Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

8-string custom multiscale bass (Serial 14B068)

Call
951-240-1666. or email us here!

   
Materials: Top: TBA Neck/Core: Mainly Maple with Wenge and Sapele (7 piece)
  Body: Maple (small body wings)
Fingerboard: Gabon Ebony - 31.5-35 scale with 30 frets (for 8-string)
Pickups: Watson - single sliding pickup - piezos in bridge units
Hardware: ABM Single String tuners - Black
Options: String bending system
Finish: Satin Semi Gloss
Other: Roland GK-3B MIDI system.
  Headless. Neck-Through, Extended Multi-scale.
 

18v active EQ system (or 9v if we run out of room!)

  String Spacing 16mm at bridge / 9.5mm at nut - square fret at F7

This project will now be an 8-string bass (started as a 6) with some unique features. We have some goals to achieve in the MIDI output department but I'm hopeful that it will all come together nicely. The bass will have a compact body and we're planning to include a string bending mechanism at the headstock end among other technical innovations! It's a complicated instrument to build but we should end up with something pretty amazing.


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All 30 fret slots have been cut into the fingerboard.
(11/14/16) Left: Text and picture coming. (11/21/16) Right: Text and picture coming.
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All 30 fret slots have been cut into the fingerboard.

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Fingerboard radiused and I'm now cutting the fret slots.
(10/24/16) Left: I was able to get everything settled on geometry and also ran the compound radius to the point where I am happy with the end result. Now cutting fret slots. (10/29/16) Right: The fret slot work in the fingerboard has been completed and I will probably move on next to getting the side dots established.
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All 30 fret slots have been cut into the fingerboard.

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Some tricky operations where I am checking board geomethry against the geometry of the upcoming fret slots to make sure everything works together.
(10/15/16) Left: I am taking this couple of operations very carefully because I am not only establishing the final width of the board but the finished angles. (10/20/16) Right: I'm now cutting the compound radius on the top of the board. It's a large area so takes a bit longer to do than a regular fingerboard! Also requires a few cuts.
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Generating the compound radius on the top of the fingerboard.

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GDoing some double checking on neck geometry to make sure what I cut is mathematically perfect.
(10/3/16) Left: The geometry of this fingerboard is quite complex so I am double checking fret slot artwork before cutting the fret slots. (10/11/16) Right: Startng by establishing the outer perimeter of the board. The blank I cut is about 2/16 oversize. Once I'm happy with shape I'll test against fretslots then cut compound radius.
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Cutting some of the meat off the fingerboard to establish outer perimeter.

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Looking pretty good with the top plate fitted!.
(9/12/16) Left: This is the bass with the top plate fitted and some of the perimeter cleaned up to fit the body contour. This helps me plan for pickups and wiring channels. (9/24/16) Right: Fingerboard is now up on the CNC and we are going to get quite a lot of work done on its shape and profile in the next few machining operations!
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Fingerboard up on CNC for a bunch of machining work!.

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Testing the program but cutting and fitting a scrap piece of wood. It was very close so I made the appropriate adjustments.
(8/28/16) Left: In order to guarantee the best possible fit between top plate and the end of the neck I am testing the program on a spare piece of material. (9/1/16) Right: My test piece fit very close, so after a couple of minor adjustments I felt it was safe enough to proceed with the actual top plate. Looks like it will work out fine!
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Got the neck relief cut out of the top plate.

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Getting set up to machine nack relief in top plate.
(8/24/16) I am now getting everything set up to cut out the neck heel angle from the bookmatched top plate. That will allow me to get the top plate properly fitted which will in turn allow me to establish fixed locations for the bridge hardware and the pickup placement. Once these are marked out I can cut wiring channels in the top of the body which is much easier than thrying to drill holes inside a completed instrument body! More pics to follow!

