Saturday, December 10, 2016


Among thing I am doing in my copious spare time is building a short-scale (30") bass guitar.

Not on purpose but it turns out I'm making a guitar that kind of looks like a fish.
It starts with a piece of wood I pulled out of the dumpster behind my building. I went to FabLab and planed it (the jointer there ain't working because it has an unusual 220v plug so it doesn't go into the socket. I really wish it only had a 110v motor -- or its own transformer. Ugh. I don't want to play with 220, but I'm an American, more on that later) and the piece of wood seems to be a piece of pine.
I thought that instead of making the bass out of "tonewood" I would make it out of "trash wood" and therefore the instrument would be a
Trashwood Guitar
Which amuses me but I don't know how that's going to turn out. I have this idea that the contours of the body will encourage playing near the bridge. Furthermore I (perhaps mistakenly) think this is a good thing.

I so wish we could just use the metric system here. Unfortunately all the rules at the Lab are Imperial and so all the detail work needs to be done Imperial. But adding and subtracting 9/32 of an inch from 4.183" (yes, we flop back and forth into decimal inches) is just too much for my little brain. I mean come on, if we're going to use decimal inches can we puhleeze just use millimeters?

Anyway, I get to go on a journey of discovery where I learn how to rout a Strat-style neck pocket. Also I have to figure out if the wiring all goes under a pickguard or if I rout from the back of the bass so that little holes poke up through the wood for the volume controls and jack. I dunno.

Two humbucking pickups. And they should be at 25.25" and 27" from the nut. Just like Ethan says.
I'll be experimenting with the MM 4 string bass humbucker by Warman in the neck position. The website says it is "Overall size, excluding the 3 mount holes is 90mm x 48mm and 20mm overall depth."
And the bridge position will be their Jazzbar.
So 25.25" is 641.35mm. That's where the neck pickup wants to be.
The bridge pickup wants to be at 685.8mm.
We will round these numbers off.
The neck is 762mm scale.

The ideal neck pickup position is therefore 121mm from the bridge.
The idea bridge pickup position is  76 mm from the bridge.

My calculations show they will just barely fit.

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