Kill the Treble #9: Prior Planning...

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Blog entry by thebenchroom posted 04-02-2012 12:09 PM 6530 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: From the Neck Up Part 2 Part 9 of Kill the Treble series Part 10: Six Gun Guitars »

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.

-- Twitter-@thebenchroom

3 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 04-02-2012 01:03 PM

Ouch. I hate it when things like that happen. That is how the walnut worked out on my occasional table…not quite right for the project….it all works out in the end though.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View thebenchroom's profile


47 posts in 2516 days

#2 posted 04-02-2012 02:14 PM

Agreed, just cant be too quick to throw in the towel.

-- Twitter-@thebenchroom

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2985 days

#3 posted 04-06-2012 07:31 PM

I actually cut up my first two guitars after a few years because they weren’t up to snuff (and because my wife didn’t want 15 guitars in the house), but they were great learning experiences and now my guitars (working on numbers 11 and 12 right now) turn out much much nicer.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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