Shaping und fretting the bass neck

Shaping the neck is one of the most challenging but also most rewarding tasks in the process of making an instrument. Everything is done by hand and you’re sure to have sore wrists and fingers from using chisels, planes, rasps, files and sandpaper once you’re done.

But feeling the smooth and curved surface with all its different radiuses and shapes which some hours before was nothing but a rough chunk of wood always puts a smile on my face.

Inlaying the headstock of the bass

I’ve been using a CNC router for more than a year now but inlaying is something I still do by hand using a jeweller’s saw and a dremel.

It takes a lot of work to make a neck and once I’m that far along in the building process, I’m too scared to use an automated tool on it. I might have forgotten something while progamming and end up routing a hole where there shouldn’t be one…

On the other hand I enjoy cutting the inlay by hand, lay it out on the headstock, trace it and then route the cavity with the dremel. It takes a couple of hours but after a while you forget about time and focus only on what you’re doing.