Bass, completed enough

It’s as done as any mass-market instrument you’d buy in a store, only more expensive and lower quality. Materials info after the jump.

front view

the side no one looks at

Amazingly, it does actually produce sound through an amp. And a lot of fret buzz, but I haven’t really done a setup on it yet. I did part of one, but I’m pretty sure I turned the truss rod nut the wrong way.

pretty much what you see while playing it

floor-pointing side of the body

the end that gets dropped

Headstock. And toes.

The mostly-wood bits:

  • Body: Khaya, probably. Whatever got labeled ‘African Mahogany’ that day
  • Neck: Maple I had lying around from someone else’s project that was abandoned
  • Fretboard: East Indian rosewood (I bought it preslotted and curved from LMII)
  • Headstock veneer: Padouk
  • Nut: bleached bone (yeah, it’s not wood, but it isn’t metal, either)
  • Fret markers: mother-of-pearl, 3/16″
  • Side markers: plastic, 1/16″
  • Finish: badly done French polish, garnet shellac (probably from Rockler but maybe Woodcraft)

The mostly-metal bits:

  • Pickups: Guitar Fetish ceramic J-bass style OEMB005
  • Bridge: Grizzly Industrial H5642
  • Tuners: Grizzly Industrial T23636
  • Pots: Alpha 250K audio taper long shaft
  • Tone capacitor: .047 uF I had lying around in a box, looks like Mylar
  • Knobs: Stewart-Macdonald #0169
  • Fretwire: LMII FW57110
  • Output jack:¬†Stewart-Macdonald (Switchcraft) #4652
  • Jack plate:¬†Stewart-Macdonald #0070
  • Strap Buttons: Stewart-Macdonald 4983-SB
  • Truss rod: Stewart-Macdonald low profile #2557
  • various screws and bushings from Guitar Fetish, very small magnets from Grainger, wire from my box of electronic junk

Total materials cost was about $200, which leaves me with another body blank.

Lessons learned (at least the ones that occur to me at the moment):

  1. It’s way cheaper, easier, and faster to just buy one.
  2. Surface preparation is critical for French polish. It will show every flaw in the wood.
  3. Don’t use cheap screws.
  4. Don’t drill the screw holes too small.
  5. Leave enough room around the pickups.

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