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Mephas

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PostSubject: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:55 am

So as i have said, i am a DIY type of person, and also planned is self installs and handmade cabs and such, here is another similar question.

what are tips and such to building your own bass. i already have an idea for what i want to use

purpleheart neckthru, walnut wings, and an ebony fingerboard.

im still undecided as to wether or not i want it to be fretted or less, or both.

i want to know personal experiences with this, hardware recomendations, tips, possible guides to certain parts such as installing, EXACTLY which tool i will need (i have a general idea), and such and such

thanks in adv guys ^^
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:48 pm

you'll need a plunge router for sure for the Kahler....lol

if you go with a fixed bridge, you might want to look into a 2410 or 2510 Kahler if 5strings is what you want.

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Mephas

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:57 pm

nah, definatly want that tremolo haha, but i do want it to be at least 5 string, preferably 6
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Mephas

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:00 pm

oh yea i forgot to mention i dont need a very broad recommendations on the pickups, i want neck and bridge humbuckers or something of that sort
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amimbari

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:04 pm

5string trem 7415, 6 is 7416 and wammiworld sells the 6string for 225
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:14 pm

i have planned in my future to build my own bass.

i have built my own bass, if you count all the milling done by a pre - stock body and a warmoth neck. i did the finish on the body as well as all the routing for the hardware, etc. etc.

no, i mean, carve my own body.

i was thinking of starting with just a body and using a bolt on ... seeing as i like my warmoth neck so much and all the dimensions are standard. after i get better tools and skills, i'de consider building a neck thru, setting the scale, the frets, the action, etc. etc. etc.

truth is ... i dont have tons of money to go out and buy an alembic triple omega ... nor would i want to rout it out to put a kahler on it or paint it blue. so thats the goal ... build an alternative.

first step ... and i continue to save money ... go buy an 18" scroll saw. this seems to me to be the best way to cut out a body shape.

next ... use cheaper materials to build the prototype. single peices of alder are reasonably cheap. build 2 of them to fiddle around with, make mistakes on and learn.

then ... build a nice one out of swamp ash, spalted maple or black korina.

somewhere along that progression, i'll learn how to do a proper fret job with stainless. warmoths work is sweet!

depending how that ends up, then i might start learning how to use multiple plys and build a neck thru.

so thats my advice ... start simple and cheap and work your way up. work with an interesting design on a size and scale that you know works ... like 34" p bass standard. ... and save money for tools!
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Mephas

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:07 am

well, im thinking that fretless would actually be easier to make than fretted, and i feel rather comfortable on a fretless, so i may do that, with a standard body shape, nothing too extravagant. but, as good as bolt ons have been to me, i prefer neckthrus, and thats where i will do my work on learning. i already had in mind to practice on cheap wood, i wasnt even going to go so far as get alder, but just get nice sized blocks of lumber to practice with, who knows i may be able to make something worthwhile with the worst wood out there haha, or at least stage breakable xD

but, when it comes to cutting down and sanding, i generally have no problems. its mostly routing. i can get good accurate measurements and make nice straight lines, get the frets in there right, ect.

im probably going to use my g10 as a template (actionwise) but as for the scale...i want it to be atleast 24frets, so its going to be just a little longer than my g10 by about an inch from what i can see.
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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:43 am

Assembling parts or totally from scratch?

If from scratch (neck fingerboard) your going to need a lot of luthier tools.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:40 am

ya know what dog? i completely agree ..........

luthier tools are rediculously expensive. i have attempted to do most of the projects i've embarked upon without the correct tools and have ended up with the tool anyway or just tweaking by with inferior results. i highly recommend to anyone heading down this road to not cut corners, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on the correct tools if you can ..............

or,

dont invest too much money in the mateials you decide to work with ... because you will be learning the hard way why there are specific luthier tools and you will be either creating a disaster, tweaking by with an inferior end result, end up with the correct tool anyway (after a stream of swear words), or perhaps you will impress yourself and produce something beautiful with the resources you have.

after you have learned ... do it again better the next time.

either way ... i try to encourage it to anyone. what better way to learn more about an instrument than getting over your head in all different aspects of it and then learning how to swim.
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:12 am

madmike wrote:
ya know what dog? i completely agree ..........

luthier tools are rediculously expensive. i have attempted to do most of the projects i've embarked upon without the correct tools and have ended up with the tool anyway or just tweaking by with inferior results. i highly recommend to anyone heading down this road to not cut corners, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on the correct tools if you can ..............

or,

dont invest too much money in the mateials you decide to work with ... because you will be learning the hard way why there are specific luthier tools and you will be either creating a disaster, tweaking by with an inferior end result, end up with the correct tool anyway (after a stream of swear words), or perhaps you will impress yourself and produce something beautiful with the resources you have.

after you have learned ... do it again better the next time.

either way ... i try to encourage it to anyone. what better way to learn more about an instrument than getting over your head in all different aspects of it and then learning how to swim.

Wise words! Start small, dream big...
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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:23 am

Are you still going to build a bass?

I would suggest starting by just making a body for an existing neck. You will learn a lot by doing that. Making a neck is the hardest & most complicated part. Also that is where the expensive luthier tools are needed the most. A body can be made with simple home tools. Router, bandsaw, drill press.
I made my blueshawk bass that way.

