Instructables

Build A Miniature 1974 Fender Bass Guitar

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These instructions are for building a playable, 11/24 scale bass guitar, which should take between 30 to 40 hours to complete, depending on skill level and tools available.

Most of the work can be done with a Dremel. You will also need:

1. A drill motor / drills
2. Sand paper / sanding discs
3. Various small hand tools
4. Router bits
5. Jig saw
6. Ruler

Materials:

1. Plywood
2. 1"x 2" piece of wood
3. Assorted sizes of small wood screws
4. 3-ply pickguard material
5. 8 cylinder magnets
6. Wood stain
7. Lacquer
8. Decal paper
9. 1"x 1" x 1/16" thick aluminum angle
10. 1/4" metal bolt or rod
11. Metal spatula
12. (2) 500k mini pots
13. 1/8" phono jack
 
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Step 1: Cut Body

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Glue two pieces of 1/2" plywood together. Rout body outline. The best way to get the outline is to print a photo from the Internet and trace the outline onto the wood.

Step 2: Rout And Contour Body

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Rout neck pocket 1" wide. You can take measurements from your printed version. Also rout pickup and electronic spaces. Finish contour of arm rest area and cut rear body contour. It really helps to have a full size bass around so you can make comparisons.

Step 3: Shaping The Neck

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Use a 1" x 2" piece of wood to form the neck. Narrow the neck down, maintaining a 1" thickness at the base. Cut the headstock down about half as thick as the rest of the neck. The best way to get accurate measurements is from a full size guitar as a model (measure full size guitar, then multiply measurements by .45 -- this will give you a guitar 45% the size of an actual bass, which is just a hair over 11/24 scale. I found that this is the best size for using standard guitar tuning keys. I may add frets later. Right now, it is fretless.

Step 4: Fitting The Neck

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Make sure the neck fits to the neck pocket. Sand the neck a little at a time, checking for correct fit.
Peter Vivian4 months ago

That is VERY nice work sir!

Peter Vivian4 months ago

That is VERY nice work sir!

MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
That size mini pot is really hard to find. I found these on eBay. You can use the slightly larger, more common ones (they have a base diameter of 15.5mm and a post diameter of
5mm). They work just as well, but you might have to increase the total size slightly, so they fit. The strings are standard wound guitar strings, so the low E starts at around .050, which would be exact to scale.
aleji77a5 months ago

Great project! where did you get the mini pots and the strings???? :D thank you for posting this!

Pootao5 months ago

Also have one with most details but this bass is amazing

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tacocats5 months ago
i play now
MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
@Beergnome -- I explained the scale down process when I talked about shaping the neck. Whatever your full-size measurement is, multiply it by .45 -- this will maintain the correct perspective. A few of the most important measurements would be nut to end of neck; nut to bridge; top of headstock to nut; top of headstock to end of neck; length of body and so on. Just multiply by the percentage you wish to reduce the guitar down to.
Beergnome5 months ago

cool project, But, I was kinda hoping on insights and explanations of actually scaling down a full sized instrument into a smaller, and properly scaled instrument for it's size.

RetiredLE5 months ago

Nice work! I did something similar when I made a half size electric version of a dulcimer. Here is a photo. (ignore the dust buildup on it)

Electric dulcimer.JPG

Oh man, you've GOT to post a video of it being played.

hde bruin5 months ago

But how does it sound?

I guess it cannot sound like a bass...

BayRatt5 months ago

That is about the coolest thing I've ever seen!! Love it!!

MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
@shelivesonlovestreet -- This project isn't as difficult as it looks. As long as you have the right tools and measure correctly, the rest isn't that hard. If I were going to add frets, I would print out the fretboard in the exact size, lay it over the neck and mark where the frets fall out. Then use thin fret wire.

This looks so cool! I'm really interested in making this (it would be a fun summer project, that's for sure!)

I was wondering, if you were to add frets to it, would you make an Instructable on how to do it? Thanks!

MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
I've already had a couple of ideas. One for making a ukulele and the other for making a violin. Anything with a four string tuning would be possible.
jimdkc5 months ago

A 34" bass scaled to 45% is about a 15.3" scale length... That's about the same scale as a Concert Ukulele. Except for the neck and string spacing being so narrow, you could almost tune and play that as a ukulele!

Or... you could always tune it to an open chord and play it with a slide!

Fikjast Scott5 months ago

Great job.

Sadi7895 months ago

eeeeeeeeeee! It's so cool! I LOVE THIS!

ConnorEzio5 months ago
This is way cool. Your dimensions are perfect. You should do a jazz next.
MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
@stubbsonic -- I know exactly what you mean. Kind of like an eight neck guitar: Is it practical? Not really. Is it an awesome work of art? Oh yes!
stubbsonic5 months ago

This is both ridiculous (in a good way) and astounding (in a good way). Impressive on so many fronts.

MJT3 (author) 5 months ago
I never really kept track of exact cost, since it wasn't that much. My guess would be around $60.
sweethrt975 months ago
Nice job! How much did this cost to make? I love it!