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I’ve tecently been thinking of an acrylic bodied 20” scale bass. I’m currently making a ‘midget bass’ prototype but that’s bass just mahog. 

For this, the acrylic would be cheaper than timber. The tint body means a 30mm thick acrylic slab would be £35. 

Has anyone got experience in routing acrylic and if it’s safe to use a 1/2” straight bit (with a bearing on the top). From what I know, the slower the speed the better because of heat from the rotation. 

I could also use ice water as a coolant on the bit. 

If you want to look at the project of the Mahog midget I’ve got a post on that  

Here’s the body design,

17FDB51D-F9EC-4582-B828-0A96CB5310D4.jpeg

CF3BC35F-A98D-4309-B528-4EE5AF3B2A91.jpeg

B7D864DC-F01C-46C7-B740-55BBCF15AC9D.jpeg

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At a Dorset Bass Bash a few years ago, Ben Crowe from Crimson Guitars brought along a totally acrylic prototype Bass he made for Robert Plant's Bassist back then. It weighed a ton and with an acrylic neck it had issues.....

I'm sure he'd be able to help you, especially if you mention Basschat and the Bash!

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7 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

At a Dorset Bass Bash a few years ago, Ben Crowe from Crimson Guitars brought along a totally acrylic prototype Bass he made for Robert Plant's Bassist back then. It weighed a ton and with an acrylic neck it had issues.....

I'm sure he'd be able to help you, especially if you mention Basschat and the Bash!

Great thanks, I’ve seen that and I’m quite a fan of goldfrapp, who Charlie jones plays for now. 

The issue with that was the bendy neck as well I think. 

On the midget bass there’s only about 10” of neck not in a neck pocket so an acrylic neck (with CF rods) could be an option. 

Thanks for the pointer. 

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Posted (edited)

Another idea, acrylic neck. 

Bolted on into the massive neck pocket 

No truss, 3 CF rods down the neck, 3-4 layers of CF laminated with epoxy between the neck and the acrylic fretboard. 

 

Edited by jebroad

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I've seen the Crimson Charlie Jones Acrylic bass up close (and played it) and it's a horrible mess. One of the downsides to using acrylic for making guitars is that all the bits that are normally hidden away are still on show and any unpolished internal surface just looks plain nasty. There was someone who made an acrylic Telecaster Guitar (on one of the Telecaster forums IIRC) and he took the time to make sure that every surface was properly polished up and that looked really brilliant.

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I made up one using an AXL Pbass plexiglass body.

it really looked cool, but was so heavy I sold it quickly and then it got parted out.

 

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To be fair to Ben from Crimson, he brought it along as a conversation piece and I believe he made a subsequent one  for Charlie with a wooden neck which was fine.

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10 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

To be fair to Ben from Crimson, he brought it along as a conversation piece and I believe he made a subsequent one  for Charlie with a wooden neck which was fine.

What was interesting about bens prototype was the bubbles in the acrylic, was this to emulate pores in wood so the bass would resonate or just a bad cast?

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From what I've read of routing acrylic, slow speeds and good extraction are key. I don't think you need to water cool anything. I'd just be concerned about the internal routing; I always think it looks a bit meh when you can see the routing channel to the control cavity and for the bridge ground. Maybe rear-mount the controls behind the bridge or pickup somehow?

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Just now, jposega said:

From what I've read of routing acrylic, slow speeds and good extraction are key. I don't think you need to water cool anything. I'd just be concerned about the internal routing; I always think it looks a bit meh when you can see the routing channel to the control cavity and for the bridge ground. Maybe rear-mount the controls behind the bridge or pickup somehow?

I was thinking to have a piezo bridge with no onboard controls, maybe a preamp for the piezo externally. This would mean no control cavity or pickup route. I could flame polish the neck pocket for aesthetics. 

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2 minutes ago, jebroad said:

I was thinking to have a piezo bridge with no onboard controls, maybe a preamp for the piezo externally. This would mean no control cavity or pickup route. I could flame polish the neck pocket for aesthetics. 

Piezo certainly takes care of the control-cavity issue. Then you can rear-mount a strat-style output jack behind the bridge.

