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Nice piece of ash...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Sundogue, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I just picked up a very nice slab of ash. It's 2" thick, 8" wide and four feet long.

    I plan on cutting it in half and edge gluing to make a new Fender Jazz style body (only a little more customized to my liking...thinner horns, more of an arch top solid body, etc.). I also want to contour the back and top of the body in a more ergonomic fashion...made for me specifically. I'll also be rear routing for the controls as I don't want a pickguard covering this beautiful piece of wood.

    The grain looks sensational on it, and the way the grain pattern on it looks, if I cut it right in half and edge glue that one side together, it will almost look like a bookmatched top (though it's a solid piece).

    This will take me some time as I'll only be able to work a bit on it here and there, but I am really fired up to make this new body. I've got all the tools (plunge router, table saw, band saw, etc.) and I'll be making routing templates for it.

    I've searched and searched for some pics of solid ash bodies, but most pics are of the fancy laminate top variety. Anyone have any pics of some nice ash bodies (without laminate tops)?

    Also, I'm not sure what direction I want to go in with regards to stains, or just clear coating it without any stain. Pics would help, but I'm leaning towards just clear-coating...but maybe a bit of a reddish-brown, or just brown stain of some variation.

    I'll be putting a Warmoth Jazz maple neck with an ebony fingerboard and no face inlays on it. I thought maybe the clear-coat alone would contrast nicely with black hardware to match the fingerboard. I guess trying some stain on some of the scrap wood will help with my decision.

    Any suggestions or tips, etc? This is the first body I've made in over twenty years (though I've been a wood worker my whole life).
  2. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Fender has ash basses but the also have pickguards on them. They look good with a burst finish.
  3. man... i wish i had access to decent wood...

    clear coating is good... I like it when you see the real wood.... normally a clearcoat will bring some of the highlights out as well...

    black hardware is a good decision... i dont know why i like it so much....

    and no, its not cause im goth or something :rolleyes: ...

    have a good time getting her going!
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, I've seen a few pics of the burst finishes (not like the ugly sunburst they use on the cheap body woods), more like the ones on Sadowsky's, where the wood grain is really shown off, and just a bit darker around the edges.

    I saved one pic of a nice tobacco burst finish over ash...that looked sweet. Not sure of the color exactly though.

    The whole reason for building a new body was because my current P-Bass (that I originally bought the neck for) has a pickguard that I can't remove because of the holes and routing for the electronics. I love nice wood basses without pickguards. I also love the shape of Jazz basses, though this will have P-Bass pickup in it.
  5. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I have one in process ... it's a 2-pc ash body for my first prototype 4-string. the neck pocket is routed, and the outer body contour is complete:


    this will get a maple/rosewood neck I'll build later next month, a hipshot TypeA thru body, a Nordstrand NP4/NJ4SE P/J set, chrome hardware, and Hipshot Ultralights with cloverleafs. the body on this one really resonates with a knuckle crack. current plan is to finish it with a semi-transparent butterscotch blonde finish and a tort J-style guard.

    all the best,

  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks for the pic, that's some nice looking grain! I'd love to see progress pics of it.

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