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Steed JB1960 stack knob J style

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by steed basses, May 5, 2010.

  1. I have recently started building myself a 60 stak knob J style bass.

    I have spend a very large amount of time researching the pre-cbs build and tooling methods, materials and processes that went into creating what are now regarded as some of the finest and most innovative instruments in the world and now feel confident that i can recreate them with pride and above all respect for the man that set the standard! I plan to recreate these processes where possible and also use period correct materials (again, where possible).

    so here is the spec for the Jazz bass:

    2 piece light Swamp Ash body finished in blonde nitrocellulose laquer, correct router hump, pin dowels, pickup placement, lazy susan nail holes etc
    Rock Maple neck (hard) medium profile
    Slab Brazillian Rosewood fingerboard 7.25" radius, clay dots
    sideway installed vintage fretwire
    vintage reproduction Capacitors
    CTS pots - Swithcraft jack - cloth wiring - shielding plates etc
    Full celluloid Tortoise shell 4 ply pickguard
    Bareknuckle handwound J pickups
    Gotoh vintage hardware - lightly aged
    I will make the truss rods myself as the vintage correct size are not available off the shelf

    I hope you enjoy this thread. I can't wait to get playing it!
  2. Day one was pretty much spent making the body template...but this is what it looks like. all the holes in the right places etc...


    I also had a look at the swamp ash I will be using for the body.. unfortunately at the moment Mike and myself are finding it hard to source some decent ash so I had the choice of a couple of bits that Mike had available. It's not the best swamp ash in the world (lots of knots/shakes etc) so I ended up making a 3 piece body with what I could find. Weight is OK, not light, but not heavy (about how I like my personel passes).
    For the purpous of this build it will be fine as It's probably going to be one I keep.

    heres the ash in rough cut form


    and heres the body blank in the clamps after thicknessing/drumsanding/squaring


    also managed to find a nice bit of hard rock maple, It had the lowest frequency in the tap test, should work nice with the swamp ash. Leo apparently used to test all his timbers with a tuning fork and match them up tonally, but as I havn't had much choice of timber with this build I'm not going to worry too much!

    heres the blank planed and drum sanded to just above the correct thinckness


    ready for the rough cutting on the bandsaw then having the template mounted for the flush triming on the pin router.

  3. the body blank has been in the clamps for a good few hours now and is ok to come out and be drum sanded to correct thickness.


    I then trace the template (note there are no joins in the centre of the bass, Fender did this so as not to draw attention to the joins) and then rough cut the outline on the bandsaw to the outside of the line.


    theres a slight colour mismatch with the wood gran but I'm hoping the blonde doesn't show this up...If it does it'll get a custom colour overcoat! :p

    Pin router template is attached to the rear or the body with the correctly positioned pin router holes.


    and then the horns are sanded as close as posible to the template to avoid any tear-outs on the pin router.


    and then flush trimmed on the pin router


    now this is what I have finished up with, ready for the edge rollover which will have to wait for a couple of weeks till I have some spare time!

    hope you are enjoying it so far!


  4. heres an update on the build :)

    first job was to run the body round the pin router with the correct radius ovolo cutter. On the back making sure to stop at the correct points by the heel for an early 60's.


    Then its time to do the forearm and belly contours. I mark these out free hand as they were always slightly different. Also gives the bass a bit of character!



    Then to rough cut the forearm. The way the contours were cut in the olden days was on a large belt linisher, which i dont have. So I do mine with a rasp file by hand.


    Then the same for the belly contour.


    I then use my sander to level them off ready for the final sanding.


    Heres some shots with the contours nicely blended in. I think it looks quite nice :)



    Next I place the template onto the front of the body and drill the bridge holes and the neck holes.


  5. next up I roughly cut out the neck on the bandsaw


    then check for straightness as the neck has been relieved of tension. I will let the neck settle for a few days and check to see if it needs to be flattened again.


    Heres a shot of the body and neck and fingerboard I have picked out for this build. I have decided to use a brazilian board after all :)


    More soon! Thanks

  6. Did a little bit more today...

    first up heres a shot of the neck where you can see the light flame! going to look gorgeous I reckon!


    After some comparisons with early 60's J images I decided to recut the belly contour and make it a bit deeper and also make the forearm more rounded as they were back then. looks a lot nicer now. I always find it good to go back to things like the next day as you see things in a different light which you might miss when youve been staring at the same piece of wood all day!



    got my harness together too with some sweet reproduction caps alongside switch craft jack and CTS dual concentric solid shaft pots.


    and heres some of the hardware (still awaiting the rest and the Pups). note the string mute set which will be going on this! I was going to relic this bass but I think it'll look much better as 'Factory Fresh' especially with the flame in the neck!


    Here I am drilling the strap button holes to specs. note the rear buttons were not drilled on the centre line!



    thats all for today.

    Hope everyone has a nice Easter weekend!

  7. couple of things done today. I'm still waiting for my templates for neck pocket, pickups and control cavity which is kind of holding me up....so I decided to do it the hard way and Pencil them out and rout them completely free hand...I don't usually do this as it takes much longer and a lot more concentration. (sorry the pics arent as good quality as usual, I forgot the camera again and took them on my mac photo booth thing)
    heres the control cavity after routing



    and heres the neck pocket



    all aligning perfectley along the center line :)


    next up I pencil out the best section of the Brazilian Rosewood board and cut out on the bandsaw to just out side the line.


    and heres a how it looks with the bridge and control plate, neck and finger board all place together....


    can ya guess what it is yet??

    thats all for today folks, will do the Pickup routs when the templates arrive as I;d rather not do them freehand!


  8. Friday is nearly over so here is another update on the J..

    Bit of bad news about the build, the neck has moved a bit too much since cutting the shape so I'm going to scrap it and start again. I would try and work around it but there not enough meat left to get it back to being flat and true. This is why I leave the timber to settle after cutting. Most of the time they don't move much at all, but this was one of the blanks that did! OH well, thats the nature of wood!

    So heres a little interesting thing for you, after realising the neck was going to the land of the scrap I decided to make the truss rod routing jig.


    and after the first pass (note the scrap neck being my test subject!)


    Works perfectly! Bang in the center and perfect depths etc!


    not as exciting as the usual posts I know...I have been doing a bit of restoration work this week though which has seen most of my time!

    Right I gotta make me another neck :oops:
  9. Pickups routed


    perfect tight fit with the covers, here tested with control plate and a pickguard



    Pin router holes plugged with maple dowells. (I make the dowells myself too haha)


    body fine sanded ready for the 50:50 sealer coat, followed by more sanding and then grain filler!



    cavities initialled and dated


    I'll put the body away in a plastic bag till I do the spraying.
  10. After last weeks discovery that the neck had moved a bit too much for my liking I started a fresh neck today and have it to the same stage as the last one. I need to let it rest for 48 hours now to let it settle, then I will rout for the truss rod and do the nut hole and connecting hole. This neck is twice as nice as the last one too, really lovely old growth flame maple!




    Perfect tight fit, no screws required :)


    Im new to talkbass, this thread is taken from basschat.co.uk but i will update here also!

    cheers for looking!

    Have a great day

  11. This has come out really nice so far! Keep up the good work!!
  12. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Looks as though you're doing some clean work there. Looks good.

    Yep, this is the exact reason why I won't do "1 piece" necks.
  13. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    very nice work; lots of good information here.
  14. Thanks people! :)

    if anybody requires any additional info you are welcome to PM me. I know a lot about pre-cbs guitars and basses and am more than happy to share the info I have picked up.

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