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would anybody be willing to make my 10-string (5x2) neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Taylor Livingston, Feb 18, 2003.


  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    i'm making a 10-string and am afraid of trying to do the neck myself. i might be capable of doing a more "normal" neck (maybe), but the thought of my first neck being this 10-string is rather daunting. i don't really have a crazy amount of money (partly why i'm making the bass to begin with) and don't want to make simpler/less ambitious basses before i do this one. i'll probably get flack for that from someone, but oh well. would anybody here (preferably someone who isn't a famous luthier, since, again, i'm low on cash) be willing to make me this 10-string? pilotjones tells me it may need 2 truss rods or carbon fiber reinforcement; i'll have to see if that's necessary and fits in my budget.
    or: can anyone direct me to someone who makes necks on the (relative) cheap?
     
  2. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Making a neck is actually one of the easier parts of making a bass. Make sure you have exact dimensions, trace them to the wood, and band saw leaving a bit of room. Sand, carve, etc, perfect.

    If you're nervous, practice on some scrap first. But it's really not as hard as it appears to be.

    Measure 8 times, cut once.
     
  3. patrickj

    patrickj

    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    If you do want to get one made tho, send me a PM/email.
     
  4. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    wow. i thought it was the other way around - the neck being the <i><b>hardest</i></b>
    part of luthiery.

    It seems to me that the carving and shaping of the neck is much more difficult than laminating and band sawing the body, much less raidiusing the fingerboard.
     
  5. You could take Barry Sparks' approach and build a 10-string using a Carvin 6-string bass neck. It's neck-through, 34" scale with graphite reinforcement and an ebony board, and is available with a "paddle" headstock if you wanted to do your own headstock design. Seems like an easy way to get started, and not have to worry about the trickier parts of neck building, while still giving you a little bit of room for customization and leaving you free to do what you want with the body.

    Mike
     
  6. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    that carvin neck would be great, but it costs $270. thanks for the help, you guys.
     
  7. I don't think you'll find many luthiers willing to build you a custom neck for much less than $270, and I expect most of them would charge more. (I could be wrong about that, though....)

    Mike
     
  8. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    you very well may be right; there's a good chance i'll end up having to make it myself, but i figured i would see if anybody (even some guy who's only made basses for himself) wanted to do it.
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    have you made any "practice runs " on a neck ? Have you done the laminating and sawing and shaping ?

    just curious.
     
  10. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    on a neck? i've never done any work on a neck, though i have some woodworking experience. as i said, this is my first bass, and thus, an experiment. i know it's ambitious; why aim for mediocrity? that's a lame reason to be making a ten on your first go; the real reason: i'm lazy. and stupid. karate kid didn't want to learn all that wax on/wax off stuff, or comtemplate the pebble, he just wanted to fight! even though he learned that that stuff made him a better fighter...
     
  11. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I tend to think that the neck is the most difficult part to get right.

    Carvin uses CNC machines to do their necks. It's hard to beat the cost of having a machine do it.

    It's a little more than ambitious, I think to push the design envelope at the same time you'll be learning the basics of guitarmaking. Having built some basses will give you a sense of what is and what is not going to fly when you want to go beyond conventional design.
     
  12. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    in what way is this pushing the design envelope? the only thing out-of-the-ordinary here is the mods i'm going to try after it's been built. when it's built it won't be different in any significant way to any other 10-string (you knew it was a 5x2, right? i wouldn't do a ten-individual-string. i wouldn't even want one.) the only way i can afford to get this made is if somebody who's just a hobbyist is willing to do it. those carvin necks don't cost that much to make; a large part is the fact that you're paying for a name. and, the warmoth gecko necks look nicer anyway, and i think they're a little cheaper. a little.

    let's make a deal: i'll do this bass first, and i'll let you all know if it goes terribly awry, and i'll give you full license to say, "i told you so." seriously. i know this is a bit stupid, and i know you guys are far more knowledgable about luthiery and bass in general than i.
     
  13. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    it's not the name you are paying for, you are paying for their
    rent
    insurance
    power bill
    advertsing
    employees
    wood
    frets
    and so on..........

    that is a very decent price
     
  14. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    you're right. thus, an amateur should charge less, since he's not a business and doesn't have business expenses. it is a very good price for what it is, but i don't have that kind of cash. again, i will probably end up making it myself, but i thought i should give this a shot. still, there are struggling companies that don't have established names and for that reason, they charge less, even though they may make really great stuff. who knows, i may get a warmoth, but i want to pursue this path first.
     
  15. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    There was a thread about half a year ago, either here or possibly in basses, that was just the same- someone asking if any luthier would be interested in making just necks for people doing projects. IIRC the concensus was that the neck was the most time-consuming part of the job of building a bass, and so the pricing would put it outside the range that project people would want to pay.
    The Carvin neck sounds like a good option to me- I think the prices mentioned in the other thread were significantly higher.
     
  16. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    fwiw. I put a neck blank together last fall. maple and purpleheart. the wood came from a harwood co. that sells tons of wood to musical instrument suppliers.

    the wood was supposedly dry, but it wasn't.

    a week after the glue up, maybe ten days, the thing flew apart.

    So, I put it on my lathe and made a basball bat out of it.

    now, it is my constant reminder to be patient and take every step one at a time.

    like that saying goes " fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

    o.k. my silly story is finished.

    good luck.;)
     
  17. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    It's probably me that you are talking about and I was looking for a 6 string neck for under $400! :eek: I eventually had Musikraft make me one for $475 that turned out great, but pricey! I will be building my own from now on, though. Not because I feel that I was overcharged, but I guess I feel like if I am going to build an instrument, I would feel better if I built the whole thing myself.
     
  18. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    speaking of musikraft...how ironic
     
  19. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    well, you guys have soured me. i give up on making the bass.
     
  20. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    hey man, i tried and failed and now i am trying again. Just because the luthiers here tell you what they think(you did ask...) doesn't mean you shouldn't make a go of it, you should just be fully aware of what you are getting yourself into.