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Top plate glued and sanded.
(8/16/16) This is the top plate after gluing was completed and the top surface was then sanded to remove excess glue etc. It has a really nice grain running along and across it and I am very confident it will look beautiful on the finished instrument. I now need to get back to my scale drawing and write a program that will allow me to cut out the joint area at the front of the top plate that will allow it to fit onto the instrument around the end of the neck,

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Gluing the top plates together.
(8/11/16) In this photo the two halves of the bookmatched top plate are being glued together. I'm clamping them together laterally and at the same time clamping the two pieces solidly onto a non-stick surface so that I can guarantee flatnedd when we are done. When this is complete I will then clean up the glued piece and get it ready to be machined to fit the end of the neck profile on the body. I save some of this material for the headstock area too!

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Machining a very accurate joint face for the bookmatched top.
(7/24/16) I got the two top plates up on the CNC so that I could cut the best possible clean and square joint face across both pieces. This will allow me to create a very clean joint between the bookmatched top halves. Next task will be to get these plates glued together so that we have one complete top. Before the top goes on I will map out the cavity space within the body profile and qalso cut thechannels that will house the internal wiring under the top.

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Grinding and sanding the back of the instrument to refine the neck contour.
(7/17/16) I have been removing material from the back of the bass to transform the instrument from a set of glued laminates to something in the shape of a bass guitar neck. Initially this involved removing a whole lot of excess material which has now been done. I'm now working on the profile of the back of the neck and the two areas where it meets the headstock and the body. In those areas the transition geometry can be fairly complex.

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Figured Sapele top plates ready for veneer and machining.
(7/9/16) The two Sapele top plate halves are in the vaccuum press right now where I am adding some decorative veneers to make the assembly look even more impressive! It's always best to do this veneer application before I bookmatch the two halves together. As soon as this is done I will cut the joint faces on the CNC and then carefully glue the two pieces together to make one complete top. I'll probably use the same saple on the headstock area.

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Figures Sapele top plates ready for veneer and machining.
(6/6/16) This is the figured sapele material I am using for the top plate. I really like it for two reasons: One is that it will look very beautiful on the finished instrument in terms of color and grain, theother is that it matches two of the laminates I used in the core section perfectly! The material has been cut a little oversize so that I have room to machine a very accurate joint surface on each and bookmatch the two pieces together. It will look really good!

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Body has been trimmed and will now get some final shaping.
(5/28/16) This is the bass body now that I have trimmed it to size and cleaned up around all the edges. I needed to do this so that I can plan for a couple of things. One will be the cutting of the top plate pieces and the other is to plan space in the body for the batteries and the electronic controls including the pots, wiring, switches and circuit boards that will be involved. I believe there is enough space for me to create a suitable cavity for all this!

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Body has been trimmed and will now get some final shaping.
(5/14/16) With the back section removed I needed to take a look at the body profile and update it to suit out plans. I re-drew the template to reflect some of the body shape discussions we had and I now need to do some work around the profile to bring the edges to final sizes. Part of this is because I also want to get the fingerboard completed and in turn fitted onto the neck. That way we will have a better feel for the whole instrument. Much lighter now!

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Establishing some physical sizes before cutting the radius at the back of the body.
(5/5/16) I'm now doing some calculations based on scale lengths to establish how to cut the back radius on the body. The curved area at the end can be easily enough removed but I want to be sure the ends of the tuner knobs are acessible and have enough space below each of them for the player's fingers to easily adjust. I'll probably scallop out some of the Sapele below each tuner to achieve that without breaking the continuity of the top plate surface.

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Some really beautiful figured sapele for the top.
(4/27/16) I have some really impressive looking figured sapele which I am going to use for the top plate of this unique bass. I have had this material for a while in the hope that an instrument would happen whose body was small enough to fit the material. In this case we have a good fit and I know the bass will look really impressive with this very attractive top. I have it sanded already so I will rough cut it and get it bookmatched together.