I started with my idea & photoshopped my bass.


I was given a donor neck from a carcass of Gibson Set Neck Ripper


Bought plans for the guitar as a starting point


Last edited by Barklessdog on Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:29 am

I bought a blue print of a blueshawk guitar to work from. I bought some poplar wood (what Gibson used) and routed out the semi hollow body



I made imitation Soap bar pickup rings from ABS for the G-3 pickups I bought


The hardest part was the electronics which I had to have someone do- The Blueshawk uses three single coil pickups, one being a dummy coil mounted in the back of the bass. Switching between neck & bridge pickups includes the dummy, both pickups the dummy is not operating- sounds simple!


I bookmatched some flame maple from a locat lumber yard & cut the F holes etc

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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:31 am

Top glued to body, then I cut it out on the band saw, routed the kahler (not deep enough I learned)



Routed the rear pickup hole & control cavity, plus the back weird contours with a hand held belt sander.
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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:36 am

Glued the neck in, dyed it blue

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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:37 am

Washed black over the blue then sanded back to pop the grain

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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:38 am

Sealed wet sanded & clear coated

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Barklessdog

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:42 am

Heres where the learning part happens. I assemble it & discover I need to sink the Kahler deeper!


Lesson learned is assemble the bass completely before you finish it.

When I sank it deeper it was so close to the rear edge that it chipped away. I should of made the body either slightly longer or set the neck further out.


It was a great learning experience, and is one of my favorite basses.
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:47 pm

Wow BD! That was really interesting to see the process broken down like that! You did a fantastic job, and it clearly shows that you put a lot of time and effort into the bass. Wink

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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:19 pm

bd inspiring me to build another.

stoopid new house ... gotta finish the back porch, take the old ac unit out and fill the hole in the wall, refinish the basement walls, regrout the tiles in the bathroom ........ its gonna be a while.

still ... i wanna body like an alembic triple omega.

and like bd sez ... just gonna start with a warmoth neck.

thanx for the pics bd.
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:14 am

I would love to build another, but need to have an inspiration, like building a bass around a bass sustainer. I have no want to build a neck or fretboard, It is better just to buy them. A neck with a blank headstock could be cool though.

I learned so much from that bass. Really I should chuck it away and build another like it, but with the lessons learned.

Another reason to get everything working before you finish the bass, was to get it set up and tweak it, I scratched & dented the finish working on it (rerouting the bridge, wiring) to get it working & playable. It almost needs a refinish.

The other lesson I learned was when working with dyed wood, triple everything in the finishing to prevent sand throughs to bare wood (which I did). Luckily I saved the dye, so I could match it, but you can see it if you look.

Again it turned out to be a great bass for me, so really there is no drive to make another.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:37 pm

inspiration for me is all in body style ... like the style of bodies you just cant get or get what you want.

warmoth neck, ss frets, ebony fb, alembic triple omega style body (cut by me) swamp ash, blue trans dye body / satin finish, phase II passive humbuckers, kahler trem, black hardware. (the alembics base models cost $3000 to $6000 and this is a custom cut body ... nice basses and worth it ... i dont have that kinda money)

warmoth neck, ss frets, ebony fb, warmoth explorer body / swamp ash - maple top / blue trans / satin finish, pitbull muy grande humbuckers, kahler trem, black hardware. (pictured below)(the gibson explorers are overpriced, the epiphones play like 2X4's)

warmoth neck, ss frets, ebony fb, lespaul style double cutaway body (cut by me) swamp ash, blue burst on this one maybe, try some q tuner pickups on this one perhaps, badass or gotoh bridge, black hardware. (there were only like 400 money basses made so any that are available are usually overpriced ... i've never even seen one in person. i may just pay the price ... this was a nice gibson)

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:22 am

Yeah, once you do a project bas and it turns out well, you want to do more. Body style & something that can't be bought are definate factors- who build something if you can buy it?

Plus when it does turn out well, its a one of a kind that is FOR YOU and what you play. I also love Alembic body styles. I always wanted a Series I or II Stanley Clarke bass, but never had the cash, likewise for a Wal.

Here is a cool LP style bass- around :53 sec



The bass player from Buck-Tick uses the same bass - around :48 sec
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:10 pm

i dont think its so much the standard les paul shape. i've played the gibsons and they are very nice. its similar cousin epiphone lp is allright for 1/3 of the price (or less). customizing a lp would be cool ... but you got one.

now ... a money lp double cutaway ... not so common. i love how these basses look ......



they made it in the right color too!

i think i can make one better!

(but not today)
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:34 am

Greco modded copy


This is a cool photoshop

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:32 pm

Oh, if there were a bass P90....I'd be all over it.
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:26 pm

Even though I'm not too keen on P90's, that bass does look interesting! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:09 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
Oh, if there were a bass P90....I'd be all over it.

Well, if you're only after the look these look pretty P90ish:

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/custom-shop/specialized-1/duncanmosrite_f_1/
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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:12 am

yikes 160.00 for one pickup --wow expensive!!
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T. Gunn

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PostSubject: Re: Building a bass, need some help here   Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:34 pm

Look at Darkstars and Delanoes, Mike!
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