Making a neck blank for the next project

I’ve started firming up plans for my next project. This one is going to be a bass, but not like anything I’ve played before. For a start is a going to be a very short scale; just 21.5″. It is not going to have magnetic pickups but will use an under-saddle piezo with on-board preamp. I’m taking inspiration from the Ashbory and Kala U-Bass solid body.

With the scale shrinking the body will too. I’ve still not decided on the body shape but have sketched out where the key “landmarks” need to be. I was about to break out a fresh slab of sapele to start this and then the thought occurred to me that, over my previous projects, I’ve generated a fair amount of decent sized offcuts, so I’m going to do everything I can to put them to good use.

I started by assembling all of the “scrap” that could contribute to a body.

I’ve got a couple of pieces of Brazilian mahogany that’ll go into the body too.

I planed two pieces of sapele and a piece of what I think is oak to make up a neck blank. I did these on my small table saw and then shaded the edges with pencil and finished with the sanding block.

Applied the Titebond Original.

Clamped them up.

After the clamps came off I planed the top and bottom and this is what I have to work with.

And dampening to show the grain.

For this one I’m going to use the fretboard that Steve Benford gave to me when we met in Nashville earlier this year. It has got a really nice figure to it, which really comes out when it is dampened slightly.

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