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New Build Thread, 5 string fretless custom shape.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Schweet119, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Schweet119


    Jan 21, 2017
    Hi all, new to this forum, been a member over at Sevenstring.org for a few years though, I've done a few guitar builds here and there, but this is my first from-scratch bass build. It started as a fretted build as evident in some of the pics but I already have a couple fretted basses and decided to change it up and pulled the frets.

    5 strings, 35" scale
    set neck construction
    walnut body, 2 piece
    wenge neck and headstock, 3 piece
    EIR fingerboard with wenge lines
    carbon rods and 2 way truss rod
    will have Gotoh tuners
    Hipshot A style bridge
    Seymour Duncan SMB-5A pup
    will try to use tape wound strings

    preping the walnut slabs for joining

    routed and shaved to a good thickness

    hand shaped a few bevels

    neck pocket

    with all that gluing surface area, this neck wont be going anywhere...

    couple carbon rods, love it.

    I skipped a few shots of the neck assembly, but here is how it came out

    so in this pic I actually scavenged some small rod shaped sections of plastic from my old Legos to make the blue side dots in the neck. These Legos were some of my originals from when I was a kid, I still have them tucked away in a box deep down in the bottom of a dungeon somewhere lol. I thought it'd be a good way to make use of some of my favorite old toys, so I was very careful to shave off the rods and spare the flat tile sections so they can still be used as build-able Legos.

    neck glued in place, this was when it still had frets

    pulled the frets, CA glued in wenge lines

    I sculpted the back of the heel over several sessions and a couple days. My first time sculpting a heel like this, it's definitely a difficult shape to master. I have a new found respect for those whale nose single cut basses.

    ... so, that's where it's at. This project is actually a few months old already, I have done a wee bit more fine shaping to it since the last pic, the shape is about 95% done (not including electronics cavity and pup cavity). I actually just ordered the pickup yesterday so additional progress might be a little slow, hoping to finish this one up in the next month or two.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    So that's how you lay out a contour! Thanks. :)
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Wild body shape, that's truly original.
  4. Sweet looking bass
  5. I'm not sure, but this could be the forum's first use of Legos. :thumbsup: Creative build.
  6. Schweet119


    Jan 21, 2017
    Since the last update I've done a few more things to this build. Routed all the necessary cavities, drilled tuner holes, and made a little bit of revision to the front bevels.

    I've got a thing for clean electronics cavities and cover plates with tight lines. This is all done by hand with common garage tools, no CNC or machine work at all.

    Also a close up of the pup cavity. Things have started getting a little goofy with the end of the heel where the Wenge is exposed in the front of the body... not particularly proud of how that area looks, it was the result of laziness, but I plan to make a ramp to cover it. The truss rod is accessed inside that cavity in the middle.

    So here it is, in the final stages getting sanded and ready for finish.
  7. rwkeating


    Oct 1, 2014
    I would love to know how you do that so clean and exact. If you ever feel like sharing ... I am sure I am not the only one that would be interested.
    SLivinghouse likes this.
  8. Schweet119


    Jan 21, 2017
    Templates!!! Every cut is done with a router using a pattern bit, guided by a template. Just some fancy router work...
    SLivinghouse and rwkeating like this.
  9. rwkeating


    Oct 1, 2014
    When you said "this is all done by hand" I thought you meant hand tools. Oops. :oops:

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