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Walnut Neck-Through 4 First Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JSchock, May 26, 2011.

  1. My name is Jeff and I'v never done this before, going crazy staring at the wood wondering how to cut it up and put it back together. You guys seem to be the best wealth of information on the topic.

    I have two 8'x7.5"x3" blocks of walnut.
    I have a body style sketched out.
    Shopping for hardware but want to stick with brass in my color scheme, rustic kind of - a real manly bass. (More like Brass Hardwhere.)
    Need advice on scale, 34" or 36"? My hands can handle a longer scale but it isn't comfy and I just play stoner rock should I care about a longer scale vs ergonomics?
    Will it influence action? I don't really like the low and loose feel.
    Was thinking about burninating the top (pyrography, branding), anyone have experience with that sort'a thing?

    Can you walk me through your prebuild, I'm just paranoid I'll forget something and OMG its scrap or even worse its hideous.:bawl:

    Any advice, references, instructions, or ideas you could give me I would love you for.
    I'll upload a picture of my wood and body shape next. :eyebrow:
  2. Search and sticky are ur new best friend
  3. devo_stevo


    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern Utah
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    What dremy said. Don't cut any wood until you have a plan for EVERYTHING. A good plan makes all the difference in the world and will mean the difference between an instrument that sounds and plays well and one that ends up being the donor for parts for your next one.
  4. Just trying to get my photos to blend better on GIMP the woods glossy and I can't photograph it all in one shot so I'm ending up with bright and dark areas from the reflection of the wood when I clip them together. Laying out a grid on the wood and aligning it so I can atleast have a full photo scale of the material and placement, much like JC's method.

    I promise I'v read the stickys just looking for support from the beginning of the build for the most input. Hopefully making a better build.

    Sorry for the size... not sure how big it'll be. Just marked it out using paths to get an idea of the wings. Input welcomed.

  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Neat design; I like it! If you really like the walnut, don't use it for a first build. Make a prototype out of cheap pine first, to get all of the steps down. Then do the real thing. Don't make beginner mistakes on nice wood.
  6. [​IMG]

    The cut I'm looking at for the neck. Does it look okay? I paid 20$ in total for the wood, reasonable for that amount of wood?
  7. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    Dude...trim and clean under those toenails for heaven's sake...Mushrooms are about to start sprouting...lol
  8. Cool start to your design, I'd tweak it a little bit so that the top and bottom bouts are a bit more evenly matched. The neck side looks too big on the bottom, and the bridge side looks too big on top. Try cutting the body/neck shape out of scrap and see how you like the feel of it before you commit.

    Don't cut anything until your design is final, and you have at least the bridge and tuners in hand.
  9. Your the pro. You just gave me an awesome idea for inlays...
    Yeah wasn't sure if I could go asymetrical here I just feel like an idiot with it thick on the neck side due to the big blocks I'm working with. Mostly a contrast thing, I'll try refining the shape with masking tape.
  10. Reshaped and got the perspective right. Its rough but I likey.

  11. ....lmbo....lol.....
  12. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    The last image you posted of your design is an improvement from the last one, but it's going to cause you 1 of 2 issues....either massive neck dive (because your upper horn does not reach anywhere near the 12th fret), or the inability to reach past the 16th fret or so due to the lower horn (if you make it so the upper horn IS at the 12th fret).

    I hope you dont mind my doing this, but I took your design and changed it in a few areas (as well as put it to scale) so you wouldnt have those issues.


    It's a 1:4 scale drawing with a 34" scale length (I can do a 36" as well if you wish). Sorry its hand drawn, thats how I like to do things, CAD programs can never really do what I want them to since I dont have a pad to draw on.
  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I like the first drawing the best.
  14. Wow thank you I'll use it!
    Art isn't my strong point... Actually just don't look for one. haha

    Kick-starts me into selecting cuts. Woo! Still shopping for hardware, post back in a bit with an attempt at masking out the walnut for the wings, the neck cut I like best is a bit of a light area in the grain compared to the lower wing I had in mind. Should/Could I cut the neck narrow when it joins the body and use pinstripping (darkwalnut/?/lightwalnut/?/dark)?
  15. Just found out about a friends death this is now a memorial. RIP Stacy Schrag
  16. Anomalous Bass

    Anomalous Bass

    Mar 29, 2011
    Any reason why you want 34 or 36 scale and not 35? If you dont know whether to go with one or the other it seems somewhat logical to go between the two (especially since 35 is pretty common) or 34 since you said longer scales arent comfortable for you. Scale length shouldnt mess with the action at all.
  17. Was saving myself four keystrokes hoping to imply a spread.

    :hyper: Wheels are a turnin'.
  18. Thank god for blade guards. Made some sawdust today and got the body started and a neck blank cut out. Bridge will be here any day. Any advice on shaping the neck, I'll be at that point in a couple days using an angle grinder on a piece of scrap to get a feel for it. Also with the body, how bad WOULD the neck dive be potentially with the upper horn around the 14th or 15th? It just looks so much better, I have it on the 12 right now but its chunky lookin. I'm a nipple rider anyways but don't want to commit any deadly sins on it.

    All in all excited to finally do some real work on it.
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    14th fret can work out just fine, if the body is reasonably heavy and the headstock light. What's your headstock design, and what are you planning on using for tuners?
  20. I was hoping to do a wishbass-esq open headstock but still in search of tuners. Stacey's guitar had an open headstock and I thought it was awesome. Trying to find the angle of the headstock right now, any advice? I'v got a solid 2" thick of material but while we were plunge cutting the neck out it grabbed and tore a nice half inch (at deepest point) gash into the base of the headstock. Should beable to cut it out but this is my first time, luckily noone got hurt.

    Anyone else have a hard time seeing scale when its still rough cut? Everything seems so small, even the neck at a whopping 45" at the moment.

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