Finally, the time has come to build a bass.

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axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
edited May 11 in Making & Modding
Yup, it feels like the time is right. I've barely played bass for probably over 5 years now. I switched to 4 string, but my interest waned, so I'm thinking of resurrection things by getting back into 5 string.

I'm not going to be that original. Having been massively taken by Hadrien Feraud's signature bass, I have basically nicked the shape and headstock of that (but different controls/pickups).

There aren't that many free 5 string bass plans out there (that I could find!) So I have basically drawn it up from scratch. On one hand, as a graphic designer I have the skills for that, but on the other hand, if I get things wrong anywhere then the whole thing will end up as firewood!

Anyway, here's the basic plan so far
  • Bare wood body rather than colour. Looking a bit aged rather than new.
  • Ebony or dark fretboard, white/MoP inlays
  • The controls may look a bit close, but they have to be like that as I an going to drop in an Eastman J-Retro 01 unit that I have, which is pre-spaced on a circuit board to fit a Jazz bass.
  • There will be a scratchplate but I haven't figured out the shape yet. Now sorted

And here's the drawing as it stands so far, created at 100% size. I have a big and very accurate plotter at my disposal to print it. I will probably revise the Bridge and pickups depending on what I purchase but otherwise it's mostly done. I'll be knocking up templates next.


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Comments

  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 10119
    I did wonder if a 35" was more standard for a 5 string these days? Quick look says  Hadrien's is 34.25" ( 870 mill). Just to tighten up the low B? 
    When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. 
    Jean-Paul Sartre 
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    I did wonder if a 35" was more standard for a 5 string these days? Quick look says  Hadrien's is 34.25" ( 870 mill). Just to tighten up the low B? 
    I went with 34" as my superb old 5 string was that scale length (Fender Reggie Hamilton model)
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  • HeadphonesHeadphones Frets: 554
    Thought this was going to be about Billy the Bass...

    Sounds a bit fishy.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    edited August 1
    I knocked up a body template yesterday, not quite finished yet, still a bit of edge smoothing to do.




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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 6665
    axisus said:


    That is asking to be taken to Cort. ;)


    axisus said:
    Fender Reggie Hamilton model
    One thing that Fender got exactly right on the RH models was the placement of the P pickup, arguably, at the expense of the visual æsthetics of the instrument. 

    Placing the pickup anywhere else messes up the sound.
    Be seeing you.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    Sorted the neck template a while ago, and I've been buying up hardware etc. Delano pickups, Schaller bridge, Hipshot licensed tuners. I'm still faffing about wood for neck & body ...


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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    edited August 1
    New plan - the bass won't look at all like the mayones one, just the shape. It's going to be a mad paint job, probably not to most peoples taste!



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  • PeteCPeteC Frets: 179
    your preparation looks so neat for this - I'm sure this is going to turn out very well. 
    Watching with interest ! 

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    I've been getting on with the bass

    Reducing fretboard depth



    Routing trussrod hole


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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    Making inlays




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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    rough cut of neck



    and shape trimmed with router/template


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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    edited August 1
    Gluing body blanks. It was a right pain getting a good join. On and off over 4 evenings I was planing, scraping, sanding and I just couldn't get a usable fit! Drove me up the wall. I kept putting it aside in a mood and coming back the next day.

    Then I had an idea. I butted them up flat against each other and gave one pass across the top with an electric planer. Amazingly that did the trick in two seconds! Doh, spent a lot of time faffing for days before that ....



    I made an alu template for the tuner holes. This is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. I used to drill without a template and the result is never good enough, then it's a major faff to fix. It's a 5 string but I only need the 4 holes aligning. I just drilled the other hole in the right place without a template.



    Holes sorted.


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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    Reducing headstock depth.



    The body is too thick for my dad's bandsaw, and it doesn't have the best blade on, so I reduce the wood depth with a Forstner bit first.



    Surface flattened, depth sorted.


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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 16263
    Body shape sorted with template. Half done here. One of my router bits broke and ruined the lower horn (I had another thread about that somewhere). I salvaged it by creating a new lower horn template and making it a bit smaller. Doesn't look much different to be honest. 


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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 3453
    tFB Trader
    Great recovery there, the shape looks nicely balanced!
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