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It's all about the bass... baby!

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by betocool, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I know, cheap shot, but hey, what can a poor boy do?

    I've been working at this on and off since roughly mid-October. I took 10 weeks worth of bass lessons, just for the fun of it, and even though I only scratched the surface, it gave me confidence in playing simple licks a bit more.

    I have an old Epiphone bass that I got from a former work colleague say about 10 years ago for the paltry sum of 90 euro. Still works, still using the same strings. But I felt I wanted something else. So I went into my stash of old and reclaimed wood and looked around.

    The idea is to keep it simple and natural, a slightly different design, and light. Also, very important, it needs to appeal to me.

    It all starts with gluing some wood together and cutting it to shape, roughly. Getting new toys for this helps a lot!
    IMG20201025144243.jpg
    Then, plane down the body to get rid of all that ugly paint:
    IMG20201025162203.jpg

    I like the colours of this so far!
    IMG20201025162823.jpg
    Route the shape a bit closer to the final product:
    IMG20201114155715.jpg

    And then do some 1/2" rounding top and bottom:
    IMG20201114165015.jpg
    I kept it rough anyway, as at this stage I started with the neck. But boy was that body heavy. Real heavy. Reason why I started with the neck, is that I needed the neck to be ready for the rest of the body.

    Same idea, use different wood contrasts. I really seem to have a thing for stripes...
    IMG20201121113341.jpg

    I glued the head at a 17 degree angle, routed the truss rod cavity, and managed to get a fretboard out of jarrah on top.
    IMG20201122140958.jpg
    IMG20201122141015.jpg
     
  2. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    I needed a motivational shot before I went on...

    IMG20201122145242.jpg

    More to come.

    Cheers,

    Alberto

    PS.: @wingcommander Do you still frequent these places?
     
  3. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Meister

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    A shot of what? JK! Hey that looks great are you psyching up for the trust rod and frets and all that work or are you going to go fretless? What hardware and pickups? Active right?
     
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  4. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    cool looking headstock. and cool looking all around.
     
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  5. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    Looking very cool, but if it's really heavy (body-wise), maybe hollow out some of the back side and recap? Thinline-ish?
     
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  6. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That's really looking nice so far!
     
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  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Wow. I want one.
     
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  8. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Frigging gorgeous so far :D
     
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Oooh, as a bass player, I really like this design!

    For weight relief, I recommend thinning the body down to 1.25" (32mm for the sane parts of the world).
     
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  10. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    Righto, so the boss said today "Y'all f**k off from work at 1PM and see you at the Xmas party!". So I did. So I will. But before, I shall update.

    Thanks for all the comments so far. I was not ready with the status quo just yet. We were at the point of this being heavy as hell. Ah, yes, and of course, we wanted to finish the neck before we go on with the body.

    One of my favourite activities is shaping the neck, I find it very relaxing somehow. Just as much as I really dislike fretting, but hey, that's the way it goes.
    IMG20201129133232.jpg

    Neck shaped:
    IMG20201129144630.jpg


    And neck fitted. No the greatest neck cavity I've ever routed. I need to work on my templating skills once more. But it works.
    IMG20201206131330.jpg

    I like using Torx screws to hold the neck in. They offer a fair amount of resistance going in, but you can get them very tight without stripping the head.
    IMG20201206131338.jpg

    Let's talk about the weight issue. In my mind, the idea is for me to have a removable cover/top that I can re-wire or fix at my own leisure, well attached to the body. The bass will effectively be hollow, with a removable top, hopefully in the same stripy pattern. The top will mount onto a recess evenly distributed across the edge of the body then. The recess will be roughly 3mm (1/8") deep or so. Very or so. The inner edge of the recess/drilling marks the beginning of the hollow part.
    IMG20201206135643.jpg

    This is going to take some time....
    IMG20201206140019.jpg

    This is taking a lot of time. And patience.
    IMG20201206155325.jpg

    This took blody ages!
    IMG20201206175145.jpg

    And I'm not even close!

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
  11. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    More work, trying to get the inner walls even-ish... A healthy mix of chiseling, routing, sanding, sweating and swearing.
    IMG20201208180253.jpg

    Having cleaned the top part of it with a router, I was able to carefully even the complete inside walls. I had to be super careful and super slow not to have a run out or something that would make me throw this in anger and frustration. Which didn't happen, but man, did I wish I had a milling machine!
    IMG20201208182613.jpg

    To half done, bring on the router:
    IMG20201208184801.jpg

    And this is about as clean as it will get unfortunately if you peek inside the body ever. Through the F-hole. But I'll live with it. I don't have a router bit long enough to reach the bottom and do it slowly without damaging something. And this was a lot of work, so I really don't want to damage anything. I still need to clean up a bit more the top outside edges of the recess, but that's something that I'll do with handtools.

    Now I need a top. I got some flat/ish cuts from the same timber that I can use:
    IMG20201220103029.jpg

    IMG20201220103042.jpg

    I needed to get the widths right and get them straight. So I first routed a straight edge, and then used the straight edge to even these bits:
    IMG20201220105919.jpg

    The pieces are about 5mm thick (0.2") which will stand a bit proud of the top recess, but that's part of the design.

    Glued together and matching with the body, hell yeah! Now I need to make yet another template to cut the inner shape!
    IMG20201220142117.jpg

    Plus I still need to get screws to attach the top (T8's or T6's black) and buy the pickup. I'm going for a simple 1-PUP design with a passive Bartolini PUP I think. Aesthetically, I'd like the pick to be black and not staggered.

    So that's that so far. More will come over and after the Xmas break, but first I shall dedicate time to my family, cooking and chilling out.

    May you all have a peaceful and well deserved break! Now it's time to wind down!

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
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  12. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Oh - yeah, that’s another highly effective weight relief strategy!

    Have you considered using magnets to attach the top? I just hate screw heads on the front of an instrument. They’re like zits on a supermodel....
     
  13. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    I'm going to grant you The First and Only Best Xmas Present for a Great Idea Award!

    Turns out I have about 100-200 of those 5mm x 1mm disc magnets on my fridge. Against each other, they are pretty strong. I shall give that a try, and yes, thanks so much for that suggestion, should make things interesting!

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
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  14. wingcommander

    wingcommander Tele-Meister

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    Back on the horse, nice to see; I'll be following your progress.
    Well done on taking up the bass too.
     
  15. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    This is a really interesting design coming together, and Pretty wood, too.

    In the second pic of the first post, what’s going on with that bicycle in the background...is that a BMX frame customized into a mini-roadbike or something? That looks interesting too, like a much uglier experiment I tried some years back...
     
  16. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    Ehhh... no... It's my 8 year old's bike with a raised seat, that's all! Guess the angle makes it look funny...
     
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  17. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I guess it caught my eye because usually you see BMX-type bikes with he seat way down, not up at a level where it looks like someone considered optimum leg extension for pedaling.
     
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  18. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    I'm actually considering winding my own PUPs for this bass, humbucker style. Any of you have done that for a bass? Any links you could share. Still, not committed to it yet, but worth a thought I guess.

    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
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  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hmmmm short, medium or long scale?
     
  20. betocool

    betocool Tele-Meister

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    Long scale, 34".

    Cheers,

    Alberto.
     
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