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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The WalMart Bass

Another build thread with a little different beginning.

So one day I get this msg on my phone from a buddy of mine and it has this pic attached:


He calls me and tells me this was at WalMart and saw this on a T-Shirt. Totally thought it was cool. So I figure, I'm gonna build it for him.

Now I know it looks like a artist rendition of a Jaguar bass but that would be too easy to just download those drawings and do a Jag bass. I decided to use it as inspiration and do my own artistic interpretation and create something more original and unique.

I hadn't originally planned on blogging this build but after posting an early pic of the progress on my Blackguard thread it was expressed that there was interesting in following along on my mistakes and mishaps of this one. I mean my progress.

So if you feel like following along I'm going to document the build here. Of course I started the project before I started documenting it so I'm missing a few pics. I'll try and recreate them or describe to the best of my ability the stuff that has already happened.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Needs me a pattern

The first thing I need is a pattern of some sort to work from. So I started with a big sheet of paper and traced the outline of a P-Bass body I have in the garage. Took that paper to work and taped it to the wall in the conference room. Fired up the projector and called up the image that I have of the WalMart T-Shirt. Projected it over the P-bass outline and sized the pic so the scale was the same. Then proceeded to trace the projected image onto the paper.

That gives me something to work with and its in approximate scale.

Took out my sharpies and started to draw up what my minds eye saw and the new bass.
Well here is what I ended up with.


Sorry about the lousy cell phone pic that was taken quick and dirty to show my buddy what I was thinking. I laid the neck on it to give a better idea of what was coming.
I had the neck just hanging around for some project like this, got lucky there. So I don't have to build a neck this time Yay!!!!!
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Old March 10th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On to the template

So after a few edits, I took a little sticky spray (3m Super 77) and stuck the paper to a piece of MDF.

This is where I'm missing pictures.

Rough cut the template on the band saw. Then in a combination of vertical belt sander and sanding drum on the drill press I gots me a template.


With that done on to making the body.

I picked up a 2x8 chunk of doug fir at HomeDepot, cut a couple sections off that were bass length. Took off the rounded edge from one side with the table saw. Trued the edges up on the jointer and glued them up for my body blank.

Once that was set up, I sanded everything nice and flat and smooth. Traced the template onto the blank. Roughed it out on the band saw and cleaned it up on the belt sander and sanding drum to get it close to the line.

Side note, I really have to get that Ridged edge/spindle sander. That would be so awesome.

Once my rough outline was less rough I attached the template with double stick tape and a couple screws for good measure. Took it over to the router table and trimmed it up to give me the body.

and here is the body in its basic form.


Ignore the neck pocket, in this timeline it hasn't happened yet, its still on the island.
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Last edited by gagidlof; March 10th, 2010 at 11:33 PM. Reason: added picture
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Old March 10th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Way cool. Keep em coming.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gagidlof View Post

NOOO! I mean, I totally thought of making a Jazzmaster bass recently, but it looks like a shirt designer for Walmart beat me to the design...

Way to go though; Looking forward to seeing this unfold
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Way to go though; Looking forward to seeing this unfold
Now that, sir, is punny.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Let's get the neck on there.

So again I'll try and retro blog the creation of this thing.

So I started by penciling the center line on the back of the neck.


Clamped a couple straight things to the neck, lined up the center line of the neck with the center line on the MDF. Double checked the straight edges at the back to make sure they are equidistant of center. Marked the straight edges so I could realign them when they moved, cause I know they will.


traced the heel of the neck onto another piece of MDF and cut it out. Sanded it until it matched the contour.


fit the heel piece in between the straight edges. I actually screwed that piece down, you can see the other end where it was screwed down.


Clamped all the pieces down and routed out the hole.


Test fit the neck into the template. And tweaked it with sand paper till it fit just right.


Oooo yeah.

Lined it up on on the body stuck it down with double stick tape and routed the pocket, took about three passes to get the standard 5/8ths depth.
and...




