Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

WATSON 5-string Double Cut (Serial 12B050)
Neck-through construction
.
Call
951-468-4004 or email us here!

   
Materials: Top: Purpleheart Core: Wenge and Purpleheart laminates
Fingerboard: Purpleheart
Pickups: Watson Hot Singles
Electronics: Audere 4-band (3 stacked knobs - vol/bal, lomid/himid, treb/bass)
Hardware: Black single string retainers. Black tuners.
Bridge/Tuners

ABM @ 17.5mm string spacing

Options: 33 - 31" multi scale
Finish: Polyester Resin gloss
Other: Traditional headstock - logo on cavity cover

This bass will be 5-string beauty. We decided it should be a multi-scale instrument - but not too long in the neck, so scale lengths are between 33" and 31". We're building this bass with a traditional headstock. So far the bass is a very comfortable shape and size and it will definitely look impressive when it is complete.


Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.
(6/22/17) Left: Text and pictures coming. (7/22/17) Right: I took the bass to my trusted finisher so hat we can get a beautiful surface finish applied to the instrument and its cover plates. I hit him at a busy time but hopefully not too long tillwe are done!
Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.

Highslide JS
Nice looking figure in the purpleheart.
(5/29/17) Left: This photo shows the character of the wood, it's a very nice piece of purpleheart and I can't wait to see it with its finish applied. (6/12/17) Right: Text and pictures coming.
Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.

Highslide JS
Enlarged the back relief a bit.
(5/9/17) Left: After some inspection I decided to take a little more material off the back relief of the bass just to make it a little more body-contoured and comfortable. (5/18/17) Right: More wsanding and smoothing of the edges and sides so that the bass is closer to being ready for finishing. Will need to protect fibers also.
Highslide JS
Ongoing sanding getting things ready for finishing.

Highslide JS
Maing sure covers fit properly.
(4/7/17) Left: I'm fitting the two covers so that their top faces are adequately flush to the bass surface and that they are seated solid and flat in their recesses. (4/23/17) Right: Down to the finer sanding grits - with a purpleheart instrument I need to make sure the color regenerates after sanding so taking a little at a time.
Highslide JS
Later stages of sanding using finer grits.

Highslide JS
All 8 height adjustment holes have been established.
(3/8/17) Left: I finally managed to get the adjustment holes and counterbores cut into the pickup covers. They are now sanded and are ready for finishing. Photo taken before counterbores. (3/15/17) Right: Our finished and sanded truss rod cover which also becomes part of the package going to finishing. The bass will look awesome.
Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.

Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.
(2/20/17) Left: Sanding continues - mostly in the hard to reach areas where I have to use smaller files and get in there with my fingers and sandpaper.(2/28/17) Right: Just finished filing and dressing both ends of all of the frets to finish them off. I don't like to do this job post-finishing so I wanted to get that out of the way now!
Highslide JS
Sanding some of the nooks and crannies typical of any bass. Purpleheart takes longer because it's so hard.

Highslide JS
Program is ready for cutting the pickups.
(2/5/17) Left: I created a program that will allow me to get the pickup covers machined out prior to going to finishing. They wil be run soon on the CNC machine. (2/11/17) Right: I am now machining out the insides of both the pickups to accommodate the pickup bobbins and more immdiately, to have them ready for finishing!
Highslide JS
Cutting out the inssides of the pickup covers.

Highslide JS
Colors are in - we'll see how this looks when the final finish is on - so far so good though!.
(1/19/17) Left: I coated the cavity cover with a diluted shellac as I don't want the inlay solution to bleed into the wood. I'm now adding the tri-colored fill to the artwork! (1/29/17) Right: I cleaned up all the edges on the pickup covers and I'm writing a CNC program that will allow me to machine out the inside geometry for pickup bobbins.
Highslide JS
Pickups are ready for machining.

Highslide JS
Got control and battery cavity covers pretty much sanded and ready for the finishing process.
(1/8/17) Left: I have been working on getting the two cavity covers thicknessed and fitted into their recesses. I am now sanding them ready for finishing (1/15/17) Right: This is the control cavity cover into which I burned the water droplet art. Before this part goes to finishing I am going to add some color fill to it.
Highslide JS
Water droplet art burned into control cavity cover.

Highslide JS
Cavity covers ready for finishing.

(12/21/16) Left: Working on the two cavity covers to get them to the perfect fitted thickness. I will be adding a graphic inlay to one of them. (12/29/16) Right: I'm just done with machining the know holes and recesses. They are in pretty typical locations bearing in mind I have a bunch of fiber optic cables inside to navigate round!

Highslide JS
SHoles and counterbores done for control knobs.

Highslide JS
Started on arm relief - will get it smoothed out soon.
(12/9/16) Left: I roughed out the arm relief for the bass today - always a good feature to make playing the instrument more comfortable.! (12/15/16) Right: This is a better image of the arm relief after a good amount of sanding had taken place. I have also sanded the headstock area and the back of the neck.
Highslide JS
Most of arm relief done.

Highslide JS
Working on the cavity covers.
(11/24/16) Left: I'm working on the two cavity covers to get them prepped fopr the finishing process. They were cut from the parent material so grains match! (12/2/16) Right: I created the serial number on the laser and fit it into the slot in the battery cavity. One more job taken care of. Now back to work on the body to get it ready.
Highslide JS
Got the serial number fitted into the instrument.

Highslide JS
Clamping the headstock plate onto the headstock.
(11/10/16) Left: I added a maple veneer on the bottom face of the headstock plate. The truss rod cover was cut out on the CNC and now I can glue the rest of the plate onto the instrument. (11/21/16) Right: Faceplate on headstock and I have now drilled the through holes for the tuners. Some final shaping to do.
Highslide JS
Headstock almost finished, just needs some final shaping and sanding work.

Highslide JS
Cutting th erecess for the output jack assembly.
(11/1/16) Left: Time to get the socket for the neutrik output jack assembly cut. I first cut a through hole into the cavity, then cut the rectangular recess. (11/3/16) Right: This is the completed recess for the output assembly. I am also working on the headplate area and also refining the neck profile and thickness. Lots going on!
Highslide JS
Finished the Neutrik output recess.

Highslide JS
Purpleheart headplate ready for some final work.
(10/24/16) I found a nice piece of figured Purpleheart that matched the top of the bass and I rough cut it for use as the headstock veneer. I then sanded it both sides on the drum sander until I achieved the correct thickness. I can now refine the shape much closer to the actual headstock and then add a decorative veneer onto the bottom. When that's done I will cut out the truss rod access cover from the parent material and fit the main part onto the headstock.

