5 string neck thru bass - Buckeye burl + Mahogany

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by lbridenstine, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    This bass is not for myself, it's for a guy named Evan who is in a local band around here called Pleasant Drive and I guess he liked my buckeye burl bass because he asked me to make him a similar one, but with some changes.

    Before you read the specs, let me preface it by saying that this bass will be flashy and I know that there will be a lot of elements competing for the eye's attention. That's how he wants it. He also really likes the color blue, which will show in certain parts of the bass.










    So, here are the specs:

    -5 string
    -35" scale
    -24 frets
    -Neck through
    -String through

    Wood-
    -Buckeye burl (top)
    -African mahogany (body/headstock)
    -Maple/makore (neck)
    -East Indian Rosewood (fretboard)

    Electronics-
    -Bartolini 59JI pickup set
    -Bartolini HR 5.4AP/918 preamp/EQ harness

    Hardware-
    -Hipshot FM3 A-style brass bridge (gold)
    -Gotoh tuners (gold)
    -Gold/abalone knobs
    -Gold electrosocket jack cup
    -Gold Loxx straplocks
    -Gold evo jumbo frets
    -Gold string ferrules
    -Tusq nut

    Inlay-
    -Paua abalone inlays on fretboard
    -Crushed turquoise filling the bark pockets/voids in the burl




    The mahogany is really nice and pretty big. It's wide enough to comfortably fit the body shape in, but it's 7/8" thick, so I had to glue two pieces together for the thickness (and then thin it down a bit to add the top).

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    The makore veneer is going to be stripes in the neck between the maple laminates. I think it matches the mahogany really well.

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    This is the layout we decided on for the burl. He asked that I cut out the mahogany to match that bark pocket area at the end and leave the bark, which I think will be pretty awesome.

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    Naphtha:

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    Here is the body cut out and routed to the template after gluing the two layers together.

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    The buckeye burl jointed with a router and straight edge and partially cutout.

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    Glued together. (what should I make with that black and white ebony?)

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    Thicknessing and leveling the body.

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    I only had to very lightly go over it with sandpaper, mostly just to take down the fuzziness of the mahogany.

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    I did the same thing with the burl, but it was a lot more difficult because of how light weight it is and how easily it can bend. Carpet tape held it down enough to use the router sled, luckily.

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    I haven't routed the top to the template yet, so it has some overhang.

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    Here's the control cavity cover cut out and laying on the body.

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    Next, I worked on the cavity.

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    I stole this idea from some other people.

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    I put way too many magnets in here, so it's a little difficult to open, but at least it won't come off on accident.

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    And then we have the neck.

    Here is part of the maple we got for the neck.

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    I found this in the package with it!

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    How cool?



    Here is the neck laminate layout. The pencil lines on the neck will be the makore veneers.

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    The vertical line is just marking where the 24th fret will be.

    Ignore that semi-circle up towards the headstock end. I was trying to draw the scarf joint area, but accidentally drew it backwards... :rolleyes:



    This maple is really hard. My bandsaw blade snapped in half when I tried cutting the strips, so I ended up using the tablesaw, which burned the wood.

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    I'm going about the neck in a different way this time. I'm gluing 3 strips up for each half of the neck.

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    With makore veneers in between.

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    I partially cleaned up that half of the neck to see how it looks.

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    Pretty. :)

    The second half glued up.

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    Looking back at the neck layout...

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    ... what I'm going to do is wait until I get the nut and bridge so I can figure out the exact taper widths needed for the neck, then I will cut the taper on the inside of each half and glue the two halves together, so that way the veneer lines taper in parallel to the outside taper. I hope that makes sense. I can see it in my head, at least. I'll save the cutoffs to use as clamping cauls during the glue up.

    To look at it a different way, imagine taking an already tapered neck with parallel lines and cutting it down the centerline, then flipping the two sides around and gluing it back together.





    One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that this is a neck through bass, but we want solid mahogany on the back and solid buckeye burl on the front, rather than having the neck showing through the body, so that's why I didn't make the body as wings that will glue to the neck. I'll basically route a neck pocket all the way from one end to the other on the mahogany and glue the neck in like that, then glue the top on.




    Also, here's a picture of the pickups and harness. This was the first purchase we put through after the mahogany and burl, just because they were on ebay and we wanted to make sure to get them while they were still listed.

