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T-Bay

The bug has bitten, early stages of planning for T-bird2

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So having set out to make a lightweight headless T bird, I ended up making a standard weight standard head T bird but loved doing it and have a bass I play every day.

As always you learn so much on the first one and straight away I want to do another and correct those issues. The main one being weight. So this one WILL be lightweight.

so I have decided on a few options, not sure which to go for so opinions gratefully received.

Option 1- light wood, not sure what to go for here. Any suggestions on places that supply decent suitable timber at sensible money would be fantastic.

Option 2 - semi hollow, never seen a semi hollow T bird and have no experience whatsoever of them (never even played one) so that would be interesting. Does the internal shape affect the sound?

Option 3 - like Option 2 but with a lightweight filler wood like balsa or even pine.

Option 4 - medium weight wood with serious copit outs on the rear -least favoured option at mo.

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Posted (edited)

It’s a slippery slope I think building is more addictive than crack!! :D

I’d go for a mix of option 1 and 2 as you have a lot of choices for lightweight timber ie Paulownia, Swamp Ash, Basswood etc also semi hollow it and that would make it even lighter......

Edited by Jimothey
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At MBB5 on Saturday Andyjr veneered what we think was a Paulogrady body.

It offered no indication that he was cutting into it when he trimmed the veneer with a scalpel.  There were a couple of places that got unintentionally scalloped.  On the plus side, it is dead easy to dress out minor damage.  It is feather light though.  Probably about the same as Balsa.  For these, I'd say a veneered top and back would be a good way to go.

Y'bugger!  You've got me thinking about a scratch build now.

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9 minutes ago, BrunoBass said:

+1 for paulownia if you want lightweight.

Check this out on eBay:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F332551617312

Although it looks more Explorer like than the TB it’s described as, nothing a bit of sanding won’t resolve for something a bit more ‘Bird-esque though! 

Now that is a curve ball as our American neighbours would say! Probably as cheap as buying a piece of timber and with a load of the work already done. Hmmmmm, what to do............

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44 minutes ago, T-Bay said:

Now that is a curve ball as our American neighbours would say! Probably as cheap as buying a piece of timber and with a load of the work already done. Hmmmmm, what to do............

I can vouch for the vendor as I recently bought a body from him.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

I can vouch for the vendor as I recently bought a body from him.

+1 I bought my Jazz bass kit off him aswell only thing to consider is you might have the same problems geek99 had with the pickup sizes so my advice would be don’t buy the pickups till you have measured the bridge rout as with my Jazz, Discreets and geeks both cavities are routed for 2 neck size pickups.....

2 hours ago, T-Bay said:

Now that is a curve ball as our American neighbours would say! Probably as cheap as buying a piece of timber and with a load of the work already done. Hmmmmm, what to do............

I looked in to buying some Paulownia and your right it was virtually the same price by the time you factor in p&p and as you say most of the work is already kinda done for you......:D

Edited by Jimothey

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7 hours ago, Jimothey said:

+1 I bought my Jazz bass kit off him aswell only thing to consider is you might have the same problems geek99 had with the pickup sizes so my advice would be don’t buy the pickups till you have measured the bridge rout as with my Jazz, Discreets and geeks both cavities are routed for 2 neck size pickups.....

I looked in to buying some Paulownia and your right it was virtually the same price by the time you factor in p&p and as you say most of the work is already kinda done for you......:D

I wouldn’t be too worried on the pickup holes, unless they were overly big as I could always enlarge them. I was budgeting around £50-60 for timber this time so it would be a cheap starter. Wondering whether to use one to have a play with veneering on.

@Andyjr1515 or anyone other veneer experts, once the Veneer is on can you rout at the edges without it breaking up? Shame I couldn’t have made it to the midlands bash to see it done for real.

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25 minutes ago, T-Bay said:

Shame I couldn’t have made it to the midlands bash to see it done for real

Did the gig go well?

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1 hour ago, T-Bay said:

I wouldn’t be too worried on the pickup holes, unless they were overly big as I could always enlarge them. I was budgeting around £50-60 for timber this time so it would be a cheap starter. Wondering whether to use one to have a play with veneering on.

@Andyjr1515 or anyone other veneer experts, once the Veneer is on can you rout at the edges without it breaking up? Shame I couldn’t have made it to the midlands bash to see it done for real.

I'm not sure quite what stages you are talking about but you can certainly rout chambers into an already veneered body.  I would be a touch more cautious about the edges and neck pocket, etc, as the chances of a semi-supported edge of the veneer pinging off is quite high.

I noticed @Si600 was videoing some of the demo - any of that worth posting, Simon?

By the way, I used a bought Paulownia Jazz body for the demo. VERY light, but very, very soft.  When I was demoing sanding the veneer edges, the 0.6mm veneer edge was remaining proud as the 35mm thick paulownia body was sanding away to dust!

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Would the template (properly clamped) not help retain the veneer?

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6 minutes ago, Si600 said:

Sorry @Andyjr1515, I was only taking stills.  I didn't think to video it.

Anyway... what happens at BC BB stays at BC BB.

Heeheehee

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10 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

Did the gig go well?

