Kill the Treble

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Blog series by thebenchroom updated 05-12-2012 02:50 PM 14 parts 35609 reads 12 comments total

Part 1: Killing the Treble

04-02-2012 11:10 AM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

“This blog is written on wordpress. In order to catch up my LJ version of this blog Ill be posting a good bit at once, I think about 13 posts, so that both blogs are on course with each other. I started the blog here on LJ and it was titled Bass Blog. Since there I revamped my bass guitar design, felt better about publicizing it progress. Please feel free to comment on either blog. The link to my other blog can be found on my LJ Homepage. for now it is www.the7thfret.wordpress.comHope ...

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Part 2: From the Yard...

04-02-2012 11:15 AM by thebenchroom | 1 comment »

This is how it begins…I’ve selected the mahogany, and the top plate of walnut. Today I spent the afternoon resawing, and jointing and general prep work necessary for a successful glue up. I found a piece of walnut with the most figure out of the stack I had to choose from. One of the most exciting moments in woodworking for me is opening up a freshly resawn plank. This piece of walnut once open showed the years of strain and struggle as a branch was extending from the trunk, just another ...

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Part 3: Body Building

04-02-2012 11:32 AM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

The mahogany core blank was removed from the clamps this morning and flattened and smoothed via a jack plane and a card scraper. The walnut back and face plates were edge joined also with the jack plane and now its time for the race against quick-setting strong adhesives. This is the body, that doesn’t look like a guitar body yet but pending a successful glue up we’ll see something that resembles a guitar in the next 48 hours.

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Part 4: Taking Shape Parts 1 & 2

04-02-2012 11:42 AM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

The bass guitar within…. With the body profile cut free from the waste, I began shaping the edges to reveal the contrast between the mahogany & walnut. I sketched some lines directly on the guitar body to guide me along.

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Part 5: Taking Shape Part 3

04-02-2012 11:55 AM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

In these next few posts you will see mulitple failures at creating a suitable neck blank. Not admitting failures is about as truthful as those fishing shows where they catch 90 fish in one hour. Just follow along… follow along… I’m entering even more into unknown with construction of the neck. The margin for error here is smaller than a cabinet or piece of furniture. I’m using ribbon striped mahogany, with a couple of strips of cherry for looks and added strength. Each glue...

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Part 6: Taking Shape Part 4

04-02-2012 12:00 PM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

I’m not into production work, and to me the phrase, ”one-at-a-time” means exactly that. Taking the time with hand tools means closer examination of the material, and the discovery of perfections, and imperfections. Machines certainly have a place, they are great for dimensioning wood from rough to usable, but nothing is quite like the human element of hand tools. However, dimensioning rough lumber with strictly the use of hand tools is draining, and time consuming. In my shop, hand tools ...

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Part 7: From the Neck Up Part 1

04-02-2012 12:05 PM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

…A delicate taper, multiple layers and precise dimensions=a standard guitar neck. With this being my first, the true test can’t be conducted until I’ve strung this puppy up, which will be once I’ve invested in pick-ups, wood for the finger board, and cut fret slots. I remind myself that I’m making considerably awesome time on making a string instrument that were just planks in a lumber yard barely a week ago. So now I must admit the first two attempts at a neck failed. Third time right? I...

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Part 8: From the Neck Up Part 2

04-02-2012 12:07 PM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

Since my last post, I thickness planed the peghead down to just under 5/8″. I’ll build it back up some with the headstock veneer, but this component has to be thinned to allow for the tuning machines to be installed. After much debate I settled on making a few pieces of walnut veneer to match up with the body. Splash but no clash. I had previously intended on using zebrawood, until a friend brought me to my senses. The zebrawood will have to wait for another bass down the road. What you s...

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Part 9: Prior Planning...

04-02-2012 12:09 PM by thebenchroom | 3 comments »

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...

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Part 10: Six Gun Guitars

04-02-2012 12:16 PM by thebenchroom | 3 comments »

I have to admit I was more than ready to accept my losses on the walnut bass that inspired this blog. My last post was a public recording of my first failure as a bass luthier. There has been a change in events that orchestrated by a luthier from Arizona named Brian Forbes. Brian has a website for his own work which can be found at He explained that my bass wasn’t meant to be a clock, and provided me with several different methods to correct my mistakes. So now the b...

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Part 11: Guitar Making; Tradition & Technology

04-03-2012 04:20 AM by thebenchroom | 4 comments »

I was alive in the forest I was cut by the cruel axe In life I was silent In death I sweetly sing -Inscription on the face frets of an Elizabethan lute I have a strong suspicion that I’m apart of a vast group of amateur luthiers who pay a daily tribute to the work of William R. Cumpiano & Jonathan D. Natelson. This book which has been accurately categorized as the “Bible of the craft” by none other than C.F. Martin IV, takes an eager mind through every aspect of guitar mak...

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Part 12: Affixing the Cat's Eye

04-06-2012 06:30 PM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

Walking around my bench more times than I remember puzzling over one of the coolest touches I’ve seen on a bass guitar. The “Cat’s Eye”, something I’ve only seen on basses made by Carl Thompson. I’m almost sure he invented this trick and if not the technique the name for sure. Unfortunately I hadn’t seen a cats eye until I had already begun shaping my bass and just in my general knowledge of woodworking, this is something that should be done before the rasp even comes out. I’m working a f...

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Part 13: The Cats Eye

04-06-2012 07:23 PM by thebenchroom | 1 comment »

Yesterday I had left a combination of wood glued onto the top horn of my bass, and wrote about the uncertainty I had attempting this technique. No practice run, with real bullets on my first try. The sequence of Maple veneer, Mascassar Ebony, Maple Veneer was shaped this morning and too my surprise it came out better than expected. I’ve attached the second eye that will cover the input jack, and with any luck it will come out like the first. Over the next few days I’ll be reassembling the...

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Part 14: The Radio Silence

05-12-2012 02:50 PM by thebenchroom | 0 comments »

The month of April has been a busy one to say the least. My “Real Daytime Job” has been very greedy with my time, and I’ve not had much of a chance to work with my bass. Once again the world of luthiery has thrown a curve ball. My first attempt was plagued with imperfections in profile, shapes/curves, wood selection and presence. Knowing myself as well as I hope, I cannot cope with the “It’ll have to do” attitude. One of the biggest eye sores was the shape of the top horn. Not long after my...

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