Highslide JS
Everything is done in the battery cavity except installing the serial number tag.
(10/20/16) I machined out the battery compartment and in the same process I decided to also cut two little counterbores for the magnets that will be holding the lid onto the instrument and also the slot into which I will place the serial number tag. I'm happt to get these machining operations done and I am now moving to the headstock where I will be adding a purpleheart faceplace incorporating the truss rod access cover.

Highslide JS
Setting up to cut the battery cavity.
(10/15/16) The bass is now up on my CNC to get its battery cavity machined out. It will require batteries for the fiber optics and the preamp so I will be machining out the required space in the body and in doing so I will machine into the wiring channel I machined in the top of the body surface before the top plate was glued on. I will follow up on this setup by doing another to establish the recess for the Neutrik locking jack socket.

Highslide JS
Attaching ameplate to the instrument.
(10/7/16) The nameplate has been cleaned up and is now in the process of being attached to the instrument. I had to use both epoxy and wood glue in this joint to make sure it was clean and solid and any voids around the fiber optics was filled. Now that this is done I will move to getting the headplate completed and machining out the battery compartment on the back of the bass. I have pickups in the works too so everyuthing moving along!

Highslide JS
Using powdered gemstones to create and attractive and colorful inlay.
(10/1/16) I am pioneering a new inlay procedure on this bass by using Powdered Gemstones. I am using three different colors which I have blended into the little nameplate and I am now waiting for the compond to fully harden. Once it does I will file and scrape the filled surface back to the original level and we should have a very unique and attractive inlay to show off! All being well, I will get this piece attached to the instrument and move on!

Highslide JS
Pickups being worked on to complete.
(9/27/16) Not the most complimentary photo but these pickup covers are the same beautiful purpleheart as the top plate on the body - they just now need some sanding on tops and around the sides and then I will flip them upside down and machine out most of the interior material to accommodate the pickup bobbins that will be fitted inside each of them. I want to have these and the cavity covers ready when bass goes to final finishing!

Highslide JS
Logo nameplate cut and engraved.
(9/24/16) I put a coat of shellac mixed with denatured alcohol onto the little plate so that I sealed the grain a little before I started adding inlay material. This guarantees that I don't get any unwanted bleed from adhesives or inlay compounds. I'm going to finish the inlay and get the top surface flat before I fix it onto the body of the instrument. Should look quite nice when it's done and I may use the same technique elsewhere on the bass.

Highslide JS
Logo nameplate cut and engraved.
(9/20/16) This is the nameplate at the end of the fingerboard. I need to shape it and fit it a little but it will do it's job nicely. Before I fix it in place I am going to coat it with a sealer and fill the engraved area with some ground gemstone - possibly a blend of maybe three colors. This will be a first for me in the inlay department but I bought the materials and they have a great deal of potential so I am going to try them out! More on this soon!

Highslide JS
Making a lottle Logo cover plat for the top of the instrument.
(9/16/16) I want to put a small purpleheart plate at the end of the fingerboard so that I can include the brand name and also create a little protection for the area where the fiber optics have exited the fingerboard and are fairly near the surface at the exit point. I will cut the Watson logo in and perhaps fill it with colored powdered gemstones which I may also use on other areas of this bass project. It should be a nice addition to the overall effect.

Highslide JS
Working on the "belly cut" and then the edge radii.
(9/11/16) I started the belly-cut on the bass today to see how it will look against the geometry of the back of the bass. I want to make the instrument as comfortable to wear as possible sso I removed enough material to get a feel for that and will now go ahead and establish some of the radious edge breaks around the back of the body. This will give me a better feel for how much more material I can remove and make it fit just right.

Highslide JS
Wrapping up the outside sanding process. That purpleheart is hard on my sanding cylinders!
(9/5/16) Just about complete on the perimeter. I took a little heavier anmount off around the back of the body not only to comply with the template we started with but to remove some material that was simply adding mass to the body. Right now I am finishing up but getting into those hard to reach area under the two horns. Next ops will be to cut the recess for the jack socket and create a small nameplate for the end of the neck area.

Highslide JS
Sanding the perimeter of the body on the spindle sander.
(8/31/16) I finished machining the second pickup cavity so that I could get this instrument off the CNC amd make room for the next job. I am now spindle sanding my way around the body to blend together the top plate and the body perimeter. Once I feel like I have finalized the contour I can start working towards the sanding process which in turn gets the bass ready for its finishing process. Bass looks and feels good right now!

Highslide JS
One of the pickups has been completely cut - now on to the other one.
(8/27/16) This is the first of the two pickup holes being machined. I first rough the area out slightly undersize to the full depth, and then run a second program which I can customize on the machine to clean up very closely to the geometry of the existing holes in the top plate. Takes a little longer but I prefer the guaranteed results! I will move on to the second hole which has a very slightly different geometry due to the multiscale configuration.

Highslide JS
Setting up for cutting pickup cavities.
(8/26/16) I had an opportunity to get another task onto the CNC today and decided it would be very useful to get the pickup recesses cut on this bass so that I am a couple of steps closer to a finished product! Because they are angled the setup and initial running of the program require some extra time just to make sure everything aligns perfectly and we get a good clean match between the holes in the top and the recesses we will be cutting.

Highslide JS
Refining the neck profile by removing more material.
(8/21/16) I still had a good amount of extra material on the back of the neck so after giving the bass a close neck inspection I went ahead and removed quite a bit off the neck profile and the general area between the neck and body. I am now fairly close to a working thickness and profile and the ongoing neck work will have to be done by files and sanders as we bring it down to the point where it feels right. Getting rid of that material also helps reduce weight!

Highslide JS
Top plate attached - moving on to the next thing!.
(8/18/16) Top of the bass is now firmly attached. It's hard to see through the vacuum press bag to tell what the actual joint looks like during clamping but now that I have the bass on the bench I can see everything went well despite having some pretty tight space to deal with where the fibers and the top plate met. I'm happy with the results and anxious to get moving on sanding and filing around the perimeter to finalize the body contour.

Highslide JS
Top is being glued on in the vacuum press.
(8/12/16) I dedicated a morning to getting this instrument's top glued on. The setup was hard because I needed a precise mixture of special epoxy for some of the area and at the same time wood glue to take care of all the wood-to-wood areas. Both had to be applied at the same time and to the best of my judgment in sufficient quantities to fill additional space inside which I can't see. It's now up to the Guitar Gods to determine how this comes out!

Highslide JS
Top plate and body have been prepared for the gluing process in the vacuum press.
(8/9/16) I have filled, packed and potted all the voids around the fiber optics in the body and under the fingerboard and also have carefully carved away all the necessary clearance under the top plate so that it can sit in place without interfering with the bundle of cables we have been working on. I am now in a place where I can get the top glued on so I have prepped both components for the gluing process and will set it all up in the vacuum press!

