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My new KS5 custom 5 string bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Freedok, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Just completed the first KS5 5 string bass. You can check out the Youtube video of the actual build here,


    Attached Files:

  2. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Not bad, you need to speed that old Fadal machine up a LOT though ;) Cool modelling too. Nice job!
    Have much trouble getting your fret tangs nice? I made blind ended slots in the bass in my avatar and had to build a fixture to trim the tangs nice and clean under the fret. I probably wasn't the first to do blind slots either, heheh

  3. Agreed. The Fadal is an older 93 model and I am posting programs through an RS232 cable about 30 feet away. Other than that, everything went fairly well.
  4. And yes, the blind slots were a PITA. Turned out real good. Used a tang snipper from StewMac. You should purchase one of those if your going to do blind slots in your fretboard on a regular basis.
  5. I forgot to post the stats,

    Purpleheart & flame Maple neck woods
    AAAAA birdseye maple body top and back sandwich with Purpleheart accent
    Madagascar ebony fretboard and back laminates
    custom CNC cut bridge & string ferrule from 7075t651 aluminum with chrome plating
    CNC cut sterling silver nut
    graphite reinforcements under the board with a dual adjustable truss rod system
    logo is CNC cut from 100 year old bakelite poker chip
  6. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Cool stuff Karl, need pics of the logo and silver nut. Silver? Going werewolf hunting with that thing? ;)

    I don't think the tang nipper tool likes stainless steel. Seems like I had my hands on one of those things for a minute before I decided to mill the tangs.
  7. Yes, I did forget to mention that I used the bronze frets from Luthiers Mercantile. They are esentially the same frets that Warwick uses in Germany. I suppose that SS would be much more difficult to "snip" than the nickel or bronze. I find that the bronze (being a dissimilar metal than nickel or steel) allows the string to bend much easier as friction is greatly reduced.

    I have a large number of pics on my Facebook page. If you search for "heithecker guitars" on FB you will get to my page. All of the instrument pics are made public and anyone can view them.
  8. Here are a couple of shots of the sterling silver nut, logo and back of the headstock

    Attached Files:

  9. Also, the knobs are the old rubber "nobease" from way back in the early 90's. The Nobease company went out of business and sold all the inventory to ESP Guitars in England. They have since sold out and I believe there is only 1 company selling out the last few sets on eBay today. I think they have red, pink, yellow and purple but no black. Shame, as these knobs are soft rubber, very comfortable and push on without the use of an allen wrench or special tools.
  10. Here is the demo of the KS5 5 string custom.

  11. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    That bass looks beautiful.
  12. angrydad


    Jul 31, 2004
    Great video.
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Nice custom bridge. Did you do that youself or have it done by a local machine shop?
  14. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    That's an awesome bass!
  15. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    I'm taking a class next year with the CNC router (4' x 8' I believe), wonder if it would be possible to get the teacher to let me do this...

    How do you do those compound chamfers?
  16. Hi all,

    Sorry it took so long to get back to answer a few questions. First, all of the CAD work was done in Catia V5 by yours truly. I designed everything on the bass including the bridge and one piece ferrule (7075t651 aluminum with chrome plating). All of the CNC work was done on a Fadal 4020 CNC using the typical programming you would expect to encounter in any CNC shop, ie. pocket routines, 3 axis cuts, planar cuts and Z finish cuts. Therefore, all geometry was cut with a few different size ball cutters with various stepovers to create rough, mids and finish cuts. I sanded the end product with 320, 420 and finally 600 grit papers. Carbide automotive grade sandpaper actually works better than garnet sandpaper. I had the nitro cellulose finish put on my old friend Mike Koontz. Mike is a well known luthier here in the Detroit area.
  17. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Very nice. I really like the shape, it doesn't seem ripped off from anything else, but isn't so out there as to seem unwieldy.

    Not crazy about the purple knobs, but that's just personal preference.
  18. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    That is a seriously nice piece of work, thanks for sharing. Hidden fret ends are a nice detail - pretty necessary with a bound neck but otherwise a nice touch - looks clean.

    On another note, I can't believe no-one has mentioned the Commercial User Policy in this thread yet. As a commercial user, there are special rules to follow when posting. The link is at the top of every page under Rules/FAQ/CUP. Your youtube link of the build may satisfy the requirements, but typically build threads must outline the steps of the build and you must disclose your business affiliations in your profile.
  19. Subbed. That bass look frikkin awesome.
  20. Actually, I did receive an email about the commercial user policy. I initially placed the thread in the wrong category, hence it was then moved over here. I am new to Talkbass and apparently need to read the policy (which I did this evening).

    Also, just for the record; I am not a commercial entity. I am a guy who built 1 "production intent" instrument. This instrument which I call the KS5 bass is entirely owned by myself and is not for sale. I may or may not build another one. Other than that I consider myself a luthier and definately not a commercial manufacturer of musical products. The name "Heithecker Guitars" is only a name and certainly may give the wrong impression. Maybe I should just call it "My Guitar"?

    I should also take the time to thank the Grand Pooba for moving my thread over here. I am getting a lot more feedback and I appreciate the nice things you guys are saying about the bass.

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