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Selmer-inspired bass guitar build

Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others

Last year, I bought a second hand perspex pattern for a Selmer off Ebay. It included patterns for routing the sound hole, rosette and headstock. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, and having never made a guitar before, I assumed I would just hang the pattern on the wall as a nice thing to look at (which it is!). Then in December I suddenly had the idea of making a guitar over Christmas while visiting my parents (my Dad was a carpenter and has a workshop full of machines). I bought some bits of wood and a donor bass (for the neck and electrics) on Ebay and began planning. I'm aiming for a semi-acoustic bass with the shape of a Selmer. Rather than try to bend sides which I have no clue about, I decided to cut the shape out of a slab of ash, and then stick a back on (walnut) and a top (spruce). It's been a fun experience with only a few minor hiccups! Perhaps the luthiers and experts on here will think I'm not exactly going about it in the right way, but I'm just hoping that the final instrument looks, sounds and plays well. A few photos to show the construction -







BillDaCostaWilliamsBuco
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Comments

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    My Dad had some bits of oak from HMS Victory lying around (as you do) so I made the two control knobs from that.
    I'm very pleased with the brass tailpiece, but unfortunately the strings can't physically lay flat to then go over a bridge. It's a bugger as I like my design and it took a lot of careful cutting and filing. It's possible I can salvage it by screwing on some bass saddles which will hold the strings. Failing that I have to get a rather boring regular bass tailpiece and try to spruce it up with a wood insert. I'm not sure I'm capable of making a rosette or doing the binding so may have to leave it bare. I've actually inset a piece of brass at the top of the soundhole and it looks good. Might quit while I'm ahead.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,308

    I saw that 5th photo down and thought those were your sides! Man, that would be one tank! You would have to register it as a weapon! Ha ha. Looks like some neat wood and detail choices you are making. Keep posting photos of your progress!

    Jangle_Jamie
  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    The back has a piece of elm down the centre of the walnut, partly to look nice and partly so there wasn't one seam dividing the entire guitar!

    Buco
  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Oh yes, the donor guitar was a Hofner Violin Bass Shorty.

    BillDaCostaWilliams
  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    edited January 7 Posts: 521

    This is the hottest bass design I know of . Still curious to see how yours turns out.

    BucoJangle_JamieBillDaCostaWilliams
  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Bass guitar finished! This project started as a solid body bass with the shape of a Selmer. In the end I made the guitar hollow so it has some acoustic properties. It's playing nicely and I'll do a recording soon!


    wimBucolittlemarkrichter4208Willie
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 653

    That's awesome - great ideas and execution across the board! I hope it sounds and plays as good as it looks. Bravo!

  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 705

    Beautiful! How much does it weigh? Which model Hofner did you use for parts?

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Thanks! I'm not sure what it weighs, but a bit lighter than my old Peavey Strat copy. The tailpiece is on the heavy side with those chunky saddles bolted on! Next time I will build a six string so will use a standard gypsy one.

    I would like to build some more guitars, but I just don't have the time. Perhaps I can manage something in August. Failing that, it'll be next Christmas.

    The Hofner I used was a Violin Bass Shorty - short scale, nice neck and cheapish at £130.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,308

    Bring that to Samois, man. You'll be the envy of the bass players at the jam! Nice work.

    Jangle_Jamie
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