Warwick Thumb style 5 string fretless bass

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Menneskedyr, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    Started this build last summer, but life (graduation, marriage, moving and f*cking up my hand with a circular saw) got in the way of finishing it. All is settled and mostly healed by now, so I'm restarting the build.

    I've always loved Warwick basses, especially the Thumb models. Not having the money and not being a bass player in the first place, I've never got to own one, so now I'm building my take on this model myself.

    I am shooting to glue the fingerboard and the body pieces next week, might start on roughing in the neck shape.
    Don't know yet if I'm going to put a swamp ash headplate on, I like the pau ferro as it is. One of the inlays is a little crooked, might fix this if it keeps bugging me. Opinions?

    Specs - 5 string fretless bass

    Body: 3pc swamp ash, lightly flamed
    Neck: 1pc pau ferro, scarfjointed headstock
    Fingerboard: rosewood 34 inch scale, bolt-on
    Pickups: probably 2 soapbar humbuckers
    Bridge: hardtail, black
    Tuners: ?

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    pondman and Edika like this.
  2. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    Looking great!

    I'd try to fix the inlay now. It will only get harder to fix as you go.

    How heavy is the body? Pau ferro can be pretty heavy/dense, and the Thumb is know to suffer from neck dive when it's built with Warwick's usual boat/anchor woods, so I'd worry that an ash Thumb could have neck dive from hell.

    But some ash is heavy. I have an ash Superstrat that truly weighs more than my Les Pauls.
     
  3. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    Thanks. I'll most likely fix the inlay beforbefore glueing the board to the neck. The ash is quite heavy, we'll see if it's enough to counter balance the neck.
     
  4. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    Update:

    - Glued the fingerboard to the neck and routed the neckblack flush with the fingerboard.
    - Roughed out most of the neckshape, overall it's about 1 mm thicker than what I'm aiming for in the end.
    - Glued the bodypieces

    Next week I'll complete the bodytemplate, flatten the body and route bodyshape and the neckpocket. I also might start shaping the body.

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  5. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    Update:

    - Routed the bodyshape and did some rough shaping
    - Routed the neckpocket and drilled the screwholes/insert recesses
    - Routed the recess for the cavity cover and hoged out most of the control cavity

    I have to do 2 small repairs on the body:
    1. When routing, I discovered a knot on the upper horn. Most of it was removed when shaping the body, I will fill the rest of it with epoxy and maybe some turqoise or something.
    2. When routing the neckpocket, the routed somehow slipped a bit. On the bass side of the pocket there is a smal patial gap (0,5mm) which I'll fill with a ash veneer. Nothing too bad.

    Next week I'll finalize the neck and body shapes, make the controlcavity cover and decide what pickup(s) and tuners I'll use.

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    cardinal likes this.
  6. cardinal

    cardinal SS.org Regular

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    Looking good!
     
  7. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    Update:

    Only managed to route the pickupcavities and the controlcavity. Decided on 2 soapbar humbuckers. Controls wil just be 1 volume and a threeway switch, as I like simplicity in my electronics.

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  8. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    I'm surprised you didnt opt for a watwick bridge. its looking nice man
     
  9. Menneskedyr

    Menneskedyr SS.org Regular

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    I had this one laying around, so I figured I would just use it.
    I'm still not sure about the finish. It will be Danish oil, but do I leave it natural or do I stain it trans black... all the hardware will be black.
     
  10. Knarbens

    Knarbens Montag Custom Guitars

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    I vote for natural. Light colored body wood with black hardware always looks good. Especially with a dark fingerboard.
     
  11. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Ooooh nice build! Stain it black but sand most of it off to give it a weathered grey look. Personally natural finished ash/similar guitars look like furniture.
     

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