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Winter 2017 build off- carbon headless bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MPU, Dec 24, 2016.


  1. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I'm stretching the time limit a bit but here's my take. A full carbon fiber Steinberger-style headless paddle bass. Things I haven't done before:
    - using aluminium tape as mold surface
    - post curing the parts in elevated heat
    - using DB Steinberger licenced bridge from HohnerEU
    - using Rocklite Ebono fretboard instead of Richlite

    So far I've made molds from plywood and bondo, used them for laminating the parts using vacuum bagging and post cured the parts.

    Here's how the parts were made. First the mold is made and waxed with release wax. Usually a plug is made first, then mold made from glassfiber out of plug and last the part is made. For simple shapes and one-off pieces I made the mold just like plug is usually made. This mold is for the pivot plate. Aluminium tape is used as surface of the mold. WP_20161221_15_20_02_Pro.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    Jazz Ad, Beej, Scoops and 1 other person like this.
  2. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Then carbon and glass cloths are cut to shape as well as release film and bleeder cloth. WP_20161221_15_35_56_Pro.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    GKon likes this.
  3. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Carbon and glass is layed on the mold and wetted with epoxy resin. There's around 60/40 ratio of cf/gf to epoxy.
     
  4. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Carbon and glass is layed on the mold and wetted with epoxy resin. Release film and bleeder cloth are layed over the laminate. WP_20161221_15_53_17_Pro. WP_20161221_15_53_35_Pro.

    Then the whole package goes into a vacuum bag for 6 hours. WP_20161221_15_59_06_Pro. WP_20161221_15_53_47_Pro.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  5. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    When all the parts are made and they have cured at room temperature for 24 hours they go to post cure. Here in Finland almost every house has a post cure chamber. It's usually called sauna. 8 hours at 55-60 deg C. WP_20161222_11_18_07_Pro.
     
    svtb15, kkaarrll, pilotjones and 11 others like this.
  6. Fascinating. I remember following one of your other carbon fiber builds. I can do some amount of woodworking but this is like a different world.
     
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I've never had the chance to play anything CF, but I love the way it looks.
     
  8. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Fascinating. Definitely watching this.

    Beautiful work Sir.


    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    As usual, compared to MPU, I'm on the luthiery short bus...
     
    SLivinghouse likes this.
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Sub'd for sure!
     
  11. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Truss rod needs a cavity. I make walls for the cavity from the 2mm carbon plate made before. Underside of fretboard is made from the same plate. I cut carbon with Dremel and 0.75mm cutting discs. Vacuum cleaner and dust mask are used to keep my lungs clean.
    WP_20161227_16_29_23_Pro.

    I dry fit the cavity walls before using thickened epoxy to bond the pieces together.

    Neck and cavity walls are clamped to an aluminium square tube to make sure the neck comes out straight.

    WP_20161227_16_51_12_Pro.

    WP_20161227_17_44_35_Pro.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  12. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I always feel like I'm learning new concepts from an MPU build...
    Always fascinating.
     
  13. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Neck beam is filled with 2 part expanding rigid foam.
    WP_20161228_12_02_18_Pro.
    After the foam has cured the beam is hot glued to a straight plywood strip and fed thru a thickness sander for proper thickness and tapered depth.
    WP_20161228_14_34_47_Pro.
    The beam has 4,5mm difference in depth between 1st and 12th fret. Final depth can be fine tuned with fretboard thickness but only a bit. Later tonight I'm planning to bond the last part of neck beam over the foam core.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  14. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    @MPU this is just so very cool... :D
     
    tbrannon likes this.
  15. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I like to make a small fillet in the neck beam corners by sanding a bit of the foam away. That cavity is filled with fiber thickened epoxy before bonding the cf over the foam.
    WP_20161228_16_41_19_Pro.

    WP_20161228_17_06_33_Pro.
     
    JIO, Petebass, smithcreek and 8 others like this.
  16. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Wow... Just Wow.



    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  17. This is awesome stuff
     
  18. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Then it's time to cut the truss rod slot open.
    WP_20161229_11_11_17_Pro.

    WP_20161229_11_35_24_Pro.

    Nut end needs to be filled with fiber thickened epoxy. That will be a solid place to mount the headpiece. Foam is routed out with Dremel.

    WP_20161229_11_35_47_Pro.

    Truss rod cavity is tapered just like the neck beam. Truss rod needs a 9mm deep cavity. I use glass bead thickened epoxy as filler in this place as it's very light and levels easily.

    WP_20161229_12_03_30_Pro.
     
    JIO, andruca, smithcreek and 7 others like this.
  19. tbrannon

    tbrannon

    Jun 11, 2006
    Awesome stuff
     
  20. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Finally it's time to start joining the neck beam to the "body". Some dry fitting first.

    WP_20161230_16_21_15_Pro.

    Neck beam can't just hung between the bottom and top of the body. There's some filling needed. Center beam parts cut and dry fitted.

    WP_20161230_16_49_23_Pro.

    Fits like a glove, ready for filleting.

    WP_20161230_16_49_51_Pro.




    I like to join parts with thickened epoxy fillet. This gives a lot wider joint surface.


    WP_20161230_17_12_01_Pro.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

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