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Thread: First build: JBA-4M bass

  1. #1
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    First build: JBA-4M bass

    Received my first kit today. So excited. Keen to get stuck in, but of course will do a mock build first, and then I guess shape the headstock and buy some grain filler (still got some reading to do).

    One thing I did take the liberty of doing is to print out a J-style headstock template, and try to line it up. It doesn't seem to quite fit within the bounds of the headstock. Is this expected? Is there another template anyone can point to? (I'm not completely opposed to making a custom solution, but though there may be some intel.)
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  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    You'll never get it perfect, but most of the early headstocks were done by hand and had considerable variations in the dimensions. Nobody else is going to know. Just get it as close as you can and don't worry about it.

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  4. #3
    Mentor jugglindan's Avatar
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    For my headstock, I left the top edge closest to the tuners alone, so I only had to worry about lining up my template to get the other curves in the right position. I would rotate your template so that the circular curve lines up smoothly with the top-edge and then see how the areas to cut look. That's pretty much what I did for mine:
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    Mantra: No more pedals, must finish BlueyCaster...
    Disclaimer: I haven't done woodwork since high school, and wasn't really paying attention at the time ...

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  6. #4
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'll sort something out.

    First weekend with my new hobby, and most of the morning was spent tidying and re-arranging my storage shed so I have somewhere for drying.

    Did a mock build, and it's all mostly fine. The neck is really snug, which is nice (I may make a tiny sandpaper adjustment though). The pickguard will need a little bit of work as well. I can't get it around the neck at the moment. I'm assuming a little shave with a stanley blade should do the trick (though I'd welcome any tips if there are any).

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    So my next steps plan is:
    - Fix pickguard
    - Quick 180 grit sand and tidy up of earthing wire hole
    - Sort out bridge placement
    - Sanding
    - Grain filler
    - Etc.

  7. #5
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Yesterday I trimmed the pickguard, and did an initial sand. This morning I sorted out bridge placement using Brendan's guide, and now have the bridge, pickguard and neck holes drilled. It's obviously a bit fiddly, and I think I've managed a decent job, but the proof is a long way off...

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    Hoping for the weather to dry up a bit before I start some more sanding.

  8. #6
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Happy with that.

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  10. #7
    Mentor jugglindan's Avatar
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    I would be happy too, that's a well proportioned headstock.
    Mantra: No more pedals, must finish BlueyCaster...
    Disclaimer: I haven't done woodwork since high school, and wasn't really paying attention at the time ...

  11. #8
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Cheers, and thanks to you and Simon for your jedi mind tricks, making me feel like I didn't have any problems here. I ended up exaggerating the bottom curve a bit to double-down on the difference.

  12. #9
    Mentor dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me what the fret radius of this would be? 12 is the standard for most PB electrics I believe, but not sure that applies to JBs. Reading the internet, I keep seeing mention of 7.5 ...

  13. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    All the kits have a 12" radius neck. Real current JBs have 9.5", but not the kits. Some early ones may even have a 7.25" radius. Those are the two main standard neck radius's Fender have used. They did do 12" for a year or so in the early 80's but not for long.

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