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Build #3, Thread #1: My New Thinline Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Hallo Spencer

    Hallo Spencer TDPRI Member

    64
    Apr 13, 2011
    berlin
    Any progress here? I really like that build.
     

  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thanks!

    Well, I’m currently in a holding pattern. My friend is making a neck blank for me. He’s a full-time luthier and he’s in the middle of his Christmas rush right now. He’s making the blank as kind of a favor so I’ll be surprised if I see it before the new year. I saw him yesterday and he said he’s got a ton of orders to finish. I’ll resume building the bass as soon as I get the blank.

    In the interim, I’ve just been refining the wind of my pickup. I just wound one the other day using #43 AWG that I like right now, so I’ve been rocking out with that on my test bass.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

  3. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Alright, back to work...

    I decided this week that I might as well finish that mahogany/maple body I set aside a while back. I went down to Mayan Hardwoods and bought a plank of maple, jointed and glued, and then thicknesses it this morning. I took it down to 3/8” and used my cup and bowl bit to take the cavity down to a pretty healthy 1/4”.

    [​IMG]

    I don’t think this one will warp like my last one. It’s about 3x the thickness of the last one and I think that the clamshell design adds some strength as well. Just bending it with my hands, it barely moves.

    I’ll start cutting the sound hole tomorrow. After that, I’ll seal the inside with epoxy and glue the whole thing up. Before New Year’s I’ll have two bass bodies.
     

  4. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Here’s a question for all you folks in TDPRI land: Anyone ever use 3/8” tall ABS binding? Does it look, well, too tall?

    Just wondering because my new body cap is roughly 3/8” thick, and the 1/4” binding will leave 1/8” of maple visible.
     

  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Woohoo! Now I have two bass bodies!

    [​IMG]

    It’s almost like I have a guitar shop or sumthin!

    I glued, cut and routed the shape over Christmas and gave the body a rough sanding. Man, that maple is tough! I had hit it with my palm sander to get anywhere with it, and it still took forever!

    Next, I have to make some decisions before I move forward with doing the edge treatments. I was thinking of making the back a darkened clear. That mahogany will look pretty sweet in a chocolate brown. The top, I want to do a color with a natural wood racing stripe down the middle. The stripe will meet up with the natural wood trim around the edge. I thought of doing something different and rounding the edge with a 3/8” roundover, but now that I have this all together, the squared maple looks pretty sharp - sharp as in Tuxedo sharp.

    So, my new question is this: If the top of the body is going to be trimmed out in maple, do I round it over or do I leave it square and give it faux natural binding?

    [​IMG]
     
    sergiomajluf and Zepfan like this.

  6. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I decided that ‘cuz of the new year and all I’m going to take a stab a building a neck. I went down to Mayan Hardwood after work and picked up a nice 5/4 piece of hard maple. I picked the straightest, clearest piece I could find.

    [​IMG]

    I also ordered a pre-slotted Granadillo fretboard and a truss rod from LMII. We’ll see how it looks - I really wanted a Red Richlite board, but I couldn’t find a domestic supplier that would sell a piece smaller than 48” x 96”. Honestly, I’m not a 100% sure what Granadillo even looks like - some pieces I’ve seen are reddish brown while others I’ve seen are more tan. I requested the reddest piece they have, but I’ll see what they send me. The board itself was only a few bucks more than maple.

    I’ve been reading up on neck-building and watching a few tutorials online. Aside from fretting, I’m pretty sure I can pull most of it off with the limited tools I have on hand. The only thing I’m not sure about is cutting the scarf joint on on my $89 table saw. If the cut really sucks, I have enough extra wood that I can build some kind of jig and clean it up with my router. I’m going to have to joint the ends anyway, so there will be no work lost there. I’ll probably spend some time over the weekend making templates or a jig to mill my blank down.

    Naturally, I made a total rookie move and bought a piece of wood that was maybe 1/8” narrower than my headstock design. I’m not going to worry about it - I can shave a little off of each end of my current design or glue a little wing to widen the headstock or come up with a new design. In fact, as of late, I’ve been kind of admiring some old Framus headstocks. We’ll see.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

  7. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    39
    185
    Feb 27, 2008
    Norrköping, Sweden
    Very impressive! For the scarf joint, I would build a mitter box so that you can cut it with a hand saw.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  8. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thx!

