Saturday, January 9, 2010

Building the uber-J. Part Three.

More body work and starting the neck.

Today I have worked on the neck and on the body. The clamps are gone and the edges of the body and top have been sanded. I chose not to have veneer between top and body and to do without bindings. In a way I don't want to stray too far from the simple character of the J. Later I will round the edges.

I've been torn between the different types of Maple available. Some are truly gorgeous. In the end I decided to go for the humble simplicity of the Rock Maple. Again, an homage to the J frugality.

These are the laminate woods before and after the sanding, now ready for being glued. I decided to make it a three pieces laminated neck with Makassar Ebony as the central wood. After so much 'paying respect' to Mr. FJ I wanted to add a little rebel touch ;)
Be as it may, The Ebony should both stiffen the neck - which is going to be a lot thinner than the original FJ - and echo the body top.

This is the neck clamped. Nothing to add. Just sit and wait. Till Monday...

This is the fingerboard, partially sanded - Birdseye Maple, another little mutiny ;)

I have started shaping of the body. You can see how deep the chest recess is. I play with the bass fairly high and don't have a belly to speak of. Thus, the contour has to follow the shape of my chest.

Shaping it was a crude job.
I'll finish on Monday...probably. You can see the pencil mark on the lower horn. That wood will have to go. Many basses deal with the problem of playing the high position by changing the shape of the horn into a slimmer one, further away from the neck. That works and it almost always looks good. But on a FJ I think it'd be ugly and I pledged to keep the front look intact.

By shaving off the back of it I plan to give my left hand all the space it needs without changing the shape of the horn. I think it should work. If you pay attention to the way the horn interferes with the left hand you'll notice that in reality the culprit is the back, not the front.

Can't wait to put this theory to a test.


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