Winter Build Off 2022 - Explorer Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by instrumentalist, Dec 21, 2021.

  1. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I built a non-reverse guitar version in 1986 and still have full size patterns. It does balance very well. I previously did a thread on designing a bass using the same basic design. I’ll link it if I find it.
  2. Point taken. It hasn't bothered me so far, but I will take a fresh look at it when I've made the body. :thumbsup:
    This I can't deny. I'll build the "normal" shape, and it would be interesting if someone builds a Non-Reverse.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Seems like they had to do it that way otherwise the jack would be too close to the edge of the body. They would have had to make the bolt wider to make it sit in the same spot but then you'd lose the straight line that runs through both bolts. I bet they ran a few designs before settling on the best of both worlds. :D
    instrumentalist likes this.
  4. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Here's that link to the thread where I draw up a reverse concept.
    Designing a Bass (one way to do it)
  5. Flying B

    Flying B

    Apr 29, 2018
    That's exactly what I thought when I saw it, that would drive me mad.
  6. And after all the words, I'm finally making sawdust.
  7. We visited our daughter for Christmas, and she'd baked cookies! Some of them were "personal cookies" and I got this:
  8. And here's the body!
    (Please don't heed the area near the neck; I still need to work on that.)
  9. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    What's going on with that area near the neck? :smug:
    Mickey666 likes this.
  10. I haven't finalized how I want to do it. I'll return to this subject later.
    Beej likes this.
  11. Basvarken

    Basvarken Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2010
    Velp Rockcity
    Amateur Luthier / Gibson Bass Book
    Interesting project Jasper!
    instrumentalist likes this.
  12. deff

    deff Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2018
    Gloucester, MA
    :):):) Can't love these reasons enuff! Have at that thing!
    instrumentalist likes this.
  13. IMG_20211227_161525.jpg
    This is what I intend to do to create an Explorer headstock. The added piece of maple will be glued on, plus two long screws inserted from the right hand side.

    All four tuners will be on the left hand side that is one with the neck. So no problem with stability there. The hole for the E tuner will be used, the partial hole for the A will get a wooden insert.

    The division line between the two pieces is too prominent, of course. My original plan was to bluff my way through that. Like saying: this is how I made it, if that offends you you're out of luck! But I feel I can't do that anymore now that the difference in colour is so obvious. (The two pieces of maple looked much more similar at first, but have reacted differently to the tung oil.)

    So now I'm thinking a veneer that matches the body. Objectively that's a good idea. But somehow I have trouble warming to it. The whole idea of a veneer feels alien to me. Besides, I'm already over budget.

    You see, this is how difficult I'm finding it to build a truly "personal" bass. So please let me wrestle with it all in my own way, and I'll figure it out. I always do.
  14. deff

    deff Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2018
    Gloucester, MA
    Looks thin and long and the strings will be pulling far away from the nut slots. If it works it'll be cool.
    instrumentalist likes this.
  15. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Very old school look, I dig it.

    Why not use dowels instead of screws? Would be more invisible and nearly as strong. I guess if it gets an all-over paint job the screws will be hidden well enough...
    Bent77 and instrumentalist like this.
  16. I know! But I never thought to worry about it because it's an Explorer feature:
    unnamed.jpg a00612d12d157573ba4148de9128bc3a.jpg gibson-explorer-1968-ebony-3.jpg
    (Some of the effect you see may be just a matter of perspective, since Gibson headstocks are tilted back, but not all of it.)

    I may find I need to shape the slots in the nut a certain way, or even a pivot that diverts the longest string horizontally. I've seen that somewhere.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  17. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  18. Bent77

    Bent77 Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    Desert, Colorado
    So I have a dumb question as a person who hasn’t the experience (this is a general question not necessarily directed @instrumentalist )

    Is there a reason that the major wood joints like the body don’t have tongue and groove, like wood floor? Is it strictly aesthetic?
  19. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Straight string paths across the nut aren't really a functional requirement in most cases, just a visual thing. But when you have all of the strings pulling one way on the nut it can make it a pain to keep the nut anchored (and lead to the temptation to glue it in place really well, which creates headaches when it needs to be removed).

    Since you are starting with a flat fender style headstock, you'll want a string retainer for the longest two strings anyways to get enough of a break angle across the nut. You can just plan that retainer to also allow for routing the strings so they pull straight on the nut.
    5tring, deff and instrumentalist like this.
  20. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    T&G is really about installation speed (the t & g are self aligning) and a joint that allows some float - so the wood can move without the floor (or siding, or whatever) becoming uneven. On fine woodworking (like gluing up a body blank for a bass) the glue itself is far more than strong enough, we're able to take our time during assembly instead of relying on the joint to self-align, and the joint doesn't need to stay aligned as the pieces float since it's glued solid versus being tacked down every foot or two with a nail.
  21. Primary

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