Some small progress

A tiny tiny amount of work on the bass neck. Maple is a lot harder to carve than mahogany. And of course, the real job has forced a temporary relocation of the entire workforce (well, at least all that can be trusted with sharp tools.) So nothing is likely to happen for a while yet.

Mostly done neck

Not contoured, but the outline is done. The blue tape is where there was some tearout; it’s to hold the patch in place until I glue it.

Bass neck with fretboard

The brown tape is just a place to write notes. Just out of frame is my 4th version of the headstock template, which is what I ended up using.

Neck and Routing Template for Bass

In case you needed more confirmation, the masking tape trick really works. I used it to shape the outline of the neck.

tape neck 1

Apply tape to both pieces and then superglue them together

routing the neck with template

Rout, using a template (flush-cutting) bit. Not aligned like it’s shown here; this is after the routing was done.

removing the template

Peel it apart and remove the tape.

Not using masking tape, I also cut a template for the neck pocket and pickup routing on the body. Material is 1/2″ MDF.

body routing template

Here’s another shot of the neck.

semishaped neck 1

This is what a Saf-T-Planer leaves on the back of the headstock when you thin it. Not bad. No blood.

back of headstock

Truss rod slot and intonation

Routed the truss rod slot for the bass.


1/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep, and all I did was use a straight bit in the router table. Took 4 or 5 passes and came out pretty clean. I squared up the body end with a chisel but didn’t take a close-up photo. It’ll be hidden anyway.


It’s just a bit deeper than it needs to be – maybe 1/32″. I still need to widen the headstock end for the adjustment nut. Not sure whether I want to use a 3/8″ round-nose router bit, or a round file and do it by hand.


On a side note, it seems that Rocksmith 2014 is a lot pickier about intonation than I am. I know I’m 10 cents sharp at the 17th fret or so, but that’s enough for the software to detect it as a wrong note. So I’m starting to work on correcting it – note the lack of a spring on the low E string above.

Yeah, the real fix is to move the bridge back about a half-inch, but that would mean a new pick guard, and you’ll notice that the output jack is in the way. This was built during a class, and the real lesson is to make sure everything fits the way you want it before cutting holes. Also, check to see that they didn’t send you a Mustang neck instead of a Strat neck by mistake.