Templates made from cardboard?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Greg Johnsen, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    Hey guys, I spent about 4 hours yesterday and about 1 hour today designing,and drawing a bass. I then scaled it up to full size and put the template on cardboard.

    For the drawing I used Hambone's advice with the 6 inch line, and it worked out really well.

    I've got all the prices for the things I'm gonna need, but I'm not sure why I did, because I won't start this project for quite some time....

    I'll get some pics of the template as soon as it's cut out, and traced over with black marker.

    Here are the specs:

    Alder Body from Carvin (the square block)
    Bartolini MMC pickup
    Bartolini 3 band
    Black Hardware from Carvin
    Bolt on 4 string neck from Carvin (w/ paddle head)
    Hipshot A style bridge
    Blue or white paint
    Black pearl Pickguard

    So, yah, I'll get some pics later.all in all, this should coast me about 400 dollars, so that's not too bad.


  2. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    All I have to say is watch out for the neck dive.
  3. To me the wood around your electronics cavity looks too thin, especially with these square corners. My guess is that if it ever gets dropped there it will break apart. Also, if you are using a 34" scale neck from Carvin, it doesn't appear that you've left enough room for the bridge to be positioned properly. The distance from the nut to the bridge needs to be around 34" (allowing for intonation adjustment). With the 22 fret Carvin neck, you'll need about 9.5 inches between the 22nd fret and the saddles. From the looks of it, there's nowhere near that much on the template you've drawn. Did you calculate this? It looks like there's only around 4 inches there. Is there a special reason that the body is so small?
  4. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    hmm, I didn't know that information, I guess I'll have to re draw it. I was also going to make it bigger because it's alot smaller than I thought it was.

    Thanks for the help, I need to gte all the kinks out BEFORE starting
    because first build can go very wrong...

    Thanks again,

  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You might want to look into buying and reading a book on the subject. What you don't know can hurt you when you set out to build a bass -- a crash course on the basics is in order, and the best way to get that is a book or video because you don't have to know the right questions to ask to get the info you need. I started out with "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" by Melvyn Hiscock.
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Yeah, reading a book is a great start.
    Second, you do a full scale model of the entire instrument, with consideration for rounded edges and all that. Then you should find all the traps. "Should" is a key word here...
    When you done that, you make a real working template. Cardboard is not good for that, I'm afraid.
  7. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    I re did the body to make it bigger, and longer. I also took away the headstock and made it headless. I think it looks better now, and this should be a fairly easy project.

    A question though, how do I rout without a router?

  8. How good are your hand tool skills? My advice would be a combination of fostner bits and some careful chisel work.
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works

    You're really scaring me with these two comments made in the same breath.

  10. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I was hoping I'd be able to use a dremel, because that would make life slot easier, and it looks like it can rout, just not very deeply.

    Myhand too skills are fairly decent because I love to build things, and for most of my life, I have not been allowed to use powertools. The reason I'm making the body small, and very square, is because if I have to make it with hand tools, then I can. This wouldn't be the first time I've sawed though alot of wood with a hand saw. But I think Jig saw's are easier.

    If I can't figure out the routing parts, I might be able to pay Hambone to do it, because he only lives about 30 minutes away, and I'm sure he'd do an excellent job.

    Thanks, I'll be sure to look at that book.

  11. If Hambone will do it for you that'd probably be the best way to go. Just out of curiosity, what do you have for power tools? Do you have access to a drill press?
  12. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    I have a dremel, electric sander, jig saw, drills, and more drills. My dad isn't really the "tool guy". He just get's what he needs, and uses it very rarely. We should be getting a new jig saw soon though.

    I can also ask warmoth do do it for me, but I'm sure they'll rack up the price a bunch...

  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    There are very serious limits to what a Dremel can do. You will not be able to rout cavities accurately with a Dremel. You are likely to make a mess if you try to do any routing with a Dremel.

    Feeling your way through a bass-building project not knowing how to do this or that is fine but you have to be safe and feeling your way through routing things with a router can be pretty dangerous. Go to a local library and check out a book on router basics and read it. No one here can adequately describe how to rout things with a router, safely, in a single post.