Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

Custom 6-string bass (Serial 15B074)

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951-240-1666. or email us here!

   
Materials: Top: Possibly Curly or Quilted Maple
Neck/Core: Maple with Wenge and Sapele
  Body core: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Material TBA
Pickups: Watson
Hardware: Most likely ABM single string - Hipshot Tuners
Options: Color Tint - TBA
Finish: Polyester Resin
Other: Scale Length (B) 35" - (C) 32"
  String spacing : Nut 10mm, Bridge 17.5mm

This multi scale bass will be a beautiful instruments. Details are still being processed but more information will follow soon. It will be a sleek six string with a beautiful colored sunburst finish. More details to come on this one as it is in its early stages. It could transform into anything!


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This is a really nice piece of Gabon Ebony which I may cyt for the fingerboard..
(2/12/18) Left: I hve a very nice piece of Gabon Ebony as a potential fingerboard for this bass. I'm also looking at the body halves to see what works best. (2/1/18) Right: Text and picture coming.
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Body halves nect to core to see what thsi bass will look like.

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Core section ready for more work - looking at sides and top plate now.
(2/6/18) Left: This is the surrent status of the core section. All laminates done, CF and truss rod slots established. Sides top and back machined. (2/7/18) Right: One of the nice features of this bass is its decorative pinstriping between the various tapered wood laminates. You don't see this on many basses!
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Detail shot of the pinstriping that went into the construction of the core section.

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Body halves nect to core to see what thsi bass will look like.
(1/20/17) Left: Although I have been tempted to make this bass a multiscale headless I decided I'll keep it pretty generic and make it a standard scale neck through as originally intended. (1/28/17) Right: I'm getting things prepped to get this core section up on my CNC to establish some of the critical dimensions.
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Body halves nect to core to see what thsi bass will look like.

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These are the components I have so far.
(1/5/17) Left: I'm statring on the machining of the neck section. Just comleted surfacing the top and now moving on to headstock and body angles. (1/10/17) Right: All the core machining has been done and I just wanted to take a photo of the bass with the body halves next to it to show what it might look like closer to completion.
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Body halves nect to core to see what thsi bass will look like.

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These are the components I have so far.
(12/3/16) This photo shows the center core of the bass and the upper and lower body halves. I need to get the core up on the CNC so that that I can establish the final width of this 6-string bass and having done those operations I will be able to attach the upper and lower body halves and have a more complete looking instrument. I still need to get hold of a suitable top for this bass and that will really define it's appearance and character!

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The two body halves ready for assembly onto the core.
(11/15/16) These are the proposed body halves for this bass which are made of Mahogany and already have joint faces machined and decorative veneers added to each. I am planning to get the rest of the core section machined to a condition where I can get these body halves attached and we will have a more complete looking instrument. I still have not decided what the top material will be but I will choose something that looks very impressive.

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Adding some extra material for the headstock area.
(11/8/16) I'm gluing a couple of additional pieces of Curly Maple onto the end of the core section to allow for the wider parts of the headstock area. We will have a pretty stramlined headstock on this bass but it will probably need a little of the extra material at its widest points. Ultimately these will be a maple veneer on the headstock which will match the body in tint color and wood grain. Next will be some machining on CNC.

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Core assembly now complete and cleaned up ready for further machining.
(10/28/16) We now have a completely assembled core section for our bass which has been cleaned up and fully prepared for the next stage which will be some extensive machining on the CNC. I need to select suitable materials for the body halves so that I can keep work moving forward on this instrument. In the meantime I'm going to glue some additional curly maple onto the headsock area of the bass to allow for the headstock geometry.

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Last of the seven laminates being glued together.
(10/22/16) This photo shows the last of the seven core laminates being glued and clamped together. I will now have a complete center section for this bass which will require a couple of maple "ears" to add width to the headstock area then proceed to the CNC for some machining work. Always feels good to get all the laminates for a bass core together - seems like it takes forever because there are upwards of 12 gluing operations!

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Getting the last two laminates glued into the core section.
(10/17/16) In the process of attaching the final two laminates to create our 7-piece neck assembly. I have been working on a body template so I will be able to select some woods to create the upper and lower body halves. Also this bass will have a slightly custom headstock geometry which should really compliment the instrument as a whole. We have some interesting ideas on the top material and the final color of the bass - gonna look nice!

