1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Hossenfeffer Bass Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Gilmourisgod, Sep 12, 2014.


  1. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    At my typical ration of 2 hours shop time per week, taking my time is mandatory! The volute carve in particular promises to be excruciatingly slow, never done any real woodcarving. I won't bore anybody with more posts until the neck carve is done for good or ill.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  2. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Eureka! The neck is carved. After all the dread and worry, a surprisingly stress-free experience. I'm sure Randall Fullmer could have whipped this out with a bandsaw and rasp in about 30 minutes, but for mortals who have never carved a neck before, I highly recommend the "facet" method. It made the whole carve feel precise and controllable, and if you are careful laying it out, it pretty much guarentees a symetrical profile. Still a bit more sanding to do to smooth transitions, but I'm pretty happy with how it looks and feels, my preferred "flat D" profile. It doesn't feel too chunky either, similar to my old 4001 neck.
    IMG_4379_zps84hb0jqu.
    IMG_4380_zpshfwn62l5.
    IMG_4382_zpszx0t3r3z.
    IMG_4383_zpspuynsnwh.
    IMG_4384_zpsiheieypd.
    Thanks for looking
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    TonH, Marial, goodkingzog and 11 others like this.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Wow, that came out *really* nice!
     
    NealBass and Gilmourisgod like this.
  4. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Thanks Maple, that means a lot to me coming from you, I've learned a lot watching your builds, gonna be a long time catching up with you!
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  5. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    You are quite welcome, though I don't know, that volute looks better than anything I've done. I think I'm going to have to copy your technique on that. Did you take any pics of the process?
     
    NealBass likes this.
  6. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I had an accurate template I made on chipboard, marked the curve out in pencil, and just went for it. The whole neck carve took me about 5-6 hours, which is insane, just painfully slow work at the volute, never done anything like it. I don't think I took any photos in between, just me nibbling away tiny bits at a time until it looked right, like watching grass grow, except less interesting. These crappy Harbor Freight rasps convince me (once again) that it's better to invest once in good tools rather than twice, a lesson I seem incapable of learning.
     
    mapleglo and NealBass like this.
  7. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    Looking fantastic, man! That volute is gorgeous. Nice job on the heel, too. Refresh my memory; is that a quarter-sawn skunk stripe? Also, what are you planning to do for a finish?
    That looks like a Rick to Rock, for sure.
    Good luck with the rest of he build and congrats, so far. :thumbsup:
     
  8. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Nailed it!
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  9. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Mesa, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Ok Alex, ...Hopefully we can now agree ...no more of your self-deprecating statements!... ;) .... you got skills man! So don't let me hear you saying otherwise!:laugh:
    Would ya just look at that precise, symmetrical, delicate little volute, heel transition & the entire neck for that matter!
    It's frickin gorgeous ! Really well done:thumbsup:
     
  10. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    @CanadaNeal
    This one is just a two piece neck, grain more like rift sawn, no skunk stripe. The Hossenfeffer II will be a walnut 4003w clone with double walnut neck stringers and headstock wings like @mapleglo did. That one is promised to my son, a far better bass player than me with half the effort. Trying to find some 1/4" thick figured walnut to use as a cap for that one. This one will be painted, too much bondo gouge filling for a natural finish.
     
  11. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    I gotta agree with Rock here- you can tend to undersell them, but you clearly have skills.
    That neck looks great, and the wings look awesome too.

    Nicely done.
     
  12. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    I am so tempted to take a heat gun to my 4003, strip er' down, bust off the body wings and route for checkered binding.
    (I already have the strips of CB)
     
  13. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    If you do it, please do the headstock!

    purhead35093. FSC_0017.
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  14. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    So how did people out there level their fingerboards and frets prior to the Erlewine Era of neck jigs? @Rôckhewer made his own for his Balance K builds, which makes sense given his pro-level output. I can see @mapleglo building one too (if she hasn't already!). I found this link for a knockoff design of the original Stewmac wood model by a guy named Matt Vinson. No actual plans included, but seems simple enough based on the text and photos:
    http://api.ning.com/files/HAVVJu2zj...69br/How_To_Build_a_Neck_Jig__Matt_Vinson.pdf

    I have one of the two dial indicators needed, and the rest can be sourced from the parts and vendor list and my scrap pile. I'm asking myself if, given my likely total output of one bass every 2-3 years, it's really worth building one. Luthiers somehow managed to produce well-playing, buzz-free fretjobs for a long time before these jigs came around. Is this a solution in search of a problem, or an indispensible tool I should take the time and expense to build? If this has been flogged to death already in some other thread, toss me a link!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I strongly considered binding the headstock and passed on it as "a bling too far", since I'd never done binding of any kind, let alone something that tight radius. That ship has sailed now that I've carved the neck, might try it on the Hossenfeffer II. If you decide to do the CB, get yourself a set of the Stewmac binding cutters, they really are worth the money. Perfectly clean, precise depth channels. Getting around those headstock curves would be a little scary, not sure if freehand or routertable would work better. The binding transition from headstock to neck is always a little funky, most I've seen have the headstock binding line continuing parallel with the headstock top face until it bevels into the fingerboard binding. I would assume you'd have to hand-chisel that section of binding channel anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  16. 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
    Hey Gilly,

    I have to go back to work. Can you finish my Ricks for me?
     
  17. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Scoops
    Absolutely! Check in every couple of years for a progress report, no need to rush into these things.
     
  18. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    After my usual dithering and indecision, decided to build a quick and dirty version of the Matt Vinson neck jig. Seeing @Rôckhewer recent build using his convinced me. I had the lumber lying around, and one of the two dial indicators needed, so I put this together in a couple hours, around $19 in hardware, would have been a lot more with fancy knobs instead of cheap thumbscrews, but I didn't see the need. I still have to mount the dial indicators and headstock jack. Stewmac no longer carries the mini-jack shown in the Vinson hardware list, trying to cobble something together with a turnbuckle and plastic adjustable furniture foot, we'll see how that goes. If anyone knows a source for a mini-jack, please let me know! I'll pick up another dial indicator from HF this week. I'll also have to decide if I want to raise the bass on a separate board platform or ho-made levelers. In the meantime, I can use it as-is just to finish-level the fingerboard.
    IMG_4724_zpsusorlrdt.
    IMG_4725_zpssqywpyyf.
     
    Jonny5bass, TonH, AGH and 2 others like this.
  19. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    A question for anybody familiar with these jigs:
    Using the Vinson dimensions, you can see that the bass nut is right above the eyebolt for the pull down strap. It seems like that leaves a lot of the upper neck over the plank base. The Vinson plans say its for guitar or bass, but this spacing looks more like guitar length. Wondering if I should add another rod and move the eybolt outward. Is there a specific fret position the dial indicators should fall under?

    Edit: Started a thread on this out in Luthiers Corner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  20. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The neck developed a tiny backbow, was able to dial that out with the trussrod, nice to see it actually works! I used the half-built Vinson jig to final level the fingerboard, still had a bit of extra meat at the two ends. Now it's dead flat, but I'm very close to too shallow on a couple upper fret slots.
    IMG_4830_zpsj77yszzs.
    Going to add a vertical end leg onto this with a leveler and bolt some bed rail to the side to stiffen it up.

    Dead level fingerboard at last
    IMG_4831_zpsw56lgsff.

    Fingerboard polished back up to it's former gloss and ready for frets at last!
    IMG_4832_zps4b3wuz7p.
     
    Jonny5bass, Rôckhewer, AGH and 4 others like this.

Share This Page