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Build #3, Thread #1: My New Thinline Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    And ¡Voila!

    [​IMG]

    It’s funny how 99% of this will just get routed out again, but I guess that’s how it works!
     
    LowThudd and sergiomajluf like this.

  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    [​IMG]

    Alright - I got my truss rod channel routed. I dropped it in there and it fits nice and snug. (Phew!) that was way more work than it should have been! I made a few practice runs using a piece of scrap MDF. It came out pretty much spot-on, but it took some work. My router “table” is basically my Craftsman router bolted to a piece of MDF. The depth adjuster on that thing ain’t exactly a piece of precision engineering. It works fine for normal hand-held stuff, but raising and lowering it would change the position ever so slightly. I just had to double check every time to make sure it was traveling on the same path and make adjustments if necessary.

    Next, I gotta cut and glue a little fillet to cover the truss rod. I have just enough maple to do the job. I’ll probably buy a package of Devcon epoxy or something - I only need about a pinky nail’s worth of adhesive and mixing small quantities of West Systems is a PITA. Besides, it’s not a crucial joint.

    Over the week, I’ll make those inserts and decide in the best way to cut the slots in the neck. I could hog out the holes with a forstner and finish the channel with a chisel. More time consuming, but less potential for complete disaster. Or I could sketch them out and just drop cut them on the router table - faster for sure, but I’m still surprised when that method actually works. Maybe I could drill out the ends with the forstner to make sure the slots end in the right place. Or lastly I could make a template and use a pattern bit - it’s more time consuming and repeatable but I kinda get the willies using small router templates. We’ll see - I’m leaning towards router table right now.
     

  3. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca

  4. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Hey, thanks for posting that! The t-nuts are good idea as well.

    It actually reminded me that I have to solve a puzzle unique to this particular neck build - the relationship and order of execution using the inserts behind the fretboard, shaping the basic neck shape and the pre-radiused fretboard, and the tilted headstock.

    I’m not sure why those brass threaded inserts crack. All I know is that I’ve had nothing but problems with them.
     
    LowThudd likes this.

  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I have to start this post off with a funny story. Around 20 years ago, I built a P Bass and I put lipsticks in it. I painted the body with spray cans. It was a terrible paint job, but it was pretty much my first build so I didn't care. A buddy of mine who was a pro guitar tech did all the routing and stuff. The bass didn't sound that great to me, so I hardly ever played it. I gave it to a friend who's daughter wanted to play and that was the last I even thought of it.

    Tonight after dinner, the Li'l Lady was watching YouTube while I was doing dishes and she says, "Dude, look at this guy's bass! What a s#***y paint job!" (She actually said that, and it was true - it is a s#***y paint job.) Anyway, low and behold, there was my old bass being played by a guy in a UK band - chickenhead knobs and all! Imagine my surprise!



    I worked on my neck for a couple of days over the week. First, I glued that fillet over the truss rod to keep the glue from leaking down into cavity when I glue the fretboard on. I had to do an extra section on the end to cover the little bit over the allen nut. I've never been able to figure out if the filet is even necessary, but safeguarding against errant globs of epoxy that might ooze in there seemed like a good idea. I just used a small amount of cheap hardware store epoxy to glue in the strip.

    [​IMG]

    I'm waiting for some stuff to come in the mail. I have some stainless bolts coming in, and I'll probably use those extra thick recessed washers to secure the neck to the body. In the meantime, I gotta cut the neck pocket template, cut the pocket and and also start thinking about cutting the neck shape out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

  6. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I've slowly come to the realization that a good portion of my guitar-building time is spent building routing fixtures. I suppose this is good, because when I go to build the next one, I'll have all the stuff.

    Today started with me deciding that I really didn't like the neck template I made a few weeks ago. So, I decided to build a routing fence so I could joint the edges of a new one.

    [​IMG]

    I honestly can't believe I've gone this long without one. Using a little table-making trick I learned on the internet, I was able to cut a really nice taper in just a few minutes. The other tool I'm in love with right now is this cheap little 3" block plane I bought for $8 at HD.

    Anyway, using these nicely jointed parts, I was able to pretty quickly make this:

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and I changed the radius of the heel corners to 5/16"; the wider radius is easier to execute and besides, my pattern bit is 5/8". Anyway the neck had a pretty nice press-fit vibe to it.

    [​IMG]

    But, there were two things I realized afterward. One was that the heel was about 1/16" narrower than my 2 1/2" plan. I guess I was just too excited about how nicely that taper turned out. But, no worries - now that I have my super-cool router fence, I can knock a new one out lickety-split! I just have to drive out to HD and get some more MDF.

    The other thing I realized was I might not want the pocket too tight because once I finish the neck, it might not go in!

    So I have three questions about good neck pocket template making:

    1) Say I use the tight templates to make my neck. Will the sanding process prior to finishing the neck be enough so that the neck will fit once I finish it?

    2) Should I make a slightly larger neck pocket template? If so, by how much should I allow for the finish? Will a few layers of blue tape around the neck while I'm laying out the new template be enough?

    3) Is there an option where I could use say, a wipe-on oil finish that won't make the neck bigger?
     

  7. PimR

    PimR TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    8
    Jan 24, 2018
    netherlands
    Very nice pupwinder... An inspiration for me... I'm builing my own winder these days and the wireguide is an very usefull idea..thanks.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  8. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thanks - a little tip for you - if I was going to do it again, I’d figure out a way to establish a zero position. As it is, I have to reset it manually each time. PITA.
     
