Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Modern and vintage style electric basses handmade in South East Queensland.
User avatar
Bill Paulin
Posts: 417
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 15:42
Location: Cedar Vale, Qld
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Bill Paulin » 02 Jan 2011, 09:27

Nice work Phil. How does it work ? Ithought I understood till I saw the cavity at the tailpiece.

User avatar
Phil
Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 23:35
Location: Cedar Vale, QLD (Southside Brisbane)
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 02 Jan 2011, 10:01

The tailpiece cavity is really a funky looking tremolo tailpiece. Here's a pic for clarity, the body has also a couple of base coats of lacquer on it. Between the bridge pickup rout and the tremolo is the 1" bridge itself, upside down for now as I didn't cut the holes for it yet.

Image

User avatar
mkat
Posts: 2830
Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 16:40
Location: /usr/bin
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by mkat » 02 Jan 2011, 10:09

Phil,

Not my cup of tea the bass VI, but this build is looking absolutely fantastic. :thumbup: Very nice piece of ash there too.
Michael
http://mklutherie.com

int main(void) {return 0;} /* no bugs, lean, portable & scalable... */

User avatar
Bill Paulin
Posts: 417
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 15:42
Location: Cedar Vale, Qld
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Bill Paulin » 02 Jan 2011, 10:51

Thanks Phil.......me know only the eub and the db.

User avatar
LimeB
Posts: 1866
Joined: 28 May 2009, 15:33
Location: Bendigo Victoria

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by LimeB » 02 Jan 2011, 16:37

Very good. Very interesting. What are the pick ups?

User avatar
Phil
Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 23:35
Location: Cedar Vale, QLD (Southside Brisbane)
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 02 Jan 2011, 22:57

They're Fender Jaguar pickups.

User avatar
Phil
Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 23:35
Location: Cedar Vale, QLD (Southside Brisbane)
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 06 Jan 2011, 18:08

I posted the build on the offsetguitars forum since I got so much info on these basses from them. In return, the boys over there asked me to give them a proper tutorial on building a bass. :lol: I might as well do the same thing over here. It might be more interesting for you guys instead of just seeing the latest pics on its own as I usually do :)

Next step is the neck. The blank is selected, planed and jointed to size then it gets a little coutour drawing on it to let me know where all the parts go.

Image

I then use a router with a fence to cut the truss rod rout. In this instance I've had to do some major changes, I normally use a welded two piece flat truss rod that installs in a flat channel right under the fingerboard, the rout is easy to cut and the install is easy. Unfortunately in this case, bass truss rods are too long for a bass VI and guitar truss rods are way too short for it, so I've had to use a custom rod for this. That means I had to install this rod as a compression rod. For those persons not aware, these are the regular truss rods used by Fender, Gibson and all the other manufacturers in the past/vintage years. A lot of them still use them today but most manufacturers have moved to the flat channel rods. Compression rods need to be installed in a curved channel. A curved strip of wood is then glued on top of the rod to make the rod rest in a concave channel inside the neck. By screwing the nut in, you're essentially pulling the rod into a striaght position which gives a backbow to the necks. This is how a compression rod works.

The rout is done, the rod is resting on top of the rout

Image

The rod has been pushed inside the cavity and the filet of wood has been glued on top of it.

Image

Once the glue is dry, the extra wood of the filet is cut away and the neck is sanded flat. No pics of all this since its all saded flat in my drum sander. All you can see of it is the rod's anchoring nut flat to the gluing edge of the fingerboard.

Image

Next step is the fingerboard, since the Bass VI is 30" scale this means I need to cut this board the good ol' hard way instead of using my SCMS Saw and regular bass or guitar templates. For this I go to Fretfind 2d on the net and insert all the data needed for the scale calculation. I save the result as a multi-page PDF file which I print at home with no scaling. Before you tape it all together and use to cut the fingerboard, make sure the spacing is correct, the easy way is to measure the nut to 12th fret, result should be half the scale length. Glue the paper on the fingerboard. The fingerboard needs to be square and jointed properly to do the fret cutting accurately. Use a square to start the cuts accurately and off you go as in the pic.

Image

The result

Image

Once done rip off the paper and sand the rest of the bits away. Next step is to glue it on the neck. Line it all up nicely and square. Once its all like you want to have it, nail the two ends in with brad nails, inside the nut cavity at one end and inside a fret cavity at the other end. You only want to nail it a couple of mm's in the neck blank. The idea is to use the nails and the two holes to line up the fingerboard and hold it while clamping them together. The nails prevent the f'board from slipping and sliding because of the glue when you apply clamp pressure on it.

Image

Apply the glue to the neck and spread it evenly everywhere, then put the fingerboard on it, nail holes to line up with nails, and put some backing material on top and bottom of neck before clamping to prevent clamps damaging the neck.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Don't be shy with the clamps, I wish I had more. Better too many than too few. The last thing you want is glue lines showing on your neck when its finished. Glue lines are weak joints and it means your board could delaminate or crack away at some point.