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Center 5 laminates glued - only the outside pieces to go!.
(10/2/16) This is the core of the bass with the Sapele laminates attached. We are now 5 laminates assembled out of 7. So far things look very good. Core seems lightweight and resonant already. I'm going to trim the 5-pc laminate combination a little to bring it closer to finished sizes and then glue on the outer two Maple laminates to complete this part of the instrument. As soon as it is assembled I will start machining!

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Now have 6 of the 7 core laminates completed and ready for assembly.
(9/26/16) Moving along with the veneered laminates - I have 6 out of the seven laminates ready for gluing and the remaining maple side laminate is having its darker wood veneer added. As soo as I have an opportunity I will glue the neck two pieces onto the assembly and we will soon have a 7-piece laminated core that we can start machining. Getting these veneers on is a little tome-consuming but well worth it for the look of the instrument.

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Gluing the third of seven laminates together to create the core of the bass.
(9/18/16) I have already started on the assembly of the core section of this instrument but l don't need to document every glue joint. In this photo I am gluing the third of seven laminates together (wenge) so things are moving along fairly well. As soon as the sapele pieces are ready the will get veneered and go onto the assembly next. This will be a nice looking core and should have great rigidity and resonance and produce great sound!

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Outer maple laminates just off the Sander.
(9/2/16) Trying to stay ahead of the machining process so I sanded both sides of the outer maple laminates. I don't need to machine these outer pieces to a taper so that helps me move along. I will have to add a contrasting veneer to the joint face of each piece but when that's done they will be ready for assembly when I get the preceding 5 laminates glued together. These are very nicely figures pieces of maple which will take color very well!

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Sapele laminates ready to be machined.
(8/18/16) I sanded both sides of the SapeLe laminates and then ran each through my bandsaw to remove some of the excess material. After sawing they were only about .075" oversize which just leaves enough to clean up at the fat end. Both laminates are secured to the adjustable part of the table and I have set thetable to the correct angle to get started on the machining which will create the finished tapered laminate.

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Gluing Maple veneer onto the Wenge laminates..
(8/1/16) I have machined both wenge laminates to the correct tapers and cleaned up the machined surfaces ready for the addition of maple veneer on both sides of each piece. In order to get the earliest possible start on assembling the neck I am now adding the maple veneer onto the sides of these Wenge laminates. This will allow me to start creating the neck and core of the instrument while I am preparing other laminates for the same process.

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Wenge laminates now getting machined to their respective tapers.
(7/22/16) The two wenge laminates are now set up on CNC and ready to be machined down to the correct tapers. I do these in pairs so that the thicknesses between the two are very consistent. Once they have been machined I will be applying a maple veneer to each side of both of these pieces and that will allow me to start assembling the core section from the center outwards. It will be nice to see this take shape.

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Trimming Wenge laminates a little closer to finished size.
(7/13/16) I have the two Wenge laminates rough sawn and now sanded. They are now ready to be machined to their appropriate tapers but before I set them up in the CNC I thought I would saw off some of the excess material to speed up the upcoming machining process. I will now get the two pieces set up on the machine. While this is going on I an busy sanding the Sepele and Maple core components to follow.

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Center laminate now cut and ready for veneers.
(7/5/16) This is the heart of the bass - the center laminate of the core section which has now been machined down to its prescribed dimensions (hard to see in this photo). It is now ready for veneering so I can go ahead and get the dark veneers glued onto both sides of this piece while I am busy cutting the other tapered sets. Next up will probably be the two Wenge laminates so that I can start the assembly of the core once they are veneered.

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Starting to cut a taper on the center maple laminate.
(6/28/16) I have run the core laminates through the drum sander and the next operation is to start the actual machining process which will trim each of these laminates down to a pre-determined taper. In this picture I have the center lam of curly maple in the fixture and have just started cutting material on that piece. Once it's machined I will also do the same operation to the pairs of Wenge and Sapele laminates.

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Sapele Laminates have been cut.
(6/19/16) This maple laminate is the center strip of the seven laminates that will make up the core of the bass. I have sanded it and it is now next up on the CNC for machining to a suitable taper. I have a vector drawing of the bass on my computer where I have calculated the best taper sizes for each of the seven laminates. I will do the center one on its own but all the remaining ones will be done in pairs. Not far from having a complete core!