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Machining on body complete for the moment. Need to now plan for tuner locations and refining body shape closer to finished size.
(4/19/16) This is the assembled bass so far. I cleaned up and leveled the top surface so that it is ready for the top plate. My next move will be to do some shaping around the body to bring the profile closer to out template. Right now everything is oversize for safety but at this point I can cut and shape much closer to finished size. I will also plot out all the tuner locations so that I can cut out the relief at the back with confidence!

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The top surface of the bass has now been machined.
(4/8/16) After having established the contour of the end of the neck I then had to machine off the extra body material from the top to blend with the depth of cut around the neck. This newly generated surface will be the joint face for the top material. I had to calculate the correct depth for both operations based on the anticipated thickness of the top and the height of the tuner/bridge assemblies. I expect everything to work out fine!

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I have now established the 30th fret geometry on the end of the neck.
(4/4/16) I have done some important machining on the bass body to define the end of the fingerboard area. This establishes where the fingerboard will be attached and all the features from that point back to the tuners. I machined the end of the neck to exactly match the profile of the neck at the 30th fret position. This allows me to machine the fingerboard so that there will be a small overhang to the virtual 31st fret. Now I need to machine the rest of the top.

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Doing the math on the fingerboard so that I can be sure subsequent machining operations work out correctly!
(3/25/16) I had to sit down and go through my vector file plot to make sure I had good reliable dimensions for the fingerboard. This is defined by the two scale lengths. the offset between the scale lengths and the resulting fret positions. The actual fingerboard dimensions have significant impact on how I machine the top of the body so that all the part geometries end up fitting correctly together. The photo show the two scale lengths and the 30 fret positions.

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Body shape revised and updated. I can now get the body closer to finished shape
(3/17/16) This is the body end of the bass with the two body halves attached and the outer shape of the bass rough sawn. This obviously helps a lot in reducing the bulk and weight of the roughed out body. Next I have to do some machining to establish finished thickness. The bass now looks a lot more like our original concept and I will be marking out and cutting down to the final body profile shape very soon. I will also need to plan out cavities to make sure I have room for all the electronic hardware.

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Body shape revised and updated. I can now get the body closer to finished shape
(3/9/16) The body shape has been established based on my customer's preferences and the original drawings we had for the 6-string version of this bass. I needed to get them worked out so that I could cut out some of the excess material from the body blank I recently glued together. I'm going to be doing some rough sawing to bring the body profile relatively close to these drawing dimensions so we csn see how things work out.

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Checking vector layout before I commit to machining fingerboard geometry.
(2/17/16) I have just done some machining to the body of the bass. The objective here was to firstly machine a nice flat consistent surface on the back of the body and then, using that surface to locate on, macine the top surface of the body to not only create a body thickness but to provide a nice flat face onto which we will attach the top plate. I will also need to machine some wiring channels too but with such a compact body these will be fairly minor.

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The headstock area which will have a string bending feature added to it.
(2/8/16) This is a view of the headstock showing the material I have allowed for the string bending mechanism. Obviously there is a good amount of extra material on this area right now but I am drawing out a cross-section for the string bender that will allow me to start shaping this headstock with the geometry of that feature in mind. That will allow me to get the fingerboard fitted since the multiscale layout creates an angle at the headstock end.

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Removing extra material from meck and headstock areas so I can move things forward.
(1/27/16) I spent some time today removing excess material from the back and sides of the neck so that I can proceed with other work relating to the headstock and the string bending system. I cleaned up both sides of the neck and cut back the area behind the string retaier/string bender area. I will be creating a final template for the actual body shape soon and will use that to cut the body profile. The wood laminates are going to look great!!!

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Checking vector layout before I commit to machining fingerboard geometry.
(1/11/16) I am working on making sure the geometry for this bass is correctly established. My original calculations were for a 6-string bass so I do have to adjust some of the parameters to allow for the wider fingerboard and the resulting changes in fret placement geometry. I'm going through the vector drawing to double check fret positions before I go ahead and cut into that big piece of ebony fingerboard that I would have a hard time replacing!!!

