Special Edition Build Off - Famous Phive (a lefty lined fretless...)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mikewalker, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!

    OK, this is the second bass I'm gonna build this spring :)
    The first one is a simple short scale cobbled together out of recycled leftover parts, just for me (I am playing short scales exclusively now).

    But this one is going to be the 'lefty guest bass' for my studio. I have quite a few lefty friends, and it's nice to have some left-handed instruments on hand for impromptu jamming if somebody somewhat sinister drops over. I have a generic 'standard' full-scale bass arriving shortly (right-handed Fender Precision) that will be on hand as 'primary guest bass' - with any luck it will get here on Monday :woot:

    But I was pondering how I now don't have any sort of lefty basses on hand (sold my Beatle bass recently) .And, hey - why not a lefty FRETLESS? :) And... what the heck, might as well make it a long-scale five-string! I generally don't play five string, much prefer fours... but I know lotsa people do play em. So might as well have a sort of swiss-army utility bass on hand: a lefty lined fretless five!

    Aaaaanddd... might as well make it a little 'interesting' since it's mostly gonna be a wall decoration :) Headstock faintly echoes the body, which has some kinda weirdo wavy thing going on!

    • like the Famous-P, starting with an Eden paddle neck (34 inch scale)
      (I'm seriously impressed with the quality of their maple necks - I have built two basses with them now, and they both just 'ring like a bell'...)
    • Schaller M4-180 Lite machine heads (only 42 grams, same as Hipshot UL)
    • Two passive jazz bass 'side-by-side humbucking' pickups: Bartolini 59J
    • One passive Bartolini MM pickup
    • Black quick-release bridge
    • Schaller black straplocks
    • black mini dome knobs
    • body will be 'whatever nice hardwood I can find locally'...
    • CTS pots, various nice wire, copper shielding tape, screws
    • acrylic lacquer, sand paper, cursing
    • roundwound strings
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    I-Am-The-Slime, Beej, dwizum and 6 others like this.
  2. Birdswing


    Apr 15, 2020
    A few lefty friends!

    mikewalker, dwizum and Reedt2000 like this.
  3. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    This piece of cherry wood has arrived today from over on the Island. It's a bit oversize at the moment, but it has a lovely tap-tone... :woot:
  4. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    OK, change of plans - decided to save the Cherry for something else (its 3 inches thick...) - going with this modest piece of Purpleheart instead...
  5. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    As a lefty and a fan of purpleheart, I salute your new direction!
    Reedt2000 and mikewalker like this.
  6. Mmmmm! love that grain in the purpleheart :thumbsup:
    mikewalker likes this.
  7. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    This bass was originally supposed to be a very dark wine color opaque lacquer finish - but now I'm contemplating trying to get the same color in a very dark stain with (tinted?) transparent coat - to see a bit of the woodgrain... Not sure if I'm up to trying to match the headstock, though (maybe dice up a thin purpleheart overlay out of the body scraps?). I don't think there's any purpleheart veneer available locally!
    postalflunkie likes this.
  8. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Neck arrived today! These are just astonishingly nice necks for the money... I could not build one for as little as what I paid for it, even if I paid myself $1 an hour.

    Unfortunately, I somehow goofed while scaling out the original drawing... today when I physically laid the neck in place, it actually joins the body at the 13th fret, not the 12th. Not sure what the heck I did there, but I am going to have to redo the blueprint this week! o_O
  9. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    hmmmm... checked the blueprint, triple-verified the neck dimensions, and everything was correct all along. Very strange! o_O Some kind of printer scaling distortion? Going to print again tomorrow, this time with dimensions on the print, too! The layout is tweaked a bit for pickup locations - now with three JB pups, since I seem to have mislaid that MM that I was going to use...
    Beej, Dark Horse and Matt Liebenau like this.
  10. songofthewind


    Aug 1, 2013
    Very cool. Where did you get the fretless neck?