Highslide JS
Ready for gluig the top - yeay!.
(8/2/16) Final test fit for the top plate. I wanted to make sure all the packing under the fibers that I had just done did not intrude on the clearances I had filed into the top plate. The gluing of the top onto the body will be a little tricky. I have to employ wood glue to the wood-to-wood surfaces (most of it) but also use my aerospace grade epoxy in the area where I have used epoxy based adhesives. It will take a little setup but should work out fine!

Highslide JS
Spent some time removing a lot of the material from the back of the neck.
(7/28/16) Today the bass got exposed to some significant material removal. I wanted to get the neck profile ground down much closer to a finished size and shape so I did all the roughing work that took it to a condition where I can now refine it a bit with files and sanders. Instrument feels noticeably lighte having done this! I am more or less ready to attach the top - I'm just filling the last of the voids under the fingerboard and then I can start gluing!

Highslide JS
Packing the internal space below the bundle of fiber optics with an epoxy/filler compound so that there is no space for unwated movement of fibers.
(7/23/16) Although this photo does not really tell us much about what's going on, the work that you can't see is significant. In the process of getting the fibers bent down from the fingerboard to the body I have to remove material to make space. Before I attach the fingerboard I have to fill that space to guarantee stability for the fibers. I mix a special epoxy with a filler material that allows me to pack these voids. Almost done with that.

Highslide JS
Also there with fitting the top plate - delicate work.
(7/17/16) I'm progressively removing material to get this top to fit under the fingerboard.I have been doing this very carefully but I did realize that this area is also where I am going to place my Watson Guitars logo so I do have some flexibility in clearing the purpleheart to clear the highest area of the group of fiber optics. I'm almost there - probably about 1/8 of an inch more and I will be there! Once this is fitted I'm gluing it on so that I can finish this bass!

Highslide JS
Working on the back of the top plate so I can get it fitted.
(7/11/16) This is the back surface of the top plate where I am busy grinding away at the end where the fingerboard meets the body. I need to remove enough material to clear the fiber optics at the point where the top plate in its final location but not remove so much that any of this is visible on the finished product. The end of the top plate extends under the fingerboard to the 24th fret so I do have a little latitude - it's tricky but I'll get there!

Highslide JS
Potting complete - now to get top plate ready to attach.
(7/8/16) Just back from a trip! With the exception of some filling under the fingerboard itself I consider the potting of the fiber optics complete and that in turn allows me to get the top glued on. I will have to do some carving under the front end of the top plate to make sure there is relief for the fibers that leave the fingerboard and curve down toward the body. Once that is carved and I'm certain no pressure is put on the bundled cables, the top goes on!

Highslide JS
Almost done with the potting process in the body of the bass.
(6/10/16) I have been addinglayers of high viscose epoxy and filler into the space below the fibers where they exit the fingerboard and along the channel in which they are embedded through to the control cavity. I think I will only need one more application of this to consider the area safely potted and I can then move on to getting the top plate attached to the instrument which will initially involve some carving to allow space for fibers.

Highslide JS
Fiber optic cables have been glued hrough to control cavity.
(6/5/16) This is the bass after all the fiber optic cables have been secured through to the control cavity. I have also clipped them to a consistent length so that they sit comfortable inside the cavity. They will be shortened when we connedt LEDs. I now have to add some potting filler which will create a solid state condition encasing and stabilizing all the fibers and giving me a nice flat surface on which I will be gluing the top plate.

Highslide JS
Fiber optic cabled finally routed through the instrument.
(5/29/16) The fiber optic cable installation is almost done. Quite a big job to get all these cables bent and secured together and run through the channel in the body. I'm glad to say all the fiber optic cables are now routed from the fingerboard through he body to the control cavity - it wasn't an easy job! Now I can mix up some potting epoxy and secure these filaments in a solid state condition so that they are stable and secure. Top goes on soon!

Highslide JS
Getting started gluing the fiber optic cables into the body recess.
(5/17/16) I am now in the process of carefully bending the fiber optic cables and then gluing them into the recess that leads through to the control cavity. You can only do this one or maybe two fibers at a time because the require such careful handling. I bend the fibers with a very small amount of heat, which has taken me many moths to perfect. Once they are all in place I will pot them in with a special resin so that everything is "solid-state"

Highslide JS
Fingerboatd attached - now for those pesky fiber optics.
(5/11/16) This is how the bass looks after the glue set and the rubber bands and clamps were removed. I also spent a little time cleaning up the glue the inevitably seeped out while everything was under clamping pressure. Now we have something that looks much more like areal bass guitar. The urgent task now is to get all these stray fiber optic cables carefully routed through the body and into the control cavity. Easier said than done!

Highslide JS
Gluing the fingerboard onto the neck.
(5/8/16) Gluing of the fingerboard is going well and we now have to start work on the fiber optic cables with the goal of getting them all threaded through to the control cavity and potted into the body structure so that they are completely potted in to the recess and therefore well protected from any possible damage caused by movement. I like the cables to be solid-state so I don't have to worry about them. Looking good so far - onward and upward!

Highslide JS
Setting up to attach the fingerboard onto the neck.
(5/3/16) It's time now to get the fingerboard glued onto the neck of the bass. I have to do some pretty careful alignment to make sure the board is accurately positioned on the neck blank. I am using a network of rubber bands to apply a constant and even pressure to hold the joint faces together. The adhesive I am using will also bleed into any remaining gaps around the fiber optics so that everything will end up very solid and strong. Ready to go!

Highslide JS
FO Cables are now all safely installed and I'm preparing the fingerboard for assembly onto the neck of the bass.
(4/24/16) We are now done with the installation of the set of fiber optic cables and my current goal is to secure the under-surface and make sure all the gaps between wood and cables are potted so that there are no gaps and everything is solid-state. When all this is done I will be gluing the fingerboard onto the neck. The darker purple is just adhesive having seeped through the final wood layer on the joint side. Next is gluing to the neck!

Highslide JS
Just about done with the last wto fiber optic cables.
(4/16/16) Almost done with the addition of the two replacement fibers. I will pot them in and get everything perpared for assembly onto the neck again - this time everything should be fine. Once the fingerboard is on I will also be able to get the top plate on and those two operations will make a really big difference to the appearance of this instrument. I'm also working on the pickup covers and getting those ready for pickup bobbins.

Highslide JS
Re-gluing a couple of replacement fibers into the fingerboard.
(4/14/16) After having cut new channels for the replacement fibers I am now in the process if installing these so I can get this fingerboard completed! As always I am being careful with handling and clamping but I am sure all will be well. I have everything already set up for gluing the board onto the neck as soon as this task is completed. Once the fingerboard is on I have to coax these fibers through the body to the control cavity.

