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

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

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

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    If it was on the 12th fret, I’d say, “yes,” but it’s not. It’s on the 11th.
     
  2. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

    568
    Nov 29, 2016
    Portland, Oregon
    Is there a chance that this is a dent, not tearout? In that case you might be able to steam it out - just with a wet paper towel and a soldering iron. Might be worth a shot?

    Otherwise I'd look into a return/replacement. Since the board is already radiused, you couldn't really sand it a whole lot. And a fill will probably look like a dark blotch, at best.
     
  3. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    It’s definitely tear-out. There’s little bits of jagged grain exposed.

    I called LMI today and they said they’d replace it if I emailed them a picture. I sent it to them, but I haven’t heard back from them yet.
     
  4. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    Hmm. As a spare board project. Maybe, alternating dark inlays on the non-marked sections. So, 11 and 10 would get dark inlays, 12 and 9 would get light inlays?

    That would be a LOT of work though. Just thinking outside of the box.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Well, I just got the email from LMI, and they were super awesome. They’re sending a new board ASAP, so yes, I will have this one as an extra.

    I was thinking of some outlandish inlay like abalone flames or ...a dragon!
     
  6. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    The inlay on this bass is pretty awesome. The bass player has awesome hair to match.

     
  7. zorgzorg2

    zorgzorg2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    186
    Feb 27, 2008
    Norrköping, Sweden
    Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of the bass player there, but if it's on the 11th, you can just have a large inlay for the 12th, like eg here: https://goo.gl/images/RB1xGb
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  8. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Hey yeah, something like that could work. Maybe put a luchador mask or something instead of that Celtic knot...
     
  9. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I made a new friend over the week. I cut down some MDF and made a routings fixture to mill down and thickness my neck blank. I took a little extra time to file the running rails smooth and straight.

    First, I stood the board on end and jointed the edge:

    [​IMG]

    Then I flipped the board it on its face and planed and thicknessed it. I’m used wing nuts and allthread to clamp it in there.

    [​IMG]

    My blank came out pretty good. I took down a few of the high spots with my palm sander. It’s within a few thousandths of 3/4”. By the time I glue the fretboard on, it’ll be close enough to an inch to make a bass guitar.

    I drew my centerline with a mortising guage. I love that thing. You can’t really see the line in the photo, but it’s in there deep enough that you can’t miss it under the work light.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I gotta figure out how I’m going to cut that scarf joint. My table saw is somewhere between a pile of junk and completely useless, but it might work enough with a cutting fixture that I can clamp the blank into my new fixture and joint the edge smooth.

    I’m probably going to add an attachment to this fixture to plane the joint and both sides of the headstock. I’m kinda limited with space, so can’t really have a ton of MDF jigs laying around my garage. On the plus side, I was thinking the other day that 90% of building an instrument is building the tools to make it. Now that I have all this stuff built up, it will take much less time to build the next one.


     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  10. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    43
    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    Just finding this thread. Awesome work. It’s rare that I like original designs; many of them just look “different for the sake of being different,” but yours looks fresh and organic.

    Hopefully you’ve been avoiding fires and mudslides, too...
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  11. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thx! I work in the ad biz as an art director, so I spend a lot of my day thinking about shapes and colors and how people respond to them. I decided one day that I wanted to use my powers for something that actually interests me, so I thought I’d try my hand at designing a bass.

    As far as the fires and mudslides, we’re in Fillmore, and while we got a pretty unnerving show from the fires for a few weeks, we didn’t suffer directly. Our niece lives in Carpinteria, and she, as well as a few of our friends in Ventura, lost their homes. I work in Ventura, and the smoke was bad enough that I had to wear a respirator when I drove to work. What’s worrisome is that this is the first rain of the year, and already 16 people have lost their lives in the mudslides.

    I’ll post a picture I shot of the fire. I took it just a mile or two from my house.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Over the week I worked on my scarf joint. My post is admittedly incomplete; I made the initial cut on my janky table saw as the sun was going down. My cutting job was more of a race against time as I worked furiously against the backdrop of waning light. Needless to say, I didn’t think to stop and take a photo. Basically, I build a really simple angled cutting jig to which I clamped my blank. Backed against a makeshift fence, I made the cut which only came a little more than halfway through the board. I cut the rest off with a small handsaw I had laying around.

    Next, I built an angled sanding jig to clean up the jointing surface. Basically, it’s a box with two 13° wedges that serve as a track for the runner that holds the sandpaper. I spray-mounted some 60 grit sandpaper to the runner. I’m not sure if the photo below really illustrates the jig as well as it could.