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4 minutes ago, jebroad said:

What was interesting about bens prototype was the bubbles in the acrylic, was this to emulate pores in wood so the bass would resonate or just a bad cast?

It was special glitter acrylic. I thought the bass played fine when I tried it (although it was heavy) but no attempt had been made to pretty up any of the internal faces where the wiring channels and control cavities were, plus with the acrylic neck you could see every cut for the frets. 

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6 minutes ago, jebroad said:

I was thinking to have a piezo bridge with no onboard controls, maybe a preamp for the piezo externally. This would mean no control cavity or pickup route. I could flame polish the neck pocket for aesthetics. 

If you can find the acrylic telecaster guitar build, you'll see that it is possible to polish all the internal surfaces too including the wiring channels and control cavities.

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3 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

If you can find the acrylic telecaster guitar build, you'll see that it is possible to polish all the internal surfaces too including the wiring channels and control cavities.

I was thinking of flame polishing internal surfaces, would that work alright?

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I can solve the issue with fret slots as inbetween the acrylic fretboard and neck will be a few layers of carbon fiber for some extra support 

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11 minutes ago, jposega said:

Piezo certainly takes care of the control-cavity issue. Then you can rear-mount a strat-style output jack behind the bridge.

I can line the output jack cavity with something opaque. Good idea

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18 hours ago, jposega said:

From what I've read of routing acrylic, slow speeds and good extraction are key. I don't think you need to water cool anything. 

I worked in a factory where acrylic (perspex) was cut for fabrication.

IIRC cutting speed was quite high. Fine tooth blades and constant fluid cooling.

But this was an industrial cutting machine doing sheets at a time. For one off manual cuts other considerations may apply...

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I have one of those 'Wesley' basses in transparent blue.

But I reckon the break angle at the bridge is too much.

Would like to replace the bridge but wondering how acrylic takes screws ?

Is there any 'give' in it such that woodscrews with a pilot hole would be okay or do I need to tap threads or use threaded inserts or...

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2 hours ago, rmorris said:

I have one of those 'Wesley' basses in transparent blue.

But I reckon the break angle at the bridge is too much.

Would like to replace the bridge but wondering how acrylic takes screws ?

Is there any 'give' in it such that woodscrews with a pilot hole would be okay or do I need to tap threads or use threaded inserts or...

I use to have one of those Wesley acrylic basses too and the break angle at the bridge was fine. If I hadn't been happy, then I would have looked at changing the neck angle with a shim instead.

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58 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I use to have one of those Wesley acrylic basses too and the break angle at the bridge was fine. If I hadn't been happy, then I would have looked at changing the neck angle with a shim instead.

Interesting. Maybe I'll re-evaluate :-)

Thanks.

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Charlie’s original Perspex Bass was made by Nightingale, I think.  It’s got a lovely figured maple neck,  dark rosewood fingerboard with a Perspex headstock glued on, in a scarf joint, under the first frets.  It weighs several tonnes, but strangely feels quite good on a strap - it’s really well balanced.  Sounds huge.   I think the headstock joint needed re-glueing a few times, over the years.

Last year he had a new 51P style see thru bass made by Seb Pechia (Riverside Guitars).  This one has a maple neck/fingerboard - partly because of the rosewood CITES restrictions. 

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1 hour ago, BassBod said:

Charlie’s original Perspex Bass was made by Nightingale, I think.  It’s got a lovely figured maple neck,  dark rosewood fingerboard with a Perspex headstock glued on, in a scarf joint, under the first frets.  It weighs several tonnes, but strangely feels quite good on a strap - it’s really well balanced.  Sounds huge.   I think the headstock joint needed re-glueing a few times, over the years.

Last year he had a new 51P style see thru bass made by Seb Pechia (Riverside Guitars).  This one has a maple neck/fingerboard - partly because of the rosewood CITES restrictions. 

Good to know. 

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I have a Perspex strat that had already been altered to take a different tremolo before it was given to me. At the time I was young and did not appreciate such things, so put a different scratch plate on, drilling new holes.

There is no give in acrylic!

All the new holes have halo-eff up surrounds!

Never mind, it’s only a guitar. Now if that had been a bass...

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