Winter Buildoff 2022: Still A Diva

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TerribleTim68, Dec 22, 2021.


  1. Okay fine, I guess I'll join in on this, with no guarantee it'll get done. But motivation might help, so whatever.

    I see other people posting builds they already started on, so let's toss this in the "Partial Build" category and see what happens.

    Specs:
    Body: Wenge/Purpleheart wings with Flame Maple Top
    Neck: Wenge/Purpleheart with Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard.
    Neck/Body Join: Neck-Thru
    Scale Length: 34”
    Fingerboard Radius: 20”
    Strings: TBD
    Pickups: Delano Xtender 4 (undecided on the HE vs the HE/S, haven't purchased it yet)
    Electronics: Passive.
    Controls: Volume.....and a jack.....that's it.
    Knobs: 1
    Bridge: TBD (planning on just building my own)
    Tuners: 4
    Finish: TBD

    How the theme applies to my build:
    I started planning this build 2 years ago when I started my first build (Lucifer). The majority of this wood was leftovers from Lucifer. What better thing to rebirth the leftover wood as than a Diva?

    Wood pile pic (I may have messed up that super cool catch phrase, but whatever man):
    20211222_191237.jpg

    So yeah, I already had a body and headstock template made, and my drawing all printed out too -
    20211222_191103.jpg

    Yeah man, that's the plan. Nothing special here, just my take on fretless a Diva, because I can't afford to buy a real one. We'll see if I can get it done now. :eek:
     
  2. Bent77

    Bent77

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    :bassist:
     
  3. Oh, I guess I should have added -
    I glued up this neck blank and put a scarf joint in it about a year and a half ago. I glued up the wenge and purpleheart on the wings about 6 months ago. That's as far as I ever got. Next step will be routing the truss rod.
     
  4. RichterScale

    RichterScale

    Feb 21, 2021
    WNY
    2Mf.gif
     
    Flying B, S-Bigbottom, dwizum and 2 others like this.
  5. RichterScale

    RichterScale

    Feb 21, 2021
    WNY
    I was gonna post a thought in the Lucifer thread either yesterday or the day before.
    2 yrs of, "man, this thing is taking forever,...I need to get this done."
    Now that it's 2" from the finish line, it's,...." Aw man,...it's over."
    Thankfully the Diva was sitting there.
     
  6. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Gotta love a Diva build!
     
    Gilmourisgod and TerribleTim68 like this.
  7. Okay, we have achieved truss rod -
    20211222_211535.jpg

    The access isn't super clean, but I'll clean it up as I go. I'm contemplating veneering a flame maple cap over it anyways, which would give me a sweet way to clean it up. Another undecided decision. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

    The one big issue I see on this build is that I can't glue the fretboard on now, because it'll need to be glued completely over the body too. So my standard order of operations is out of order. Maybe I just glue up the body wings, glue up the fretboard and deal with carving a neck with all that in the way. I dunno yet. I know some of you are gonna say "pin the wings on" but I don't really have a way to pin them. I don't have biscuit jointer or anything like that. I'm also not gonna buy one for this one thing. Hmmmm........ :eyebrow: :meh:
     
  8. If it turns out half as good as yours I'll be happy. :thumbsup:
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  9. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I pin my wings in with dowels, the self-centering dowel jigs are relatively cheap, and it keeps everything tightly registered through the whole build. $15 at HF. Lord how I love that Diva design, that’s the one fretless I couldn’t bring myself to add lines on. I’ve seen some cool tiny dot markers that are really unobtrusive though.
    Self-Centering Doweling Jig
     
    TerribleTim68 and postalflunkie like this.
  10. I think @Bruce Johnson said somewhere that he often has the frets crowned and polished, before carving the neck.
    Maybe he'll chime in on that.
     
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  11. Thanks! That actually looks like a great option! :thumbsup:

    Far too many “things” need done before I’m comfortable gluing the wings on.
     
    instrumentalist likes this.
  12. Yeah, my first build I had the fretboard on, frets pounded in and then carved. I held off on crown/polish just in case I caused any issues while clamping it to carve.
    Luckily, this time we don’t have frets to deal with. :thumbsup:
     
    instrumentalist likes this.
  13. Cool! I like basses with few controls.
     
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  14. After that tangled web on Lucifer, I'm down with simplicity on this one. Plus, I want to turn my own knob and make it kind of....big. :cool:
     
  15. So, a couple years ago I bookmarked @mapleglo's Diva build, because I knew I'd come back to it at some point -

    f3591cae58ae0101fea6146704028a89fd63772ad837158551402aec72b40e7c_1.jpg

    Been studying that thread all morning. So here's my current question for @mapleglo -
    How did you go about squaring up the neck sides without cutting all the way through the headstock? I saw the post where you cut the neck sides, but it doesn't talk about exactly how you did it. My initial thought was to cut it all the way through and then use my hand plane to true it up. But that would mean cutting the headstock and then needing to glue ears back on it. Not that I'm opposed to that method, but curious how you handled it and got it so flat and true.

    I also noticed the post where you mentioned doweling your body wings, but didn't see a post that stated that you actually did that (or did I just miss it). Did you dowel them? Or did you just mark it where you wanted it and keep setting them in place to look things over?
     
