My first bass build

Brand new to the site, wanted to show my latest build, a long scale fretless 2 string bass.

Started with a Tabak box, fully braced, then cut the neck out of red oak. Had some rosewood left over from a long ago project so I made a fret board from that. Fret markers are simply cut with the fret saw into raw wood to contrast against the espresso colored stain. Dot markers on the side are done the same way, using my dremel press and a small 1/8" cutter bit.

Used a CBGitty 4 pole enclosed pickup (prewired with a jack and volume control), some imported Strat style individual bridges and a hand cut bone nut. She has 24 "frets" and the intonation ended up near perfect right out of the box. I strung her with DR coated ultra lights, using the 45 and 65 gauge strings, tuned to E and A. Action is nice and light, and just a tad high for my tastes, so I'll be working over the bridges and the nut.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results, can't wait to get started on the next one.


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  • Very nice job on this one. I play a Fender bass in a group and I want to build a 2 string Cigar Box Bass. I am about through with my first CBG and it is looking very good. I play a steel guitar a lot but it has been eating to much and has gained more weight than I can haul around anymore. I am going to take pictures of the build and will post them here during the process.

  • I am also looking to make a bass as my first build.  Can we get a picture of inside the box?  What size is the block of wood that you used for the neck?  Does the neck go through so that the bridges are attached to the neck?  Is the fingerboard required, or could you play it with high action or with a slide.  Sorry for so many questions!

    • Hey Ron! Here's a couple of pics of the inside of the box. The braces to mount the neck are just short pieces of 1x3 red oak stock cut to fit the box and notched to fit the neck. The neck is then set with Titebond glue and I add a screw on each end just to help clamp it while it dries.


      The bridges on mine are not attached to the neck, but are secured to the box top itself with short machine screws and locking nuts. There really isn't a lot of tension on the strings, a lot less than I thought there would be actually, so it seems this method will work fine, and I like to be able to have easy access to the inside of the box in case I need in there. I do add a small wood screw in the lower rear corner of the top, to secure it to the box.


      The fingerboard is certainly not required, I just think it gives a more finished look to the neck. Plus, it makes the neck a little bit thicker and easier to hold on to while playing. Even without the fretboard, the action wouldn't be that high. You'd simply adjust the size of the opening in the box where the neck goes through it so that the top surface of the neck would end up flush with the top of the box.

      As far as playing it with a slide, that is honestly something that never even occurred to me. I don't see why you couldn't though, and now I'm going to have to go try it!

      Let me know if you need anything else, glad to help!


    • Bryan, thank you for the pics! I can understand the notch in the neck for the pickup, but why the notch where the bridge mounts? Wouldn't it have been better to screw the bridges directly to the neck?
    • It would definitely be stronger screwed directly into the neck. I was originally planning a different bridge and a 2nd pickup, so that's why there's a big cutout under there. Just too lazy to build a new neck for it!

    • Also, on this build, I used a Tabak box and they are built like mini bank vaults. The wood is much thicker than a standard box, so the bridge is very secure like this.

    • Thank you for the info! I just wanted to see if there was some specific reason to cut out the neck in both places.
  • Very nicely done. First build, eh? Obviously you're no stranger to woodworking.

    • I've done a few things in the past, but my hot rodding hobby usually wins most of my free time. Love to tinker on my cars.

  • Nice!
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