This is a 5-string electric bass with alder body, maple neck, a dark rosewood fretboard, and black appointments. I built it for my son Robin who has become quite an accomplished bass player.

Here are the details:

  • Body: alder
  • Neck: curly maple
  • Fretboard: dark rosewood
  • Headstock and back plate veneer: Makassar ebony
  • Pickups: matched neck/bridge bass humbuckers


2 thoughts on “RS-2

  1. Henrik

    Hey, what kind of shellac/spirit varnish mixture you used for this build? Looks really good! I’m building my first guitar and looking for options on finishing alder.

    1. Erich Post author

      Hey, thanks for asking – I hope I can remember all the details. I started out with a _very thin_ mix of medium shellac (about the shade of lemon shellac, but dewaxed) with just a little bit of red/brown alcohol dye mixed in to give a little more color. It was a very thin mix which allowed it to seep into the wood fibers a ways. After this first “wash coat” I then sanded some parts down, as if doing a sunburst, but in this case the lighter color is not in the middle but on the upper side of the front (compared to the lower side). I remember now that I used a “dabbing” technique on the first coat, which gave it a sort of “quilted” look. Then I just proceeded as usual, first with shellac and then tru-oil on the body and, I think, just tru-oil on the neck.

      We’ve also used alder for necks on lots of our instruments, for example the Jenny/June pair. I have to say, the color you get depends a lot on the piece of wood. If you look at the heel on the Joanne, for example, you can see what a difference it made that the piece I used in the middle of the heel is much lighter. Evidently it was from a different batch than the main neck shaft.


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