My second build. A bass guitar!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by GPlo, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Hello fellow members and builders.
    I've started a new build this week. In this thread I will post updates and pictures to document my progress.

    A little background info. This will be a bass guitar for a friend (a wedding present). It will be a maple body and neck with a rosewood fretboard. The body will resemble a Fender Jaguar bass, while the hardware and positioning of the pickup will be similar to a Fender Precision bass. Kind of a mix between the two since I like the classic sound of the precision bass, but I prefer the shape of the Jaguar bass.

    The finish will most likely be some sort of a natural burst. If I can get satisfactory results on a test piece that is (and if I don't change my mind of course).

    Unlike my first build, this build will have a pre-slotted fretboard. Feels a bit like cheating ;) but I like the idea of having a perfect "user interface" especially since this will be someone else's guitar. Also, it will save me a lot of time and even money!

    After making templates I started with the body. Here's the result. While routing the pickup cavity, the bearing of the bit came loose which caused me to accidentally route into the body. I glued a little piece of wood back in but there will be pickguard so it won't be noticeable anyway.

    [​IMG]

    I also routed the control cavity but forgot to take a picture (not that interesting anyway).




    Today I started work on the neck. This time I started with the truss rod channel. Since the blank was perfectly square I was able to use the attachment thingy that came with my router. It worked pretty well. I took many small passes just to be sure.

    [​IMG]

    After routing I erased the outline of the neck since it was off by 0.5mm. I then aligned the template with the truss rod channel and attached it to my neck blank using the masking tape and super glue trick. I band sawed and routed the neck without too many problems. Only issue I have is that the bullnose router bit I used had a slightly larger diameter than necessary. But I think (hope!) it will be fine. It is in there pretty snug and the depth is perfect.


    [​IMG]




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    I'll post an update as soon as I glue on the fretboard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  2. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow that is sweet! I want to do a bass someday. Actually like to play one of those as much as a guitar
     
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  3. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    nice build. look fwd to seeing it finished and watching the video of you playing (aw yeah, put you RIGHT on the spot).
     
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  4. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Yesterday I glued the fretboard to the neck. To position the fretboard and keep it in place, I hammered in 2 finishing nails. 1 near the nut, 1 near the heel. I clipped them off to maybe 2mm and position the fretboard using the centerline. I pressed down hard to make a tiny indent on the backside of the fretboard. I carefully drilled those out with a 1mm drill bit. I did a test fit before I applied the glue and clamped it all down.

    Today I released the neck from the clamps and trimmed off the excess fretboard wood. First using the bandsaw. Then with a hand plane and finally with my router to get to the tricky bit near the headstock. I had a little bit of tearout but I filled that up with superglue and maple dust, then sanded flush.

    I am now going to thickness the headstock and do the headstock/fretboard transition.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    Looks great GPlo!
    One common trick is to put a dab of silicone in each end of the rod slot before installing the rod - helps prevent any rod rattle later on.
    Maybe you did that.
    Wish my shop was as squared away as yours.
     
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  6. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! Indeed I did. It rattled a little bit still, which had me worried for a sec. But then I realized it's probably because the rod is in its neutral position. Should be fixed as soon as I straighten the neck (I hope!).

    My shop is so small, if I make a mess I'm not able to work ;)
     
  7. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I used my router sled to route the headstock to the correct thickness. I then switched to a bullnose bit and roughly routed out the transition. Took about 5 or 6 passes. I used a dowel and some sandpaper to finish the transition.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  8. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I just installed the frets. Looks OK for now, but I'll leave it alone until tomorrow and then check if I notice anything weird. In the meantime I'll contour the body.


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    looking good sir. looking fwd to the next update.
     
  10. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks!


    Today I took a good look at the body and decided it was too thick so I removed about 2.5mm of wood (from the back) using the router sled. It's a little over 42mm right now. Looks much better IMO. Did some more sanding and decided I'm going to buy an oscillating spindle sander.
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Looking good! As someone who likes to dabble on the low end I love your choice of body and PBass set up. I have a five string I need to get back out into the shop and get finished that is a little bit similar.

