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5 String Bass Build

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:46 pm

Today I got out into the shop for a while, and got some things done.
I drilled the holes for the neck, the bridge, and routed out the pickup pockets.

I hogged the rout out with a forstner bit after marking it.
I then attached the template with double stick tape and routed the cavities out.

Image

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:02 pm

I have now started to do the body carving.
Lots more sanding to do, but the shape is almost where I want it.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun May 28, 2017 8:14 pm

I haven't updated this in a while, so I am posting a couple of pics of where I am now with this build.

Here is the body, pretty much finished. I only have one more thing to do; rout the pattern for the control cavity cover.
You'll see that in the second pic.

Image

I have thinned out the bottom of the neck pocket for better access to the upper frets.

Image

I will show one more angle to show this a bit better.

Image

And here is the neck, with the back shaped, headstock shape cut out, and the fret board with fret slots cut.
I have a piece of the flamed maple that I used for the body, cut thin to glue onto the front of the headstock. It will match perfectly.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Bob Francis » Mon May 29, 2017 8:41 pm

That's looking really nice.
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue May 30, 2017 12:59 am

Thanks Bob.

I bent and glued the headstock veneer today. The glue is drying now, so I will see what it looks like tomorrow!
A bit of sanding left to do on the body, and then I will do the block inlay on the fret board.

I'm building a jig to help with the routing for the inlay. A lot of straight lines to rout. I've done it before by hand, and always thought it would be easier if I had a guide of some sort. Because each inlay piece is a different size, the issue is making the jig easily adjustable and movable, without being too big or clumsy.
I will post a couple of pics when I get it done.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue May 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Here's what the headstock looks like with the veneer on.

Image

And now with the tuner holes drilled.

Image

I drilled a two step hole.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Chris Richards » Wed May 31, 2017 6:27 pm

Looking really nice, Gordon... I'm enjoying following this build, really nice wood choices. I got as far as drawing out a 5 string bass and have all the wood ready but then got distracted to a six string project, sorry about that! I'll get there in the end!
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:50 pm

Here is the block inlay routing jig I mentioned in an earlier post.
It's pretty simple. The long sides are set first, to rout the sides of the inlay pocket, and clamped in place.
Second, the short cross pieces are set and tightened down. They guide the router along the top and bottom edges.
I'm using the Lee Valley mini router base. I like the plunge function for routing inlay pockets. It really helps to be able to lower the bit just above the surface, to set the guide, and then plunge to rout.

Image

Image

I use the jig to rout the outside edges. I will put a 1/8 bit in later and hog out the rest of it. Once the edges are done nice and straight, the rest is easy. :D

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:02 pm

Here's my set up for routing out the rest of the inlay holes.
My vacuum picks up the dust while I rout.

Image

As careful as I could be, still have a little oops! It will be OK. The epoxy will fill that in. The trick is getting the color just right.

Image

I also use the jig for routing the nut slot.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:17 am

Obviously there are a few steps in between the last post, and this one.
After finishing the routing for the inlay, I radiused the finger board to a 16 inch radius. I had to make a new radius cutter for my jig, so that took me a bit longer.
I cut the extra wood off the sides, and used my template to final shape it to the neck.
After that I epoxied the inlay into the fret board. I filed and sanded the corners off to match the radius, drilled the access hole for the truss rod, installed the rod, and then glued the fret board onto the neck.

Here it is in the clamps. There is a neck in there somewhere....

Image

Ah! Here it is. More sanding and then oil the fret board. The epoxy was colored to match the wood once it is oiled.
I was unaware that the block inlay in paua abalone would come in two pieces for each block. It made the inlay job a bit harder.

I also have to shape the end of the fret board to match the curve of the headstock at the nut end, and shape the base end to make it look better.

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Bob Francis » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:26 am

Those inlays are really great.
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:54 am

I have now installed the frets.

Image

Also the tuners.
Next will be a dry assemble so I can check my neck angle. I will take a pic of the guitar at that point.

Image

Image
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:15 pm

So. All the links to pictures in every thread I have ever done have been killed by Photobucket.
Darn their greedy hides!! :D

This is where the bass is now.

48 Headstock Dry Assemble sm.jpg
Headstock alignment is good.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:17 pm

Here's a shot down the neck. I will have to tweek the neck side angle a bit when I do the final set up, but that's no problem.

46 Dry Assemble 1 sm.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Frederiek de Vette » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:32 am

Beautiful! I love the abalone.
Frederiek de Vette
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:04 am

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:46 am

Thanks Frederiek.
If you zoom in on the neck joint, you will see a small imperfection. I have repaired that already, before the finish started going on.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Frederiek de Vette » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:20 pm

Oh now I see! What did you do to fix it?
Frederiek de Vette
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:04 am

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:06 am

I had to rout the pocket a bit wider.
Then I carefully joined a thin piece of the same maple used on the guitar top, onto the new rout.
After that, I simply re-routed the pocket. After sanding it is virtually invisible.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Bob Francis » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:59 pm

That looks great Gordon!
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: 5 String Bass Build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:29 pm

Thanks Bob.
I am nearly done spraying stain and finish. It will have to cure for a week and then I will be able to wet sand and buff.
After that, it is on to final assembly and set up.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

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