slashin_velvet's 1st full build

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slashin_velvet
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slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 27 Oct 2017, 15:31

Shaking my head in disbelief that I'm even trying to give this a go.

Much like many people buy a gym membership to force them to get fit, I've sunk enough money into building a bass guitar that I have to see it through. I don't have any excuses so here goes.

What I'm planning:

Type:
- 5 string
- Scale length somewhere between 34.5" and 35" (decided to use mm measurements and for simplicity settled on 880mm)
- Wide spacing at the bridge - 19mm
- The body shape is a custom design I've had in my mind and sketched in various forms for several years, so I'm pretty locked on it. Most will be able to identify my sources of inspiration include Warwick, Fbass, Ritter, Carl Thompson, MTD
- The headstock shape is still not finalized

Timber
- All timber will be Australian woods - which I've sourced (pictures below)
- Body wood - Camphor Laurel
- Neck wood - Queensland Maple
- Fingerboard - Gidgee (some figuring)

Hardware & Electronics
- Nordstrand Fat Stacks
- Nordsrtand 3 band preamp
- Babicz full contact bridge
- Hipshot Ultralite tuners

I have a bandsaw and router. A good 4 and 4.5 plane. Some good shinto saw rasps. A drill with manual drill press gadget (which i'm not confident in yet). I still need to work out fretting tools - want to do stainless frets, but need to sort out files and the like.

If anyone has general advice on the best order to attack this from a real amateur perspective, that would be great.

First question - would most on here be comfortable keeping the neck as a one piece and carving out an angled headstock (with a volute) or would most on here suggest splicing it up and re-glueing (lengthways into a 2 piece neck and then sliced and angled headstock [scarf joint])?

Here's some images: (still working on fixing these up)
Body Shape
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xl4h4uxqc2k8d ... 8.jpg?dl=0

Body wood
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8d3qqy1f42w43 ... 0.jpg?dl=0

Veneer top
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xqlv7jvv7axe4 ... 5.jpg?dl=0

Neck and fretboard
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lnlw74y23swr3 ... 6.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8q8958gzjyeup ... 5.jpg?dl=0

I'll share the headstock design when i settle on a shape i like.

Prepare for my imminent bombardment questions and posts of frustration.
Last edited by slashin_velvet on 13 Dec 2017, 08:38, edited 1 time in total.

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drbass
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by drbass » 27 Oct 2017, 15:44

Not much time now but first of all “welcome” 😉.

I highly recommend you consider the Mlebourne School of Guitar Making for advice and workshop time. I would also be happy to have a chat, show you all the mistakes I made (so you don’t go there), just let me know.

Nice timber!!!

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by drbass » 27 Oct 2017, 15:46

P.S.: scale length. The before-mentioned institution has a fret-slotting machine that makes it super-easy. It is NOT 880 mm acale though, 34 or 35. 886 mm is not that difficult to work with 😉.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Classic5
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by Classic5 » 27 Oct 2017, 19:56

Great choice of timber and hardware :thumbup:

I'll second Michaels comment regarding Melbourne School of Guitar Making. Drop in and have a look........you won't regret it :yep
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slashin_velvet
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 28 Oct 2017, 07:49

Thanks guys.

Do you know if theres still a 40 hour minimum at the school?

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drbass
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by drbass » 28 Oct 2017, 08:33

slashin_velvet wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 07:49
Thanks guys.

Do you know if theres still a 40 hour minimum at the school?
PM sent.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Phil
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by Phil » 28 Oct 2017, 12:18

QLD Maple is fairly soft for a hardwood. I don't think you'd want to do a one piece neck out of that for a 5 string. I'd suggest resawing and making a multi-laminated neck with the boards glued on the quarter side. Depending on how long your blank is you might be able to get 2 pieces with an angled headstock out of it. Consider strengthening the neck with maybe a harder hardwood sandwiched between the two pieces of Maple. Something like Wenge or Puprpleheart always looks like a million bucks and does the job pretty well.

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slashin_velvet
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 28 Oct 2017, 16:43

Phil wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 12:18
QLD Maple is fairly soft for a hardwood. I don't think you'd want to do a one piece neck out of that for a 5 string. I'd suggest resawing and making a multi-laminated neck with the boards glued on the quarter side. Depending on how long your blank is you might be able to get 2 pieces with an angled headstock out of it. Consider strengthening the neck with maybe a harder hardwood sandwiched between the two pieces of Maple. Something like Wenge or Puprpleheart always looks like a million bucks and does the job pretty well.
Brilliant, thanks for that info.

