Fretless bass build.

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by englishman, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    I started a thread on this before I realized it wouldn't update, so here I am again with the 'one and done' version!

    Once again, this is my entry to the Talkbass.com winter build off 2019. The theme of this year's builds is 'mash up', so various styles can be squished together.

    I decided to go with the Rickenbacker shape, as I love it, and also grabbed used RIC pickups, the bridge pickup is a 1974 4001.

    I had a giant piece of poplar here as well as the flamed top that I was going to put on the jet project a little while ago, so all I needed was a neck and fingerboard, so I ordered a maple blank and an ebony board.

    The 'pile' (which also serves as the official 'start' pic with the saying of their choice):

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    The bottom and top here are almost three inches thick together lol.

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    Used the old router sled to shave the body down.

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    audept, JC higgy and loudnlousy like this.
  2. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
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    Things were going well until I sanded my way into the truss rod channel. I thought of several ways to try and save it but in the end, I started over.

    This is MKI neck sitting in the body.


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    Started contour carving. Angle grinder and flappy disk!

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    audept, JC higgy and loudnlousy like this.
  3. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Onto the staining. I wanted a PRS-ey looking burst with vintage amber and cherry red.

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    Poplar takes stain in a weird way, but I usually like the effect and this time was no different. Started laying on the Tru-Oil

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    A week or so later I started to wetsand and promptly went through all the finish to the bare wood. I think it's because the Tru Oil I was using had been sitting on the shelf a long time.

    Nothing to do but start over...



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    I got the replacement neck made despite sub zero temps in the garage.



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    I sprayed the body with nitro this time.

    Final assembly started. Hipshot A bridge.

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    The bridge pickup mount is clear (at the moment), I noticed right away it became a magnet for loose wood crap on the inside.

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    audept likes this.
  4. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
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    The nut isn't offset but the end of the fingerboard is a little. Hipshot ultralight tuners.

    The green ends to the Fender flatwound are messing with my color mojo a little, but this bass sounds great. Still a few loose ends to tie up, but at least you get to see how it looks when it's done :)




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    new6659, audept, CousinWarsh and 7 others like this.
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Great! How does it sound? Are those fret markers on the side? Maybe I'm seeing the picture wrong the spacing seems different than I expected. That bridge pup is huge! Is that normal for the Rics or just this model of Ric pup?
     
  6. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    61
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Sounds great. Yeah, the Ric bridge pickup is pretty large. The actual bobbin is the same size as the neck pickup but there’s a pair of ceramic magnets under that huge base.
    There are white dots for fret markers and gold ones where the fretboard markers usually would be. So far it hasn’t confused me too bad.
     
  7. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    A very unique design. Nice idea. Fine job.
     
    englishman likes this.
  8. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I was guessing that was the case, seems confusing to me though! I kind of like how NS does their fretless boards with a dot. I hope you win!
     
  9. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Wow, I never even thought of an arched top for a Ricky bass. Looks great!
     
    englishman likes this.
  10. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    48
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Looks well!
     
    englishman likes this.
  11. CousinWarsh

    CousinWarsh Gretschie

    274
    Jun 24, 2018
    Western NY
    That burst is sweet. Nice work! Good luck with the contest.
     
    englishman likes this.
  12. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    71
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Very nice, David!
     
    englishman likes this.
  13. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Another beauty, David!
     
    englishman likes this.
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