Highslide JS
Have to run two replacement fibers as I has poor results from F1 and F3 for no apparent reason.
(4/11/16) Sometimes strange stuff happens. I was all ready to glue the fingerboard onto the neck and I thought I shoul djust check the fiber optics before I commit, because there's no going back from this step. In testing them all I fould that the lights on frets 1 and 3 didn't work as expected. They could have conceivably suffered handling damage but I am always super careful with these things. Net result I have to run two new ones :-(

Highslide JS
Doing som etest fitting to make sure the surfaces to be glued fit well together.
(4/4/16) I am now fitting the fingerboard and neck together. It requires a little grinding and shaping to make absolutely sure that nothing is in the way or putting pressure on the fiber optic cables. After a few test fits I shoul dget to the point where I'm sure both parts are snug together and I'll go ahead and get these glued together. Once that's securely attached I still have the challenge of routing all these fiber optics through the body to the control cavity.

Highslide JS
Veneer on successfully and now getting things prepared for assembly onto the body.
(3/26/16) This is how I always hope the fiber optic installations come out. This one is nice and clean and flat and pretty much ready to go on to the neck of the bass. I need to clean up the edges of the veneer around the board and then test fit everything onto the instrument itself so that I am sure there is no interference between the parts. Once I am satisfied with that I will mic the glue and get the board glued and clamped into position.

Highslide JS
Gluing fingerboard and finishing veneer together..
(3/21/16) The potting of all the wires below the fingerboard was a little time consuming but it is now done and I have crafted the last veneer to fit just right on the now flat bottom surface. I had to rig up a fixture that would hold the board tightly onto the veneer while gluing but also provide relief for the fairly fragile collection of carbon fiber cables extending out from the end. I'm a gluing using a slow-setting aerospace epoxy so I get a nice solid joint.

Highslide JS
Fiber optics installed and potted in - now adding a final veneer on the bottom.
(3/2/16) I have been buried in the process of installing all the fiber optic cables and then potting the spaces around them to create a solid state condition for the whole recesses area under the fingerboard. It was a lot of painstaking work but we will have some awesome lights on the fingerboard as a result. My next task is to attach a white veneer which will seal everything up and give me s surface I can check and adjust for final flatness.

Highslide JS
All cables are installed, now to make everything fit prior to gluing fingerboard onto neck.
(2/18/16) All the fiber optic cables are now installed under the fingerboard and my next challenge will be to pot any open spaces between the fibers, then make sure I have a flat surface on the underside. Once that is taken care of I will do some carving to hand-fit the group of cables exiting from the fingerboard and into the body. When I am happy with that fit I will glue the fingerboard onto the neck, sit down and have a large Margarita :-)

Highslide JS
Almost at the end of the gluing process.
(2/19/16) We're almost there! It goes slowly because it's only practical to install and glue one fiber at a time and in between doing that there are gluing tasks to attach the fibers to the plate and also a separate process of potting the remainig space with a different type of adhesive. Anyway - the good news is I think there's only three more cables to go and I can move ahead! I want to get the fingerboard on so that I can do other related work.

Highslide JS
More fiber optic cables going in - slow and tedious.
(2/10/16) Back at the fibers again. I have to work a little in order to get them comfortably through the metal sleeves, so some careful filing hads to be done for each one - I also have to gently bend most of them using my heat gun on low. Nevertheless it's moving along - once I clamp a fiber I have to wait until the adhesive is set to start on the next one. No problems so far and if I'm careful all will be well. They'd look good as purple lights!

Highslide JS
Headstock has been shaped closer to finished profile.
(2/6/16) The headstock area has been sanded back and front and I have also marked out the profile with my template and cut and sanded the edges closer to the finished size. I'm leaving a little extra all around for two reasons. One is that string spacing for a 5 string is a tiny bit narrower than standard by my customer's request so I want to leave final sizing till fingerboard is on. Also - I have never fitted a standard headstock to a multiscale yet!

Highslide JS
More work going on with the fiber optic cables - they need careful handling!.
(1/27/16) I'm back on the fiber optic task again. These are relatively fragil and never want to co-operate so I have to gently negotiate them into the channels and make then stay there while the adhesive sets. Occasionally I will heat the cables to get them round the corners without having too much internal stress inside the fiber. I have to do them one at a time because I only have two arms and limited patience! So far so good though!

Highslide JS
Preparation of the headstock for cutting closer to finished size and also the headplate which will be attached to it.
(1/19/16) I have to get this neck ready for the fingerboard going on which means doing some preparation to the headstock. I sanded toe top surface down smooth since I will be attaching a purpleheart headplate onto that surface. Now that I have a flat smooth joint face I'm going to rough saw the headstock shape and finish it off with the spindle sander. It's just easier to do this and a few other tasks before the fingerboard goes on!

Highslide JS
Started working on the installation of the fiber optics.
(1/11/16) Got started on the installation of the fiber optic cables. The first two have been insterted through the support tuibing and glued in at that end. I can't glue them at the other end until I have them all installed but it's great to get this started because it's a big time-consuming job I want to get out of the way!! As soon as this is done I will be looking at getting the fingerboard attached to the neck portion of the body assembly.

Highslide JS
I have now installed support tubing for the ends of the fiber optic cabling.
(1/2/16) This photo shows the side of the fingerboard after I have installed tubing to support the ends of the fiber optic cables. The tubing also serves as a visible marker for when the lights are not illuminated because the fiber cables look dark when they are un-lit. These rings provide and interesting side dot effect against the black ebony fingerboard. I am ready to get started soon on the installation of the f/o cables.

Highslide JS
Doing some final machining work to the back of the fingerbpard before fiber optics go in..
(12/12/15) Before I start adding fiber optic cables to this assembly I decided to machine the end of the fingerboard to the finished angle. This would be hard to do after all the cables are inserted. I now have to complete the installation of support sleeves and the cables that run under the fingerboard. When that's done the top and the fingerboard can be assembled onto the body. I'm anxious to get to that stage and get this beauty finished up!

Highslide JS
This is the back of the fingerboard after some fairly involved work on the back side.
(11/28/15) Over the last several days I have been working on getting the fiber optic channels established. In this particular case, because the fingerboard was bound on the outsides and I earlier chose to do the binding a little oversize, I was able to create some thin wood insert material and actually cut the pattern on the laser. I then took all the components I cut and instered them in the right order. I'm now ready to drop in the inserts along the side.

