Sunday, March 01, 2015

Rikkers Build, Part 2: Hearing about early progress!

As I type, it's the 1st of March 2015 and I pick up the Bass in a week at the London Bass Guitar Show: I'm documenting the process for posterity, hopefully it might help anyone who thinks about getting a truly custom bass built.

In this post, I discussed how I came to realise I wanted to commission a bass - short story, I fell madly in love with a Rikkers bass at the 2014 LBGS (careful how you type that) and over the year came to realise that if I set my mind to it, I could get the cash together to commission one.

In this post, I detailed how Ferdinand Rikkers (the man himself!) gave me a great experience choosing woods - and the highly-figured Olivewood top which this bass will have.


With enough inputs from me to get going, Ferdinand set about building the bass. I was keen to get plenty of shots: To see the component raw materials converted into the wonderful end result, and the care and attention that goes into the Bass.

The guys have great communication, using Email, iMessage, FaceTime video, regular calls and Facebook messaging - so you're always able to find out what they're up to: and they respond really quickly to incoming messages (we'll see how handy that is in the next installment...)

First, he cut out the top and the ebony for the board. This is a great shot, because it shows the bookmatched olivewood and how it'll contrast with the neck: you can really see the figuring in the top.

I think I got this a couple of days after we decided what the woods would be. As you can imagine, this basically became the desktop backdrop on every machine I have...

Cut your neck out,,,

Next I got updates showing the neck sandwich!

I like the way you can see the markings on here for the body and headstock:

And bottle jacks are evidently a great way to glue neck laminates :-)

We could use a little body...

The block's got a headstock! My first chance to see how the neck laminates look - I like the contrast - and you can see the body wings and top together...

Time to glue our wings on. How are we going to fly without wings?

It's a little like an 8-bit pixel version of the curvaceous beast it will become at this point, but the neck heel is emerging! I like this picture as it shows neck angle in comparison to the wings: interesting!

Giving it some BassFace

With apologies to the LBGS's facebook campaign ;-) How many clamps? LOTS!

And, of course, we need to glue the ebony on. You can see the curves are emerging!

Next time: The hand-tooling shots (gratuitous use of human faculties for shaping raw materials - very Zen)

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