Step 13: Protoype #2: Your Fretboard is your Friend:

Padauk is an awesome wood. Its tonal properties are a little darker, and it has this incredible reddish orange color. Padauk also has tonal properties that are similar to maple. Lets just say Padauk is under rated when it comes to making basses. Considering I just can't get enough Padauk, I used a piece of it for the fretboard too. Making a fretboard is rather simple, but still not to be rushed. Match your neck dimensions to your neck design from the nut down to 24 inches to a planed piece of hardwood. I would recommend getting a plank that is 1/4 inch in thickness and of course 3 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Using a bandsaw carefully cut out the shape of the fretboard. (remember to leave a little room for errors.) Next use either sandpaper or an orbital sander to clean up the sides. Take your new fretboard and laminate it onto the top of the neck. Make sure you have installed your truss rod into the neck before gluing, and keep watch of the truss rod to make sure that any glue doesn't accidently fasten it into the truss rod cavity. If you use too much glue when gluing on your fretboard and your truss rod gets stuck then i promise you will not be a happy camper.

After clamping down the fretboard and allowing the glue to dry for a couple days, use a radius gauge and sand down the fretboard to a 9.5 radius. To paint a mental picture for you, imagine the fretboard curve to be the portion of a complete circle.
...i ME GUSTA padauk...very nice...is it a tonewood though?
thats a very unique instrument<br>
How long did it take you to make the body, neck and head? and to get it all together
man that bass looks *ahem* grreaaat.... guess that's what practice is for...<br>
&quot;Yes, indeed that is why practice is important.&quot;
Could you put in a hard disk drive to drive the pickup/s combination?<br />
Try it out, I like the way you think!
In Step 13 picture 4, you have a load of clamps. Are they made by you?<br /> It looks like they would be good to make an instructable with too.<br /> It looks like 2 flat blocks of hardwood, 2 long screw things of metal, 4 bolts that could sit in the wood.<br /> 1 or 2 handles to turn the metal screw things. And what else?<br /> <br /> By the way, incredible instructable. I want to make a body with many holes in it, not just for carrying it, and thought maybe I could cut out all the knots, if I had a knotted body bit. The neck would be easier with all those clamps though.<br />
They are made by a company called Jorgenson; I think it's Swiss. I bet you could make your own pair though as long as you find a strong piece of hardwood.<br />
can i use palochina wood for the neck?<br />
I am unfamiliar with Palochina wood. I suppose check out the physical properties of the wood including its tonal qualities. If it seems strong and solid enough, and without knots then I suppose it would be a good wood to use. You will want to make sure that the soundwill remain at a constant from the top to the bridge of the scale. If the sound is inhibited in any way from sending its wave through length of the neck and into the body than you will produce a possibly undesirable resonance.<br />
That's really nice. But you shouldn't write in caps. It's like yelling and not pleasant to the eyes.<br /> Cool design<br />
Great instructable, thank you.&nbsp; A few details were left out that I would&nbsp; like to know.&nbsp; Frets for instance, but it seems like you haven't gotten that far yet so I can't knock you for that.&nbsp;&nbsp; Overall I love it.&nbsp; I learned a few things that I didn't know from other research.&nbsp; I'm planning on making my own bass body, but I'm still a little intimidated by making the neck so I think I'll just order a neck blank so I can design the head.&nbsp; Anyways, thanks a lot.&nbsp; I hope to see more from you.<br />
I wish I could see more of the wiring. And also, if you or someone could make an instructable on making the frets
I didn't cover the details of the wiring because it will all depend on what pickups or pickup combination you use. This is the diagram for the pickup I used for this project. As far as the frets go, when I get them in the mail I will be sure to add them to the follow up guide that is in the works about adding finishing touches to a bass guitar.
That sounds great!
I just wanted to add this picture. Stay tuned for the guide on how to finish and touch up your custom built bass guitar. It should answer any questions that were left unanswered.
Although this is detailed as far as it goes, it is incomplete. As for what I liked, I really like the idea of making a prototype first. That should be done any time you make something that has real value. Unfortunately with this Instructable, you are going to need it to fill in the missing detail. This Instructable has too many grammatical and spelling errors as well as out of focus pictures and unexplained pictures to justify the "featured" label. My first inclination was to downgrade it simply for typing in all caps. The caps disappeared but my inclination was confirmed along the way with numerous other errors that make it hard to read. Furthermore it does not have enough detail in the electronics to make any kind of guitar. The design of the bridge is clever but has a few flaws that any electric guitar player should recognize. I think the author has all the knowledge to make this a great Instructable. I would love to see it cleaned up. He has taken much of the mystery out of guitar making but there are a few tricks he hasn't covered well enough. Maybe the electronics part should be taken out of this Instructable and a second Instructable made that specialized in wiring an electric guitar.
I took your advice and changed the body through string setup. I created slots for the strings in a piece of brass that has the saddles mounted on. I actually got it tuned much better than I had had it before. Thanks for your help in pointing out that problem in the bridge design.
Very cool. I built a guitar from a kit that sounds great. I'm tempted to tackle a full bass from scratch for one of my next projects, and seeing this made me think it's not beyond my abilities. Are you leaving it fretless?
Good detail/images. Liked the Padauk wood. Never heard of it before but it looks good laminated on the bass.
Even though it looks a little rough around the edges its still a detailed guide to making a bass. I'm guessing the 'ugly' factor is because it isn't polished up, but I don't think that custom decorations are necessary for this guide. Anyways, quite extensive for one of your first instructibles. I look forward to see what else you can make along the way.
It looks odd, yes, but I will definitely have to try this out. Thank you.
looks a little.... ugly<br/><br/>but better then i can do <sub>especially because i don't have half of the tools required to do the job</sub><br/>

About This Instructable


75 favorites


Bio: I strive to make advancements in forms of perception in art for myself and for others. This is a focus I try to incorporate into ... More »
More by JuxtaposedIToldYouSo: Kiln Formed Glass & The Craft of Glass Blowing How to create an electric bass guitar via wood lamination and other various woodcrafting techniques
Add instructable to: