Instructables
Picture of Building a Bass Guitar

This Instructable is for building a bolt on neck, 5 string bass guitar, however all these steps are applicable for a guitar or 4 string bass as well.

This project requires that you have woodworking skills and you know how to to safely use all of the tools stated below.

For this project I used over 20 different tools; however you really only need a few.

Tools:

-Jigsaw

-Sander (Orbital, Belt, or Drum)

-Router (with many bits)

-Drill

-Drill press

-Forstner bit kit

-12" Drill bit

-Wood rasp

-LOTS of clamps

-Fretboard radius sanding block

If you have the money a jointer, planer, bandsaw and ripsaw are also very helpful.

Materials:

-Lumber (I will explain latter)

-Bolt on neck (Hopefully I will soon post another instructable on how to build necks)

-Woodglue Tight bond 3

-Pickup/s

-Copper tape/ Conductive paint

-A LOT of little screws

-Finish (I will explain latter)

-Strings

-Tuning keys

-Pre-amp

-Neck mounting screws

-Bridge

-Neck plate

-Jack plate

 
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Step 1: Plan

Picture of Plan

It is very important to plan ahead if you are going to do this project.

First come up with a design.

You can either make a stereotypical design such as a J-Bass, or you can make your own like I did. (just dont use my design, it is heavy and not very useful)

You also need to figure out what type of woods you are going to use.

For bodies most woods work except Oak, Cedar and Pine.

Some really great choices are:

Mahogany, Alder, Maple, Ash, Poplar, Cherry.

Fender basses use Alder and Maple which give you alot of room to mess with the sound.

Mahogany and Cherry has a very deep bassy tone.

Ash sounds really funky and is often played slap.

Poplar sounds just like Alder just cheeper.

If you are going to build your own neck only use Maple, DO NOT trust any other woods, unless you are going to spend a lot of money on Mahogany, Wenge or another expensive neck wood.

If this is your first bass, I would advise using Poplar as it is the cheapest and sounds just as good as Alder.

Other than the wood you also need to plan what type of pickups you are going to use and how many of the, you want. There ares Single coil, Split single coil, Humbucker, and soap bar. You can also get all of those active.

Tony Rimmer5 months ago

Superb.

rolfskylark (author)  Tony Rimmer5 months ago

Thanks, It has been a great experiance.