to pay for the neck. Do you think Warmoth accepts payments in quarters? :p

    For now though, here's some better pictures of the body after two days of oiling.


  6. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    vurry nice!!!! vurry vurry nice!
  7. SBsoundguy


    Sep 2, 2011
    Los Angeles
    3 bolts wide damn!
  8. It really does live up to its name. I wanted to make sure I had room for all 5 strings, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to get used to how wide it is!
  9. Finally, the finishing process is, well... finished! I've recorded a quick video to show what it looks like with the light reflecting off of the grain. If you'd like to see it, you can find it here: http://youtu.be/GEuHv23xtNY

    I've also ordered the neck from Warmoth. I'm getting really close to finishing here, maybe only a month or so! :hyper: Here are the specs:
  10. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    if you realy want to bring out the grain let the oil dry realy well then add a few coats of wood finishing wax like watco liquid finishing wax, it goes on with a rag and penitrates like the oil and realy makes the wood glow but it's not waxy when it's dry it will still feel like wood and it will be better protected.
  11. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    oops double post
  12. I want to keep the feel of it a little coarse. Would the wax fill the pores any? And would I have to buff it?
  13. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    sorry I didn't reply before I forgot about this thread.
    the wax won't fill any grain it's more like a sealer, when it's dry you won't even now it's their.
    you don't buff it like a car but it will dry a little dull then you just rub it out with a cleen rag and the wood will glow
    recoat every few years to keep it protected
  14. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    Looks good so far, looking forward to seeing it with the neck!
  15. I've been considering winding my own pickups for this bass. It would cost me about $400-$500 for tools, but I'd end up saving a lot of money in the future if I keep doing it for future basses (and maybe I could make some money off of it too?). If I do this, should I detail that process here or over on Pickups and Electronics?
  16. Looks pretty sweet! Can't wait to see the finished product!
  17. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Ive been going to warmoth A LOT lately so I'm waiting too
  18. Neck's in! :D
    Sadly the fingerboard split while being glued, but the guys at Warmoth were very friendly about it and started making another right away.

    The parts (excluding the bridge, strings, and pickups) have been ordered and will be here very soon. It is starting to look like an instrument now though. I'm anxious to play this thing.



    Some minor gripes:

    One of the holes for the tuners has two small chips around the edge. This doesn't matter much because it will be covered up and likely won't affect how the bass plays, but it would have been nice for it to have been filled in.

    (not so minor) Two of the screws for the truss rod cover broke off while being screwed in. Based on this experience I'd say that anyone considering buying a neck from Warmoth should get good stainless steel screws for the truss rod cover.

    Here's a picture of the damage:

    Because of this my dad had the idea of making a completely new truss rod cover out of some leftover burl he had from making knife handles. This way we can put new screw holes in instead of trying to get the other screws out.

    Here's a picture of the burl and a rough sketch on it of what the cover might look like:

    I liked the look of the outside of the burl so I designed the cover to have that as its top. I took some inspiration from the headstock for the cover's shape.
    I'll update again when I have the cover cut out, oiled up, and screwed on.
  19. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Warmoth gave me this snazzy little guitar pick.
  20. Done! Done, done, done, done, done! :hyper:
    Can't believe I've done it. It's taken so long, and it sounds like awesome. Definitely a step up from my previous gear.
    Next I plan to make a baritone guitar. Or am I not allowed to say that on a bass forum?... :ninja:

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