Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

5-string Watson J-Bass (Serial 14B062)
Bolt On

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951-240-1666. or email us here!

   
Materials: Top: Bubinga Neck: Maple and Wenge
  Body: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Birdseye Maple
Pickups: Nordstrand
Hardware: Hipshot Tuners (chrome)
Options: Audere 4-band 18v active circuitry
  Birdseye Maple Pickguard
Finish: Satin / Matte Natural
Other: 35 inch scale 20 fret
  18mm string spacing at bridge. 10.5mm at nut.

This is a beautiful and technically advanced J-bass. It has some very nice features, such as matching fingerboard and pickguard, plus some super Audere electronics. It is a great sounding instrument with a huge dynamic range.


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First of the two pickups has been installed.
(6/11/15) Left: The bridge pickup has been installed in its custom cover and mounted into the instrument. This is an MusicMan style humbucker which sould sound great. Right: This is the Birdseye Maple pick-guard I have been working on in the background. I wanted it to be a close match to the birdseye fingerboard.
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BirdsEye Maple pick guard ready to be attached.

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Ferrules for string-thru-body have been installed.
(6/8/15) Left: Time to get the ferrules for the string-through-body feature installed. The are a good tight fit but I also glue them in for extra security. Right: I ran a ground cable from the contol cavity to the base of the bridge and then installed the bridge onto the body. Nice to start seeing some hardware on this instrument!
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Soldered wires to connect shielding between cavities. Also bridge installed.

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Getting the copper shielding in place before assembly.
(6/5/15) The finish on the wood is done and now I have to start the assembly process. First thing is always to get the cavities shielded with copper shielding tape. This is the best way to protect the internal electronics from outside electrical interference. There are sprays out these but the copper seems to provide better protection.
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All the cavities have now been shielded.

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In the midst of many coats of filler and Tung Oil.
(6/1/15) I'm in the niddle of applying finishing oils to all the wooden parts (body, neck and bridge pickup cover). I love the grain on the top wood and the color is really nice too. I've been applying a coat, letting it dry, applying a 2nd coat and after that dries rubbing lightly with super fine grain paper and steel wool. Then it's repeat ad nauseum but you can see it get more established each time! Takes a lot of hours but worth it in the end.

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preparing a roughblank for the pickguard.
(5/27/15) These are the two components that will be going together to create the birdseye maple pick guard. One is a plastic material at just the right thickness for a strong backing plate. The other is a sheet of Birds Eye maple which is about .030" thick and has been treated with sealer so that the adhesive will not bleed through when I glue the to pieces together under pressure. More on this soon!

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Getting the grain filler/sealer applied to the back of the body.
(5/22/15) This is the back of the body as I am applying the base coats. As with the neck, the depth and grains of the wood really pop out. I'm really lookng forward to getting this laborious finishing process done so that I can assemble it and see the finished product! I have several coats yet to apply and there's always a period of time between each coat for the product to dry and before the sanding and buffing can be done

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I'm in the process of applying grain filler and sanding everything nice and smooth.
(5/19/15) The contrast between the woods in the meck and body core really comes out once you get some finishing product applied. Right now I am applying a micture which seals up the grain and will give me an even surface to apply the finishing oil. The grain of the curly maple is beautiful, the wenge is nice and dark and the contrasting veneers really stand out as a beautiful decorative feature. All these tapered features also run through the body core.

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Just finished machining out the cavity for the neck pickup.
(5/14/15) In this photo I am machining out the recess for the Jazz bass neck pickup. This has to be carefully positioned relative to the custom pickguard I will be making. The trick is going to be making the pickguard cutout for the neck pickup perfectly match the location of the actual pickup on the body itself. I am beingvery careful with this marriage of parts but I expect everything will fall together in place. More photos coming!

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Control cavity routed out and bridge fitted.
(5/9/15) Just completed another machining operation on the body of the bass. I had to machine out the cavity that will accommodate the control plate and the package of Audere electronics that will power the sound of this instrument. I was very careful to make sure I cut this cavity in just the right location so that the metal control plate and the wood pickguard that I will be fabricating will fit together neatly.

