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Thread: ESB-4SC First Build

  1. #1

    ESB-4SC First Build

    Building my own bass has been a real passion of mine for a long time. I was never able to find what I really wanted and one day I met Pitbull Guitar on the net. Bingo!!! Semi-hollow and hollow body basses. Check! Like-minded, fiendly people with the same passion. Check!

    After months of lurking in the shadows of the forum, reading through countless build diaries, detailed tutorial and feeling truly inspired by the talent, determination and pure skills of the people around. I have taken the plunge.

    It did help that my last visit on the site coincided with the anniversary sale. Presto! One ESB-4SC ordered on Sunday morning. Quick email chat with Adam to correct my double order (let's not get carried away!!!)

    The kit is on its way and boy I can't wait.

    My idea is to emulate the look of a Gretsch G5440 Long Scale. I am definitely tempted by the glossy black look with chrome trimmings and I want to put one of my custom illustration at the back (based on an old pearl jam sticker). Like this.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now I have two options either glossy finish like Jeff did on his GR-1SF. It was truly an amazing job. Or I can make the most of the fact that I can get my hands on Wudtone's Black Magic Woman kit (I am based in the UK).

    For the staining regular, what are the pros and cons? I understand that with Wudtone I might not get a finish as glossy as I might be after but again if the top looks good.

    I am also trying to source some pick-ups and a tail piece but that might be for later.

    Does anybody know whether the F holes have bindings on this model. It looks like the guitars do but I can't tell on the bass.

    Now I think I read somewhere on this forum that the best plan is worth nothing until you see your kit and I truly believe that. I might end up doing a black and red burst!!!

    Anyway sorry for the long post. As soon as I get the kit I will start posting pictures and asking millions of questions.



  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Sounds great. Hope you enjoy the ride. I never used Black Magic Woman, but I remember those who did saying it took a lot of perseverance and coats to get an even finish. Should still be possible if you are patient.

    First Act ME276 (resurrected curb-side find)
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    Open D/Standard Double 6 twin neck

  3. #3
    Member Arzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Vantaa, Finland
    Hi Romain

    I'm thinking about taking the ESB-4 as a project after the one I'm about to start soon... Not too many hollow body basses in the diaries so far so I'm very excited to see how yours will come out.

    Happy build


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Fretworn View Post
    Sounds great. Hope you enjoy the ride. I never used Black Magic Woman, but I remember those who did saying it took a lot of perseverance and coats to get an even finish. Should still be possible if you are patient.
    I have read on the forum that it might be a tricky option. Ultimately my preference would be black glossy finish but I want to leave the door open in case the kit has a nice grain. We will see.

    Can you guys make recommendations in terms of primer and spray can paint. Should I be looking at enamel based paint or something else. I thought my best bet was car spray paint but I am not sure.

    Thank you

  5. #5
    Member Arzi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Vantaa, Finland
    I used a sanding primer (Maston) and Motip's 1k acrylic car paint. On the neck I used Motip's 1k acrylic clear. Easy to use the spraycans and multiple thin layers will work out great. I used a 2k acrylic laquer on the body but if I knew better I would have finished the body with same as the neck. The 2k spray was a rip off. Cost an arm and a leg and took 5 times longer to dry than the 1k. I was able to sand the neck in 1 week.

    Since you live in UK I can give you some tips on products that are also available in my country.

    If you on the other hand know a place to buy cheap veneer I'd be happy. Any website that sells the stuff fex for 10 the shipping costs can be 50. Ridiculous...


  6. #6
    Thanks Arzi. I appreciate it. I will definitely need to pointers in terms of good quality at a decent price and available in the UK.

    I have looked for a lot of stuff that's mentioned on this forum and it seems that a lot of it is not readily available in the UK.

    Still waiting for the kit to arrive. The anticipation is killing me...

  7. #7
    OK. I have news!

    Thanks to the UK customs and their little racket my kit delivery was delayed (and more expensive!) If it wasn't for Her Royal Majesty's customs my kit would have been with me under 6 days!!!

    Thank you Adam for taking the time to provide level headed answers to my panicky emails.

    Well it's finally here!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am super excited and also very scared!!!!

  8. #8
    I unpacked the kit, everything seems to be there and as I expected (fear!!??) the top is beautiful, the neck is excellent as well. I might have to rethink the finish.

    Thank you pit bull guitar for a great product.

    Picture of the bass mock up:
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    Picture of the neck:
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    Pretty cool!

  9. #9
    Now I have checked the body quickly and everything seems to be fine. I have spotted a couple of issues. Mainly on the neck and the bridge pickup emplacement.

    For the neck emplacement the finish on the top is not as straight as it should be. What do the experts think? Is this something that will be covered by glue and the finish or should I try to fine tune it. Am I being overly OCD?
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    On the neck itself, it seems that there are some residual glue marks and the fact that it is not completely straight. Once again is that a problem. The neck fits in the pocket quite nicely at first sight but I am not sure whether the fact that the heel is not straight might pose a problem or not. What do you guys think?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally, another issue, purely cosmetic I think, is the bridge pick up emplacement seems to have a hole in it. By examining it it seems that this whole face of the emplacement is quite thin as opposed to the other sides. Should I be bothered/ worried?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    I am trying to set up a schedule and a to do list. And the first thing I want to make sure I don't do is over sanding. I know the mantra is sand, sand, sand and sand some more but I think I have read somewhere on the forum that on the hollow body guitar and bass I should not go past a certain grit.

    I do apologize for the silly questions ( I am very much a novice)
    In terms of sanding prior to applying a finish. Am I supposed to give the body a light sanding all over and work through the grit until completely smooth? Am I supposed to apply wood filler on a hollow body or is that redundant?

    Many, many questions in one go. I do apologize. I simply hope I can do this bass justice!

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