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5 String Bass Build

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5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:05 pm

In another thread, we were talking about building a bass. We shared some information and one of the other members was also starting a bass.
I promised to take pics along the way and post them. So here goes.

For me, it all starts with a drawing.

Image

Then I have to build templates. In this picture the body template is finished, but the neck template is just drawn on the plywood.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:15 pm

In this picture I have the back of the body being glued up.

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And here is the top being glued after jointing.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:05 am

Here's what the back of the body looks like.

Image

I have the two halves glued and clamped.

Image

And the top after glue up to the back.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:07 am

Here's a shot of the front after rough shaping.

Image

And the rear.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby David King » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:42 pm

Gordon,
That looks very tight. Did you do any chambering under that top? I take it that the body is alder so it's probably pretty light.
David King
 
Posts: 2294
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:41 pm

The rear of the body is composed of hard maple down the center, wenge strips, with cherry on either side.
The larger portions are again cherry.
The top is obviously flamed, or curly maple.
I am planning some body carves, so the weight will come down some.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:40 pm

I used double sided tape to stick the template back on, and used the Whiteside pattern bit to shape the body.
There is some sanding to do, but the sides are pretty smooth.

Image

I now have the neck template done, and the truss rod and carbon fiber rod slots are cut.

Image

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:52 pm

Time now to cut the neck profile while the blank is still square.

Image

I then clamp the template to the blank, and draw the shape of the neck on the blank.

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Here it is after rough cutting.

Image

Now it's on to gluing on the headstock wings.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:22 pm

Because this is my first bass build, I am still struggling a bit with the geometry.
I decided to move the bridge a bit closer to the bottom of the body because this is a 35 inch scale, and I don't want the guitar to be too long.
The player would have to be 8 ft. 10 in. tall, with 5 ft. arms!! :D

Of course, this changes the neck pocket measurements, and I have had to cut a small amount off the body in that area also.

I could have just done it, and not said anything, but as this is a learning moment for me, I want anyone reading the thread to know what's going on.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Brian Evans » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:54 pm

All I know is, for the first time ever I want to build a bass!
Brian Evans
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Alexander Higgins » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:42 am

Very nice, clean work, hard to believe that's your first bass!
Alexander Higgins
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:42 am

Thanks fellas! It is fun.

I finally got back into the shop today, so I taped the neck template onto the blank, and routed the edges getting the neck into it's final shape.
Other than the back of the neck of course!!
I'm still working on a neck pocket routing template.

This is all I did on the bass, as I am finishing up another guitar also.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Chris Richards » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:52 am

Looking really nice, I'll be following the build. I'm afraid that my plans are just that...Plans! I still have to gather the materials, too much other work and lack of funds at the moment.

Thanks for posting, looking forward to seeing the progress.

Chris
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Alexander Higgins » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:51 am

Is that one of those new "compression" flushcut spiral bits? I've been looking for something that won't tearout like a straight bit. How do you like it?
Alexander Higgins
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:25 am

I can't say for sure this is a "compression" spiral cut bit. It is made by a company called Whiteside.
There was a whole thread about this bit in the tools section, by Todd Stock.

I can say it was pricey.
I can say it works like a dream. Even with grainy, chippy wood like wenge, it worked very well.
The bearings are interchangeable, for lack of a better word. Either one can come off depending on which way you want to use it.
In this case, the bit cutting edge is long enough to get the whole cut at once, so I didn't have to remove either one.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Jason Rodgers » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:36 pm

Just got this bit, and it's pretty awesome. Yes, it's a compression type bit, with both up- and down-cut flutes.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
Jason Rodgers
 
Posts: 1539
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:52 pm

I found some time today to get out into the shop, and take another step in the bass build.
I use a 3/4 round over bit with just enough bit exposed to get to the wenge layer.

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I do this so that the wenge is exposed enough to look like binding from the top.

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It also begins the carve at the horns.

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I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:20 pm

I also got the finger board cut into its' rough shape. Still need to run it through the sander, and cut it to the final width.
It is a piece of Macassar ebony.

Image

And, I also got the neck pocket template finished.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:37 pm

I have not had much time to get into the shop as I am working a refinery shutdown, so lots of hours.
Today I had an hour so I hogged out the neck pocket and the control cavity with a forstner bit.

Image

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:00 pm

This build has been going very slowly as I have been working overtime this last while. Longer hours daily, and some weekends too.
I'm still finishing another build too, and that has taken some time. Pics of that will be coming soon.

I did find a bit of time so I routed the control cavity.

Image

And the neck pocket.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

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