Highslide JS
Some of the vector drawing work I needed to do before machining for the fiber optic cables.
(11/2/15) I spent a little time on the computer to establish the best pattern for the fiber optic cables to run from the side dot positions out to the back of the fingerboard. Based on this I will create a combined recess shape that I will then program for the CNC using a small (probably .062) end mill. This will allow me to machine all the channels in one pocket machining operation. Once that is done the fibers can be glued in and potted!

Highslide JS
Fingerboard taken off its support material so that I can start working on the back side where we will be installing fiber optic cables.
(10/23/15) I have removed the fingerboard from its substrate so that I can get access to the underside. I worked on the fret ends and the binding to make sure everthing was in goo d condition. While I had it in this condition I wanted to take a quick photo of the board on the neck of the bass. It looks realkly nice even in its current unfinished condition. Next task is going to be making a fixture that will facilitate adding the channels for the fiber optics.

Highslide JS
I will be using some miniature tubing as sleeves to house the ends of the fiber optic cables.
(10/11/15) After experimenting with a few different options I was able to locate some miniature aluminum tubing that snugly fits the side dot holes and, as luck would have it, has a core diameter that works well with the fiber optic cable size. When I am installing the cables themselves I will feed the FO through this tubing which will be pressed and glued into the side of the fingerboard. I am pretty sure this will work quite well in this instrument.

Highslide JS
Holes for fiber optic side dots have been established.
(9/26/15) The holes in the sides of the fingerboard have now been drilled and I can now get ready to install the set of fiber optic cables that need to be nested underneath the fingerboard. I need to locate some sleeve material that will house the ends of the fiber optic cables as they exit the board, and also provide a contrasting ring around the fiber optic end (which is always dark when not illuminated) so that the dits can be seen when lights are off!

Highslide JS
Drilling holes for side dots which will have fiber optic lighting.
(9/23/15) My next task on this bass is to get the fiber optic installation started. First step in that process is to drill holed in the side of the fingerboard for the fret markers. They need to be very slightly oversized so that I can install a small piece of miniature tubing that will in turn hold the fiber optic cable. I have all the materials on hand so I am going to drill out all the holes and get this fingerboard ready for the next stage which is fiber optic installation.

Highslide JS
Sanding and shaping being done on the back of the bass.
(9/12/15) Bass is getting some sanding and shaping while I prepare the fingerboard for fiber optic channeling. When that's done this bass will be much closer to completion! I have the top plate ready to go on and I have the pickups being assembled. Pickup covers have some sanding but are also ready for action as soon as the rest of the bass gets to that point. I will be posting pictures of the pickup assemblies soon and fiber optic setup.

Highslide JS
Marking out the area on teh body where I will need a channel for fiber optic cables.
(8/27/15) This image shows the completed fiber optic recess cut into the instrument. Good to have this done and I can now focus on the fingerboard. This channel will allow the fiber optics to run from the back of the fingerboard around the neck pickup to the control cavity. Next step will be to channel the underside of the fingerboard to accommodate the fibers as they run from each side dot along the neck to the body end.

Highslide JS
Marking out the area on teh body where I will need a channel for fiber optic cables.
(8/24/15) This is the bass set up on the CNC for the removal of some internal body material through which I will be running a cluster of fiber optic cables. The recess is designes to minimize tight bends of the FO cables. While this is going on I have been preparing the back of the fingerboard for the installation of the cables. If I time things correctly I will soon be able to glue both the fingerboard and the top onto the instrument in obe big operation!

Highslide JS
Marking out the area on teh body where I will need a channel for fiber optic cables.
(8/11/15) I am now marking out the area of the body i will need to channel out to make room for the fiber optic cables. This will all exist under the top plate but it can't interfere with the pickup holes or the wiring channels. Fiber Optic cables don't really like to be bent to more than a modest radius so I will make sure that everything is mapped out first, and from that I will create a machining program to create the channel. More photos will clarify.

Highslide JS
This gluing operqation is to secure the fingerboard for the drilling of the side-dot sleeve holes.
(8/3/15) Another gluing operation required, this time to secure the fingerboard to a straight edge so that I can machine in the side-dot holes that will accommodate special sleeves that in turn will hold the fiber optic cables. I have to secure the board to a straight and rigid surface because of the accuracy I will need to employ in drilling the side dot holes in exactly the right locations. This will make that job a little easier!

Highslide JS
Gluing a very thin addition below the fingerboard that will safely hold the fiber optic cable assembly.
(7/26/15) I have created a thin wooden membrane which I am now attaching to the base surface of the fingerboard. This will allow me to house the fiber optic cables coming from each of the side dots and running down to the base of the neck. When this is complete I will set the fingerboard up on a fixture on the CNC and establish all the side dot holes. I will be inserting sleeves in those side dot holes to house the exposed ends of the fiber optic cables.

Highslide JS
Fiber optics are going to be installed next - this is part of a complex F/O retainer system I'm building.
(7/19/15) This photo does not really show anything inspiring but the material inside the vacuum press is very significant. I need to find a quick and efficient way toadd chambering under the fingerboard for the channels that will house the fiber optic cables. I am gluing a layer of wood together that I will cut to precise sizes on the laser. This will be an insert I will use under the fingerboard to create space for the fiber optics. More details to follow..

Highslide JS
Finally got the frets in - tough job.
(7/11/15) Frets are all in - although I have to say this was the most difficult fretting job I have ever done! Nevertheless, everything is done and I am moving ahead now to the machining that will be needed for the fiber optic cables which will run along the bottom of the fingerboard. I have some vector drawings I just did on my computer which will translate into a set of toolpaths for the cutting of the relief area inside which the fibers will run.

Highslide JS
Back of headstock almost done.
(6/29/15) Ongoing work on the headstock area. Getting much closer on the back geometry. It took quite a bit of carving as the purpleheart is very hard. I used an electric carving tool to get close,. then an assortment of files and finally sandpaper. As always - there is no substitute for sandpaper. Still have a little ways to go but all the hard stuff is now done! Headstock will ultimately be cut a little smaller than you see in the photo.

Highslide JS
Trickt fretting job - but I have 12 out of 24 installed.
(6/25/15) Thurns out this fretting job is a lot of work. The fret preparation has to be done fairly carefully because although the tangs are snipped, the underside and tand ends have to be carefully filed to sviod ridges and any distortion on the tang. Also - since the wire is bent and straightens out a little bit on installation, I have to allow a little extra space for that tang to expand and not put outward pressure on the binding!

Highslide JS
Rough shaping the headstock area.
(6/21/15) While a few other tasks are going on I neded to get some work done on the headstock of the bass. First task here is some rough shaping to create the volute that gives extra strength to the area between the headstock and the neck. I'm leveling everything to the surface I machined earlier and then when the rough grinding is done I will sand everything down to the finished size. I have the tuners to I can get the holes drilled too!