Contour of the neck is routed with the templates

Image

Image

Image

Next up is the tuner holes. I use the neck template as bushing guides for the 10mm drill bit in the drill press. Man, this is a whole lot easier to doing bass tuners :D

Image

Image

The side dots. I normally use the plastic round bars that Stewmac sells in 5" lengths or so, easy peasy to install. Wrenn specifically asked for Mother of Pearl dots, D'oh! these are TINY!

First measure up all your holes and punch them (with a punch, not your fist) to make sure the drill bit doesn't wander when you drill it. Shove some glue in the hole then stick the dots in it. These are 1.5mm diameter, I'm not joking when I say they're tiny, there's one on the edge of the board.

Image

Image

Image

Then I trim the headstock thickness with a Safe-T-planer on my drill press

Image

...and sand the radius in the headstock transistion with a fence in the drill press

Image

Image

For the back of the neck, its all hard work, lots of cutting with rasps, files, planers and random orbit sander until you get a kick ass looking neck :yep

Image

Image

KirBass
Posts: 1250
Joined: 01 Oct 2010, 21:51
Location: NSW

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by KirBass » 06 Jan 2011, 18:20

Thanks Phil - that's beautiful! :yep

User avatar
PilbaraBass
Posts: 15026
Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 17:07
Location: Gladstone, QLD

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by PilbaraBass » 06 Jan 2011, 19:56

very excellent, Phil...

I learned a bit about trussies over the years, and learned a bit more about the old-school trussrods when Daintree Doug repaired that old stingray neck.

Couldn't you have made a custom length new-school rod? Just weld some flat stock to a rod on one end and weld a loop on the other end, through which the threaded rod would sit and a nut would go on the end.
I've seen guys do it on TB, back when TB was worth something :)
'98 Carvin AC40, '07 Squier JDAV, '91 P-bass, '96 Ibanez ATK300F, '15 Ibanez SR605
Kanye West wrote:My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.

User avatar
Phil
Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 23:35
Location: Cedar Vale, QLD (Southside Brisbane)
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 06 Jan 2011, 20:27

I thought of that, to just cut one of my bass truss rods to length at the welded end, then reweld. The only problem I encountered is that I have no welding gear and have no idea how to weld :D

User avatar
PilbaraBass
Posts: 15026
Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 17:07
Location: Gladstone, QLD

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by PilbaraBass » 06 Jan 2011, 20:33

Phil wrote:I thought of that, to just cut one of my bass truss rods to length at the welded end, then reweld. The only problem I encountered is that I have no welding gear and have no idea how to weld :D
yeah, that could be a problem... :lol:
We have a part-time contractor at work who's amazing with a welder, but I suspect he's been laid off for a little while because we're keeping things lean while the production is all but non-existent (floods :( )
'98 Carvin AC40, '07 Squier JDAV, '91 P-bass, '96 Ibanez ATK300F, '15 Ibanez SR605
Kanye West wrote:My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.

User avatar
Petebass
Posts: 8466
Joined: 31 Oct 2008, 07:07
Location: Hervey Bay, QLD

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Petebass » 06 Jan 2011, 20:46

Loving the tutorial Phil. Great info.
* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
* Carvin B1500, Epifani PS1000, Ashdown Superfly amps.
* Lots of DIY neo/lightweight cabs including one made from composites http://www.ozbassforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2546

basshack
Posts: 4419
Joined: 06 Feb 2010, 10:14
Location: Melbourne Victoria

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by basshack » 06 Jan 2011, 21:00

Thanks for showing how the neck is done. When I did the Warmoth I was happy enough to shape the body from plan, a bit tentative with the routing for the pups etc but baulked totally at the neck pocket and the neck itself. Figured that had to be done properly and I knew where my limitations were and also knowledge/tooling. You make it look straight forward.

We'll have to have a talk about you building me a bass in a few years when the wife has got over the Streamer that I unintentionally brought off Crosstick last week.
><((((º> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... ><((((º>
.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·... >((((º>

User avatar
Phil
Site Admin
Posts: 2657
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 23:35
Location: Cedar Vale, QLD (Southside Brisbane)
Contact:

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by Phil » 06 Jan 2011, 21:47

It does take a bit of time and experience or research to find the right ways of doing some of the jobs such a the neck pocket, that is a very critical cut and very easy to stuff up.

You'll have to explain how you can unintentionally buy a bass like that :lol:

User avatar
hano
Posts: 31
Joined: 23 Nov 2009, 22:31
Location: Sydney

Re: Wrenn's Bass VI - #017

Post by hano » 06 Jan 2011, 23:07

what type of puncher is that ? 8/ I always thought side dots we're done with a dremel somehow :lol:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest