The Flying V Bass

#1
I recently asked for opinions on my next build in my thread What should I make next?

Most of you voted for the resin river guitar, and that is indeed under way, but then one person voted for the flamey V bass and one person voted for a 5-string bass. I decided to combine both of those into one option, and the flying V 5-string bass was born! At least, the idea of it was....now I have to make the damn thing.

I am also working on the resin river guitar and I'll start a thread about that at some point. However, I've done quite a lot of work already on the basics of this build and today all of the main parts have taken shape.

I decided to make this a through neck, and had to scrabble around in my wood store to find pieces that were long enough for that. I worked out that the through neck should be 116 cm long, to allow for a bit of wastage, and I wanted to make it taper to avoid strange patterns along the side of the neck. Since I always like to make laminate necks, that's a bit of a challenge - it's actually pretty difficult to make a tapered piece of wood, and doubly so when it's that long. In fact, I wanted the centre stripe to taper as well as the two maple stripes, but it was too hard to do the maple and I abandoned those. Still, the padauk strip tapers enough, I think.

I had a couple of thin, flame maple tops that I butchered out of a single, thick cap. Because of the lack of depth, and to play with some Kiesel-like reveal carving, I also made a thin padauk top which will go under the maple. That should give quite a striking effect when it's carved back. The body wings will be sapele - I was thinking about various options but this was the cheapest, and I think it should look fine.

Lastly, the fretboard is ebony. That has already been cut to the exact size, calculated from the nut and bridge that I've bought for this build.

Enough bla-bla for now! Here are a couple of pictures of the pieces. Some of them have been glued together; the body wings were only roughly bandsawed out this evening, so they still need to be thicknessed, planed and cut to the right size. Still, you should get the idea!

Here's the back view:


And the top:


I haven't yet decided what colour I will stain the maple top, but we'll probably talk about that later in this build!

The body, incidentally, is slightly bigger than a normal Gibson Flying V, because I worked out that the standard guitar body isn't long enough for a bass (it'll be a normal, 34" scale length). It's probably going to be bloody heavy but I'll rout out some weight relief and cross my fingers.

Let me know what you think! :)
 
#2
Oooh nice! I like ‘non-regular’ (F-type) basses.

Les Paul Bass? —> GAS check;
Explorer Bass? —> GAS check;
Music Man Bass —> GAS check;
Rickenbass —> GAS check; etcetera.

I’m always quite pissed that I can’t play bass properly. I really need to learn to play those train wires.
 
#3
A small pictorial update on the state of the body...last weekend I routed out some weight relief and the electronics cavity. I need to rout out some cable paths before I glue the top on, and then I can have fun with the carve which should look pretty cool!


I'm aware that the weight relief will probably bring the overall weight down to something acceptable but probably at the same time make this bass very neck-heavy, but I'll cope with that. At least it's an interesting experiment!
 
#5
It's ok, it will not have a Gibson-shaped headstock!

I've been very lazy so far this week because it's been too hot for me to bother with guitar work when I get home from work, but I'm looking forward to getting the top glued on, hopefully this weekend. I need to remember to measure how much space I've got for the cutaway before I do that...
 
#6
I glued the top on yesterday, with some trepidation because it was very challenging to get the body all flat in readiness for it. Undid the clamps today and I've done the first stage of tidying it up to get the basic shape. I haven't decided exactly what to do with the sides and shoulders, but the cutaway at the bottom end is pretty much what I had in mind.
Body 1.jpg

That was a critical step and I'm pretty happy with the result. This might actually turn out ok! :)
 
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