Highslide JS
First of the frets went in well after a lot of preparation work.
(6/14/15) I worked on 48 fret ends and snipped off the tangs and filed the little surface underneath so that it was perectly flat on each one. I was anxious after all that to see how the frets went in so I tired the first one. You have to be careful with the initial alignment but the fret went in and seated very well. Looks nice and clean so I'm going to move ahead with the other 23. Once they are all in i will clean them flush and dress them.

Highslide JS
Had to find a tool that clips off the fret tangs so that I could install frets on a fingerboard that has binding attached.
(6/8/15) I had to get hold of a special tool for this project. Because our fingerboard is bound, it changes the procedure for fret installation. Each of the frets has to be cut (already done) and then prepped at the ends. They can be a little oversize in length but not much. Then I have to remove the tang of the fret at each end to clear the binding. Only then can I install. This tool is designed to clip off the fret tang at either end.

Highslide JS
Ready to get the frets trimmed and installed in the fingerboard.
(6/3/15) Next step in this process is to get the frets installed. I don't want to work on the fiber optics without having these in the board first. The fingerboard is bound so it is necessary for me to trim each of the frets by rmoving part of the tang at each end. This allows the fret to sit tightly in the slot and the ends of the fret to overlap to teh edge of the binding. A little more labor intensive but it really is a nice look on the finished product!

Highslide JS
Binding has been attached and machined to size.
(5/5/15) THis is the ebony binding after the secondary machining was done. The binding thickness is 2mm along both edges. I now need to prepare the ends of the fretwire I have already bent and cut. Once thet is done I need to remove part of the fret tang at each end. The frets have to be cleaned up and cut to their finished size prior to installation. It will take a little care and I will be glad when they are all installed!!

Highslide JS
Another operation to get an even layer of binding attached to the fingerboard.
(4/29/15) In this photo I am doing some final machining to aallow me to install the binding that my customer wants along the edges of the fingerboard. The two ebony strips that will end up being the binding are ready to be attached. I have cut two slots along the edges for the binding, and I'm now ready to glue the slightly oversize binding in place. When the glue is set I will then remachine the edges of the fingerboard to the finished size.

Highslide JS
Neck is set up in CNC so I can take care of fingerboard binding.
(4/27/15) Next thing I have to get done is cut the sides of the fingerboard so that I can add the dark binding along the edges. I need to set the fingerboard up level and square in the vices and then carefully measure the width at each end. I will then remove about .060-.080" from each edge and attach the binding. When the binding is secure I will re-run the CNC to re-establish the finish outside edge and we can move on.

Highslide JS
All the frets are cut for the fingerboard.
(4/23/15) In an effort to keep things moving ahead on this project I went ahead and cut all the frets that I will need for the fingerboard. I'll need to individually dress these to length and relieve the tang at both ends due to the fact that the fingerboard will be bound. Each fret will have to be a custom fit. Nice to have them rough cut though, I'll clean up one end of them all first and then dress them individually to match fingerboard width.

Highslide JS
dark binding for fingerboard machined and ready to be attached.
(4/20/15) Feels good to be moving on this project - I machined a very clean joint face and then sawed off two strips that will serve as the fingerboard binding. I have a very accurate straight edge on each which will be glued onto the edges of the fingerboard. First I have to get the board up on the CNC and trim both edges down a little so that when I clean up the ebony binding we are back to the same physical size at both ends.

Highslide JS
Getting ready to cut some Asian Ebony for fingerboard binding.
(4/18/15) I have some nice dark Asian Ebony in my shop and since my customer wants the fingerboard to be bound in a dark wood, this stuff should do the trick nicely. Now is the time to get the binding done as I'll be adding the frets very soon. I'll cut a couple of thin strips from the material shown and machine the edges of the existing board so that they will fit on the sides. One that's done I'll trim back to finished size.

Highslide JS
Changed plans for the bass so now starting work on binding the fingerboard.
(4/14/15) Change of plan after some consultation with my customer. We were goint to have a pattern of raindrops and ripples all over the fingerboard, but ultimately decided that the woods are too pretty to cover with inlay so we are moving the inlay artwork to the body and leaving the front face of the fingerboard untouched to show off the figure in the wood. This allows me to proceed to the binding process and then fiber-optics

Highslide JS
Powdered gemstones for the fingerboard inlay.
(2/3/15) I'm jumping ahead here a little bit but I just received in the mail my powdered gemstones which I will be using for the rather intricate inlay details on the fingerboard. I have heard good things about these products and my initial test with the powders are quite encouraging. I can now proceed with the work that I will be doing on the fingerboard artwork and once I have burned the details into the board I will add the color using these powders.

Highslide JS
Control cavity has been cut out.
(10/18/14) My customer and I have been discussing the inlay on this bass in some detail. We will be featuring raindrops and ripples and have spend a little time getting the artwork designed and arranged so that it will look its best on the actual neck of the instrument. The detail in the riplles is fairly intense and I am currently looking at the best and most reliable way of introducting the shell and reflective colors into the recesses!

Highslide JS
Gluing the previously harvested pickup tops to base material.
(5/26/14) It's a little hard to see in this picture what is actually going on. I took the two harvested pieces I cut from the top plate for continuous grain pickup covers and I am now gluing those onto walnut blocks so that I can create the rest of the pickup bodies and have them machined and ready for the pickups we will be winding. As soon as the glue has set I will trim the edges and machine them to the correct thickness.

Highslide JS
Planning out the areas where I can do a little weight relief.
(5/2/14) I am doing some careful calculations on the body of the instrument so that I can do a little internal weight relief in a few non-critical areas. Interestingly enough, despite the use of the purpleheart the bass is not particularly heavy but since we will have a purpleheart top plate I think it's a good idea to mitigate any unnecessary weight from areas that will not affect rigidity or tone. More news soon!

Highslide JS
Control cavity has been cut out.
(4/11/14) This is the back of the body close to the end of machining out the control cavity. As I mentioned, I had to do this with the top attached but unglued because I have first to route the fiber optic cables through the body before the top can go on. It is a fairly work intensive process. Now that I have the control cavity machined I can continue with the other work. The bass feels good, and its not going to be to heavy despite the materials!

Highslide JS
Preparing to cut the control cavity.
(3/26/14) Since we are going to install a network of fiber optic cables into this instrument it is going to be necessary to machine out the control cavity before the top plate goes onto the body. I'm going to set up the CNC machine to cut the control cavity to its full depth while the body is clamped to the top plate. This will create an area into which i can feed the fiber optic cables before gluing the top plate onto the body. Details to follow.

