Handcrafted basses


Here is a list of tools you need:

Electric saw, to cut out the body and neck. Watch for the right sawblades, pick the narrow ones, using wide blades for cutting the body will cause a lot of smoke when going round the curves.


Drill. Used on several occasions. To drill the holes for the tuners of course, but also for sanding the side of the body with a rotating sanding tool.


Router, Used a lot. Straightening the neck, flattening the head, making the holes for the tuners, making the electronic-compartiment, making the holes for pickups and truss-rod.


Powerfile. For rounding the back of the neck. A lot faster then a normal file, but to be handled with care, this tool easily "eats" too much wood.


Sanding machine, for the flat surfaces on body and head. Don't sand the fretboard with this machine!


Different files and graters, for edges of the body, back of the neck, a smooth transition between body and neck / head and neck. A fine file is used for filing off the fret-ends, and making the nut.


Measuring tools, the one shown here is only suitable for measuring the peaces of wood before starting to build. use only when it doesn't need to be precise. When it has to be precise, you need a good metal ruler for measuring the neck and drawing it on the wood. A metal ruler is also used for drawing the centreline, the fretdistances on the fretboard, place of the pickup, the holes for the tuners, making the nut, holes for electronics etc. Needless to say, for drawing with accuracy a sharp pencil is also needed.


A little handsaw with the thinnest blades you can get (for metal). This is used for making the nut, and the grooves for the frets.


A workbench or workmate. You need something to work on. It's important that you can clamp the guitar to the bench when using the router or saw. The guitar lying around loose, while -for example- straightening the neck with the router, can end in disaster.



Clamps, at least 6 of them, for glueing the parts together. Make shure you have little pieces of soft wood (furwood, hardboard, plywood) at hand to put between the clamps and you guitar. Never place a clamp directly on the fretboard or neck!

a 1,5 m long, 100% straight piece of wood or iron, this is used for leading the router along the side of the neck.

Hammer, a plastic one, for putting the frets in.

screwdrivers, for screwing bridge, nut, tuners etc. on the guitar.

soldering iron, and wire cutter for connecting pickup and other electronics.

a 30-40 cm long sanding block. To fold the sandpaper around for sanding the fretboard.

lots of sandpaper 40, 80, 120, 400 and 600 grain.


ear protection, especially when using the router, that thing makes a lot of noise, it can cause hearing damage!

safety goggles, put these on whenever you use some kind of powertool.

dust mask, when using the powerfile or high grain sandpaper. When spraying paint or lacquer this isn't enough, you should wear a mask with excangeable filters then.

rubber or plastic gloves, when handling PU-glue, the stuff sticks to you hands, washing won't help. It takes days to come off.

Ok, you look like this guy now, so what?

Next page: Let's take one step further: We are going to pick the materials for the guitar. follow me to MATERIALS.