Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Modern and vintage style electric basses handmade in South East Queensland.
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Phil
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Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 16 Jan 2015, 11:00

This one is for Peter up in Cairns, he's a return customer having had #020 built for him several years back. Some of the features of that original bass didn't come out as he liked, mainly the addition of the MM pickup in the bridge position so he's sold it since then. To make my life much easier (thanks! :D ) he's asked me to build the same exact bass but without the MM pickup. :thumbup:

So specs are:
- Rock Maple neck and fingerboard
- Chambered Swamp Ash body and plain top
- Black dots on fingerboards, extra large 4mm dots on side of fingerboard
- Sadowsky hum-cancelling J pickups and preamp
- The bass needs to be around 8 pounds (3.6kg), last time I got it at 8.1 pounds, this explains the chambering and plain top.

So to start with I pulled out a fretboard blank and marked it out with my templates to help me cut the fretslots where I wanted them.

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Marked out the neck blank and used a fenced router to cut the truss and carbon rod slots

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Double sticky tape the template of the rough bandsawn neck to rout the profile flush with the router table

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Once the fingerboard got glued on and the sides routed flush I drilled the holes for the black plastic dots

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Sanding the fingerboard radius with the help of my big boy sander and my radius jig. Neck is double sticky taped to the jig and fneck is balanced on the sanding belt in the 12" radius, after coming out its finished on a radius block for a couple of minutes to make sure its all good.

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Then I shaved off the extra thickness of the headstock with a safe-t-planner on the drilled press then used a fence with a 1.5" drum sander attachment to finish off the face of the headstock and put the radius into the headstock/neck transition.

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Marked off the body blank with my temaplates. I drew all the routs on there so I could see exactly where I could hog most of the wood for the chambering without goind through important pockets like the pickup, neck and electronics routs. I then did the routing of the neck pocket and fitted the neck to make sure everything was aligned and at the right place.

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Finished the routing of the body and installed the side dots. More pics next month :)

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 16 Jan 2015, 11:28

I completely forgot to mention the funniest bit...

Peter asked me to install 4mm diameter side dots because he wanted them to be super clear and wouldn't have to wear glasses to play. The problem is that 4mm black plastic dots aren't a regular lutherie sized dot, too big for the side and too small for the face... I looked at all the luthier's supply places, Peter wanted them in black plastic, I could have gotten MOP ones made but that would have been either white or abalone not black. So I busted my head for a few days, spend time on google and ebay to try and see if something would suit the bill. I couldn't really see something I liked...

One day I'm at Bill Paulin's place and notice some black plastic dots that are about 4mm on one of his Mandolin builds and asked him where the hell he got these?? I just couldn't find anything. He told me he had the same problem as me and couldn't find them anywhere until it clicked in his head that he could just use a hole puncher..... A hole puncher, why didnt I think of that... :rolleyes: I still can't believe I didn't think of that. Sometimes it helps to throw ideas around with other people :D

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by PilbaraBass » 16 Jan 2015, 12:03

Did you borrow Bill's hole puncher?
And if so, is Bill getting a commission? ;)
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by basshack » 16 Jan 2015, 12:06

So he did this, then that, did this other thing and "BING" one bass almost done. :D

Where are the oops moments? Where's the bugger didn't think of that..? (Customer requesting silly dots don't count. Besides you solved it too!)

You make it look so easy.
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 16 Jan 2015, 12:35

It does go a hell of a lot faster once you have all the templates and jigs you need and you've done the steps dozens of times before on other instruments :) The first few Jazz basses I did several years ago would have taken double the time it takes me now to make one. I'm sure you'll get a lot better and faster at it too if you go on building.

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by BazzBass » 16 Jan 2015, 14:04

I hope one day to have funds to order one of your basses, Phil, so, start looking for plastic to make 4mm GLOW IN THE DARK white side dots for me hehe
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by drbass » 16 Jan 2015, 14:20

BazzBass wrote:I hope one day to have funds to order one of your basses, Phil, so, start looking for plastic to make 4mm GLOW IN THE DARK white side dots for me hehe
http://www.luminlay.com/shopen.html

You can get the 6 mm and hole-punch them down to 4 :) - or just get a sheet.

And Blaine, I was expecting you to do exactly what Phil did here - are you telling me that's not the case? :poke:

Regards,
Michael
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by basshack » 16 Jan 2015, 14:51

That's exactly how I expect the body to go but the neck well that's why Phil built Mr. Sparkles for me. He builds great necks. Mind you I haven't seen the work shop yet and Phil does have lots of nice gear to make it easier. I especially love the rocking assembly over the sander.
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Petebass » 16 Jan 2015, 14:58

Love the McGuiver/Dot story. Well done! :clap:
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by drbass » 16 Jan 2015, 15:08

basshack wrote:That's exactly how I expect the body to go but the neck well that's why Phil built Mr. Sparkles for me. He builds great necks. Mind you I haven't seen the work shop yet and Phil does have lots of nice gear to make it easier. I especially love the rocking assembly over the sander.
I was referring to the ease of process there, Blaine, little bit here and there, and here's your bass ;)

While travelling the www I've come across a few instances of these radiussing contraptions. Some are set up to produce a compound radius, really nifty stuff. Oh well, that's why I'm going for "almost flat" all the way ...

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 16 Jan 2015, 16:29

Mine can do compound radius too, its just a matter of lifting of the arms higher than the other. Its pretty easy to do. I based the jig on an old design that's been around for more than 10-15 years. When I built it though, I believe I was the only one that chose to do it with 8020 extrusions back then. The big advantage is that it was all boltable so therefore easily modified for different radiuses and compound radiuses. I've seen a few other guys build similar ones since then after having posted this one to all the usual building forums. It's definitely a great jig, it makes the job of radiusing a fingerboard about 10 minutes instead of a couple of hours of elbow grease with a radius block.

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by RedVee » 16 Jan 2015, 20:51

Hi,
Any special material for those black side dots? Just rubber or plastic?
On a fretless bass do you include the side dots as a standard? Or would that be a special request?
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 17 Jan 2015, 04:18

Just black plastic material for the side dots. The dots are standard on fretless basses.

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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by RedVee » 17 Jan 2015, 10:55

Thanks. I'm learning something everyday.
Ibanez AEB10-BK; Feider P Bass; Challenge Bass; T'Bird Goth; Gibson T’Bird
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Re: Peter's 5-string Jazz Bass - #030

Post by Phil » 08 Mar 2015, 13:37

The plain Ash top being glued together Image
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Once the top has been steam bent for the arm rest it is then glued to the body
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Rough cut the back of the neck with a radius bit on the table router then finish off the shaping with files
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Finish cutting and routing the body's pockets
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Final sanding is done, body is masked and ready to be lacquered
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First few coats of lacquer
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