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Serial Number has been added.
(5/6/15) I cut an elongated slot on the back of the headstock and created a wooden (maple) serial number implant which was glued into the slot. Now that this insert has been securely glued in place the bass has its official seriqal number and I can get started on the sanding that will allow me to wrap up production on this very attractive J-Bass. I have a couple of minor operations to do to the body and we will be close to done!

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Refining the pickguard geometry to make sure it fits the body and hardware.
(4/28/15) The next step here was to refine the geometry of the pickguard until it for the body just right and the V at the bottom was properly aligned with the metal plate that will house the electronics. It took a few test cuts on the laser to get the shape of the pickguard just right using heavy paper to allow me to test fit. Now that everything looks good in place I can get the actual pickguard material ready for cutting.

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Working on the pickguard!.
(4/20/15) I have to establish the geometry of the pickguard in a vector program so that I am sure it will be just the right size and shape. I will cut a cardboard blank on the laser and test that to see if everything fits. If necessary I will change a few points to get it perfect. I will then prepare blank using thin pickguard material and birdseye maple veneer. Once that is done I cut the shape on the laser and finish the surfaces.

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Almost done shaping, but now the dreaded sanding stage begins!.
(4/12/15) Basics of final shaping have been done - I now have th remove the neck in order to get the shaping details done properly. As soon as that filing and sanding is doen we can apply out finish. I'm also ready to create the pick-guard which will be Birds Eye Maple matching the fingerboard. That will really define the look of this bass. Looks and feels good so far and I can't wait to get the finish applied because we will really see the beauty of the woods.

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Doing some shaping and radiusing to the body.
(4/12/15) I bolted the neck onto the body so that I could achieve a good blend between the two parts at the neck/body intersection. I also spent some time removing material around the perimeter of the body so that I can establish the raduis around the perimeter. I'm getting close to the point where I will be doing final sanding and grain filling of the woods prior to finishing. The Bubinga looks really nice with the finish on it!

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WG Logo has been lasered into the headstock.
(4/6/15) I used the laser to engrave the logo into the headstock. This gives me a nice clean recess into which I can drop some decorative filler material. I have to position this artwork keeping in mind that I will have a typical string retainer on the headstockfor the D and G strings. I can now fill the engraved part and get some of the final sanding started on the neck itself. I usually fit the neck and body together to finalize the shaping

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Cutting the neck pocket.
(3/26/15) The body is on the CNC so that I can cut the neck pocket. I have to position the body pretty accurately so that I achieve the optimum neck-to-body angle based on the physical height of the Hipshot bridge that we are using. When this pocket is established I will be able to fit the neck and mark it for final carving and shaping . I will also drill and counterbore the four holes that will allow me to bolt the neck onto the body.

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Fingerboard being attached to the neck.
(3/18/15) I had to make a little fixture for the neck so that I could attach the fingerboard nice and cleanly. I had planned to do this in the vacuum press but it turned out that using rubber bands was easier, quicker and cleaner in this particular case. The fingerboard is very tightly located on the neck surface and this should result in a very nice joint. I'll leave it overnight since the adhesive I use cures fairly slowly.

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Some final measurements and caluclations.
(3/14/15) Just about to glue the fingerboard on so i thought i would make sure all the other calculations were looking OK from the nut slot which is one of the main points of reference on the instrument. Looks like we are fine so I marked a few critical locations on the body and I will try to get the neck pocket cut as soon as the CNC machine is free. Neck pocket needs to also be carefully angled for bridge vertical alignment.

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Hipshot A-Style bridge, should look great on this bass.
(3/13/15) This is the Hipshot A-Style bridge that will be going on this bass. It's the best bass bridge I know of for this type of bass and it allows for running the strings through the back of the instrument if the player prefers that. I will be installing a set of ferrules on the back of the bass to allow for this. I'm currently using the bridge to facilitate calculations so that I place the neck pocket in just the right location.

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Gluing some "body" onto the bridge pickup cover.
(3/12/15) You can't see much in this photo but I am gluing the harvested continuous grain pickup to onto a little block of bubinga so that I will be able to machine a complete pickup cover for the bridge pickup. I can then get it mounted into the cover and when the body is ready I will install it using the retaining holes that I will machine into it. Should look amazing, and a nice touch that you rarely see in these types of basses.