I wish my tele would have fit half that good.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Now to get the neck screwed up, I mean on.

I wanted to get the neck screwed on so I could start mocking up the other routes.

I drew a center line on the back of the neck plate I'm using. Lined it up on the back of the body.


Marked the holes


Drilled the holes and I got this


I decided to plug and re-drill the holes in the neck since they didn't line up with anything. Once I was done with the 1/4" holes for the threaded inserts the plugs were drilled away anyway. Put in the inserts and I have this.


Mounted the neck and here is what is coming together.


You can see by the paper on the headstock the shape I am experimenting with.


Now we're officially caught up with with were I'm at with this project. So from here on I'll be hopefully documenting with better pics in real time.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Teaser

The first of many mock-ups.

Here is a little preview of the plan of things to come.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 03:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Fantastic work!
Loved your neck jig setup, made it look easy!

Am I right in thinking that the body is somewhat on the thin side? Must take the weight down considerably. Do you know how much it weighs?, and what kind of wood?
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It should be pretty light, the body is good ol' HomeDepot, Doug Fir, and yes its pretty slender, I'll weigh it tonight and see what the result is..
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice build! I like that body shape.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Lookin good. It will be fun to watch this take shape.
How are you going to make the pickups curved??? lol
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Old March 11th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Lookin good. It will be fun to watch this take shape.
How are you going to make the pickups curved??? lol
You mean they don't stock those pickups at WalMart? I figured they should be over in electronics. Uh oh, I might have to rethink this.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Fantastic work!
Loved your neck jig setup, made it look easy!

Am I right in thinking that the body is somewhat on the thin side? Must take the weight down considerably. Do you know how much it weighs?, and what kind of wood?
I put it on the scale last night and it came in at a backbreaking 3 lbs. 7.5 oz.

Compared it to a P-bass body at 5 lbs. 7 oz.

This one might be a little nose heavy, the hardware will add some heft back in.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I really like your method for making a neck pocket template.

The body shape you've designed reminds me of a bass I built last summer:

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Old March 12th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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sweet.

I like the pickguard shape, what's the bridge on there?
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Old March 13th, 2010, 12:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks!
The pickguard is home made from a Stew-Mac pearl sheet.
A Squier Bronco donor supplied the bridge along with the neck, neck screws, string retainer and strap buttons.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Update time

Got a bunch of work done on the bass this weekend.

I wanted to stabilize the knots so they wouldn't cause any trouble later so I gave them a good soaking with a little CA

Sorry, crappy picture.

At least I know they are not going anywhere I'll have to fill them later, I'm going to try the Z-poxy but I'm getting ahead of myself.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Time to route the pickup cavities.

So next is to put some big holes in the body to mount a pair of monster pickups.
I'm used to guitar stuff so the big ol' bass humbuckers seem mamoth.

Here's one in comparison to a tele PUP.


It doesn't even do it justice. These suckers are huge.

I'll start by making a template for routing the holes. I like plexi templates cause they are easy to line up on the workpiece. I have some of this 1/4" stuff laying around from ??? I don't remember. Anyway, I scribed some centerlines on it.



Then I marked centerlines on one of the pickups, wrapped it in some tape so I had something to draw on.


Lined it up on the template and used a spring clamp to hold it in place.


had to put an access hole in it so I could hold it flush to the plexi


Drew the outline on the plexi to give me something to work from


Cut blocks the same width as the PUP for the straight sides


And then made one end just add the round recess for one end, used a forstner bit to start it and then finished it with sandpaper wrapped around a piece of rod close to the final size.


Same thing for the other end, a little trickier with the two bumps. Lots of hand sanding to get it to fit right.


drill out the the hole in the plexi and added some double stick tape


Stick the pieces to the plexi and use the PUP to line it all up.


Grab my trim router and make some plastic shavings.


I should mention this stuff makes a real mess, and this is after clearing the chips half way through.


Who sees the problem here.
Yup, the tape and spring clamp still let my sides move.


Well it seemed like it would work
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