    One word of advice, make sure it will fit in a standard gig bag or case. I made an offset guitar a few years ago and it just barely fit into one of my cases. The other case it would not fit into at all and it has a real hard time in a gig back.
    Just some warnings before you get too far.
     
  12. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Funny you'd mention that. I've actually recruited my girlfriend to make a custom case for this build. Since it's a gift for my friend's wedding I thought it would be cool to involve her. She has no woodworking skills (yet) but we looked up some how-to videos and it doesn't look too complicated if you're going for just a basic case.
     
  13. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Small update. I did about 90% of the belly contour. I’m now waiting on my side dot inlays to come in before i shape the neck. Its probably easier to install those when the neck is still square.

    5D398F22-DCE6-4CD0-AEDE-ABECBB749FA9.jpeg 13DEBABB-F1ED-4FA4-8F81-EA68FB1ECE38.jpeg
     
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  14. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Side dots and some other stuff came in. I installed the luminlay dots today. Hopefully carve the neck this weekend!

    CA65F02C-27D9-453A-B353-2121D82EBA9D.jpeg
     
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  15. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I carved the neck this week. It turned out better than my first neck. The transition at the nut/headstock looks better.

    About halfway through i took off another 2.5mm of thickness because i’d been a bit too conservative (scared!) with that. Im happy I did because it looks and feels so much better. It changed the profile slightly to more of a D shape, especially towards the bottom part of the neck. It actually feels very comfortable in my hands so I kept it that way. Hopefully my friend will like it too!

    Its almost there. Just some more sanding to do.

    Question: Is it better to level and crown the frets before or after attaching the neck to the body?

    C139F187-9097-405B-961A-39D9D55AC18E.jpeg D78282AE-D3CE-46C1-95E5-80A82799BD26.jpeg D1E77BC4-73DB-4595-8AE7-09A829BA7FC5.jpeg
     
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  16. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I calculated the neck pocket depth like this: (heel thickness at 20th fret + height of fretwire) - (saddleheight in lowest position + brideplate - the little groove in the saddle). Which came out to 17.1mm

    Routed the neck pocket with the makeshift jig I used on my first build. Takes a lot of work to align everything so I’ll make real jig for the next one. Also need some new router bits. I had to fasten this bit about halfway into the collet to clear the template and reach the desired depth in the body.

    I did forget to put masking tape on the inside of the template where the bearings of the bit touch (to make the pocket a hair smaller).


    I am quite happy with the result. The alignment seems alright after fitting the neck. It drops right in, i dont have to push down. I can slide a piece of paper in the gap but not a business card. This is without any finish on the neck.

    Two not so great pictures

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    D2C55110-3566-4251-A093-739D063A6909.jpeg
     
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  17. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    First coat of Danish oil

    1211ACF6-4CCE-4F05-9406-143B0720EB53.jpeg BD087141-0C69-4157-AEAB-011DD52DDE3C.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  18. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Finished the neck with 5 or so layers of danish oil. Will rub it with fine steel wool in a few days and apply a layer of wax. I drilled the holes for the neck joint. Went smoothly this time. I fitted the neck and am now going to measure out the exact bridge placement and drill the holes before sanding and finishing the body. Here is a mockup. I will be making the pickguard from a vinyl record.

    9D55EB93-1F75-49CB-A82F-A8E58C5BA1A6.jpeg
     
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  19. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I stained the top of the body today. Wanted to do a burst initially but couldn’t get it quite right on my test pieces. I found another effect I liked online (last pic) and went for that.


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    FE24FE2D-5F59-4B99-A17A-FB27FC05C581.jpeg

    I used this for reference
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  20. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Finishing with oil. I’ve done 3 layers of crimson guitars oil. Will switch to their high build oil now and do atleast another 4 or 5 thin coats and see from there.

    D28638CF-5120-400E-9E6C-D9C175698A77.jpeg 8D14FDD6-646D-4BE7-9EA6-9A9EA8B55F8A.jpeg
     
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