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Clamping the first of the two body half blanks onto the core.
(1/5/16) This is the first of the two body halves being attached to the core section of the instrument. I typically clamp the assembly in two directions. Firstly laterally to squeeze the two joint faces firmly together but also they are being collectively clamped down onto a flat non-stick surface so that I can guarantee that the back of the core and the faces of the side pieces will be flush. This saves me a lot of cleanup work.

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Machining and sanding the body halves prior to assembly.
(12/23/15) I machined the two side pieces down a little bit and then ran them both through the drum sander to give me nice clean and parallel surfaces. I am now ready to attach them to the center core of the instrument. When I have them both glued on I will use a template for the body profile and at least get the body shape roughed out then finished pretty close to the final size and shape. That will allow me to cut out the cavities.

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Cutting pieces for the upper and lower body halves.
(12/18/15) I made a body shape template that I can use when body halves are attached, and in the meantime cut out a couple of blanks that will very soon become the upper and lower body halves. I want to get these attached so that I can get some of the other work done - specifically the cavity area in which the sliding pickup assembly will live. I'll get these cut and fitted and that will definitely get usin a better place to plan the mechanics!

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Ebony fingerboard now attached to MDF board and ready to go on CNC for several machining operations.
(12/7/15) While I'm getting things ready to go on the CNC I secured the fingerboard to a subtsrate of MDF which will allow me to securely attach it to the machine table and keep it rigid during machining, side bot installation and even the installation of the frets. It's a beautiful piece of ebony and will look great on the finished instrument. Next operation is cutting the perimeter followed by generating the compound radius on the top.

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Gaboon Ebony for the fingerboard - rough cut and ready for machining.
(12/3/15) This is the fingerboard blank for this bass. It is Gaboon Ebony which is becoming very expensive and really hard to find at the physical size required for an 8-string bass! I was quite lucky to be able to get hold of this piece. Right now it is drum sanded flat on both sides but about 1/8" oversize all round. When this board goes on the cnc I will cut to finished size and I will be putting 30 fret slots into it! Should look pretty impressive!

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Gluing on decorative veneer on the sides of the core section.
(11/24/15) In order to prepare for the body halves I am gluing some dark veneer onto the sides of the core section so that we continue the pinstriped theme through the bass. I'll do this to both machined sides of the core and it will be ready for further gluing. I want to get the body on so that I can do some of the final machining and also to get ready to create a top plate for the instrument.

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Some maple from which I can create the sides of the body.
(11/19/15) I am planning to add the sides, or extensions to the body and will probably use this curly maple which has a nice figure and will take on the color very well also. The body section isn't that large but now is a good time to get it established because I have to make sure the control cavities are large anough for electronics and also that I have enough internal room to add the mechanism for a sliding pickup. Should be interesting!

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Machined the edges of the core for the body half joints.
(11/15/15) I just ran this core section on one of machines to generate accurate square machined sides on both sides of the assembly. This gives me precise joint faces and allows me to get the sides of the instrument prepped for the addition of the body halves. I will also be setting this core up on the cmc to cut the truss rod and carbon fiber slots. I just want to map out the fingerboard geometry first so that everything falls into place!

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Proposed Roland GK-3B system.
(11/12/15) Jumping ahead in the timeline a little - just to say that the Roland GK-3B internal pickup kit arrived. I can now look at the net space required in the body cavity and make sure that there is adequate cavity space in the body of the instrument to comfortable house this unit and some of the other electronic gadgets that will be in there too. This unit was pretty hard to acquire and I'm happy it's now on hand!

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Machining back surface of body.
(9/2/15) A lot of the machining work has been done to the core section of the bass, now I have to machine the back parallel to the front face (which has neck angle compensation) and clean this surface up so that it's ready to have the instrument sides attached. Once this surface is machined it becomes the final back surface. I will then machine the two sides in preparation for attaching the side pieces. Fingerboard also under way.

