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Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:18 pm
Or: How anxious do I have to be about routing?
So, I built a Warmoth bass this summer, great instrument, super fun experience, wanna do it again the thing is though: I dont really wanna use Warmoth again. Like I really dig the wide range of option they have for woods and construction but alot of thing about them really bugs me. The first thing is obviously I don't wanna pay duties and shipping from America to Europe, also the CITES deal really worries me (I feel lucky getting in a 3kg lump of mahogany lol). I am also really pissed about the degree of customization they offer. Great example is the 70s jazz bass bridge pickup option: they charge like 50 bucks shifting the pickup like a centimetre closer to the bridge. Does it really take that much labor to use another CNC-programme? They don't really let you play with positioning much either except for stingray pickups, luckily, but dont you dare wanting a neck pickup then. I know I could route this myself but I dont wanna mess up the finish and it is not like they charge less for unrouted bodies anyways!
I know there is stuff like allparts and ebay stuff. Great stuff, don't get me wrong, I used a korean made ebay neck for my bass and it is awesome. You don't get near as much options for bodies and such. This is a big issue cause i like instruments that are rear-routed and most parts stuff is routed for a pickguard and mostly the pickups are already routed for. You neither get the nice finish and wood options! Wood is not as big an issue but I like mahogany bodies alot.
Am I fucked and just supposed to pay up? Do I buy a CNC-rig and start making lawsuit bodies in my mum's basement? I am mostly upset about the pickup routing as I am not confident with a handheld router, especially on a finished instrument.
Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:42 am
If you really want to go the DIY route, I'd look into wood shop classes locally. Something that gets you from not confident with a router to confident with a healthy respect. Even if you know what you're doing, there's a non-zero risk of damaging the finish when you route after the finish is on. If you're not confident and not trained with a router, that's how you lose a finger.
If you're just building something new occasionally and you're not into wood working as a hobby, the odd $50 uncharge is going to be cheaper. Warmoth (or any builder) is going to rout before they finish, so they aren't going to chip it out. Some of that $50 is for stopping their CNC line for a couple of minutes to change the program, and changing it back after your bass is done. And I'm sure there's some profit in there too. USACG is another alternative you could look into. Good luck!
Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:57 pm
Building your own body with a router and band (or even jig) saw is not very difficult, but it will cost a lot more money to do so once you have the tools and the material (body blanks [as in just a big rectangle of joined wood] are not cheap [$50-150], if you want to make your own you need to get a jointer/planer which is more money.)
$50 bucks to have them customize the pickup rout is probably the cheapest. Buying a pickup route template+router+drill press+forstener bits will be at least a couple hundred to do it yourself on a already built body.
Maybe you could ask around to other builders if you don't want to use Warmoth (I don't think they are so hot either).
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:18 am
Thank you for the answers. I have access to power tools so that is not an issue if i were to go the full DIY route and I have not ruled that out. I am more worried about finishing, really. I understand it is very easy to mess up and make look bad, I'm not a fan of solid finishes either and that doesnt make things better.
I have heard about USA custom and they seem great, however they are an american company still and that means a 25% upcharge
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