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Fingerboard now complete and ready to go on to the neck.
(3/9/15) I cleaned up the ends of all the frets and made sure everything was seated properlty. I then sawed off the excess material I had been using to keep the assembly stable and removed all the excess from the back durface. Now I have a fretted fingerboard complete with side dots that is ready to be attached to the neck. I mad add a veneer between the two pieces just to keep things consistent with the work I was doing on the neck & body.

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Frets have been installed and I'm now trimming everything to clean up the edges.
(3/7/15) Frets are now installed in the fingerboard and it looks really nice. My next step is to trim as much off the ends as I can with smips and then the remainer will be ground off and ultimately filed and sanded until everything is flush. I will then install the truss rod, and glue the fingerboard in place. Looking forward to seeing the neck all in one piece! Should look really nice. Once that's done I'll finish carving the back of the neck.

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Frets cut and ready to go in.
(3/4/15) I cut all the fretwire for the fingerboard and as soon as I can get to it I want to get these frets installed. Once they are in I can trim up the fingerboard, clean up the fret ends and then get it glued onto the neck. The fret lengths are slightly oversize as the ends get distorted from the cutting process. They are relatively easy to dress back down flush with the sides once I an certain they are all well seated in the wood.

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Side dots have been installed.
(3/3/15) This is the fingerboard after the side dot holes were drilled. It also shows the black side dot material that has since been glued into all of these holes. Once the adhesive is set I can trim these nice and close to the edge of the fingerboard. Once the frets are installed I will trim these flush along with the ends of the fretwire we will be installing. I want to get this fingerboard onto the neck so that I can keep moving this project forward!

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Establishing the side dots on the fingerboard.
(2/26/15) In this photo you can see the setup I use for drilling the holes that will accommodate the side dots along the upper edge of the fingerboard. These have to be positioned very accurately. This setup allows me to maintain consistent positioning and I make sure it's well lit so that I can check the location of each of the holes before I commit to drilling. All went well and I was able to get all the holes successfully drilled!

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Audere Electronics ready to be installed in the bass. As far as I am concerned, the best thing out there!
(2/23/15) I am working on a small program which will cut a suitable recess to hold the electronics and 9v battery. I thought it would be worthwhile to post a photo of the awesome Audere Electronics package that will be going into this bass. 4-band EQ aplus volume and balance and I can't even remember what the little 3-way switch does but I know it's cool. Audere is standard in all my basses, this kit is designed for a Jazz bass configuration.

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preparing fingerboard to have side dots installed.
(2/19/15) The fingerboard assembly is now off the machine and I have trimmed up around the edges of the support board. I have a little sanding to do then I will get the fingerboard set up to drill the side dots along the upper edgs. Since this is a maple board the dots will probably be a dark color for maximum visibility. Once I get the dots in I'll be ready to install the frets. So far things are looking pretty good. More phots coming.

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Machining on the fingerboard has been completed.
(2/16/15) Fingerboard has been shaped, radiused and slotted and the slot for the nut has also been established. This can now come off the CNC and I will trim the support material and then set up to drill the side dots along the upper edge of the fingerboard. When those dots are in I will be able to drop the frets in, clean up the edges and glue the completed fingerboard onto the neck. At that point I will fit neck to body.

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Gluing the second of two carbon fiber rods into the neck.
(2/15/15) Before the fingerboard goes on the neck I have to glue in the two carbon fiber rods that will become part pf the internal neck assembly and add a good amount of rigidity and stability. Now that these have been installed I will make sure the upper surface is cleaned up so that it is ready for the fingerboard which will be complete pretty soon. I will also be drilling the tuner holes through the headstock soon and get the logo carved in there too.

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Machining the compound radius.
(2/12/15) I have established the finished dimensions of the fingerboard and I am now generating the compound radius on the top of the board. I have a special cutter that dows a very nice job on this operation and when it's complete I will only have to do a little sanding to remove the machining marks. At that point I will change cutters and get all the fret slots cut into the top of the fingerboard and also the nut slot.

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Birdseye maple being prepped for machining.
(2/9/15) The Birds Eye Maple fingerboard is now set up on the CNC and ready to be cut. First task is ti run a cutter around the outer edge and establish the finished perimeter of the fingerboard. Then I will change cutters and machine the compound radius from the nut to the end of the board. When that is complete I will cut the fret slots and finally cut the slot for the nut. I hope to be able to do all these operations together.

