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!  

Two half-builds

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ctmullins, Jan 16, 2017.


  1. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Hello LC friends!

    While I enjoy every aspect of building from scratch, I also sometimes find interesting factory bodies for cheap, which I buy with the intent of making custom necks for. Here I share two such "half-builds".

    The first one uses a Peavey Foundation body, purchased from that auction site. Factory black gloss paint with several large chips in it. I bought it thinking that it might fit a Fender-spec neck, but no. The neck pocket is just a wee bit too close to the bridge. So that opened up my options considerably.

    F5_orig.

    I knew from my research that the body was maple underneath. I sanded all of the factory finish off and was pleased to find a nice four-piece maple body, with three of the four sections having some impressive figuring.

    I built a deep-tenon narrow-spacing 33" scale five-string neck for it - sorry, didn't take photos of that, but it's pretty straightforward. Three-piece maple/cherry/maple, 24-fret pau ferro fretboard, scarfed tiltback headstock. I then deepened the neck pocket on the Peavey body accordingly.

    F5_0087.

    I chopped off the neck heel - one of the worst aspects of the pedestrian Fender formula in my opinion - and the rear neck bolt holes became the front holes, with new rear holes drilled further in. That fifth hole is where the Peavey micro-tilt was. A bit unsightly, but oh well.

    F5_0088.

    I had a pair of Aguilar DCB pickups that I found cheap on the TB Classifieds. The pickup cavities needed a bit of enlargement to accommodate them, no sweat. Finished neck and body with gloss Formby's tung oil.

    F5_0089.

    Th reverse headstock is partly just for fun, but it also lets me use regular long-scale strings on the 33" scale neck without worrying about putting full windings on the B-string tuner post.

    Schaller roller bridge, John East two-band preamp, fresh Lo-Riders, and bam! A very crisp and snappy sounding five-string for the collection!

    F5_0092.

    The second half-build is based on an Epiphone EB-0 body that came from the TB Classifieds. The prior owner had already routed a second pickup cavity closer to the bridge. I modified that cavity slightly to accept a TV Jones Thunder'Mag on a custom ring. The factory neck pickup cavity will probably be used as a battery compartment.

    EB_0082.

    The bridge is a BadBird II, designed and built by TB's own Scott Dasson as a direct replacement for the Gibson/Epiphone three-point. It comes with a beautiful custom tailpiece.

    EB_0083.

    I'm building a 32" scale neck for this one. Three-piece maple, 20-fret mac ebony fretboard, scarfed tiltback headstock. Pretty standard stuff for me. But this one has a twist!

    I've been very interested in weight reduction techniques lately, having built a few oppressively heavy basses, and since the EB is already known for a bit of neck dive anyway, I was looking for a way to lighten this neck a bit. I have also recently learned about Billy Gibbons' chambered neck guitars. Our own @reverendrally mentioned this a time or two in the recent past, and ever since I've been itching to try it. I have a decent grounding in Newtonian physics, and while I don't care to actually do the math, the truth is that a cylinder is very nearly as strong as a solid beam of the same outside dimensions, provided the cylinder wall thickness isn't too thin. Most of the strength comes from the material farther away from the center.

    So I got myself a rounded router bit (I think they call this a "bowl bit", is that right?), and decided to actually try it! What's the worst that could happen? :)

    EB_0098.

    After routing for the LMII truss rod, I removed material in three different sections. I decided to be somewhat conservative in my material removal, leaving plenty of material at either end of the truss rod, and two little sections in the center as additional support for the rod. I have no idea if those are actually necessary, it just seemed prudent. Depth of the chambered sections is only 3/8", the same as the truss rod channel.

    EB_0096.

    EB_0097.

    I had the foresight to weigh the neck before and after doing this chambering, and the difference was right at 50 grams. Hmm. That's not exactly a phenomenal weight-loss achievement...

    Currently the fingerboard is glued on, and the neck is ready for shaping and finishing. Stay tuned!
     
  2. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Weird Science! Never heard of a chambered neck before. I've always loved the SG/EB body shape, but couldn't live with the neck dive. Curious to see how it works out. Nice job on the maple Peavey, lovely wood there.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  3. Chambered neck? Hmm.. veeery interested.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    A productive Saturday! Got the headstock shaped, tuner holes drilled, frets installed and trimmed, side dots done, rough shaping done, and neck bolt inserts installed.

    Love the Fearsome Shinto Saw Rasp!

    EB_0103.

    Fits nicely in the neck pocket. This was a leftover fingerboard from a different project, and it's a little shorter than I might have wished. Still, 20 frets should be plenty.

    EB_0099.

    Got a black neck plate for it.

    EB_0101.

    Not too happy about this chunk of headstock that went missing. At least it's on the back...

    EB_0100.

    I'll spray the neck with gloss black, either the entire neck or just the front-facing parts. Hate to cover up that maple!

    EB_0102.
     
    GeraldMcG, BeeTL, mapleglo and 2 others like this.
  5. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Since you'll be using a painted finish, have you considered gluing in a piece of scrap maple, and sanding it to shape to fix that missing chunk?
     
    ctmullins and Gilmourisgod like this.
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I suspect that's what I'll do. I'm just being grumpy about it. :)
     
  7. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The evil Router Rash, hallmark of Satan, rears its ugly head! Had a few of those filled with bondo on mine. I'm guessing a carefully grain-matched infill will be nearly invisible. I'd paint the headstock and leave the back clear maple, looks too nice to paint. Cool bass, any idea on balance yet? I'd love to make an SG style body, but can't abide a neck diver, have yet to find a way to predict balance short of a full size mockup including hardware,
     
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Got the wiring done. Damn I hate wiring.

    EB_0104.

    That's a TV Jones Thunder'Mag on a homemade ring near the bridge. Beautiful pickup, and sounds killer too in my testing! Twin 9V batteries under the mudbucker cover. Single volume with a push/push (yes you read that right) active/passive. The passive setting runs the pickup straight to the jack, and is intended as a failsafe mode. John East BTB-01 two-band, on a stacked knob this time. Killer preamp, and compact too, important for this build. I'm not a fan of top-mounted jacks, but oh well.

    Neck shaping is nearly done. Once I cut the nut I'll be able to assemble and play for a little while before putting finish on the neck. :)
     
    wraub, blindrabbit, Dadagoboi and 2 others like this.
  9. 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
    I think you speak for us all
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    All done! Had a St Patrick's gig yesterday, used both of these, was quite happy with them both. :)

    Action shot of the EB, with my new GK MB500, a successful maiden voyage for that piece of kit as well (and obligatory green beer!):

    EB_0107.

    The F5 (I think that's what I'm calling it, for "Foundation 5") has a refined sound, but plenty of flexibility, while the EB, with its single brash pickup, has a very direct, almost aggressive tone.

    Glamour shots later!
     
    Dadagoboi, afa3 and Gilmourisgod like this.
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Oh yeah, I totally forgot about the chambered neck thing. It plays and feels just like a regular non-chambered three-piece maple neck. :cool: Next time I'm getting more radical with the chambering!!
     
    I-Am-The-Slime likes this.
  12. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    St. Patrick's Day was Mar 17 last time I checked. Is there nothing sacred?
     
    Will_White and ctmullins like this.
  13. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Green beer waits for no man!!
     
    Dadagoboi and Will_White like this.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I loaned the F5 to a friend of a friend a while ago, and tonight he told me that he likes it so much that he wants to buy it! I gave him a good price. It’s a great bass, but I’m running out of storage room... :bag:
     
    Dadagoboi and Beej like this.
  15. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Sounds like the start of a career!
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Hahaha! Could be, could be...
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.