Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #22

Not a whole lot to show at this point. Still sanding. The whole bass is being sanded to 600 grit and will then be wiped down and the clear coat will be added. First however I need to finish my headstock inlay. I have cut it out of rosewood (pictured below) but need to do a little more smoothing. After the inlay is ready I can cut the pocket for it in the headstock. I am a little nervous about doing this as I could screw the headstock up with any minor mistake. It is possible I will chicken out and just use a decal this time around.

Rough cut inlay. Soda tab included to show scale.

Smoothed out the inlay and decided to take the plunge. I have to order some really tiny router bits for my dremel so it will be a couple of days before I have an update but here is a sneak peak as to how it will look if I do not screw up.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #21

Starting the body carve.

The tool I am using to do this carve is called a cabinet scraper. This specific type I have heard referred to as a french scraper or a swan neck scraper. Awesome tool. I am still struggling a little bit with sharpening it but when its sharp it is a joy to use.

Body carve completed. There are some very subtle cutaways on the inner horns that are hard to see in this photo. Normally on a guitar they are to aid in accessing the upper frets. I added them mainly for an artistic sense as I have no issues reaching the 24th fret or even beyond.

Time to sand. I discovered early on in this project that I have an allergic reaction to maple. It really screws up your lungs as well. I inhaled some sawdust early on and felt like crap for about 3 days. Not only do your sinuses hurt but it leaves you with a horrible taste in your mouth as well. H snapped this shot of me with my sexy respirator on while sanding to 220 grit.
Body sanded to 220 grit. Next step is to sand to 600 grit and then it will be ready for finishing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #20

So I tried to make my own pickup templates. That did not work out as well as I had hoped so ended up ordering them. The bridge pickup was a perfect fit. Of course the neck pickup (with the more complex geometry) was not quite the right size. I spent a few hours transferring the acrylic templates to MDF and creating a better sized template for the neck pickup.

Bridge pickup routed.

Neck pickup routed. This one became a bit of a pain in the neck even after laboriously creating a new template. The topmost edge was impossible to reach with the router for the last 1/4" of depth due to the base of the router running into the fretboard. I ended up cleaning up the remaining wood with a small chisel.

I created a template for the bridge recess and then routed out the bridge location.

Hardware test fitted.

Now I get to do the carve on the face and then lots more sanding and then it will finally be ready for finishing. I was looking at a product from the UK but was unable to get it shipped here due to it being considered a hazardous chemical. I am going to test some water based poly/acrylic on some scrap wood and see how that turns out before committing to putting it on the guitar.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #19

Quick update. Finished the ledge for the cavity control cover and cut the cover to fit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #18

I have been slacking on updates. Been really busy between brewing and helping a friend move into a new house. Here goes.

Control knob holes drilled out.

Starting to sand the radius on the fretboard. I had to stabilize a couple small knots with super glue in this process so they did not crumble and so they remained even with the face of the fretboard.

Still a little work to be done. The radius is not quite perfect yet (as you can see by the gauge) and one side is a little high still.

Fretboard wiped down with naptha to show how it will look finished.

Input jack recess drilled out with a forstner bit.

Ouch. When drilling the actual hole for the input jack my drill bit started wandering. It ended up totally off center. I had to glue in a dowel and redrill later. I redrilled with a spade bit to prevent wandering again. This step would have been much easier with a full sized drill press. As it was I had to do it with a hand drill.

Laying out the control cavity, battery box, and control cavity cover templates on MDF.

Templates completed.

Bridge and tuners mounted to check string height and determine how much I have to recess the bridge. Not too bad, looks like I only have to recess by 1/4".

Control cavity and battery box routed out. Still need to route out the shelf for the control cavity cover.

Next step is to create templates for the pickups and the bridge recess and then route them out. The face has been routed to start a carve but I am not going to show that until it is a little farther along.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #17

Not a whole lot to show lately. Just lots and lots and lots of sanding going on which does not translate to pictures very well. Here is the layout for my control cavity and battery box. I need to make a bunch of templates after the sanding is done.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bass guitar build Post #16

Tuner holes drilled and test fitted.

Back edge rounded with a 3/8" roundover bit. Neck to body transfer smoothed out. Belly carve sketched in.

Starting to rough in the belly carve. Each photo was taken when I needed a break. The over all rough in took almost 2 hours with the rasp.

Belly carve sanded down with 280 grit to remove all of the rasp gouges and to look for defects.