Highslide JS
Channels for internal wiring have been located and machined.
(3/14/14) I have been working on a few different parts of this bass. One of them is the machining of the wiring channels inside the body. Typically for any bass - i have to be careful where these channels go so that they don't interfere with other features of screws later in the build. That is even more critical when you have the complexity of a multi scale instrument to keep in mind. Anyway - these channels all seem to be right where they should be!

Highslide JS
Body shape has been established and ready for wiring channels.
(3/3/14) The outisde perimieter of the body of the bass has been trimmed and sanded to very close to its finished size and I like it! The body shape looks very good and balanced. Having done this I can now look at getting the machining done that will accommodate the internal wiring for the pickups, ground wires, battery cables etc. The bass, despite its purpleheart content, is relatively light and feels really good.

Highslide JS
Purpleheart fingerboard being prepped for further work.
(2/19/14) One of the most spectacular features on this bass will be the beautiful color and grain of the fingerboard. I spent some time making sure the fret slots were all the correct depth uning a hand saw. I have to figure out some inlat details and get that completed, then cut fiber optic wiring channels before I can install the frets. I believe the next operation will be the laser engraver, which will give me better control of the inlay detail than the CNC.

Highslide JS
Top fits body nicely - it will soon be ready to go on.
(2/6/14) This is the body of the bass with the purpleheart top set into the neck recess. Now that we have this established I will spend a little time cleaning up the perimeter of the body and the top plate closer to finished size. Once I feel it's safely close enough to our template dimensions I will cut some wiring channels into the top surface of the body for pickups, battery power, gounding wires etc. So far so good!

Highslide JS
Working on shaping the headstock.
(1/28/14) Work continues on the neck and body - here i am in the process of sanding off some of the extra headstock material. We have a slightly narrower than normal headstock and I have to modify the transition curves a little bit. Ultimately this headstock will have a purpleheart veneer headplate added so that it matches the rest of the instrument. That will go on as soon as the fingerboard is attached.

Highslide JS
Cutting material out of the top plate to fit onto the neck profile.
(1/14/14) On the CNC cutting out the profile of the end of the multi-scale neck from the top plate. I had to do this with some care because the two parts have to fit pretty tightly together. This will now allow the top plate to sut flush on the top of the body which allows me to plan some of the next steps. I will mark out the locations for all the wiring channels (pickups, grounding, battery power etc) and get those cut into the body top.

Highslide JS
Marking out the neck joint area for subsequent machining.
(1/3/14) Pickup tops have been harvested and now need to carefully position this top plate on the body and accurately mark out where the angled neck joint will be placed. With that done I can take the top to the CNC and accurately cut the profile of the end of the neck into the top plate. That in turn will allow me to fit the top plate and mark out internal channels and weight relief (if needed) so that it is all prepped for gluing the top onto the body.

Highslide JS
Plotting out pickup locations on top plate.
(12/4/13) I worked out all the geometry and verified everything on my 100% scale vector program. I also used the drawings I generated to establish the pickup geometry so that I can start making the bobbins. More info on that soon! In the meantime I plotted out the location of the two pickups on the top plate so that I can get it ready for machining. I'm going to cut out the two pickup pieces so that we end up with continuous grain covers.

Highslide JS
Laying out the pickup geometry.
(11/24/13) Next task is to establish the pickup geometry and placement so that we can harvest the pickup cover material from the top plate. I also use the same vector data to cut flatwork so that I can make the two bobbins for the actual pickups. I can now establish the actual size of the pickup covers and that will allow me to program a file to cut the material out of the top plate. This in turn frees me up to assemble the top plate onto the body!

Highslide JS
testing the fit of all the parts so far.
(11/11/13) Next step for me is to get all the parts together and mark up the body so that I know where everything is going to sit! This is the first fanned fret with a headstock I have engineered and the blend between those areas is critical. I'm also looking at the bridge location based on where the nut will be so that I can make sure I locate the pickups in the right place. I need to harvest material for the pickups from the top.

Highslide JS
Fret slots have been cut.
(10/18/13) The fret slots and the slot for the nut have been cut into the fingerboard.At this point I am going to remove the fingerboard from the CNC and trim the support material off. Then I will hand finish the fret slot depths. After that I need to establish the inlay which we will be incorporating on the fingerboard. I can do that on the CNC or the laser - not 100% sure yet. We also have fiber optics to embed below this fingerboard.

Highslide JS
Ready to cut fret slots.
(10/16/13) The fingerboard needed some finishing and is now being set up to have the fret slots cut. On a multi-scale instrument this needs to be a very accurate process. I have drawn the instrument at 100% in a vector program so I am very confident of fret positions. I will cut the fret slots and then look at whether the best way to establish the inlat details is on the CNC or the laser. jury is out on that right now.

Highslide JS
Body halves attached - top will go on soon.
(9/12/13) The bass as a whole is looking really nice. The combination of curly walnut and purpleheart is very pleasing and will be even more so when finishes are applied. The instrument feels very compact and comfortable already, and I am anxious to get the top and fingerboard on this one so that we can get the full effect of the wood combinations. We also have a vert strong neck on this bass thanks to the materials and laminations.

Highslide JS
Fingerboard is up on the CNC for some work.
(8/26/13) Here we are cutting the perimeter of the fingerboard to match the neck profile. Once that is done I'll cut the compound radius on the top surface, then add the fret slots and any inlay recesses we decide we're going to do. All of this will be done before the fingerboard comes off the table. I have to decide what i will be using for inlay material. Since it's a prpleheart fingerboard i want something that will look good against the pruple - possibly white shell.

Highslide JS
Cutting the end of the neck and body top.
(7/16/13) Today I put the bass up on the CNC and machined the top face of the body to the correct depth from the neck joint area to suit the top plates. I also carefully machined around the end geometry of the neck so that we have a good reliable profile to use to fit to the recess I will cut into the top plate. I now need the top plate assembled so that I can cut the mating neck profile into that so that the two pieces will fit perfectly together.

Highslide JS
Cutting carbon fiber channels.
(7/10/13) Left: Here we are cutting the two slots into the neck joint surface for the two carbon fiber stabilizing rods which add rigidity to the neck assembly, Right: The two rods are being glued into the neck using an aerospace grade epoxy. Once this has cured, I'll clean up the joint surface so that it is ready for the fingerboard.
Highslide JS
Gluing in the two carbon fiber rods.

Highslide JS
Gluing the first of two body halves onto the core.
(6/22/13) The two body halves of the bass have been pre-assembled and prepared for assembly with the core of the instrument. During that time - I have been in contact with my customer. My feeling was that for a bass designed for a female player, the goal was to keep the instrument compact and comfortable and to that end I decided to shorten the scale lengths to 33" and 31". This will definitely feel better for the end user!