    A mitre box is a really good idea. I’m going to try envisioning that. It would probably work better than my crummy table saw.
     

  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    My answer is BOTH! A little round over and fake binding.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Funny you say that - a luthier friend of mine was suggesting that instead of masking, I should file a slight angle where the binding will be. After painting, use a really fine file to remove the paint from the angled surface and round the edge slightly.

    I thought he was crazy at first, but I went to Guitar Center and looked at at least 20-30 guitars with binding. Lo and behold, all of the binding was slightly angled and rounded at the edge. It got me to thinking maybe he wasn’t so crazy after all...
     

  11. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I'll be building a Tele with faux binding this year for a buddy. I did a lot of research and sure enough there was a thread here from long ago.
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/hmmm-think-ill-build-a-thinline.97436/page-5

    Most of what I've found covers the top side with the finish and then scrape or sand off the reveal and round it over. The sides get masked. I can't see trying to mask the top on such a small reveal though I did see it.
     

  12. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thx.

    Looks like the photos are being held hostage... bummer.
     

  13. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I installed the Potobucket unblocker thingy.. I forgot about that. Here's the main picture I thought you should see..

    JWellsThinline.jpg
     

  14. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    Hhmm. Maybe I'll try the faux binding ob my thinline tele. My Carlo Robelli has a maple top with faux bidig and I really like it.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  15. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    That looks great!

    But yeah, that’s pretty much exactly what I have in mind for the maple-capped bass.

    I’ve been kinda getting into these old surfboard color schemes with stripes, wood and solid colors and stuff. I thought it might look cool on this guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
    zorgzorg2 and RickyRicardo like this.

  16. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Today I got my neck profile and my headstock template cut out.

    [​IMG]

    Looks pretty good. 1 5/8” at the nut, 2 1/2” heel. I glued a piece of aluminum L-Channel to a length of MDF and I use that as a bearing guide to cut straight edges with my router and pattern bit. It worked great for cutting my neck profile.

    [​IMG]

    I’ve never been very good at getting perfect 1/4” radiuses. In this case, using a 1/2” bearing as a reference, I sanded down the corners with my OSS and made them slightly larger than the bearing. That way, I’ll cut the pocket template and when I route with the smaller bearing, I’ll get a nice, tight pocket.

    [​IMG]

    As pointed out before, my neck blank is narrower than my headstock. I cut the template out of MDF and hit it with my OSS. I’m still not worried about it. As you can see, I have plenty of extra wood and it wouldn’t be too hard to cut a thin slice and glue it on there. Or, I could design another headstock - I’m not attached to the design - it’s more of a time consideration. I sit in front of a computer designing stuff all day, so I’m leaning towards gluing a shin. I was planning to paint the headstock anyway.

    The final headstock will be tilted 15° from the fretboard.

    [​IMG]

    That’s it for today. Tomorrow morning, I’ll get started on a routing fixture to mill down that maple neck blank.
     
    eallen, zorgzorg2 and LowThudd like this.

  17. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I got my package from LMI today. I guess it was a little delayed on account of the mudslides in Carpinteria. Here’s my Granadillo fretboard and truss rod:

    [​IMG]

    It’s a nice orange color. I know it will darken, but I figure it’s a good starting point.

    I do want to pose a question to some of you more experienced luthiers out there: Upon closer inspection I found a little tear-out around the 11th fret. The board is radiused and measures about .259” thick, so would I be safe in believing that this nick will get sanded out? Is is something I can patch with wood dust later? Am I sending this bad boy back? That’d be a shame - it’s a nice piece of wood...

    [​IMG]
     
    Mat UK likes this.

  18. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    Thats nothing short of annoying! You paid for a preslotted fretboard, not a damaged preslotted fret board. Even if you repair the tear out it will still be visible...

    Drop them an email and explain the situation. Even if you don't want the hassle of sending it back and you're prepared to repair it, at least see if they will refund you some cash for the damage.
     
    LowThudd and Freekmagnet like this.

  19. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    228
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    That’s definitely true. A couple people have suggested just patching it moving on, but I paid LMI to slot and radius it so I wouldn’t have to deal with stuff like this. I feel bad about wasting a piece of tropical wood, but maybe a refund would be in order...
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Mat UK likes this.

  20. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    39
    185
    Feb 27, 2008
    Norrköping, Sweden
    How about inlaying?
     

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