Here in the South we have a saying about Prior Planning, and what will happen if you don’t do it. The Bass that initiated the creation of this blog is shelved. Forever. This entire project so far has been filled with lessons on patience and how to elevate and adhere to highest standard as a craftsman I’ve ever been. The flaw in the walnut bass began with the book match. The neck pocket should center on the seam of the book match. While this wouldn’t hinder the function, it’s aesthetically offensive to me. The profile had its highs and lows (literally) and I was never content with its final design. Eager to begin, I rushed through the planning stage and once that realization took hold I knew I couldn’t go forward.
Moving forward my enthusiasm for another go at making a bass guitar is unmatched by no other project I’ve ever completed over the last 18 years. So far this week I’ve spent my off time sketching body profiles, planning some shop made jigs to aid me, and preparing templates. One thing I quickly learned is drawing a guitar to scale isn’t as easy as one might think. Since most guitar bodies are continuous curves, the angles and radius must be carefully planned to create the shape I’m after. I’m not out trying to reinvent the wheel, but I’m somewhere in-between. I’m taking cues from modern bass guitar, but not to the extreme. I may venture down the road of a traditional style bass later on, but for now the Jazz, and Precision styles will have to wait. I’ve somewhat developed a drafting plan that works for me. It maybe the long way around but until I find some software, or come up with something else, I will use this method.
I started out with regular 1/4 , 8 1/2″ x 11″ graph paper, and made a “master template.” This template displays a rectangle box that measures 14″ x 21″. I scale the 1/4″ graph blocks to represent one inch. I chose the dimensions of the rectangle after seeing a consistent number of body blanks sold using these measurements. My next step was to scour the internet for body styles I liked, and mix and match until I had something I liked. I’m taking my time on this, and as I mentioned before, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I do want to make whatever I come up my own. I’m planning about 4 different styles and will pick one from this group. I may mix these styles up and create something else who knows? The idea here is build an instrument that I love to play and look upon for many years. The orignal walnut bass will not be thrown out, or burned, but will be fashioned into a clock I believe. I need one in my shop anyway.