    S-Bigbottom, mapleglo and dwizum like this.
  16. RichterScale

    RichterScale

    Feb 21, 2021
    WNY
    Doing a bass with an end to end board:
    That's one of those steps where I think about it for 2 seconds, start to stroke out and quickly decide that I'll think about that later.
    I haven't really dug into it yet, but one option that floated by in my head was to build the bass as per usual with a neck-thru, temporarily fix the board to the already carved neck/body, get the sides as close as possible to match the neck, remove the board, fret the board, then glue it back on with the frets already on. Then, carefully clean it up with fine files, tiny sanding blocks, small chisels, scrapers, etc, where it's not perfect.
    Granted, I'm adding frets and doing a 3,960 mile radius, so,....this approach might work for me?
    I'm also not doing the sweeping flare at the bridge end of the board.
    You're not doing frets, but I assume a radius and the flare at the bridge end?
    I haven't worked out any finer details, but I would imagine there's not much choice but to get the board pretty much done and to final shape, off the bass and then add it at the end, to a basically finished body and neck.
    I have no idea how Marleaux does it, but I would bet there's a CNC involved and then just a little manual fussy work after it's all glued up.
    Do you think it work to do it the opposite? Finish the board and then glue it to an uncarved neck/body and do the carving after?
     
  17. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I normally get the sides of my neck true with a router. I just clamp a straight edge to the neck and use that to guide the router using a pattern bit.

    I normally just drill through the neck through area with a drill press in an attempt to keep the hole as square as possible (a square hole? is this person crazy?). Then I clamp the neck and one body wing together, and use the existing drilled hole as a guide to drill through the body wing. Then unclamp the one body wing and clamp the other, and drill through the other side.

    Clear as mud :p
     
  18. Yeah, I am skipping frets. But it will have a 20" radius and I'm doing the flared fretboard behind the pickup to the bridge saddle area just like Marleaux does.
    I know the 20" radius is a hot topic, but I did it on Lucifer and I kind of like it from my early fiddling in the mockup stages, so I'm gonna stick with it partly because I already have a janky sanding block I made and partly because it takes less sanding to get there. :roflmao:

    I think my big concern is just getting the sides of the neck taper "correct" and "true" when you also have to deal with a headstock and body wings blocking access. You can wait to glue the fretboard on until the neck has been carved and the wings glued on, but how do you do that final "truing" of the fretboard to the neck with the rest of the thing blocking you?
    I know Mapleglow glued her board on and just went with it. But, her neck blank ran through her top. I plan on doing the maple top over the neck blank, which means I need to cut a recess in the neck blank the thickness of the top. So the blank will have the top on in, then the board on top of that. Unless I bail on that whole idea. But my finish plan was to do a stained burst on this flame maple top, which means it wants to be book-matched, not separated. Basically I'm adding extra complexity to this in the form of things I've literally never done and haven't even practiced yet, because why wouldn't you? :roflmao:
    My wife bought me this top and if I don't treat it with the respect it deserves, she'll probably kill me in my sleep. She's very serious about wood grain being visible in the final product, so I don't want to screw this up. I have this image in my mind, but I don't really know how to get there just yet.
    I know this isn't flame maple, and the wood grain helps a lot here, but these reverse burst finishes Dingwall does are nuts -
    purple natural reverse burst.jpg purple turquoise reverse burts.jpg
    My favorite color is purple, and I don't own a purple bass yet, so chances are pretty high this one will have trans purple on it in some manner, I'm just not sure exactly how. I do dig the purple to turquoise, I just need to get some stains and play with combos before I decide. That whole thing is yet another bridge I will cross when I get there. But the whole finish "concept" means the board will be in the way unless it goes last. Which leaves me struggling to figure out exactly how/when to carve the neck. I could feasibly stain the top before gluing it to the wings/neck blank. Maybe it's possible to glue the "upper" portion of the fretboard (the neck blank portion) to the neck like Mapleglow did, leaving it basically floating above the neck blank at the body area in a manner that would allow me to slide the top under it, stain the top and then slide it in and glue it up. I dunno.

    Mostly I'm talking out loud here so I can try to work through this mess I've painted myself into. :roflmao:
    Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe that is the answer. Radius the fretboard off the neck, cut the recess for the top in the neck blank, glue the upper portion of the fretboard to the neck blank leaving it floating over the top area, carve the neck, stain the top, slide the top in under the fretboard "overhang", glue the wings on and then the "lower" portion of the fretboard. No clue if that will actually work, but it sounds good on paper at least. :eek:
     
  19. I think my biggest stress right now is just finding the funds to order the stuff I need. I can't really spend any money until after the new year, because holidays. :meh: That has me stressed on shipping and timing already. I need stains, which I will probably order from Crimson. I need the Delano pickup, which will probably come from Best Bass Gear. I need tuners. I need whatever I plan to make the bridge and saddles out of. There's a lot of "stuff" I haven't ordered yet, and no funds yet to make the orders. :eek:
     
    instrumentalist likes this.
  20. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    I feel ya, man. The spouse decreed homemade holiday presents this year to save cash. Hope you can score what you need because this one looks like some fresh wholesome bass porn.
     
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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