This bass was ordered by Khoa in New York, who wanted the following:
The first picture shows the routing template in place to cut the cavity for the bridge pickup, which will be a Bartolini 8-CBP, a newly-introduced "Classic" model P-Bass pickup, which (according to the Bartolini web site) has more brightness to go with the deepness normally associated with Bartolini's pickups.
The cavity has been cut:
Another view of the bridge-pickup cavity:
This picture shows the pickguard, neck, and bridge in the places they will be mounted, but they're not mounted yet:
Now the concentric pots and the output jack have been installed on the pickguard, and some black lacquer has been applied to the bridge-pickup cavity. Also, a hole has been drilled from the bridge-pickup cavity to the control cavity for wiring, but you can't see it.
This picture shows the underside of the pickguard, with the potentiometers and output jack installed. You can see the copper foil that i applied to the underside (the original foil was a small patch of aluminum foil that barely covered the area where the controls are):
The next step was to set up the bridge. Because the customer wanted the strings to be anchored through the body, I positioned the bridge in the correct location on the body, then mounted it with the three wood screws that came with it. Then I marked the locations of the four string-through holes in the bridge base plate. Next I removed the bridge and drilled the four 3/16" diameter holes all the way through the body, using the drill press. Finally, I used the drill press to drill out all four of these holes to 1/2" diameter from the back of the body, to a depth of 1/2 inch.
The last step was to insert the four string ferrules into the holes in the back of the body, as shown below:
Finally, I remounted the bridge:
Next I drilled all of the screw holes so that I could mount the pickguard to the body. The holes were drilled with a 5/32" drill bit, then bevelled with a bevelling bit. The pickguard is mounted with 14 stainless-steel sheetmetal screws, #4 x 3/4"
The neck is mounted to the body with four #10 x 1-3/4" stainless-steel screws, and the neckplate is a genuine Fender neckplate in chrome-plated steel with the Script Fender logo on it. The neckplate, bridge, and string ferrules were provided by the customer.
The Finished Bass:
I recently got an order for a custom-built bass from Scott, who had purchased a used Precision-style bass body on Ebay, made of sold ash. After acquiring an anodized aluminum pickguard for it, he decided that he wanted to find someone to build the bass for him, and asked me to work up a quote for him. After some discussion about what he wanted, we came to agreement on the details and price, and he sent the parts he had acquired to me.
The body was custom built with a stained and oiled finish, and it set up for a P/J pickup set.
Here's a description of the bass we are building:
The first two pictures show the body with the copper foil and pickups in place:
The copper foil has an adhesive back, and the foil you see in these pictures is actually made up of several pieces cut to shape for the floor and walls of the pickup and control cavities. After I put them in place, I soldered the adjacent pieces together in several places to ensure good electrical contact between them, and soldered a wire to the piece of shielding foil under the J-Style bridge-position pickup so it can be grounded as well.
The next picture shows the piece of wood I installed underneath the P-Style neck-position pickup because the person who made this body cut the cavity too deep. The spacer is a 1/4-inch thick piece of oak, mounted with two wood screws over the copper foil shielding.
The next picture shows the pickguard in place:
Having done that, the next step is to modify the neck pocket, which is just a bit too narrow for the MightyMite jazz-Style neck that will go on this bass. So I removed the pickguard and pickups again, then mounted the neck routing template in place with 2" wide double-sided tape. This next picture shows the routing template in place on the body:
If you look closely at the above picture, you'll see that a piece of wood has been glued into the neck pocket. This was done by the guy who made this body, who originally made the body for a friend who wanted the neck and pickups to be real low to the body--apparently about a quarter-inch lower than normal. So he put glued this spacer into the neck pocket.
In this next shot, the router is in position to take a little wood off each side of the pocket:
The routing is finished, and the neck pocket is ready for the neck:
In this picture, the pickups are installed and I'm working on the wiring for the controls:
Another view of the pickup and control wiring:
The next set of pictures show the completed bass:
All Pictures and Text
(c) Copyright 2003 by Stephen Cyr
Last updated August 14, 2003
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