Fretless 4 String (32'') - Part 2

Here's the 2nd instalment of photos from my latest bass build (part 1 is here).

The body is now ready for routing. Starting with the control cavity, and followed by routing a roundover on the back edge, and a bevel on the front. The holes for the neck bolts and ferrules are drilled, and finally the neck pocket is routed.

The bridge position is carefully marked out and drilled, and it's time for a quick test fit..

With work on the body complete, I switch my attention back to the neck. The nut slot is chiselled out, the fingerboard is radiused (20''), and the neck is shaped by hand.

The neck is carved to within a fraction of it's final thickness, and after being left to sit for a little while, I do a final levelling of the fingerboard with a sanding beam. The neck is then sanded to it's final thickness, ready for finishing. I also round over the edges of the fingerboard, which makes it extremely comfortable to play.  

The last job before final sanding and finishing, is to make a truss rod cover. I use a branding iron heated with a small blowtorch to brand my logo onto an offcut from the Walnut top.


The heat from the branding iron can cause thin pieces of wood to cup, so I leave the wood a little thicker for the branding process and then plane down the back of the truss rod cover to the desired thickness afterwards. The cover is held to a scrap of wood with some double sided tape, and planed down with a low angle block plane.

Then it's time for sanding.. a lot of sanding. The grain in the burr Walnut top runs in every direction imaginable, it takes a great deal of time/patience to sand it to a fine finish.

For the finish on this build I'm using Liberon Finishing Oil, which is an oil/resin blend. The finishing oil is applied with a cloth, and after a few minutes the excess oil is thoroughly wiped off the surface. The body is then left to dry for several hours before the next coat is applied.

Here's quick video clip of the first coat of finish being applied.

More updates coming soon.. including the 6 string guitar featured in previous blog posts, plus a new bass design. As always, feel free to ask leave any comments or questions in the section below (or via email). You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook.