Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

1960 JazzBass Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    It's been a while since the last build thread. There was nothing new actually... just a rain of Strats...
    I chose to share this build because it is unique in the way I need to select the woods. There will be extra info about grain, weight, direction, and other wood properties... all should come together to form an instrument that needs to meet two BIG requirements:
    1) 6.5 lbs or less
    2) A super growler

    Now, each requirement alone is hard to achieve ... and combined... it's a super complicated task.

    Here's How I'm going to try and approach this build.
    This weight is almost impossible on a JazzBass so I'll need to first select the lightest Body, Neck and Brazilian Board from my wood stock, and only then select the blanks that can be mixed for a super growler bass.

    I'll start with the body.
    Only 3 blanks fall in the above category. All 3 are one piece Swamp Ash with super low weight that can give a 2.5 lbs JazzBass body (and it's the largest body in the Fender family!!!)

    [​IMG]

    After an initial tap test one blank is out of the game as its tapping note is too high to be a growler (growler bass must have low tapping notes on all its wood blanks in order to get a strong resonance on the low mids, which is my definition for growl). I'm left with two body blanks that need to be examined closer with a tunning fork test.

    Four wood cubes are located under the blank, supporting it on the edge of the blank tips

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009

  2. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I now run the forks all across the blank while pressing my ear against the blank at where the bridge is supposed to be located. I look for inconsistent spots, either too resonant or too weak (especially the weak ones) and if found I mark it with a pencil. This is done with at least 5 fork sizes going from low D up to hi G (on guitars I use all 8 fork sizes).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When doing this I try not to press my ear too hard against the blank to avoid hearing problems as it gets very violent on my membranes (-;

    I selected the blank that had the best behavior in the low frequency. Definitely a super growler body.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    There are a couple more tricks to fine tune the frequencies on a body... a beautiful thing wood is...
    In theory, low frequencies travel about equally in all directions, will not follow the grain pattern and have the ability to "go around" obstacles (such as glue joints, routings...etc),
    therefore I will not try to control the lows but... I will control the highs.
    The highs tend to flow in the harder parts of the wood and this is why they follow the grain. The center and the heart of the resonance is the bridge. I need to make the high frequencies "go away" from that point and I'll do it in two ways:
    1) place the bridge on the side where the grain (Z axis - seen as the end grain on the blank) disperse the highs sideways and away from the center where the bridge is, like this

    [​IMG]

    2) place the bridge on the end where the grain (X-Y axis - seen as the face grain on the blank) disperse the highs that are returning from the neck sideways and away from the center where the bridge is, like that

    [​IMG]

    That's the best I can do to make those lows and low mids concentrate at the bridge point.

    Time to cut the body. The template is attached and the outline is penciled.

    [​IMG]

    My big daughter (who plays bass) is learning the trade secrets and helps me in the shop... at the moment, only with the vacuum attachments and cleanups... but hey, one needs to start at the bottom, right?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009

  4. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Body is cut

    [​IMG]

    Template attached on the back with correctly located pin holes

    [​IMG]

    Robosanded

    [​IMG]

    and flush trimmed

    [​IMG]
     

  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Neck mounting holes drilled

    [​IMG]

    Body is now checked AGAIN with the forks, along the center line, to make sure it still resonates about the same after the cutting. This is an important step since the reshaping of the blanks always affects the way it resonates. All is OK! A killer body!

    [​IMG]

    Next step is routing the front cavities. I attach the second template

    [​IMG]

    and rout away real quick (quick and rough is important for those sloppy pre-cbs routs...)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009

  6. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Bridge mounting holes drilled to specs

    [​IMG]

    Now I need to "square" the pu cavities corners...

    [​IMG]

    I attach a smaller bit with no bearing. The bit shaft will serve as a template guide.

    [​IMG]

    Done

    [​IMG]
     

  7. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Tested with the pu covers for tightness... it's OK

    [​IMG]

    The neck blank was selected in the same way as the body blank. I had about 4 blanks with super low weight and picked the one that had the lowest tapping note

    [​IMG]

    A nice looker too...

    [​IMG]

    Prepared for the tunning forks test

    [​IMG]
     

  8. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Note that although highly flamed, it has an even grain running lengthwise.
    This blank sounds very very good, with tons of low pass frequency response.
    It will be a very good match for the body.

    [​IMG]


    I check the end grain and make sure to place the quartered part under the high strings and the flat grain under the low strings. This will fatten the hi strings and "open" the lows. (I do this on all my instruments)

    [​IMG]

    I place the hi part of the neck as close as possible to the quartered section

    [​IMG]

    and pencil the outline

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009

  9. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I now examine the grain to make sure it runs as straight as possible along the length of the neck... which it does

    [​IMG]

    Regarding Maple vs Rosewood necks... Rosewood boards are better growlers because they too take away from the hi frequencies leaving relatively strong lows and mids.
    I selected the lightest Brazilian fingerboard blanks... yes... I want to save weight wherever possible... I plan a slab board in order to get as much rosewood depth as I can to dampen the hi frequencies but I still want some highs in the mix so the board was also chosen for its straight grain.

    [​IMG]

    My Brazilian RW stock is over 30 years old so I'll have to check for hidden cracks in the end grain section. I sand off the black wax

    [​IMG]

    and examine both ends. I need to make sure it's 100% quarter sawned and that there are absolutely no cracks. It's OK

    [​IMG]
     

  10. JPark

    JPark Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 29, 2008
    Saint John, NB
    Sweet! A Jazz Bass build... I just love Jazz basses.

    And that's quite the quality check you have. I don't think I would have the patience to do that.
     

  11. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Template roughly attached and outline is penciled

    [​IMG]

    Two problems...
    1) Grain is diagonal in the lower half of the neck

    [​IMG]

    2) a too small of a curved grain is right on the edge and can split while machined

    [​IMG]

    Need to start over...

    [​IMG]
     

  12. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Much better now. The grain is straight enough

    [​IMG]

    and the curve is smoother and longer over the edge

    [​IMG]

    Neck and board blanks are ready for cutting

    [​IMG]

    tomorrow.... good night!!

    [​IMG]
     

  13. MikeMurray

    MikeMurray Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    682
    Nov 14, 2008
    South Africa - Pretoria
    Love your builds. Really interesting. Brings a whole new level of detail to this art form!!!
     

  14. teleblues001

    teleblues001 Tele-Meister

    125
    Apr 15, 2009
    California
    Excellent! Another Gil thread! *gathers popcorn, soda, and various note taking items.*
     

  15. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

    999
    Oct 18, 2007
    South of Seattle, WA
    Fantastic! Glad you're back in the build thread game, preeb/Gil!
     

  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Looks great, Gil!

    Had no idea that a J bass could actually be that light.

    Hmmmmm. Matching headstock color?

    :^)
     

  17. The Truth

    The Truth TDPRI Member

    39
    Sep 30, 2008
    Croatia

  18. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Short day today... not much done on this project but I wanted to roughly cut the neck and board and weigh the whole thing + the hardware. 6.5 lbs is the red line. I'm going to use Res-O-Lite tuners to save weight and for a better balance with the insanely light body.

    Deep roundover on body edges is cut

    [​IMG]

    stopping at the correct spots for an early 60's JB (even this little thing changed over the years...)

    [​IMG]

    Done

    [​IMG]

    looks like a JazzBass already?

    [​IMG]
     

  19. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    Ready to cut the neck shape out of the blank

    [​IMG]

    My helper plugs the vacuum to the belt sander... YEAH!!! I'm not alone

    [​IMG]

    Done

    [​IMG]

    JazzBass necks have a higher tendency to warp because of the tapper from the wide heel to the A size nut width (1.5") over a very long neck... so I take extra measures when building them.

    I flatten the bottom to be 100% true on the belt sander

    [​IMG]

    ...
     

  20. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    51
    Sep 10, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I let it cool down for a while and verify its straightness

    [​IMG]

    I then thin it down to final thickness

    [​IMG]

    And measure around perimeter. Its OK

    [​IMG]
     

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