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T-bird 5 string build idea.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by KB5, Nov 28, 2018.


  1. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I see that Kiesel has their neck-through blanks on sale. I have been wanting build a custom T-bird 5 string in the worst way. I like the dimension on the Kiesel neck but would prefer 22 frets. Can the fretboard be trimmed back by two frets on the Kiesel neck through blank? I hate having frets I can't access...

    I have designed a modified body in MS paint (LMAO!) that I think looks better balanced aesthetically than other Birds with improved upper register access. My thought is to use a Hipshot D stye bridge and tailpiece. I want the string spacing around 17MMish and this bridge gives the look I want and some spacing options. I'm still working on a head-stock design. I want a 3x2 that is reminiscent of the T-bird head-stock. I want the body wings to be mahogany.

    My woodworking skills are a bit lacking for a project like this. Is there a luthier out there that would build and rout the body, shape/drill the headstock, and leave the rest to me? Will T-bird pickups be wide enough for a five string?

    Here is what I have in mind for the body. (please don't laugh too hard at my killer MS Paint Skills.) It actually uses a full size T-bird pickguard. Yes I want the three way switch, maybe without the poker chip. Black with all nickle hardware and pickup covers. Thunderbucker Ranch or china-buckers. VVT with gold tophats and the aforementioned three way switch.

    Luthiers with interest in this project please feel free to PM or email me. If anyone has a recommendation please chime in.

    Thanks!!

    AcessBird.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    JIO, osv and tbrannon like this.
  2. Wow, did Carvin become Kiesel?
     
  3. Yes, they split the company into instruments and amps. The instrument side is now called Keisel.
     
    reverendrally likes this.
  4. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    This is what I'm thinking for the headstock. I have not scaled the neck width up yet. It is still standard T-bird dimensions. Fretboard length is for 22 frets and access to upper register is pretty good while still looking somewhat true to the original.

    With original bird for reference to changes.
    View attachment 3230355

    FullBird.PNG
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    ReasonablyHappy likes this.
  5. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Neck and headstock scaled up. I think I have captured what was in my head. 5StExtAccess.PNG
     
    ReasonablyHappy likes this.
  6. I think I'd like 5 in a row, or 4+1 better than that 3+2 design.
     
    jackn1202 and ReasonablyHappy like this.
  7. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I hear what your saying. I did try a 4+1 and it just didn't look right at all. Part of the problem is when you shorten the body the long headstock make the whole bass look unbalanced and out of proportion. I'm going to try a compromise with a slightly longer version of the 3+2 design. Either way I'm having fun with this.
     
  8. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I would elongate the 3+2 but put 2 on top and three on bottom. The bottom being longer would look more aesthetic with three tuners.
     
    jackn1202, 5tring and GeraldMcG like this.
  9. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Some Options. More work later. headoptions.PNG
     
  10. I think the 4+1 works best from those options. BTW, it would be worth looking at Firebird guitar headstock for inspiration. If you could use slightly smaller tuners, 5 in a row would be more like a firebird, which in my eyes would be pretty cool.
     
  11. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I'm going to make up some templates in hardboard or something to get a better feel for all of this. I really hate that one tuning machine hanging off the bottom of the 4+1. On a T-Bird headstock it looks very out of place. This has some rudimentary machines and bevel rout. The rout added some birdness and I think this is going to be close to the final piece. I need to learn some CAD... DoneForNow.PNG
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  12. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I'm thinking these tuning machines. HB6 - 1/2
     
  13. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Seriously try two on top and three on the bottom. Also the 3/8 version of the HB6 tuners with the smaller button would not crowd the headstock so much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    jackn1202 and KB5 like this.
  14. 5tring

    5tring

    Sep 16, 2018
    UK
    Agree. I like the headstock design but it needs to be two on top and three on the bottom
     
    jackn1202, Slidlow and KB5 like this.
  15. KB5

    KB5 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    "That's the way you do it. Money for nothin and chicks for free." I don't know why I resisted. I think we're on to something here...

    MoneyForNothin.PNG
     
  16. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Yes grasshopper, now you are travelling down the right path. Now consider having the tuners perpendicular to the headstock edge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    jackn1202 likes this.
  17. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    IMHO, I just never liked the look of two on top 3 on bottom

    May I suggest pointing the beak down and put 3 on top
     
    SlingBlader and Beej like this.
  18. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Stay the course and keep two on top and three below. Venture into the unknown. Besides having the "beak" pointing down looks too Fenderish.
     
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    :thumbsup:

    That’s how I did mine as well.

    DSC01168.
     
    Slidlow likes this.
  20. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    IMG_4399.JPG IMG_4400.JPG
    There, see it does work and looks fine. I think with the reverse body shape the 2+3 compliments the overall look very well. To further set it apart Schaller has M4-2000 tuners with a different button that I am using on a six. They allow a tighter spacing of the tuners but I never see them offered. I had to order them and wait to receive from Schaller. I am using them on the six string to minimize headstock size.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    reverendrally and ctmullins like this.

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