    [​IMG]





    Right now, I have to wait to order the fretboard, truss rod, steel stiffening rods, bridge, nut, tuners, etc. before I can do anything else. Once I get that stuff I can start doing a lot of work (glue the neck together, cut the scarf joint, glue the headstock on, do the truss rod/stiffening rod routes, do the inlay on the first fret [a third eye type inlay], glue the fretboard on, radius the fretboard, do the dots, install frets, shape the headstock, drill tuner holes, shape the neck, etc. etc. etc.) then we'll get the rest of the stuff, like the epoxy that I'll use to glue the burl to the mahogany (I was told on my last bass that epoxy is a better choice than wood glue for buckeye burl) and all of the rest of the hardware that's not really needed until the end.

    I'm not sure when that next purchase will be, so I'll continue working on finishing up my other projects until then. I'll update once I'm able to do more.

    Thanks for watching!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  2. kissTheApex

    kissTheApex Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks like it's going to be another interesting build Lisa. Looking forward to following it.
     
  3. thecableguy

    thecableguy Friend of Leo's

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    Looking cool so far Lisa. That's nice that they threw in some free wood!
     
  4. Mbechmann

    Mbechmann Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

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    Danm Lisa. You are rocking this one already. As always - subscribed :) Plus I started before you, and you are already ahead of me... I must work faster :)

    By the way, cant wait to see how flashy this one will become.
     
  5. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's

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    yes yes yes! :D
     
  6. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks!

    Thank you. Yeah it is! I'm not sure what to use it for yet. It's not wide enough for a bookmatched top.

    I started this right after the build challenge ended (basically May 1st), but have been working at it very slowly because of having to wait for parts and wood instead of buying it all up front like I have done in the past. It's allowed me time to work on my other projects though, so that's good!

    :D




    So, I have started to do some experiment with the turquoise. This bag of turquoise is actually for filling cracks/holes in my bowls and pens, but I figured I'd test it in the burl to see how it looks and whether to get this coarse or more finally crushed turquoise for the bass.

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    At some point soon I'll sand those down so I can see how the turquoise looks when it's flush with the surface of the burl.
     
  7. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I loved your other buckeye burl bass. Looks like people are starting to queue up for you to build them guitars?

    I love that turquoise. I love your guitars.
     
  8. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you! Yeah, some people have asked me, but this is the first person who has gone beyond the "I would love to have one of your instruments" to actually getting one, haha.

    :D Some other people who have seen the turquoise think it would look better if it were more of a powder completely filling the voids, but I just have a feeling that once it's sanded, the chunky look of this might be pretty cool. We'll see. I'd like to try both ways and just see which one looks better. I haven't bought the turquoise for the bass yet, so it could go either way.
     
  9. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    The turquoise is going to look great. Lisa!
     
  10. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

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    I'll so be watching and learning from this. Especially that tapered neck part!

    Lisa, you have such a bright future.
     
  11. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

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    Nice start Lisa, it sure will be another great instrument ;)
     
  12. LightninMike

    LightninMike Tele-Holic

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  13. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    I hope so! So far, I think it will.

    I've seen other tapered necks on basses, but they have been with 2 matching pieces on the outside and 1 tapered piece of wood on the inside, so this one will be different from those, but I really like how they look.

    Basses have a lot bigger taper than guitars, so I'm not sure if it would be very noticeable on a guitar too or not. I'm curious about that.

    Thank you!

    I saw this the other day too, it looks awesome! I actually have a plan in my head for a potential guitar top involving something kinda sorta similar, but without glowing. I just have to find a reason to build it!

    This is what brought about the inspiration for what I'm thinking.

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  14. LightninMike

    LightninMike Tele-Holic

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    it could be a cool neck marker - good for low light conditions, although it does need to be "charged"
     
  15. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Another great looking build Lisa!!!
     
  16. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow, blingy for sure :eek: :lol:. But as usual, your work looks great, Lisa!
     
  17. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    That's true, it'd probably look a little nicer than the LED fret markers that some guitars have, but if it's kept in a case and played in a dark venue, I guess it wouldn't work.

    Thank you!

    Haha, yes. Buckeye burl + turquoise + paua abalone + figured mahogany + flame maple + gold hardware!!! If it were for myself, I'd probably stick with black hardware on this one, no turquoise, and probably a different neck wood, but then again, I already have something close to that, so if it were mine I'd be building something completely different at this point. :)
     
  18. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    Hey guys. Evan told me he might want the finish to be satin instead of gloss now, so I'm doing some tests on those scraps with the turquoise. He wants finely crushed turquoise, so it'll look different than these in the end.

    I kind of didn't sand these that great, but oh well.

    This is 2 or 3 coats of Target EM6000. The piece on the right has epoxy under the finish.

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    I thought this looked pretty cool.

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  19. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow, that's sick. Beautiful work as usual Lisa.
    When does your instrument company go public? ;)
     
  20. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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    I really like the creativity and ingenuity within your builds Lisa. I look forwards to seeing this one develop. Looks fantastic so far.
     
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