I have stiffening rods but will look into an extra piece if timber for the middle.

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slashin_velvet
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 30 Oct 2017, 16:09

drbass wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 08:33
PM sent.

Regards,
Michael
Just letting you know, I didnt get the PM?

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drbass
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by drbass » 30 Oct 2017, 16:15

Hopefully another one is on its way (I can definitely see it in my "out box").

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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slashin_velvet
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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 29 Nov 2017, 14:46

Phil wrote:
28 Oct 2017, 12:18
QLD Maple is fairly soft for a hardwood. I don't think you'd want to do a one piece neck out of that for a 5 string. I'd suggest resawing and making a multi-laminated neck with the boards glued on the quarter side. Depending on how long your blank is you might be able to get 2 pieces with an angled headstock out of it. Consider strengthening the neck with maybe a harder hardwood sandwiched between the two pieces of Maple. Something like Wenge or Puprpleheart always looks like a million bucks and does the job pretty well.
So following up on this advice, I managed to get a piece of spotted gum that is the right size for what I'm doing so I'm thinking roughly 25mm of qld maple (quarter-sawn) as the middle piece and 2 strips of spotted gum circa 15mm either side and then finishing both sides with Qld Maple.

I have a challenge in the size of my bandsaw. It only allows for 80mm so I cant have a wide neck at the headstock with a big multilaminate block and then cut down to size. Do you guys recommend cutting to shape and then glueing together?

Any thoughts appreciated.

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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by Phil » 29 Nov 2017, 18:07

Its definitely easier to cut the laminates *close* to size with a template before gluing them together. Bear in mind that the wood will move during the clamping process so you have to make it slightly bigger than the final size. you might also have to joint the fretboard face again after gluing if the laminates have moved a bit to ensure a smooth flat surface for the fretboard.

The other option is to glue it all in one block and bandsaw after, just glue ears to the headstock to make it wider than the 80mm clearance you have once you've bandsawed it to shape.

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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by slashin_velvet » 12 Dec 2017, 09:37

Phil wrote:
29 Nov 2017, 18:07
Its definitely easier to cut the laminates *close* to size with a template before gluing them together. Bear in mind that the wood will move during the clamping process so you have to make it slightly bigger than the final size. you might also have to joint the fretboard face again after gluing if the laminates have moved a bit to ensure a smooth flat surface for the fretboard.

The other option is to glue it all in one block and bandsaw after, just glue ears to the headstock to make it wider than the 80mm clearance you have once you've bandsawed it to shape.
I think I've decided to do a bit of both of these points.

I'm going to cut to shape in terms of the headstock and neck shape - but im going to have ears on the headstock and the core of the neck.

Core will be circa 25mm of the Qld Maple, then 16mm of spotted gum either side. so a total width of circa 57mm which is more than enough for the nut. Then ears on the headstock and to save timber, I'm thinking of only adding the width to the lower half of the neck until the taper of the neck doesnt require timber..

Has anyone done this before? Any flaws in this concept of only adding wood where its needed and laminating in stages? (Not sure if I've explained this well, but effectively glue up a 3 piece core, then add timber only to the heel end up until the taper would be at the core wood anyway, and then adding wider ears to the headstock.)

Anyway, thought i'd start on rough cutting the body and planing the board down. Unfortunately without a thicknesser, this is taking a bit of time and sweat....The board had a fair twist in it, so I'm getting it flat while trying to keep as much beef on the lower area so I can fit the controls in properly. Here's an image at a rough stage after a quick wipe down.
Image

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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by acebass » 12 Dec 2017, 12:03

I've got two Festool sanders you are more than welcome to use, should you need any assistance with the flattening and shaping of that body..

I've got a 150mm and a 90mm that can go anywhere from taking the roughness out of new wood to polishing to a mirror like finish. They are also good for flattening and smoothing out sharp edges etc.

The big one would get that body super flat and super smooth in no time.

PM me if you want to nip round and make use of them.

I've got some old timber that I can show you the outcome on before you make a decision.

If you're still just round the corner from me, might be worth you coming to have a look.

I can guarantee you that the 150mm sander will make that body look a mi$$ion dollars.

Watch this bloke - you can achieve this no problemo

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Re: slashin_velvet's 1st full build

Post by Classic5 » 12 Dec 2017, 20:43

Love the camphor laurel top :cool:
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