Short Scale "Tele" bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by /\/\3phist0, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member


    GFS "special buy" UGLY paulownia body.
    Not drilled for string through, not drilled for bridge.
    NOS 30" scale Electromatic (made in Korea) neck. Fully finished in black.
    EBONY fretboard.

    Will sink the neck into the body, and seat it against the bridge side of the neck pickup route.
    This accomplishes 2 things.
    Puts the top strap pin @ the 12/13th fret!
    Bridge at the butt of the body, and place the tele bridge pickup in @ the right position.

    Still sussing out the details.
    - I'd like to retain the control plate from a tele.

    *thinking* single coil sized dual rail humbucker in series. VT only on a tele plate .(no switch)
    Use a conversion plate (humbucker to single coil) to cover the hole.
    Will reverse the angle, or go straight (like a 51P)

    Swimming pool route, and install 3 lipstick pickups ALA the Rascal, or Hodad bass.
    This would necessitate a pickguard.
    Wired Series like a Dano.
    Wire it with a rotary 5 position pickup selector: B, BM, MN,BN,BMN

    Nashville tele style with bridge pickup reverse angle

    Should be @ 6lbs assembled

    I invite suggestions.
  2. rudy4444


    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    I used to make custom lap steels and I used a control route similar to a Telecaster. I used .060" stainless steel plate and drilled holes for volume, tone, and output jack. I also made them with only a volume and output jack. The stainless polished up very much like chrome and made for a nice custom control plate.

    Just an idea for you.
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  3. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    Thanks, I'll considered that!
    I found a few blanks online on the cheap, but likely the plating sucks .
  4. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    I like your #1 option the best, with the pickup straight. Seems like it will be very simple, and extremely clean looking.

    What are you thinking for a finish?
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  5. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    Seems like both options require a pickguard? Unless option 1 you fill the voids and then paint over?
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  6. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    I am leaning heavily toward using the leftover Super Tangerine Drum wrap from my Billy Bo project.
    I am going to fill the void for the neck pickup.
    I'm considering a gold foil pickup. (or 2) :)
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    Blackjac97 and Matt Liebenau like this.
  7. I got a pair of gold foils from this seller. Seems like a nice guy. He can do the inserts in a few other colors besides gold. Just check the measurements, unlike a number of pickups, these don’t sense much if the string is outside the edge of the pickup case so they work a little better with a narrower bridge. I don’t see the exact model I bought but I think most of the differences are cosmetic.

    Victory "Diamondback" Lowrider Gold Foil Pickup | Victory Guitar & Pickup Co. | Reverb
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  8. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    The spacing is going to be narrow, Thanks for the tip.
  9. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    Did a little on this, opened the neck pocket, and glued in a block of maple to level up the pickup cavity with the level of the neck pocket and will route to shape and depth once the glue dries.
    *Routed the "bridge" pickup pocket to a humbucker shape to allow the strat pickup to fit in straight.
    Got the parts (most) to finish. piece of drum wrap that it will be covered in.
    Will make TRC out of drum wrap.
    Strat sized rail humbucker.
    The 3 way will have these settings:
    forward= single coil neck
    middle = parallel
    bridge = series
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    postalflunkie likes this.
  10. rudy4444


    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    I'm not sure exactly how it's done, but covering a body with "drum wrap" is something I'd like to know more about and see done more often. Body contours shouldn't be a problem, as the Italian accordions were covered with "drum wrap" and they have no problem with extreme corners or shapes as the material is covered around the accordion body.
  11. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    I'm only topping it with wrap , like I did on my Billy Bo.
    The back and sides will be black.
    Were I to be ready to do binding I'd double bind it. If I have enough material I may do the back.
    Wrap with the glass glitter like this is less flexible than others as the glass starts cutting through the top layer when bent too tightly.
    StereoPlayer, mikewalker and Beej like this.
  12. If taking pictures fits in with your workflow I would be interested in seeing how you apply the drum wrap also.
  13. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    I'll post pics but it's done by using contact cement and a rolling pin to force out any air bubbles.
    It's the edge of the wrap that is the issue . The wrap is built in layers like a pickguard. This needs to be hidden, and with the embedded glass shards it makes edging with binding imperative .
    I get around it at this point, by stopping at the flat edge before the round over. I then paint and fill the edge with opaque paint. Black in this case. Seaming is another issue, the material sheet that I have is not long enough to do without 2 seams on the sides, one under the neck, one at the centerline at the butt. Again it's material volume limitation right now , and this is a second effort to hone the process.

    Gretsch uses drum wrap at times .

    I'm looking into using celluloid as a body finish also as it can be heated and bent farther, but has the same issue with glass cutting through.

    Celluloid is what is used on the accordions since it can be heat formed.

    If I'm going to drop down to mylar flake in the layers I'll just do it dry shake on style.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
    Beej and Matt Liebenau like this.
  14. Cool. I have done 2 bodies with Formica top and back. Sounds similar if a bit more challenging.
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  15. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    I will try to use formica in a future build , a dano pro style. Mint green boomerang pattern. That way I can use the tape to cover the edge :) and have it not appear out of place
    rllefebv and Matt Liebenau like this.
  16. This bass I covered in a mylar type covering. It is the Cri-cut material (the blue sparkle stuff)...

    It is virtually impossible to get to curve over round over. I had to make tiny cuts, and then run a piece of electrical tape around the body to hold it down. I'd probably not do this again...

    mikewalker, /\/\3phist0 and Beej like this.
  17. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    No progress except to confirm that I only have enough wrap to top the body, truss rod cover. Leaving some bits and pieces that I'm sure I can find a creative use for just not on this project ;)
    Decided that I'm going to contour the body , arm and belly cut.
  18. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    Carvin pickups ! I like those.
    What pre?
    I also like the strings close to the body , I deepen the neck pocket occasionally to achieve the low riding profile like that.
  19. That is all was one of the kits they used to sell that I bought about six years ago. The pre is the active 18v pre. It is like thunder!

    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  20. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    OK, back to this:
    Sanded in a generous belly cut and arm contour. Filled the remaining gaps (the tele pickup pocket) with a hunk of maple and wood putty it is ugly, but will be hidden under the drum wrap.

    Sprayed the body in flat black. Will apply the drum wrap, sand and smooth the edge of the wrap, paint the edge with black to hide the drum wrap edge. Route the neck pocket after wrap applied. I will gloss coat with Solarez.
    Since Paulownia is so soft, I'll probably leave the grain showing to hide any buckle rash.
    The body is now less than 2LBs! IMG_20201127_181119633.jpg IMG_20201127_181134933.jpg IMG_20201127_181144921.jpg IMG_20201127_181159515.jpg
    @Matt Liebenau & @rudy4444 I'll photograph the wrap application process.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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