Highslide JS
Back view of insert which creates the "shelf" in the battery compartment.
(5/15/13) Here we see one of the two back playes of the bass where I harvested out the parent material to create a countinuous grain cover and replaced the underlying material with another close-fitting piece. This allows me to continue the assembly and machining process and hold the piece for the cover until it's ready.
Highslide JS
Top view of battery compartment after cover material was harvested out.

Highslide JS
Purpleheart top pieces have been resawn.
(5/8/13) I just spent some arduous time resawing the top plate pieces for this bass out of a large block of material I was keeping for this purpose. It is a very hard and dense wood and is not easy to slice up in this manner. However - the worst of the job is done and I now have two bookmatched plates that are currently a little thicker than required which allows for sanding before we glue them together. Should look really nice!

Highslide JS
Getting ready to cut the Purpleheart to pieces.
(4/30/13) The top of this bass will be purpleheart - so between that and the Purpleheart fingerboard and headstock veneer, this bass will definitely make a visual statement! This is the material for the top which i will now have to saw and sand. This stuff is hard, and will be quite a challenge to split into a bookmatched top. However the end result will be very nice and worth the blood, sweat, tears and harsh language!

Highslide JS
I machined off excess material to establish headstock thickness.
(4/14/13) When I cut the blanks for the laminates for the neck I leave them a good amount oversize so that I have some material to play with as we move ahead machining various surfaces. I had a lot of extra material on the back of the headstock so I rough machined off the excess so that I have a finished thickness for the headstock. It looks rough right now but I will carve the neck profile and volute and it will look beautiful.

Highslide JS
Fingerboard prepped and ready for CNC machining.
(4/2/13) I chose the best piece of the purplehear board and rough cut that section out for the actual fingerboard. I then drum sanded the board both sides so that we have good flat reference surfaces. Finally I glued the board onto a solid base of MDF so that during the various machining and fretting operations the fingerboard will be solidly supported until such time as I decide to release it for assembly onto the neck of the bass.

Highslide JS
Figured Purpleheart for the fingerboard.
(3/22/13) This bass will be mostly purpleheart, although we may break that up a little by using a darker wood on the back body plates. However the fingerboard is going to be Purpleheart too and we have a very nice piece of figured material which we are going to use for that feature. The material has been cut and planed to just over the final thickness and I will now move on to cutting the blank from this material and machining it.

Highslide JS
Machining the back surface parallel to the front surface.
(2/18/13) Having cut the body/neck angle on the top of the core section - I then flip the piece over and machine what will be the back surface of the core section parallel to the surface that establishes the body angle. This give me a datum surface which i will use to alighn the body halves when they are ready to glue onto the instrument. We have to make a decision on what material the body halves will be - possibly wenge and purpleheart.

Highslide JS
Machining all the basic features into the neck/body core section.
(1/31/13) The core of the bass gets numerous operations in this one setup. Forstly I machine the top face to a perfectly clean and flat surface. This will be the joint face for the fingerboard. I then machine the body angle relative to that first surface. After that I machine the angle for the headstock. Once that is done I cut the slot geometry for the truss rod. Finally I cut two slots along the neck surface for the two carbon fiber reinforcing rods.

Highslide JS
Center core section on CNC for machining operations.
(1/27/13) Neck assembly is now on our CNC for several operations that will advance this instrument. We have to set it up carefully on the machine so that the upper surface is both flat and square to the table. This will guarantee that the features we will machine are perfectly aligned with the laminate structure of the center core. The setup has been completed and we are ready to let the chips fly.

Highslide JS
All the laminates are now glued together.
(11/30/12) Managed to get time to add the two outer pieces to the neck/body core. They are now securely glued on to the rest of the laminates so I now have one solid piece to deal with. Next operation will be to get it up on the CNC and start machining some of the critical areas. I'll get the joint face for the fingerboard eastablished and everything else is then related to that datum surface. Also gathering material for the body!

Highslide JS
The core section is taking shape.
(11/16/12) Making progress on the core glue-up. The center piece is purpleheart and so far I have the two wenge laminates attached on wither side. These stringers have a maple veneer pinstripe beween each, which should look very nice on the finished instrument. Next I will glue Wenge the outer pieces onto the assemble and the core section will be complete and ready for machining.

Highslide JS
Gluing the first two laminates together.
(11/12/12) We have now cut all the neck laminates and danded and machined them to their appropriate tapers. Also - we have glued on decorative maple veneer to the joint faces. Now that all that preparation has been done we can start gluing the laminates together to create the core of the instrument. In the photo - we are gluing the first pair of laminates together, and we will be working from the center outwards.

Highslide JS
Getting all the neck/core pieces together.
(11/1/12) The Wenge stringers have now been machined to the correct taper and as soon as I do some cleanup sanding they will be ready for their decorative veneers. I have one more purpleheart section to complete - right now it is rough sawn but needs final sawing, sanding and machining which I may do tomorrow. We are rapidly approaching the point where we will be assembling these various parts together to create the neck and core of the bass.

Highslide JS
Machining tapers on wenge stringers.
(10/22/12) I have recently cut the Wenge stringers from my raw material and sanded the surfaces flat. It takes a little time to prepare these pieces for machining as Wenge is a tempremental wood! Now I have to calculate the correct taper for these components and set things up on the CNC to cut the two center pieces to the right size. I now have two tapered stringers which I will have to veneer both sides and get ready for assembly.

Highslide JS
Ready to cut neck laminates from our purpleheart stock.
(9/12/12) Purpleheart is hard to saw. Hard for me and hard for my bandsaw blades, but nevertheless these pieces have to be sliced and diced up so that they can become a musical instrument. I have now split the single piece I recently cut - and these resulting two pieces will become the outer edges of the neck and body core of the bass. I will need to cut one more piece for the center of the assembly, then some wenge for stringers,

Highslide JS
Ready to cut neck laminates from our purpleheart stock.
(9/6/12) I have cut some of the purpleheart from my stock to get things started. This piece will provide me with the two outer edges of the neck/body core. I will be resawing it along its length to yield the two pieces. Since I need 3 pieces of purpleheart for the 5-piece neck I will have to cut another blank from the parent material. After that's done I will do the same for the two Wenge laminates. W'll then have all out neck pieces.

Highslide JS
Ready to cut neck laminates from our purpleheart stock.
(8/23/12) Time to get started on this project. First thing to do is use my side section template to mark out the profile I need to saw. When that's done I'll cut the section out of the plank. I will then re-saw the piece I cut into thinner sections. Our plan is to have the purpleheart as the outer edges of the neck/core section and use Wenge as the stringers on the inner area of the assembly. Liiking forward to making this bass come alive.

Last update September 24, 2012