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Proposed Roland GK-3B system.
(8/19/15) I'm planning to put this system into the bass. It is a Roland GK-3B kit designed to be installed internally. This will provide a MIDI output signal for six of the eight strings on the bass. The Graph Tech system is expected to feed the lower string signals. We may have to do some experimenting but hopefully these two systems will co-operate together and give us the output we want! This bass will create a lot if interesting sound.

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Neck-to-body angle has been machined.
(8/10/15) In this photo you can see the body end of the instrument where I have just finished machining the angle of the body relative to the top surface of the neck area. This surface is critical because it governs the relationship in height between the fingerboard, strings and bridge. It is also further complicated by the fact that this is a multi-scale instrument and many other geometric factors are involved.

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Cleaned up the headstock angle area. Will need further machining but good to set a datum surface.
(8/6/15) I have machined a nice flat surface on top of this blank so that we have a good reference surface to work from. It will also be the joint surface for the fingerboard when it goes on. I then cleaned up the headstock angle. This gives me a co-planar reference surface which helps in my future calculations. Because we have a multi scale instrument this area will need firther more complicated machining but right now it's cleaned up!

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Core is set up on machine for a few operations.
(8/2/15) The core section of the bass has now been set up on the CNC for some machining operations where I will cut the top surface (onto which the fingerboard will be attached), I will machine the "headstock" angle that will become part of our string bender assembly, and I will machine the neck-to-body angle based on the scale lengths and the bridge geometry. I may also include the truss rod slots and the carbon fiber slots.

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Core laminates complete - now ready for machining.
(7/23/15) We now have a complete core to our bass and my next task is to find an opportunity to get this assembly up on the CNC machine so that I can start cutting some of the reference surfaces. Following that I will want to machine the sides and prep them for the extension pieces that I need to add to create the body section. I will need two truss rods in this nack based on the width so it's good that it feels lightweight!

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Six out of seven laminates now glued together.
(7/16/15) This is the core section after the 6th of 7 laminates have been glued together. I'm ready to get the last one on so that I have a complete core to work with and this will then let me do some important machining operations which will establish a lot of the instrument geometry. For an 8-string neck this assembly doesn't feel too heavy which is a good sign. Once all the extra material is removed it should be relatively lightwaight for its size.

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Getting the last few veneers onto the core section.
(7/12/15) Before I glue the last two Maple outer laminates onto the core I have to add a contrasting veneer of maple to the Sapele. I will also be adding a veneer of Lavoa to the outer maple laminates. Once those are on i will be able to get the last two laminates to the outsides and the core section will then be completely assembled. Following that there will be a number of machining operations on the CNC.

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This is the core section with first laminates glued together.
(7/2/15) I now have five of the seven nack laminates veneered and glued together. The core section looks really good so far and I am even further encouraged that our choices of wood are yielding what promises to be a pretty lightweight and resonant core component even for an 8-string bass. I now have some more veneering to do and then I will get the last two pieces attached to complete this part of the instrument.

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Gluing 3 of 7 right now - pretty happy with it all so far.
(6/21/15) More laminate gluing going on. Gluing these laminates, especially when dealing with more than one instrument, uses all my clamps and much of my bench space - not to mention the time waiting for glue to cure. I just leep swapping things out - gluing the next thing as soon as I uncl3mp the last! We're definitely getting there and we'll have a beauitiful and rigid neck assembly very soon. Looking forward to that!

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Starting to glue the individual veneered core components together.
(6/16/15) This photo may look like some of the preceding ones but it is significant in the sense that it shows the first two of the seven core laminates being glued together. This process will continue with one laminate at a time until we have the complete 7-piece core assembled and ready for ongoing machining operations. It's always nice to get past the preparation stages and get started on the actual assembly! More to come.