    [​IMG]

    After about 20 minutes of sanding, I got the joint cleaned up pretty well. I spent another 20-30 minutes fine tuning the angle. I saw this technique done on one of Fletcher’s YouTube videos. In the end, I’m not sure that this is the most efficient way of going about this task. It works, but it takes a long time and requires a good amount of elbow grease. I’ll probably end up converting this sanding jig into a routing jig.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I glued it up. I just clamped the two pieces together on a flat surface and epoxied that joint together with West Systems. I added some side clamps to hold the blank perpendicular to the clamping surface. I used the back side of the router sled I built to mill down body blanks.

    [​IMG]

    And here’s my blank!

    [​IMG]

    I deliberately made the joint a little proud - I figured I’d get a cleaner and flatter joint if I used my router to shave the excess off.

    Over the weekend, I’m going to cut the channel for the truss rod.

    After that I have a big decision to make: I have to decide how I’m going to bolt the neck to the body. Basically, wood screws are a thing of the past. I’ve also used those brass threaded inserts before, and frankly they are the worst! I’ve had those things crack inside the neck before and it’s a nightmare getting them out. I’ll never use those inserts again - I’d rather use wood screws. In the end, the threaded dealies I think are more of a short-term solution to use on an existing neck.

    Bruce has always advocated using threaded brass bars beneath the fretboard - which makes sense because if you have the fretboard off and you can approach making your threading surface from the inside, I think it will be easier to execute and safer than using inserts.

    Another thing I always screw up (no pun intended) is I never get the screw holes nicely aligned between the neck and body. I know that seems pretty basic, but there’s got to be a better way. I’m thinking that once I install these bars, I’ll use the neck itself as a drilling template for the body. Or, I’ll make a master template that is fitted to the heel of the neck and fits perfectly into the body. I dunno - any suggestions here would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  13. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    43
    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    Looks like it’ll work, but I can’t imagine doing a scarf joint with sandpaper. You’re a determined fellow, that’s for sure.

    I use a backsaw, wielded carefully, followed by handplaning across the scarf with a block plane. Finish with a light bit o’ downhill planing, and then it’s on to glue-up!

    I’d use a handplane to refine your glued-up joint, too. A router would be stressful for me.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  14. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I’m not sure what my rationale was for using sandpaper either. I think like you, I was feeling stressed out about using the router. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t ever done a scarf joint before, and perhaps I felt uncertain. Rest assured, that feeling of uncertainty dissolved almost immediately after spending nearly an hour sanding that joint; using that exact same fixture, I could have knocked it out in a few minutes using a router.

    I’ll try cleaning that joint on the fixture I built to thickness my blank. I’m pretty confident that it will work OK. I’ll just have to make a longer base for my router to make sure it travels in a straight line over that bend.

    A friend of mine has his shop a few blocks from my house. He’s a professional luthier and he uses a series of jigs and routers to knock out tons of necks fairly quickly. He has a really good post showing his fixtures here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
    zorgzorg2 likes this.
  15. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Well, I guess got a little too cocky, guys. I fed the piece into the router the wrong direction...

    [​IMG]

    (Sigh) I guess I’m off to Mayan to pick up another slab of maple. I suppose I could cut a piece of wood and epoxy it in there, but wood is pretty cheap. Now that I’ve made one blank, I’m pretty sure I could get to this point much more quickly than I did this time.
     
  16. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    43
    Feb 7, 2009
    Reading, Massachusetts
    No way. A chunk of maple and five minutes with a chisel would patch that right up. Don’t redo the whole neck over that! It’ll be under the FB anyway; I doubt you even need to do anything to that, though I would.

    Salvage it! Think of all that sanding time...
     
  17. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA

    Yeah maybe I could do that instead. I’ll have to contemplate that approach.
     
  18. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA

    Yeah maybe I could do that instead. I’ll have to contemplate that approach.
     
  19. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    257
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    [​IMG]

    Here’s my post-channel-cutting fail repair job. I cut a tapered filet out of a little piece of rock maple I had laying around. It was too small to rip with my table saw, so I cut it lengthwise with a cheap Japanese handsaw and shaped it into the channel with a little block plane. Before you call me crazy, upon closer examination I realized that the channel was wango. It was way wider at one end. So, I chiseled out the channel and made it even before patching it.

    In trying to figure out why I failed so spectacularly, I realized this: I squared one side of the blank from which I made all of my measurements. I intended to use this same side to run against the fence on the table router. Unfortunately, it’s on the climbing side of the blade. So, if I’m going to have the truss rod access on the headstock, I’m going to have to do a plunge cut when I route the channel. Otherwise, I’ll have to put the truss rod access on the heel of the neck.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    LowThudd and Picton like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.