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Winter 2017 build off - 6 string fretless headless fibre optic Yoshibass #3

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by yoshi, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Some of you may recall this thread from about 9 months ago, but seeing as I just started the build this week it's going to be bundled into the winter 2-17 build off!

    6 string fretless
    spalted sycamore body (1 piece)
    ovangkol neck with a wenge spine
    ebony fretboard
    fibre optic fret markers
    pickup TBC but probably going to be one at the bridge position. Bart dual/quad & aguilar super doubles are contenders. Don't think I will have a preamp.
    hardware: ABM headless bridge (2 piece) and headpiece. Black.

    In theme with the winter build - what's new to me? The main thing is trying to put in fibre optic fret markers. I'm following a tutorial on here by @scottyd How To: Fiber Optic Side Markers Part 1! . Also, I'm planning on using hammer & chisel for doing a lot of body cavity work as opposed to router (mostly because i'm scared of it and always mess up).

    Here's the wonderful body wood:


    here's the photoshop mockup (this has birdseye neck). note that i am tempted to single cut this!


    and some progress pics.

    Body marked out (may be single cut in the end). Not at a right angle to the board's edge as I wanted to catch as much of the spalting as possible (hopefully the pattern continues deeper)

    Neck glueup plus fretboard blank. I cut the ovangkol in two and rotated it, then spent days hand planing it for a good joint...ended up wasting so much that i needed to introduce some extra wood, luckily I had the wenge offcut. Unluckily it was pure hell trying to the 4 surfaces flat and true with hand tools. There's a couple of tiny gaps which I hope will dissappear when I plane down to the center a bit more. If not will have to sawdust and wood glue. But alas, the joint is good apart from a few surface blemishes.

    And a mockup of body, neck and hardware:

    Exciting times!
    JIO, Chris_Toot, SLivinghouse and 5 others like this.
  2. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I don't say this often but I think this body style might actually be better as a single cut,
    SLivinghouse and tbrannon like this.
  3. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    It's always great to see another headless build!
  4. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    That's a good looking hunk of sycamore.

    Moonshine :bassist:
    SLivinghouse likes this.
  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Installed the truss rod! Best one i've done so far, very happy about that. I used a 6mm straight bit then hammer and chisel to widen the bit for theturning key. Fit perfectly!

    * yes, that's my living room. My missus is out of town so as long as I tidy up the million router splitners I should be safe...
    SLivinghouse likes this.
  6. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    You are a very, very brave man Well, I took carbon fiber parts to sauna (I did put towels on the benches so that no cf splinters could get to intimate places when bathing in sauna next time).
    SLivinghouse likes this.
  7. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    @scottyd once you've set the fibre optic dots, what work can be done on them - can they be (hand) planed? sanded? or should the neck, the top parrt with dots at least, be pretty much finished before installing and gluing up?
  8. I've had a CF splinter in my arm and could see one being picked one up in a sauna as being a relationship ender :dead:.
  9. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Mesa, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    If I may be so bold, as to add my two cents as a second opinion to help answer your question...
    In my experience, yes...you can sand the tips of the fiber optics as much as you need to, and bring them up to a fine grit finish...then they can be buffed to polish the tip...like with a dremel & felt buffing tip....but that has to be done very lightly & quickly to avoid melting them.
    They will still shine without buffing ...it just makes the difference between clear sparkle, or a slight diffusion.

    I mounted my ends slightly differently from what Scotty did in his tutorial....I used brass & aluminum hobby tubing and glued the fibers into them.
    I think he cautioned against using CA glue at the tip.
    But it worked fine for me.

    If you are interested in seeing how I did mine...
    I cover it in this thread...posts #148 to #150
    Alembic Balance K "inspired" (semi-replica) build
  10. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Sorry for the late reply. Rockhewer is spot on.

    They can indeed be sanded, the finer grit you sand them the better they will omit light. Think of it like working a clear finish or plexiglass...

    I avoid CA glue because it will melt the fibers something fierce, which on the ends since they're captured in a fixed position it might be fine but on a curve or bend (in the channels of the fingerboard) they'll melt to the point that they'll break. Its pretty hash to the material, learned that the HARD way. Fast setting clear epoxy works wonderful to help position them.
  11. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Hey, how's this build going?

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