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Machining two slots for the carbon fiber rods.
(2/6/15) In this photo I am cutting the two slots that will house the carbon fiber rods that add strength and stability to the neck structure. The slots are designed to yield a tight fit with the CF rods and I will secure those into the neck with a special epoxy. Once that's done the neck is ready for the fingerboard so the next task is to get the board set up and run on the CNC as soon as the machine is free!

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Cutting channel fo rthe truss rod.

(2/4/15) The neck is back up on the CNC in order to get the truss rod slot and relief machined into the top surface. I will be doing som intensive work on the fingerboard very soon and I want the neck to be fully prepared for that upcoming assembly. The fingerboard is going to be first class quality birdseye maple which is getting quite difficult to find these days! I also have some killer birdseye veneer for the matching pickguard.


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Cutting the recess for the bridge pickup on the CNC.
(1/27/15) The body is now up on the CNC machine where I am machining out the recess for the pickup that will live next to the bridge. The trick is to be careful to align everything accurately so that the existing recess and the slot you cut are perfectly aligned. Things are going fine and I will have this done soon. next challenge will be finishing neck - adding fingerboard and fitting neck to body. Going to be a very nice bass!

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Completed top being sanded around the edges to get closer to final size and shape.
(1/24/15) The Bubinga top has been successfully glued onto the body of the bass. Today I spent some time trimming and sanding around the outer edges until we were a little bit closer to the template profile of the body. Now that the body is in one piece I can bring the perimeter to size, start work on the belly cut, and get things ready to cut the neck pocket so that we can fit the two pieces of the instrument together!

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Top and body being glued together in the vacuum press.
(1/18/15) The top plate and the body have been prepped and it's now time to get the top glued onto the body. Easiest way to achieve this with a bolt on is to do that in the vacuum press which distributed a nice even pressure over the entire surface being glued. Once this is done I will be able to trim the body down to the template dimensions (it's around 1/8 oversize right now) and I'll get the neck pocket cut so I can get the neck attached!

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MM pickup cover has been harvested from the topwood.
(1/14/15) Just finished cutting out the top of the pickup cover for the MM style humbucker that will be in the bridge location. I needed to to this before th etop was glued on so that I have the perfect continuous woodgrain pickup cover. I will add some body to the bottom of the cover and it will go back into the instrument at the final assembly stage. Should look awesome! I need to cut a few wiring channels in the body then the top can be glued on.

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Plotting out where the main features on the bass need to be.
(1/11/15) I am busy right now making measurements and marking out the specific locations of features on the body of the instrument. I need to do this so that I can use the bridge location as a reference point. The bridge location depends on the scale length and at which point the neck will be cut into the body. Once I resolve all those variables I know where everything else will be located both inside and outside the body.

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Gluing the nookmatched top plate halves together.
(1/11/15) Now that we have successfully cut the two joint edges on the top playes we are able to set up the gluing of the two bookmatched pieces to create the top plate of our instrument. It's always a tricky job trying to make sure the joint integrity is 100% but in this case everything lined up exactly as expected and the bookmatching of th etwo top plates is looking very promising!! We will know in the morning how this turned out!!

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Using the CNC to prepare the critical top plate center joint.
(1/9/15) I am using the CNC machine to generate nice straight and square edges for the joint faces of the top plates. I have found this to be the fastest and most predictable way to create this critical preparation for the top. It is one of the most important joints on an instrument project because it needs to be as near-invisible as the wood grain will permit. So fare things look good and I am anxious to get the pieces glued together.

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Veneer is on and we're now getting ready to bookmatch the two top plates together.
(1/6/15) Our gluing in the vacuum press was very successful. I celaned up the two plates and have now marked them based on how much material I need to remove from the centerline so that the two pieces can be bookmatched together and conform closely to the existing shape of the body. I will set these up on the CNC and machine a nice accurate joint face on each which will prep them for gluing together into one piece.

