Jump to content
Left leaderboard
donslow

51-ish p-bass build help needed....

Recommended Posts

So I’ve had a solid lump of mahogany sitting the shed for about 3 years now....

 

time to do something with it, I’ve decided to attempt a 51 slab body precision

my question for you gods of luthery on basschat.....

what would be the thickest or thinnest I could get away with without compromising the tonal and structural integrity whilst not feeling like I’m hanging a washing machine around my neck or am I expecting too much?!

 

any help/advice/guidance massively appreciated 

 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but the body is around 42mm thick 

Having said that, I just looked at the ones on the Warmoth website, and they are 1 3/4" which is about 44mm or 45mm.

Anything in that area would be fine, I don't suppose anyone is going to take a set of calipers to it! More important, is that it balances well and doesn't feel like a millstone around your neck 

 

Edited by rubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, rubis said:

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but the body is around 42mm thick 

I had 42mm ear marked as the thickness so I think your right, I guess what I’m thinking is....it’s mahogany, it’s heavy, could I go any thinner and have it still be structurally sound once built up AND still sound like a 51 precision

 

other considerations were, 42mm and chambering as much as possible under where the pick guard would be....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a link to a 51 p bass build on the TDPRI site, they mention a bloke called Preeb, who has done some extraordinary builds, both basses and guitars, he is fastidious to say the least with his research. 

I think you would find all the information you need on there. 

There is also a link on that thread to a PDF named "P bass comparison" which is an accurate outline plan for the body shape, if you don't already have one. There are lots of other plans for things like headstocks and pickguards if you need them, not sure how much you plan to do yourself.

Great project though, keep us all posted with it please, and best of luck 

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/51-p-bass-build-looking-for-info.187396/

 

Edited by rubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

look at what Bass Collection are doing. Their fender style copies are thinner. I imagine they've done the hard work at working out how thin they can make it. 

Also is it that heavy? And compared to what. Anything in a big slab will feel heavier than when it's trimmed down to size and given nice smooth edges.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

look at what Bass Collection are doing. Their fender style copies are thinner. I imagine they've done the hard work at working out how thin they can make it. 

Also is it that heavy? And compared to what. Anything in a big slab will feel heavier than when it's trimmed down to size and given nice smooth edges.

Agreed, some very good points I hadn’t thought of yet....

min it’s current state it is heavy but then thinking about it, a lot of wood to removed yet so maybe I’m thinking too much into it before even starting...

 

@rubis thanks for the link, will definitely have a good ol read through....

Edited by donslow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do decide to go for chambering, here is an idea of how Warmoth do it, with a kind of honeycombe-looking thing which you may be able to do with a forstner bit in a pin drill, and avoid nasty routers!

Given the larger scratchplate on a 51(ish) p bass, it might work well. I've done chambering before, and it is effective, but I have only done it where a top has been glued over the chambers.

I did it on an Ash and Wenge 'Blingray' build a while ago, it did cut the weight down quite a bit,  but all the photos have gone from the thread, so not much help there, sorry!

https://www.warmoth.com/ordering/chamberedbody30dayguarantee.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, donslow said:

Agreed, some very good points I hadn’t thought of yet....

min it’s current state it is heavy but then thinking about it, a lot of wood to removed yet so maybe I’m thinking too much into it before even starting...

 

@rubis thanks for the link, will definitely have a good ol read through....

it's more a question - how much heavier that the equivalent alder or ash is it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

it's more a question - how much heavier that the equivalent alder or ash is it. 

Difficult to say at the minute as it’s just a big block of wood about 2 foot square 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rubis said:

If you do decide to go for chambering, here is an idea of how Warmoth do it, with a kind of honeycombe-looking thing which you may be able to do with a forstner bit in a pin drill, and avoid nasty routers!

Given the larger scratchplate on a 51(ish) p bass, it might work well. I've done chambering before, and it is effective, but I have only done it where a top has been glued over the chambers.

I did it on an Ash and Wenge 'Blingray' build a while ago, it did cut the weight down quite a bit,  but all the photos have gone from the thread, so not much help there, sorry!

https://www.warmoth.com/ordering/chamberedbody30dayguarantee.aspx

I’ve seen that before, something well worth considering, thank you for the reminder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going thinner, as long as it's not crazy thin, won't affect either the tone or the structural integrity in my view.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, donslow said:

Difficult to say at the minute as it’s just a big block of wood about 2 foot square 

You can weigh it and work out its weight per cubed meter and then compare ... once you know that you can start to come up with rough figures of weight per thickness too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both my slab builds were done in the kitchen 😀 Festive period was my free time so minimal machining was allowed.

 

48mm Southern Yellow Pine 10.5lb .   46mm Utile  11lb

 

If you have Mahogany from Honduras you've won a watch. it's lighter than both timbers I used 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were you I'd draw it all out full scale along with all the fittings first, it will show you exactly what you can work with. If I remember rightly a Fender neck pocket is about 15-16mm, I guess the minimum thickness you need to screw to would be about 12mm so an estimated overall body thickness on 28mm minimum as long as everything else can be mounted too. Probably you'd be better off being thicker than that, there's a reason bolt on bodies are as thick as they are, anything over 35mm would probably work along with a decent neck mounting plate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think 38-40mm is my preferred thickness for a fender style body.  It doesn't look weirdly thin, but is significantly thinner than a standard Fender body which can help with weight.  The other limiting factor is what switches etc you want to use.  That can limit how thin you can make the body. 

A solid mahogany P bass will come in pretty heavy though, even at 38mm.  If you can weigh the block you have, I can give you a pretty accurate guess of what a final weight bass will be.  I can usually get to within a couple of hundred grams!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help and advice so far! Think I’m gonna get it down to 42mm at first and then assess depth for pickup holes and switches etc and then weigh it up against my precision body in the hope of I can get them the same or thereabouts weight, I should t have any problems

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...