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Gluing veneer onto Wenge laminate.
(6/10/15) Applying the veneers can be a little time consuming but always worth the effort on the finished instrument. We have seven different laminates to treat but the trick is to just keep doing one after the other while you are busy with other workshop duties. In this photo we are applying maple to one of the wenge laminates. My goal is to get enough of them veneered so that I can start gluing things together.

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2nd side of center laminate getting its veneer applied.
(6/2/15) While I am busy sanding and prepping the other laminates I am also gluing the lavoa veneer to he second side of the center core laminate. This gets things started on the core assembly and that in turn will allow me to get the body components cut and shaped so that we have the whole profile and shape of this bass assembled. Once that's done I'll be able to cut cavities and get to work on the fingerboard work.

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Gluing veneer onto the center laminate.
(5/26/15) I am now gluing veneer onto the center laminate of the core assembly. The material of the laminate is maple so i am gluing a darker Lavoa veneer onto both sides to create a contrast. Once I have both sides veneered I will be able to start assembling the core structure fron the center out. Should look really nice when it all goes together. The darker laminates will have lighter (Maple) veneer applied to them.

Highslide JS
The 7 laminates together, ready for veneers.
(5/14/15) These are the component laminates that will be assembled to create the core of this unique bass. I have been machining the individual laminates to the correct tapers and I'm now working with veneers to prepare the joint faces for assembly.Since this is now an 8-string bass I had to use a littl;e more material to yield the correct width but so far all is looking good and we are moving ahead.

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Gluing veneer onto the laminates already cut.
(4/28/15) In this photo I am gluing veneer to one of the sides of the Sapele laminates. I will have to do this to both sides of each tapered laminate but the end result will really complement the assembled end result. I need a lot of beneer for a 7-piece neck assembly! Once my veneers are on the laminates I can start gluing the laminates togethe. At that point we will start to see what all these beautiful woods look like together!

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Two Wenge laminates ready to be machined to tapers.
(4/18/15) The two Wenge laminates have now been sanded flat and are ready to go on my CNC machine to be milled down to the correct taper sizes. I have bolted these two matching pieces onto the machine and set the taper so I'm now ready to start cutting. Once these are done I will have a center piece of Maple to machine. I have my veneers ready so as soon as these are cut I will be gluing them up ready for assembly!

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Cutting the two Sapele laminates so that I can start the assembly.
(4/12/15) I am in the process of machining the two Sapele laminates to their designated tapers. While I was busy working on this I thought I would take a photo so that I could update this page. I'm almost done with these two laminates and as soon as I get these off the machine I will get the center Maple laminate machined. That will give me enough material to assemble the first three laminates of the core section of the bass!

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Maple and Wenge laminates ready for machining.
(4/5/15) Aside from the two laminates that are being machined for tapers, these are the other laminates that will be going together to make up this 8-string neck and core for the bass. A 7-piece neck is very strong and the Maple and Wenge will work great together as a formula. The sapele right between the two in color and density so it will definitely add a lot to the recipe too in tems of sound and aesthetics.

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Laminates are now set up on CNC for machining.
(3/26/15) I took the first two (Sapele) laminates and got then set up and dialed in for the machining process that will create the tapered laminates. I will follow up with the other parts of the neck but these two will allow me to get started on the basic assembly work. I have a Maple laminate to run through the system too, followed by two wenge and two more maple for the outsides. This 7-piece neck will look good!

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Drum sanding the Sapele laminates - messy job but they look nice!.
(3/22/15) I like to do my sanding outside even although I use an extractor when necessary. It's still a dirt dusty job but somebody has to do it and it's usually me. Right now I am sanding the two Sapele laminates. I will clean up both sides so that they are flat and parallel and they will then be ready to go on the CNC machine where I will set up to have them cut to the correct amout of taper. Want to get this neck built!

