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Tele body bass - My first build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassShifter21, Mar 17, 2009.


  1. Greetings all!
    This is my first build. I hope you like it!

    I had wanted to build my own bass for some time, I just needed inspiration. Believe it or not, the body for this bass was found in the trash by a friend on mine. He thought I might fashion a clock out of it, but oh, no. This is way better!
    IMG_0048.
    Here is what I started with:
    IMG_0052.
    The first thing I did was to remove the black plastic position markers and replace them with blue abalone inlays.
    IMG_0055.
    IMG_0057.
    IMG_0062.
    Then, I discovered that the tuners that I has found on eBay has a smaller shaft than the holes in the headstock, so I plugged them with dowels and re-drilled them.
    IMG_0064.
    IMG_0066.
    IMG_0067.
    IMG_0070.
    IMG_0073.
    IMG_0108.
    Laying out and fabricating my router template.
    IMG_0141.
    IMG_0142.
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    First mock up with parts laid out where they will go.
    IMG_0104.

    More to follow:hyper:
     
  2. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    how did you remove the dots? amazing so far
     
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    You drill through the center, and pop 'em out with something pointy.



    Love it so far, is it shortscale?
     
  4. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    this thing is screaming for an old school chrome bridge cover
     
  5. :O I love it!
    I tinkered with the though of making one, and I'm seriously tempted now!
    BTW, will you actually be able to use the neck pickup if its for guitar?
     
  6. Thank you. It is a 34" scale, and believe it or not, there is no neck dive to speak of. Very comfortable to play. Stand by for more!
     
  7. Ooohhh........didn't think of that!!!!!!!
     
  8. Go for it!

    Yes, the neck pickup does work, but the output is low as you might imagine. It does lend a cool dose of low end, though! I normally play it with all three pickups on.
     
  9. The Allparts neck was stark white, unfinished maple when I received it, so in order to let the grain stand out, I used a light honey stain from General Finishes. That really made a big difference. Also, the frets were quite sharp, so I spent a lot of time smoothing, blending and polishing. Much better! Then, I finished the neck with a wipe-on poly/oil product, again made by General Finishes. Worked like a charm. You apply it with a piece of old t-shirt material. No runs, no drips, no errors! Then, the last touch was the custom made waterside decal that I did myself, which turned out even better than I imagined it would!
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    IMG_0353.

    Stay tuned for more.
     
  10. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    how do you make them?
     
  11. I bought a model decal kit and came up with my own combination. After that, I just followed the directions. Not too hard at all. I placed it on the headstock after a few finish coats had been applied, then put three more coats over the decal. You can hardly notice any edges at all. I was very happy with the results!
     
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Is the body the same size as a guitar Telecaster, or bigger?
     
  13. adamrobertt

    adamrobertt Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Kingston, New York
    Wow, looks awesome

    Are the dowels gonna mess with the tuners though? I imagine the glue wearing out eventually and the tuners slipping from the holes...
     
  14. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    No, the glue will have soaked into the wood.

    Matters little anyway, they are only to hold the ferrules, the tuners are bolted from the back.
     
  15. Well, since it was a "found treasure" and I didn't lay this one out, I can't say for sure. My guess is that whoever started it was leaning toward a guitar, not a bass. In any event, it worked great for the 34" scale length, and for retaining the Telecaster look with the lipstick neck pickup.
     
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ah, just curious, as they usually look odd with full sized bass necks, but this looks perfect.:)

    Wanted to do a similar project for a long time.
     
  17. Once the routing was done, I went to work on the neck pocket. I wanted a really good fit, so I took my time. Then on to mounting the neck. The long straightedge allowed me to align the center of the neck exactly with the center line of the body. I feel this is a crucial step! Then I match drilled the mounting screw holes from the neck plate. I worked all of the routed pockets with a Dremel tool, sandpaper, and files so that all the components fit just right. Starting to look like a bass:)
    IMG_0163.
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    IMG_0177-1.
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  18. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    did you glue it?
     
  19. Nope. Simply a bolt-on neck. It really has to be removable for truss rod adjustments, since the fretboard has an overhang and the lipstick pickup is quite close to the end of the fretboard.
     
  20. Neck fits pretty good!!!
    IMG_0159.
     

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