    PimR likes this.

  9. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Every day I just keep chipping away.

    Yesterday, I finally took the leap and roughed out the neck blank. I cut it out by hand with a coping saw. It took about an hour. I’ve said this before, but I really should think about getting a little band saw. I cleaned up the really wide spots with my sander.

    [​IMG]

    Then I taped my headstock and neck taper templates to the blank and went to town with the router. I’ve been using that double-stick foam tape. I found it really sticks if wipe down the surfaces with acetone. Ultimately, I need to find some thinner tape, but I haven’t had any luck with the stuff I get at the local hardware store. The foam stuff really grips, but it tends to flex as well.

    I was running out of time, so I forgot to take a picture of that process, but here’s the neck.

    [​IMG]


    I mostly did climb cutting which was scary, but less scary than the amount of tear-out I was getting when cutting the right way. I only had about 1/32 - 1/8” sticking out beyond the line of the template, but the maple was so hard I could actually hear the wood chipping.

    I’ll clean up the headstock and the area around the heel tomorrow morning on the sander.

    I am beginning to understand the wisdom behind flat Fender-style necks. There was one little gap where the headstock and neck taper templates met. The router got a little too close. I was afraid that was going to happen and I tried being careful, but my efforts were to no avail. Hopefully when I go to shape the back of the neck, either it won’t show much or I can feather it in. Next time, maybe I’ll make a little wedge I can stick in between the two templates.

    [​IMG]

    And here she is thus far. Hopefully tomorrow I can route the neck pocket. During the week I can work on gluing the fretboard onto the neck.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Zepfan and Asmith like this.

  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I spent some time on my neck pocket today. First, I did a trial run on a piece of scrap. It came out looking really good, so I went ahead and routed the body out.

    [​IMG]

    And the neck fit in there pretty well. I centered it using a couple of straight edges along the sides of the neck and a ruler about where the bridge is to be placed.

    [​IMG]

    I drilled the mounting holes on back. That was kind of a disaster - I did a counterbore with a 15mm brad point bit to fit the ferrules - lots of tear out - and it was a brand new bit! I was really surprised; I’ve never had a problem with like that before. I forgot to take a picture, but I’m going to fill the sides with epoxy and re-drill. I think that’ll clean the edges up.

    So the next task is to glue the FB onto the neck. I haven’t completely thought out my strategy for that yet. I’ll probably cut the sides proud, paste it on there and then clean it up with a my little block plane and scrape it down with a razor blade. First, I have to decide if I’m going to epoxy it or use Titebond. We’ll see.

    [​IMG]

    I have a ton of parts and tools to order. I need some tuners - I’ll prolly get some Gotohs - and then I have to make a little list of tools I’ll need to fret this bad boy.

    So far, I’ve had a pretty good time making this neck. I’ve made a lot of mistakes - all of which are due to my lack of tools, space and experience - however, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m really looking forward to making another neck. The process is interesting, and 90% of it is jus making sure everything is squared and centered. We’ll see how I feel about that after I attempt to fret this thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    Zepfan likes this.

  11. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Whelp - here goes nuthin’!

    [​IMG]

    I cut the ends off of a couple of thumbtacks and put them in the neck while also drilling two small holes in the back of the fretboard. I used the tacks to ensure proper registration while I glued it down with West Systems Epoxy.
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  12. Hallo Spencer

    Hallo Spencer TDPRI Member

    38
    Apr 13, 2011
    berlin
    I love that headstock!!!
     

  13. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thanks!
     

  14. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    After letting the epoxy cure for 14 hrs, I pulled the neck out of the clamps and trimmed the excess off wit a block plane and a razor blade. Looks pretty good.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I have to decide what I’m going to use for fret markers. My first thought was 1/4” aluminum rod - that’d be pretty classy and industrial, but that’s a lot of cutting and filing. I also found a coat hanger made of a greenish yellow plastic that’s got kind of and agate-like look to it - that’d be more groovy and unique. I’ll think about it for a couple days. Any suggestions are welcome. I’m thinking about painting the bass a coral pink with either a sprayed silver or aluminum pickguard. Either way, I gotta few days - I’m a little scared to try drilling all those holes in a straight line and I’m now paranoid about the brad point tearing that Granadillo.

    I hit that little boo-boo I made with a little maple dust mixed with epoxy.

    [​IMG]

    I think a lot of that section is going to be rounded in, so I’m hoping it won’t show too badly. I was planning on painting the front and maybe the back of the headstock as well. Maybe that’ll help to hide that little dab of resin.
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  15. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    140
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Tonight I drilled and glued my aluminum fret markers in. I used CA glue. I’ll prolly file them tomorrow.

    [​IMG]

    One funny note and one dumb mistake.

    First, the funny note: I went to Ventura Metals today to buy a length of aluminum rod for my markers. As it turns out, they charge for cuts, so a 6’ length is actually cheaper than 2’. Naturally, I bought the 6’ for $6. I now have enough rod for about 500 fret markers!

    The dumb mistake: I realized that I installed the first chipped fretboard I got from LMI. I spent about an hour gluing little bits of wood into the hole and sanding it down until I could get it to where it doesn’t show that much. Hah- I guess I’ll be building another neck with that other board pretty soon!
     

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