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Gluing decorative veneer onto the botoom of the top plates.
(1/4/15) The two cocbolo top plates are now in the vaccuum press where I am gluing a maple veneer onto the underside of each. I will let these sit and cure for most of the day because if I remove them before the glue is completely dry these is a risk of bending due to moisture from the glue. Once they are fully cooked I will remove them and clean up the edges on the spindle sander so that they can be ready for the next operation

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Body and top plates waiting to be brought together.
(12/26/14) Here are the two plates for the top of the body next to the body itself. I have sanded the top plates to the desired thickness, now I have to add a maple veneer to the lower face of each of those plates. This will create a pleasing contrasting pinstripe between the top plate and the body. I will do this in the vacuum press so that I can guarantee even pressure over the entire surfaces. More pictures soon!

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Top plates sanded to size and ready for veneer.
(12/24/14) Firstly, my apologies for such a low quality photo, but I wanted to make note that I spent some time sanding these to just the right thickness. Bubinga is pretty heavy as woods go and I didn't want to have a top plate that added too much weight. I now have them at just the right thickness and they are ready for having some veneer glued onto the bottom faces. Once that is done I will glue them together.

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Headstock done and looks really nice!.
(12/19/14) The headstock work came out very well. We now have a nice clean .100" of bubinga on the front face of the headstock and I am now ready to get the fingerboard and body parts caught up. I am sanding the top plates right now and will have to do some machining to join those together into one bookmatched piece very soon. I will also get the tuner holes established in this headstock very soon!

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Bubinga headstock veneer being roughed out.
(12/15/14) Now that the headstock top plate has been securely glued to the headstock itself I can start the finishing process by machining of the excess material that I don't want. The goal is to leave .100" of bubinga on the front face of the headstock. I used a regular end mill to take the bulk of the material off as seen in this picture. Next operation will be to use a ball end mill to generate the top surface and the curve at the same time.

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Clamping the bubinga headplate onto the headstock.
(12/9/14) I have carefully shaped a Bubinga insert to match the raduis section of the neadstock and fitted that to the headstoc surface. Gling that to the headstock was a tricky process because I wanted to make sure that the two curved sat in just the right places. Surfaces like that with wet glue want to slide all over the place so I ended up clamping systematically from the front to the back so that I minimized movement.

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Maple veneer glued on to the headstock surface.
(12/6/14) The veneer between the wenge and the bubinga has been successfully glued on. I trimmed around the edges to remove the excess material and now i am going to fit the bubinga plate onto the veneered surface and glue that part on there too. I may remove some material from the bubinga before gluing - have not decided yet, but it will be nice to have this part of the work done so that I can take care of the fingerboard!

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Working on the front face of the headstock.
(12/4/14) I am now gluing a decorative veneer into the curved recess on the top surface of the headstock. I have also cut out a piece of Bubinga from the same raw material that I used for the body top and that piece has been carefully shaped to fit right into the curve of the headstock. Once this veneer has set, I will trim and then glue in the bubinga block. Once that has set, I will machine off the excess material.

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Machining the headstock to required thickness.
(11/26/14) I have marked out the profile of the headstock shape and sanded off the excess material around the perimeter to just about the final shape (small allowance for final sanding). I am now machining the back of the headstock to establish the optimum thickness taking into account that I have a decorative Bubinga plate going on the front side. I want to get that part done soon so that I can establish other features such as the tuner holes.

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Preparing to trim headstock to final size.
(11/19/14) I sawed off the excess material on the headstock section of the neck blank and now will mark the final perimeter outline on the same area so that I can trim the shape to the final size and shape. My little template was made with the tuner sizes attached so that I did not create a headstock that was too small for the tuners to sit side by side. The headstock is still thicker that it needs to be but I can clean that up soon.

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Top plates have been drum sanded flat - looking nice!.
(11/10/14) These are the two top plates after I spent some time cleaning them up on the drum sander. They are stil oversize andl a little thicker than I would like since this is a fairly heavy wood species, but I am close and I will soon be able to get this top glued onto the body and finish up the shaping. It will definitely look very nice!! Some more time on the drum sander and then I will glue some decorative veneer onto the back of each half.

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Headstock being slightly re-designed.
(11/2/14) I'm doing some adjustments to the headstock so that I can use the Hipshot HB1 tuners which are very good quality and relatively lightweight. I will make a template from this drawing so that I can go ahead and cut out the headstock profile. It will be slightly smaller and more compact than a Fender headstock (and a little lighter in weight too). This will allow me to start work on the headstock veneer to match the top wood on the body.

