12 String Bass Build

Skyjerk

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You have a lot more balls than me :)

I do all this in CAD first and make sure all my angles are going to work, then have someone make CNC cut templates from my CAD design.

for this part I have a template that is the entire side profile of the through-neck laminate with angles for everything all figured out. Once my neck-laminate is all done, planed on top, and squared up, I just lay it on the side, trace it on with a pencil, and then cut it on the band saw.

neck-temp.jpeg


maght17.jpg


theres no CNC in my shop, but I do use a computer in my design phase, so thats all worked out in advance and takes a lot of the pressure off.

I'd be filled with constant fear on the "cross that bridge" path :)

You probably weren't looking for lessons here, but you said "This next step that is always a little scary for me. Calculating the amount to route away to allow for the drop top, the neck angle, as well as a little extra "wing" angle."

This implies that you work these things out when you reach this point, and that it scares you, so I thought I'd offer an alternative. eMachineshop is free and simple, and really easy to learn how to use. I never saw it in my life before I found this forum. Someone on here showed a tutorial on how to figure make a template from a photo of an existing guitar design using the tracing paper feature of this, so I tried it. Like an hour later I was designing my own shapes easy peasey
 

SlingBlader

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You have a lot more balls than me :)

I do all this in CAD first and make sure all my angles are going to work, then have someone make CNC cut templates from my CAD design.

for this part I have a template that is the entire side profile of the through-neck laminate with angles for everything all figured out. Once my neck-laminate is all done, planed on top, and squared up, I just lay it on the side, trace it on with a pencil, and then cut it on the band saw.

View attachment 625787

View attachment 625786

theres no CNC in my shop, but I do use a computer in my design phase, so thats all worked out in advance and takes a lot of the pressure off.

I'd be filled with constant fear on the "cross that bridge" path :)

You probably weren't looking for lessons here, but you said "This next step that is always a little scary for me. Calculating the amount to route away to allow for the drop top, the neck angle, as well as a little extra "wing" angle."

This implies that you work these things out when you reach this point, and that it scares you, so I thought I'd offer an alternative. eMachineshop is free and simple, and really easy to learn how to use. I never saw it in my life before I found this forum. Someone on here showed a tutorial on how to figure make a template from a photo of an existing guitar design using the tracing paper feature of this, so I tried it. Like an hour later I was designing my own shapes easy peasey

Hey, thanks for the info, much appreciated. :) It's probably not obvious, but I do a full scale drawing of each build on paper. You can see this in the background in the first couple of posts. So, I have the planned measurements, etc. before I start. But, things always change along the way... the drop top or fretboard thickness may change, etc.. So yeah, last minute small changes nearly always happen.

I tend to get nervous whenever I'm removing a critical amount of material in cases like this, second guessing myself more than anything. :D

I have modeled some basics in Fusion 360, but I need to check out eMachineshop for sure.
 

Skyjerk

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Hey, thanks for the info, much appreciated. :) It's probably not obvious, but I do a full scale drawing of each build on paper. You can see this in the background in the first couple of posts. So, I have the planned measurements, etc. before I start. But, things always change along the way... the drop top or fretboard thickness may change, etc.. So yeah, last minute small changes nearly always happen.

I tend to get nervous whenever I'm removing a critical amount of material in cases like this, second guessing myself more than anything. :D

I have modeled some basics in Fusion 360, but I need to check out eMachineshop for sure.

I gotcha.

FTR, my last was not intended as a criticism of your process or a suggestion to do it "my way". :)

I'm always intrigued to see how others approach the same hurdles Ive had to jump in my builds. Not too many peeps in here are doing neck-through builds, and since thats pretty much ALL I do (till my next two builds!) I tend to really watch other people to see where I can improve my process :)
 

SlingBlader

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I gotcha.

FTR, my last was not intended as a criticism of your process or a suggestion to do it "my way". :)

I'm always intrigued to see how others approach the same hurdles Ive had to jump in my builds. Not too many peeps in here are doing neck-through builds, and since thats pretty much ALL I do (till my next two builds!) I tend to really watch other people to see where I can improve my process :)

Hey, no worries. I didn't take it as a criticism at all. I'm very open to finding better/alternate methods for sure and I really value your input. :)
 

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Tonight I glued up the wing sammiches. These are composed of alder, black dyed poplar, mahogany and katolox on the rear. I used UF glue for this operation and used the vacuum bag for clamping duties. I use tape to keep the bundles together until the vacuum can take over. The treble side wing will get the katalox plate later, after I've cut the control cavity cover from that laminate.

EztbQa8.jpg


J0GOxda.jpg


lEA9WjE.jpg


SegYlNW.jpg


More soon. :)
 

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Today, I buckled down and finalized my headstock shape. I wanted to keep as many of the aspects of the original design as possible that I had used on my previous bass builds. Here's the one that I'm talking about.
NjPbdBH.jpg


6aGDpXn.jpg


I had laid out the tuners and string paths previously sometime back in June, which was a major undertaking. The problem that I ran into was that I couldn't keep the "wing" curves in the same orientation as the original because of the way I had laid out the tuners. So, here is what I came up with. I pretty much just reversed the design on the treble side of the headstock. It's growing on me and I think that it will work. (Apparently, I thought that today was August 8...)

ZY2xAwt.jpg


I cut the templates from hardboard at the band saw, then cleaned them up with files.
p2CSUjj.jpg


Here are both templates stacked up. Still need a little tweaking, but you get the idea.
WNtAuCj.jpg


And here it is next the the one used on the 5 string. Obviously the 12er headstock is yuuuge, but I feel like it is in keeping with the aesthetic.
G92GTDy.jpg


Thoughts?
 

Skyjerk

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I like that!

Its weird :)

Weird good, not weird bad.

the different sized tuning machines is wild

Never seen anything like this before. :)

Also, looks like you have the same vacuum system I use :)
 

SlingBlader

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I like that!

Its weird :)

Weird good, not weird bad.

the different sized tuning machines is wild

Never seen anything like this before. :)

Also, looks like you have the same vacuum system I use :)
Thanks, Chris, I'm going with it. :)

I've seen this done (different sized tuners) by a few builders and it makes sense to me. Hoping it helps when tuning this beast up.

Love that vacuum bag. It's the heavy one from veneersupplies.com, the 2' x 6'. I can get an entire bass in there easily. :)
 

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Time for (headstock) wings.
maxresdefault.jpg


Got all pieces prepped, glue mixed and neck in position.
sI7Rq2t.jpg


Gluing in progress.
VWyzV3o.jpg


Clamping.
HqJivnx.jpg


And more clamps. I had to straighten up that clamp on the end after I took this picture. I couldn't take it. :D
UJ0o3dM.jpg
 

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I didn't get much accomplished today that "shows" on the bass. But, here's what I was up to.

I got the headstock face cleaned up after gluing the wings. I planed it back to right around where the nut will be placed. After the veneers have been glued, they will get flushed down to the fretboard plane and the nut will sit on top of the veneer.
zCU1Uds.jpg


Next I glued up some black poplar and walnut veneer that I had prepped earlier.
OOnjADi.jpg


The entire neck went into the bag to clamp the headstock veneers.
MsHRE2V.jpg


While operating the leg vise on my bench today, I noticed that it was squeaking and not operating as smoothly as it should. So, I spent a little time cleaning and lubricating the acme screw. Works like a champ again. :D
 

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