5 String Bass – In the home stretch

Attention to details on the 5 string bass

As I enter the home stretch of this custom bass build, I’m focusing on details.  Today, I sealed the area under the frets to ensure good tone and better appearance.  I also began to finalize the neck by starting the nut and oiling the fretboard.

Bone nut blank on a purpleheart bass fingerboard.

Taking measurements on a bone nut blank for the 5 string bass. Bone for tone!

I’m a big fan of bone nuts, since they impart a much richer tone than a pre-fabricated plastic nut.  Also, since this is a custom build, the likelihood that I’d find a prefabricated nut to match this 5 string bass is pretty low.

Oiling the Fingerboard

Since the oil for the fingerboard will take a few days to apply, I started today with the first coats.  I like Tru-Oil for fingerboards.  It’s a product designed to protect gunstocks, so it should stand up to the abuse that this 1/2 fretless neck will deliver.  It’s also renewable, so when it starts to show a little wear, just add another coat.

Oiled purpleheart bass fingerboard

The Tru-Oil brings out the curly figure in this purpleheart fingerboard.

You can see the difference that a couple coats of oil makes on this purpleheart fingerboard.  As I continue to add coats and buff them, the fingerboard will develop a soft lustre and highlight the curly figure of the grain.

That’s it for today, but more tomorrow.

Matt