Fantastic mate, thanks for asking. Got a busy period (for us) of four in five weeks so good to get the first one out the way we’ll. lots of new and reworked stuff and all went well.

we also finally decided on the new PA and monitors we are buying so this project will be on hold until next pay day due to the outgoings for that. At £40 delivered it alsmost seems rude not to have a bash with the one above. So now thinking the T-bird two won’t be a T- bird at all and that may end up being build 3. I have a few weeks to decide.

@Andyjr1515 thanks for the heads up on the veneering. It sounds like this may not be the best one to do that on. Now wondering about doing something like a Wenge centre piece or maybe just a obscenely bright colour in true 80s style. Too many choices for someone so weak willed.

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6 hours ago, Si600 said:

Sorry @Andyjr1515, I was only taking stills.  I didn't think to video it.

No problem. I'd have only had to explain it to the probation officer in any case ;)

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i have been looking for nice woods and found some I can’t ignore. I have also decided on shape, but I will reveal that later.

The next question  then is, how skinny can a bass be? Working out a few things I am think in the region of 30-32mm which with a decent wood will give enough support for the neck. My guess is a through neck could be thinner but that is beyond my ability for now.

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42 minutes ago, T-Bay said:

i have been looking for nice woods and found some I can’t ignore. I have also decided on shape, but I will reveal that later.

The next question  then is, how skinny can a bass be? Working out a few things I am think in the region of 30-32mm which with a decent wood will give enough support for the neck. My guess is a through neck could be thinner but that is beyond my ability for now.

I thought that 38mm on my last build was thin but Jabba makes his around 35mm and Andy makes his even thinner than that around 25mm, so I reckon you should be ok and that should take some weight off the body aswell :D

What woods you looking at? 

Incidentally my P bass body build is going to be around the 33mm mark give or take......

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Looked at spalted beech. There is a gorgeous bit I will get if it’s still there next pay day. Then a darker back, possibly sepele again if I can get another piece.

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Sounds really nice, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Spalted Beech!!.....

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11 hours ago, T-Bay said:

i have been looking for nice woods and found some I can’t ignore. I have also decided on shape, but I will reveal that later.

The next question  then is, how skinny can a bass be? Working out a few things I am think in the region of 30-32mm which with a decent wood will give enough support for the neck. My guess is a through neck could be thinner but that is beyond my ability for now.

For a through neck, the determining factors are generally the depths of the pickups and pots or switches.

For a bolt on it's more about the amount of meat needed underneath the neck pocket. It's worth checking the heel depth and resulting neck pocket thickness, but I would have thought 30 to 32 would be OK.  Then you need to check how you are going to fix the neck - you will need shorter screws than the 'standard' ones  or you could use set screws (which bring their own challenges!)

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I'm not convinced that this'll work as a bass...

6209-rcbtb2-xzip-136-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

I'm not convinced that this'll work as a bass...

6209-rcbtb2-xzip-136-2.jpg

It would be lighter than my other one.

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Slow progress on this due to work, finances and other projects.

i spotted a decent bass locally that I thought would be good as a neck donor and for the other odds and sods you need. Only problem is that when I picked it up it’s too nice to kill. But I don’t need another bass so what to do?

8F830006-ADB7-4260-8030-8230328ACB85.thumb.jpeg.974c8cc23a0568ccb163c0abe267f817.jpeg8049B5F6-199D-4A46-8F40-337A00068CF5.thumb.jpeg.3c87d3c8ce2d4aa9d67ac7c70581dc81.jpeg

 

It only owes me £60 and plays really nice. It seems a shame though to part it out. Looks much nicer in the flesh. So now have three options- 1, use it for bits as intended, 2, let someone else have a decent bass for little money and find something else, 3, keep it as a backup bass (already have one of those).

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46 minutes ago, T-Bay said:

Slow progress on this due to work, finances and other projects.

i spotted a decent bass locally that I thought would be good as a neck donor and for the other odds and sods you need. Only problem is that when I picked it up it’s too nice to kill. But I don’t need another bass so what to do?

8F830006-ADB7-4260-8030-8230328ACB85.thumb.jpeg.974c8cc23a0568ccb163c0abe267f817.jpeg8049B5F6-199D-4A46-8F40-337A00068CF5.thumb.jpeg.3c87d3c8ce2d4aa9d67ac7c70581dc81.jpeg

 

It only owes me £60 and plays really nice. It seems a shame though to part it out. Looks much nicer in the flesh. So now have three options- 1, use it for bits as intended, 2, let someone else have a decent bass for little money and find something else, 3, keep it as a backup bass (already have one of those).

Glad this is back on the active status :)

But I'm a bit confused...if you are going for a through neck, how are you planning to use a bolt-on as the donor?  I ask partly because, since moving to almost 100% neck-through designs, I've got a number of past bolt-on necks in my over-full bits box!  It would be jolly nice to find a use for some of them :D

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25 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I've got a number of past bolt-on necks in my over-full bits box!  It would be jolly nice to find a use for some of them :D:)

If you need to get rid of a maple/maple one I'm sure I could find a good home for it 😁

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