FREEBIRD

p1 For my final exam at the Graphics School in Rotterdam, we had to chose an existing company to create a project for. The projects content and direction was completely up to the student. This gave us an incredible amount of freedom. Since I had done a lot of Illustration in the past I wanted to do something different. for once I wanted to create something I wouldn’t have to use my Tablet for. So I came up with the idea to create a new Bass Guitar model. and devote the project to the promotion of that new model.

The Idea to create a bit of an unorthodox design came from B.C. Rich, Who are known for Guitar shapes that don’t uphold the round body standard. But I couldn’t help but give it a bit of a nudge towards the Gibson SG, And even put a little bit of Fenderish elements in it. Creating quite the Frankenstein, now that I look back on it.

p10 At first it wasn’t even my intention to actually create the Bass. I figured a wooden cutout would be more then enough, yet the thought to have an actual working model at the exam exposition would be great, just for the fact that it would be playable. So I eventually had a talk with my father about it and we finally decided to give it a shot, I would figure out all the parts we had to buy and the overall construction, and he would help me with the machinery to saw, drill and finework all the parts. We ended up cutting the body out of an old shed door that was lying around, Which my father wanted to make a table out of it at first.
p6 The Neck of the guitar was a bit of a challange, we didn’t have a beam big enough to cut out the neck so we had to glue two Beams together, another problem was that we couldn’t use the saw machine for the backside of the neck because of the different depth’s so that had to be done manually. yet we managed to get the way we wanted in the end without a single flaw.
p13 Even the cutout of the headshape turned out great, the only problem here was that the fretboard I ordered didn’t have a mount for the nut that would carry the strings. so we ended up shortening the fretboard by sawing off 3 frets and using that piece of wood to support the nut.
p11 With the neck nearly done we could get back to the body, I chose the wingshape as an homage to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird. It has been one of my favorite songs for a long time.
p12 truss rod? whats that?
I had the luck that my teachers cousin had built a guitar in the past. This prevented me from making a horrible mistake to the construction of the bass. I was at the point of glueing the fretboard to the body when he asked me if I had a trussrod installed. I had never heard of such a thing. but it was logical. Wood works, it bends ‘n twists when affected by heat, cold, and moisture. To prevent the neck from bending a trussrod is installed to force the neck in place. and when I had finally reached the point of installing the strings I most certainly saw the advantage of having the rod installed.
p2 Alright we got the shape, now all we need is sandpaper…
A WHOLE….
LOT…
OF SANDPAPER!
p15 trust me this was a whole lot harder then it looks. at this point we where using sandpaper with a smoothness of 400. Eventually we had to use the ones with a smoothness of 1000 else the surface wouldn’t be slick enough for the paintcoating.
p3 According to our local spraypainter it would be wise to give it a dark gray undercoating since I wanted to to be bright red. If we had used a plain white undercoating the guitar would become pink when if you used red paint.
Our localspraypainters did the paintjob for the body, cause there was no way my father and I could get it as tight as an actual guitar.
When picking the paint I chose a primary red which was dubbed “Carmine”. and it seemed like a fitting name to finish her with. Carmine.