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Establishing neck widths and overall length.
(10/24/14) I am now machining the outer perimeter of the neck and also establishing the finished length in the process. I double checked neck width on my vector drawing to make sure everything will turn out the correct size. Once the milling in complete I willremove the neck from the fixture and saw off as much of the excess material as I can. This will make subsequent machining much easier. I will also shape the headstock.

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Machining the top surface of the headstock.
(10/21/14) In this photo I am profiling the top surface of the headstock. I have to allow a little extra depth because I am going to use the same Bubinga that I used in the top to decorate the headstock too. I will run this program until I get the correct combined depth and then cut a nce piece of bubinga which will be added separately. Not an easy task as the veneer has to be curved to exactly match that of the headstock surface at the nut end!

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The blank for the top plate has finally beed sawn in half - looks very nice.
(10/17/14) Well- that was hard work but I now have two well sawn halves for the top of the instrument which will definitely look really nice once they are completed. I like the way the grain is working with the body shape - that will become more apparent as i trim these panels closer to heir finished sizes and shapes. nect job is to get these on the drum sander and clean up the upper surfaces and then sand to final thickness.

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Splitting the bubinga top on the band saw.
(10/14/14) I got started on the splitting to the top plate. Bubinga is a hard wood and sawing something like this which is about 6.5 inches tall is a slow process. However when I took the photo I was about 3" into a 20" cut so progress is slow but steady and the most important thing is that it looks like the cut is staying straight and square to the material. The better the cut - the less material I have to sand off when complete.

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Bubinga top being sawn up.
(10/9/14) This is the material from which I will be sawing the bookmatched halves of the top plate. I can tell from the color and the grain of this piece that it will look really nice when it is finished. Bubinga is a pretty hard wood so it will require some care and patience to get it accurately cut down the center and then sanded to make a bookmatched set. The two center surfaces will be the bookmatched grain surfaces so have to cut carefully!

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Headstock needed cleaning up.
(10/1/14) While this neck is in my machini it is important that the top surfaces of the neck and the headstock are co-planar. I started by cleaning some of the extra material off the top surface. One of the other critical calculations is the step distance between the top of the neck and the top of the headstock given that I will be adding a veneer of about 1/8 or 3/32 on top of the headstock to match the body. It will all come together.

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Working on the neck section.
(9/26/14) Digging into the neck work on this bass. Forst task is to set the neck up in vices so that the centerline and top surface is square to the machine axes on all three planes. That way all the machining I do will be right on target. I will start by establishing a goos flat top surface (onto which we will glue the fingerboard). Once that's done I will profile the actual outside perimeter of the neck and then cut in the slots for carbon fiber and truss rod.

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getting ready to cut the top material.
(9/11/14) Next step on the body of this bass is to get the top plate cut and assembled. I have a piece of Bubinga that has a very cool grain in it which will look even more impressive when bookmatched. Forst step here is to mark out the perimeter of the piece I have to remove. I'll cut around that leaving a little amount as a buffer, and sand both sides. Once that's done I will split it down the center into two pieces and re-send everything.

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Attaching extra material to the headstock area.
(8/19/14) In order to get the rest of the machining done on the neck I am gluing on a little extra wenge to each side of the headstock area. This will provide me with some material from which i will cut the final shape of the headstock. I'l looking forward to getting the neck and body assembled together so that we can see this bass as a more unified instrument! I'll be sawing up the bubinga soon to the top plate etc.

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Body components all glued together.
(7/29/14) This is the body of the bass after the two sides have been glued on. This awesome core of maple and wenge will be continued from the neck through the body in a continuous taper. Should look amazing! The body is still oversize and needs some cleaning up. I will re-apply the template - mark the finished dimension and trim up the perimeter accordingly. Once the top goes on I can machine the neck pocket.

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Last part of the body assembly being glued on.
(7/23/14) I am now gluing the second bout onto the core section. Before I did that I sanded the first two pieces so that they were one continuous flat surface in order to make the alignment easier for this setup. After this piece is attached I will do the same thing to bring all three parts of the finished assembly nice and flat. Next up I am going to get the top plate rough cut so that I can do the dreaded task of resawaing to bookmatch!