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Sapele Laminates have been cut.
(6/11/16) These are the two Sapele laminates which have now been rough sawn and are ready for sanding on the drum sander. As with the wenge pieces. I will run these as a pair so that the physical sizes match. The 7-piece core will run from light to dark (Maple, Sapele, Wenge, Maple, Wenge, Sapele, Maple). With three maple laminates in there we will be able to introduce the color tint of the front faces onto the back of the bass too!

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Sanding the laminates so that they are ready for machining.
(5/5/16) I am now sanding the sides of the wenge laminates so that they are ready for machining when I get a chance to run then on the CNC. When they are cut on the CNC they will be exactly the same size and same thickness. The goal at the moment is to get all these laminates machined so that I can add decorative veneers and get the core section glued together. Once I have that in my hands I can start machining!

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We now have 5 of the 7 laminates for the core of the bass.
(4/29/16) Just a quick update to show that I now have five of the planned seven core laminates rough cut and ready for sanding. All of these pieces are still the original thickness of the wood plank they were cut from so consequently they are also all somewhat oversize in thickness. I'll sand both sides and then establish final thickness for each piece when milling the tapers on the CNC machine. Looking good so far!

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Setting up to cut the center cur;y maple laminate.
(3/25/16) I am now marking out and cutting the third maple laminate for the core assembly. I have some really nice curly material on hand so that has two benefits for this bass. One that the grain will look really attractive on the finished instrument and the other that it will take on the color tint of the instrument finish really well. Current concept is that we will use a purple or violet trans tint front and back - should look awesome!

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Two of the Maple Laminates have been cut.
(2/19/16) Here are two of the three Curly maple laminates rough sawn from stock. I will probably use these two as the outer laminates since they came from the same board and share very smilar frain features. I have another piece that I need to sand and once that's done I will cut that too. After that I will mark a coupel of Shedua laminates using my template and get those ready too. The combination should be awesome!

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Getting the maple laminates ready to cut.
(2/11/16) I have three maple laminates to cut out of my curly maple stock material. I want to keep things moving along on this project at a good pace. The curly maple has a lot of nice figure in it and is good for predictable tone! I'm just about to rough saw three maple laminates and as soon as I have done that I need to cut two more laminates from my Sapele stock. I have a beautiful top for this bass coming from Canada which I'll post here soon!

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Got the two Wenge laminates cut out.
(1/14/16) The template was a big help to getting the laminates cut. I didn't want to use an old one because of the slightly extended scale length of this bass. So far I have the two Wenge laminates cut out and I will get these drum sanded first chance I get. I will also use the template to mark out the laminates for the Maple and Sapele pieces. Should see this core section come together fairly quickly.

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Cutting out two of the maple laminates.
(12/29/15) I am working on the rough cutting of the neck laminates and it looks like we will have three maple laminates as the primary neck material. I will also add laminates of Wenge and Sapele which will balence tone - add rigidity and look beautiful. The maple is nice curly stuff so it will look good when we add a color tint as the figure will be very evident. I should have all seven laminates rough cut pretty soon.

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Getting the template set up so I can start cutting raw material.
(12/20/15) I didn't really have a suitable template for the geometry of this bass so I am creating a new one that will account for the scale length and the headstock. Now that I have the profile geometry I can start cutting out the component pieces of the core from the material, most of which I have now in the shop. This neck will be nice and rigid and resonant based on the number of laminates and types of wood we are using.

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Some of the Wenge I will be using for the core.
(12/14/15) I now have the wenge for the components of the core of the bass so I will be cutting these up very soon. I want to get the core section assembled as soon as I can, plus I need to locate some nice light colored topwood - possibly Myrtle. I now have a better idea of how this bass will end up looking so it's time to get the wood chips flying! I will refine body details soon but have all I need now to get the core done!

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Curly Maple and Sapele wood for the core section.
(11/25/15) This is a place to get started on this bass. I looked at a number of options on woods and at this point in time I am looking at two of them being Curly Maple and Sapele. Both have good characteristics for a bass neck and both are very stable woods that work together well. I suspect we will probably add a third wood - perhaps Wenge to bring the recipe to the right combination for the sound we want. More soon.
Last update March 18, 2015