A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

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John Sonksen
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by John Sonksen »

AMAZING

David King
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by David King »

Very nice looking instrument. I bet it almost fits in a guitar case too. Lining up those string locking setscrew holes through the side side of the headstock must have been a trick in and of itself.
I thought I liked the Liburon oil better than Tru-oil but it's hard to find in the States. Grass is always greener I guess...

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Mark Swanson
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Mark Swanson »

I'll be the first (and not the last) to say Wow!
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

Jason Rodgers
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Aha! NOW I understand the little headstock string locking thingies. I couldn't make sense of the different diameters at the top and bottom of the shafts: the hole is stepped so the wider diameter is on the back so the strings don't pull em right out of the headstock.

This thing is so wicked clean that it's amazing it wasn't made with CNC. Blows my mind, every inch.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

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Hans Bezemer
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Hans Bezemer »

+1 for Mark's Wow!

Steve Senseney
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Steve Senseney »

Nice work and Nice pictures!

Ant Setchell
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Ant Setchell »

Bravo David, that is absolutely stunning, and beautifully documented throughout.

Dave Higham
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Location: Between Bordeaux & the Atlantic. S W France

Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Dave Higham »

Thank you one and all for your kind words. Very much appreciated.

Marc Jennings
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Marc Jennings »

Fantastic, Dave. I've followed this thread for a while now, and I am incredibly impressed. I guess the question is "when are you starting to take on commissioned work?" ;)

Henrique Schneiter
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Henrique Schneiter »

That is outstanding! Both the instrument and the craftsmanship!

Keith VanDen Heuvel
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:21 am

Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Keith VanDen Heuvel »

I will echo what everybody has already said here and offer my compliments on a really fantastic instrument. Following the build process has been a treat and educational as well. Outstanding!

Jason Rodgers
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Re: A 5-String Multiscale ‘Headless’ DIY Bass

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Dave Higham wrote:Now I cut the slots for the carbon fibre stiffening bars on the ‘router table’ in the same way as the truss-rod slot. The bars are1/8” wide and ½” deep and are partially let into the fingerboard as well as the neck. As the neck is mostly light weight mahogany, I thought it might be a good idea to stiffen it as much as possible, hence the ½” deep CF. I’ve used 1/8” x 3/8” CF in the past but two ½” deep bars are 2.37 times more resistant to bending than two 3/8” bars. I stuck the fingerboard blank to a piece of plywood exactly the same width as the neck blank, using double sided tape. This ensured that the slots in the fingerboard matched those in the neck blank exactly. Here the slots have been cut and one of the CF bars is in place being marked for cutting off the surplus.
HFN MIMF 010.JPG
Here are both bars, trimmed and in place. I cut and shaped the ends of the bars using hacksaw and files. I try to minimise the amount of CF dust floating around.
HFN MIMF 011.JPG
You may have noticed that the line where the face of the headstock intersects with the face of the neck is at right angles to the neck’s centre-line and not parallel to the nut. That’s because I didn’t skew the headstock as most people do on multi-scale sloped headstocks. There’s another way of dealing with the problem. First I cut a piece of the surplus which was cut off the other end of the neck blank.
HFN MIMF 012.JPG
This was then glued onto the surface of the neck, overlapping slightly the neck/headstock intersection and the nut position.
HFN MIMF 013.JPG
I then planed it down flush with the surface of the headstock. This photo might be slightly confusing as it’s taken from the other side to try to show the result more clearly. The difference between this method and the skewed headstock is that the surface of the headstock veneer will be closer to the top of the nut on the treble side than on the bass side, but it shouldn’t be close enough to cause a problem (I hope; I’ve never done it before.)
HFN MIMF 014.JPG
I just rediscovered this awesome thread, and at the perfect moment. On my multi-scale guitars, the headstock transition/attachment solution has been keeping me up. I posted here http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4358 about trying to devise a tricky headstock attached with a dovetail, but I've decided to abandon the idea. (In the interim, I've also mocked up a Fender-style, one-piece, stepped headstock, but I didn't like the look or the issue with break angle.) Dave, I think your stacked scarf with the tiny extra wedge may be the solution.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

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