I've been meaning to post a build thread here on TDPRI for a while. I like the forum here and I've been kinda lurking around waiting for the right project to post here. Originally, I was planning to start a thread about Thinline Flying V I'm planning to build. Instead I'm going to post this bass thread because I've been in recording the R&D for this piece elsewhere for over a year now. My thought was that since I'm beginning the actual bass build now and I don't know when I'm going to start the V, I'd start by posting this one. Anyway, here's my drawing of the bass: I'm building a 34" scale thinline bass. The back is mahogany with a maple cap. For now, it's dubbed Sirena S1-B-SW Rincon. The brand name, Sirena, means "mermaid" in Spanish and "Rincon" is named after a local surf spot here in Ventura County. Rincon is mentioned in The Beach Boys' Surfin' Sarfari, and is also a Spanish word - "corner". I'm a transplant here in SoCal - I'm from The Bay Area originally, and I wanted to design a bass that reflects what I've come to see and experience here as Southern California culture. Specifically, the cars, the ocean, surfing and Mexican food. I will state my disclaimer here - I don't surf and I don't speak Spanish, but my wife (henceforth, The Li'l Lady) grew up here and she surfs and speaks Spanish. Next, I'd like to introduce you to The Funktronic Coil Genie Mk 1: This is my Arduino-driven pickup winder. I started work on this back in October and I just finished it a few weeks ago. Basically, a motor spins the winding plate that triggers an optical sensor. The sensor sends a pulse to the brain, which then tells a stepper motor to advance 1 increment. The stepper drives a 20:1 gear box which then drives a 1/4 20 screw. The screw serves as as the feed guide and traverse mechanism for the pickup wire. The traverse limits are set via joystick and the stepper advances and returns. A local luthier, Bruce Johnson, helped me with the initial concept of the winder and machined a couple parts for me. I designed, fabricated and built the machine and I wrote the software as well. There's still a few quirks I have to work out, but so far, I've wound 3 or 4 really nice coils with it. I started with winding pickups out my frustration with the lack of options for bass pickups. Everything out there is either a P, a J or a Stingray pickup. Everything else is housed in a really boring black plastic pickup cover. I wanted something different. I bought Lollar's book about a year ago and wound a few pickups, but I quickly grew impatient with its limitations and built this one. Last week, I built this prototype with coils from my new winder: It's a neodymium sidewinder. I really like how it sounds. I have it installed on my test bass right now, and I'm playing it through a DIY Stingray preamp I built. I have the pickup installed in the bridge position, and on its own, it's not putting out enough low end to be a viable passive rig. It sounds like a pretty ballsy bridge pickup. I'm going to add some more winds and see what happens, but I'm not ruling out making this an active bass. It sounds really good with that preamp... I'll be posting progress with this part of the project. Yesterday, I got started making templates. I picked up these templates from Kinko's a few days ago. The Li'l Lady hipped me to this trick - Kinko's usually has a large format B+W plotter in their facilities. You have them print out a full scale template for pretty cheap. These came out to about $10. Next, I cut them out and spray mounted them to the MDF sheets with Super 77. I cut the forms out with a jigsaw. Here's where the fun starts; I drilled the registration holes. My drill press is pretty small, so I drilled the body first and used that as a drill guide for the inside template. It doesn't matter too much if the printed templates match as long as the registration is on. I'm using 1/4" dowel pins to register the two templates. After drilling the registration holes, I used my handy-dandy new el-cheapo OSS that I picked up at HF to shape the templates. Worked like a charm! Then I sanded the paper off and here's the roughly shaped templates! Now because I had the registration holes already drilled, I was quickly able to determine that I came in on the upper waist of the inside template a little hot and lower waist a little proud. I cut and glued a 1/8" fillet of MDF and glued it to the side. I'll feather the fillet in an sand the high edge a little. I want the walls to be pretty uniform. I may also make some sub-templates to make a little steppy-part for the tummy cut if I decide to do so. I didn't make the top template these two took a little longer than I thought they would, and there's a couple small esthetic and technical decisions that I'll have to make before I commit to making the top template. Anyway, I hope this brings you all up to speed. I look forward to posting more about this project.