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Getting started on the body assembly.
(7/12/14) The top bout of the main body assembly is being glued onto the center core of the body. Everything is still slightly oversize but when the tow bouts are attached and we have a complete body sub-assembly I will be able to clean up the front and back faces so that we have a nice clean body assembly onto which we will be gluing our fancy Bubinga top plate. We have a great wood recipe for this bass - so it should sound awesome!

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Body parts are ready to be glued together.
(7/1/14) The mahogany for the two back plates have been rough sawn and I have also machined the joint faces on each so that they are ready for assemble. Each of these body halves has had a maple veneer attached to the joint face so that when the parts are assembled we will have a beautiful double contrasting pinstripe along the joint. This has all been done and we are now ready to glue the three body components together.

Highslide JS
Gluing decorative veneer onto the core section of the body.
(6/22/14) In preparation for assembling the body I need to add light veneer to the wenge outer edges of the body core and also add dark veneer to the joint faces of the two back bouts. Once those 4 veneers are glued on I can attach all the body parts together. It will look much more like a bass guitar when I get that done. I'm looking forward to seeing this one put together - it will have some really nice features!

Highslide JS
Bubinga stock which i will use for top plate, inlay and headstock veneer.
(6/7/14) This is a very pretty piece of Bubinga I picked up recently for this project. If I cut and bookmatch this piece right it will look beautiful on the instrument! Bubinga is a very hard wood so I am not looking forward to the task of resawing the top, but it has to be done! I will also use the same material from this board for the headstock veneer and probably also for the inlays on the neck. Should look awesome!!

Highslide JS
Mahonagy body bouts ready for rough sawing to shape.
(5/26/14) The mahogany for the two sides has been sanded and cleaned up - and is now ready for rough cutting to the body shapes. The wood is awesome, very stable and not too heavy. This is very old stock material, around 40 years since it was cut. It has a beautiful color and should look awesome on the finished instrument. I will get these pieces sawn out and prepped for assembly so that we can have a complete body to work with.

Highslide JS
Mahogany sides ready for rough cutting.
(5/19/14) We are ready to start work on the body parts so i thought I would take a quick photo of the mahogany board from which I will be cutting the two back body halves for this bass, The mahogany is very old stock and super-dry. I will cut it in such a way that the upper and lower halves of the back will match nicely. This is a great combo for the maple/wenge core and the bubinga top - we have an awesome bass in the making!

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Neck laminates are tapered and veneered.
(5/12/14) Gluing of the core sections is complete. I always feel good about making Maple and Wenge necks - the results are always spectacular visually and tonally. I have done all the gluing for the neck and the core of the body, so we can now look ahead and see what's next. I am getting hold of more mahogany which i will use for the back halves of the body. I have also purchased a very nice piece of Bubinga for the top plate!

Highslide JS
Gluing up all the laminates in the neck and the body core.
(5/7/14) Busy gluing all the veneered and tapered neck laminates together right now. Both the neck and the body core consist of 5-piece tapered laminates with double contrasting veneer between each laminate. It can be a time consuming job building a neck up this way but the result is an extremely strong and stable assembly. Also looks awesome when it's all finished! Neck and body core pieces will soon be complete.

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Getting ready to machine some tapered laminates.
(4/28/14) The maple laminates have been rough sawn and also sanded on the drum sander to guarantee thickness and flatness. Now we are ready to do the actual machining that will yield the tapered laminates. I have a special fixture on my CNC that allows me to control and adjust the angle of cut. Once the machining has been completed I will be able to add the decorative veneers and start assembling the core of the instrument.

Highslide JS
Some nice curly maple for the center section.
(4/22/14) I purchased some maple which will be part of the core of this bass. It is very nice curly material which will look very nice when everything is sanded and finished! I have drawn this instrument out to scale and have most of the data I need to start machining. The first thing I will do is machine the tapers onto the center sections of the body and neck core pieces. That will then allow me to apply veneers and start assembling!

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Two outer laminates of the neck have been cut and drum sanded.
(4/15/14) I had some very good quality Wenge stock and it was a perfect fit for this project. I cut out the two Wenge core laminates which will end up being the outer edges of the neck, Wenge is tonally one of the best options at my disposal - especially for fretless. I am planning to marry this wenge material with Curly Maple and perhaps Goncola Alves or Padouk. Net result will be a very responsive core that will yield geat tone and sustain.
Last update April 8, 2014