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the pc custom thread.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by instigata, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    i figure i'll start a thread for posting the happenings and goings on with my custom.

    first of all, being good engineers ( :) ), let's have some objectives:

    1) A Versatile, lightweight and portable bass
    2) Handmade by me.
    3) Under $1,000, preferably.

    Now, here is a list of materials I "need" thus far:

    -Mahogany Body Blank ~$90
    -2 Thick Wenge or Ebony Laminates and 1 Thin Maple Laminate (Hippy Sandwich deal in the center) ~30
    -Flame Maple Top (Maybe) ~$100
    -Graphite Neck (?), Headless. OR Standard Wood Neck, a la USACG. ~$200-500
    -Bartolini/Dingwall FD-3 Pickups ~$100-200
    -Wiring, 3 Knobs, Shielding, Input Jack, 2 Potentiometers, 1 Capacitor, and a 5 Way Rotary Switch. ~$30-50
    -ETS or ABM Headless Bass Bridge/Head Unit. ~$120
    -Strings ~$20

    now, here's my improved sketch, which is slowly being drawn up in a CADD program called Autodesk Inventor:


    that's it so far. i'm just drawing things up, and hunting for the cheapest parts now. if you have any suggestions and/or ideas, feel free to fire away.

    and yea, that sketch has an AWFUL fret job.
  2. if your looking for a cheap first project, i would suggest not going with so many woods... if your allready somewhat experianced in woodworking, feel free to go ahead and go for it...

    check out Galleryhardwoods.com for some of that wood... your african mohogany blank (in a 2 piece form) is only 65..
    same with a hondourus mohogany two piece...
    a one peice hondo is 75... but thats still under your 90 dollar perediction (add on shipping costs and it might get qute a bit closer though)

    but, seeing as you wanted a light weight bass, im not sure if mahogany is a good choice... sure its not as heavy as oak or anything.. but it is notably more heavy than your average ash body... (or at least i think... somone please back me up... untill then ill just put on my "flame retardant" suit) but, i dont know how that will respont with a graphite neck... Its beyond my reconing... so i dont know what a heaver body with a headless graphite neck would feel or sound like at all....

    but, i just felt like trying to help.. feel free to check out the "gallery" and good luck!
  3. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    don't worry, i don't wield a flame thrower. haha.

    well, i PERSONALLY don't have wood experience. BUTT my teacher does. he's been making cabinets and such for years now.

    the reason i don't choose ash is mainly due to the heavy ring grain pattern. due to the differences in density, evenly sanding an ash body is a little tougher.

    and the graphite-mahogany thing is a crap shoot. i just think that mahogany being more mellow will balance out some of the "sterility" some people say graphite provides. and matt (fbb custom) recommended mahogany due to how easy it is to cut.

    much thanks for a reply. my design was flamed by some WONDERFUL kid from australia in the bass forum. i love it. haha.

    once again, thanks.
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Not the lightest choice. But perhaps prettier than alder or poplar. (Note that my comments will cover weight and versatility...)
    Just skip these, if you are in for a work horse. Heavy, lots of lamination, no real use.
    Heavy!! Consider a spruce neck for weight (a la Nordstrand) perhaps with a hardwood veneer cover, for dent prevention. Graphite is very heavy...
    Hmmm... could be something....
    MAke sure you get aluminium gear. The brass units weigh tons!!
    CAn't see the pic form here, which is why I donn't comment the design....:)
  5. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    As has been said, this isn't the lightest combination, but it's not a bad combination at all. Our friendly TB wood suppliers will be able to supply that selection, but consider finding the mahogany on your own. Any local wood store should be able to sell you some 8/4 mahogany for a reasonable price, and if you've got a teacher who knows woodworking involved, I assume you've also got access to the tools required to mill the wood to your specifications.

  6. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    yes. exactly.

    well. i looked at gallery hardwoods. and i ca get the top AND the body for 100.

    not bad at all.

    i'll take a look locally too. to avoid shipping prices :)

    the neck and bridge are by far most expensive things.

    300 or so for the neck, and 130 ish for the hardware.

    worth it. i think so. yes.

    anyone know of any wood suppliers in new jersey?
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Sounds like your taking a good approach to this -- research, and then building! Good luck with it.

    Try this:
  8. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    I love the design, but I think that you severly underestimate the cost of parts like pickups and pots, etc. These are the parts that always throw me over budget. Taxes and shipping and an extra dollar here and there really add up. I suggest radioshack for the cheapest pot and control stuff, wires, etc. I always do pretty well there.
  9. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    well, yea. i have 5 radioshacks aroudn the corner. however, i don't have to buy pots, capactiors, or wirses (school has most of that)

    only thing i'm buying is the shielding paint.

    and yeah, shipping is a pain :(
  10. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    Oh good then. Where is this school of yours that you got all this stuff for free?
  11. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    well, its a special vocational school for pre-engineering students. we happen to be like, the 90th best school in the country according to newsweek, and the best school in jersey. with average sat scores of like, 1358 :)

    so yea. we have a lot of stuff lying around. and get a lot of leeway. but the curriculum is RIDICULOUSLY HARD.

    colleges love it though :smug:
  12. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    as for the graphite neck, it seems that the moses are not exactly bad, just somewhat bad customer service. and i don't mind a little fert work. sure as hell beats fretting and building the whole damn neck :)

    so i think moses neck will be the way to go.
  13. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
  14. it does look pretty cool in scale drawing form.. is the bridge going to hang off the end of the body like that?
  15. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    It's headless, so I believe the bridge HAS to hang off the end like that...haha.

    That's a pretty sweet design. It's like...Zon meets Bunker, or something...hehe. Good luck with the project.


    PS Don't forget to draw all of your hardware (to scale) on that drawing, so you know everything will fit!
  16. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    yes, it is headless, so the bridge will overhang a bit.

    and once i choose which headless hardware to go with, i'll be sure to get the exact dimensions :)
  17. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    just a few questions i have about my design:

    is the neck in far enough for a proper bolt on configuration? this can obviously be changed very readily.

    a secondly, how does it look balance wise (upper horn length)?
  18. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
  19. teacherguy


    Feb 21, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    That is really turning out to be a very sharp design!
    If you make the neck pocket resemble a typical Fender neck pocket, you SHOULD be okay for a bolt-on neck as far as depth goes (as far as I can tell from the diagram).
    To be sure of this, you could always make a mock-up with mdf or pine to test and see if it is satisfactory.

  20. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I'm diggin it. I think you're neck connection is okay (but then again, I'm not even a luthier...just an enthusiast). Do you think you could put some more reference points on there, such as the 12th fret (and 24th if you have it). Also, think about your ideal pickup placement and knobs and whatnot. Keep it up!


    PS. In 3 weeks, I'm gonna want soundclips! hehe...

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