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Sapele laminates cut, now to get them sanded and tapered.
(3/15/15) We now have our two Sapele laminates for the core section of the bass. As with the other laminates I will be sanding them on teh drum sander to give them good location faces. Then they will go up on the cnc machine in paire so that I can cut them to their tapered profiles. We will then be able to see the core of this instrument come together and I can start machining. Looking forward to seeing things take shape on this project.

Highslide JS
ready to cut two more laminates - this time some really nice Shedua.
(3/11/15) Since our 8-string will have a wider neck I'm adding a good sized set of Sapele laminated to the core section of the instrument. It will be a 7-piece assembly and I'm currently working out the respective taper sizes so that we have a great solid center core for our instrument. The Shapele is a very good compliment to the Maple and Wenge and we will yield a bvery strong and resonant assembly from these pieces.

Highslide JS
Two of the maple laminates have been cut.
(3/1/15) Now that we are looking at the linkelihood of an 8-string instrument I have had to reconsider how the construction of the neck laminates will combine. I think the formula of three maple laminates supported by wenge and shedua laminates will not only yield a good sound but will look pretty spectacular on the back of the instrument. I will do my typical; decorative veneer pinstriping which will further enhance the effect!

Highslide JS
Neck laminates and the Roland Synth package.
(2/19/15) Two things illustrated here. On the left is my anticipated laminate construction for the 8-piece neck. I want to keep the neck mainly Maple and use Wenge and Sapele as a means to keep the tone warm and growly! We may stain the combo atrans brown. The picture also includes a photo of the Roland GK-3B kit which will allow me to install all the functions of a standard GK-3B synthesiser inside the body of the machine!

Highslide JS
Revised template allowed me to cut the first core laminate and test it out.
(2/2/15) As a result of my calculations on the computer I was able to create the optimum profile template for this bass, whether it ends up being 6-string or 8-string. The template allows for the slightly increased scale length difference for 8-string and also has material allowance for the string bending system to the top of the neck. I used the template to cut the first piece of Wenge so that I could verify everything. Looks goo so far.

Highslide JS
Right in the middle of recalculating some of the dimensions if we change to 8-strings.
(1/12/15) Some changes to this build are going on right now and I am doing a couple of revisions to the vector artwork. We are likely to change the instrument from a 6 to and 8 string. That in itself creates quite a few engineering modifications which I am working on. The other consideration is whether a string bending option is still realistic if we upgrade to 8-strings. We're also looking at the electronic implications!

Highslide JS
Looking at a method to allow the player to manually bend the strings.
(12/22/14) We have a lot of technical challenges with this bass so careful planning is required in the early stages. It is very likely that this will end up being an 8-string bass so I am doint some alterations to out master plan to bring that together. At the same time - we're planning to incorporate a string bending system similar to the one shown where the player can manually change the string pitch. I'm allowing extra material for that too.

Highslide JS
Marking out template dimensions on some of the maple.
(12/5/14) Since this project has some quite uniqe features I have had to create a new template before I cut out the blanks that will go together to create the core of the instrument. I had to allow a few extra inches and some additional material due to the space on the headstock where I will be incorporating a string bender system. Basically it is a few inches of free space between the nut and string retainers where the player can apply bending pressure.

Highslide JS
Curly Maple destined for neck laminates.
(11/28/14) I bought some very nice curly maple to use for the rest of the core of this instrument. I will get all the pieces for the core cut out and sanded both sides so that they are ready to be machined to their specific tapered dimensions.This will end up being a strong and resonant assembly. Maple and wenge are a popular combination for good tone. I will probably use the wenge for the outer edges and have contrsting maple strips.

Highslide JS
Wenge planks which will soon become neck components.
(11/14/14) Looks like we will have Wenge and Maple on the menu for the core section of this bass. This is about the safest choice in my opinion. The characteristics of these two woods work well together and always produce a dynamic sounding resonant instrument. I will now be cutting blanks out so that they can be sanded and prepped for machining to their respective tapers. Looking forward to getting the core section established!

Last update March 18, 2015