Beginner's luthiery

(a kit-made bass)

Being somewhat interested in making my own instruments but not sure of my abilities, I decided to order a
Harley Benton bass guitar kit and see, if I could build it. Of course, me being me, I was completely incapable of making everything as instructed and changed the bridge, pickup, pickguard and the pots.

The hardest part was probably using the coping saw to cut the headstock from the rather rectangular shape to something somewhat representing a Fender heastock (actually, I copied the shape from a Warmoth online catalog picture). Before sanding, the 'stock looked a bit sorry… but actually turned out pretty nice.

Here’s what the assembled thing looks like:


Plays nice, stays in tune, looks pretty good. Still has a sort of new bass vibe in it, but let’s wait a few decades and see if it matures to a genuine vintage feel… :p

hey man that looks pretty cool ,ya cant copy a better instrument,and ya say it plays and sounds good too,nice job. i was wonderin if they had like acoustic kits???

Wozz, don’t think they have acoustic kits. A Strat copy kit, though - the idea seems to be “all you need is a screwdriver”.

did you put the finish on,if so what did ya go with?i always liked the idea of just a sparse finish,nuthin to dampen the wood if ya know what i mean,someday soon i would like to try my hand at one of them acoustic guitar kits.

99 euros? Is that correct?

Looks like a deal. But isn’t there a copyright issue with regard to the shape?

Wozz,
There’s only the factory sealing. Feels all velvety and nice to the touch, so I didn’t bother messing things up. Besides, I wanted the thing to look like George Porter Jr’s. :p

(Oh yes, the peghead has a few layers of clear matt lacquer to protect the logo. Which, by the way, says “Electric Bass” in Finnish…)

Tom,
That’s the price. Mine has replacement pickup, bridge and pickguard, which more than doubles the price. Reasonably cheap, anyway.

Fender has the peghead shape copyrighted, not, AFAIK, the body shape. The peghead was big and straight-sided when the kit arrived, I used a coping saw and a sander to shape it to my liking, and, unbelievably, managed to make it look a bit more streamlined…

Wozz ol’ man, go to Grizzley tools website, they sell electric and acoustic kits. Been meaning to get a couple and have a go at it myself.

Mwah, looks pretty good! Stays in tune biggest plus in my book! Wow a coping saw? Hand tool? that’s a lot of cutting. Know anuyone with a bandsaw?

Or maybe a scrolling jig saw.

Yaz, It was just a single heastock! About an hour’s work, plus a lot of sanding afterwards.

Broke one coping saw blade while working, though… needed to have a break, the blade and the wood were really hot, I though it might catch fire.

Yaz,
Grizzley tools is a good site. Their kits are a bit higher than most (maybe better made)

Search for Saga kits. They have strat, tele, les paul and prs copies in kits from about $99-169.

Torres Engineering is a great site too. They have the kits with hardware and pickup upgrades available.

Quote (Mwah @ Mar. 10 2007,02:28)
Broke one coping saw blade while working, though… needed to have a break, the blade and the wood were really hot, I though it might catch fire.

i think you may have just planted all kindsa “hot licks” into that bass!

Lubricant: Jaco was legendary for coating his fingers with fried chicken grease before going on stage, in order to lubricate his playing.

now you may need to season your neck a bit also
charlie mingus has a tune called"eat that chicken"that mite put ya in the mood

Ohhhh boy, Wozz is talking Jaco, a true genius!

Thanks for the sites Dave, I like the prices better. Didn’t want to spend alot for a guitar kit just to screw it up. :D