A P-Bass Build Begins

Well, the package arrived yesterday from Warmoth! Now the new bass (Fender MIM / Warmoth) is in the works:

I didn’t expect the body to arrive so soon, since the folks at Warmoth said they were really back logged by that which cannot be named. I have the tuners, so I needed to order the rest of the parts to put this thing together.

Some of he comments left about some of the parts I wanted to order really bothered me though, especially about Fender parts. I love Fenders, but to be honest I’ve been underwhelmed about the quality of some of the parts I’ve purchased from them. The pick guard is nearly $40! Will it fit? The Neck Plate wasn’t too bad, but lots of comment about how insubstantial it is. I really couldn’t find anything that was better. I was pretty pretty impressed though with the Fender pots I’ve ordered (made by CTS).

On the plus side. I’ve got the pickups handled: Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounds on the way and a Hipshot High Mass Bridge. Switchcraft output jack.

I forgot to order the strap buttons. I use the “Grolsch System” on my Squier. Anybody using strap locks? Recommendations?

Parts should be arriving next week. Should be fun!


I love my Schallers. I like them quite a bit better than the Dunlops on my other bass.

Awesome project!


Very cool project, please keep us posted on the progress. It will need to wait a while since I just added to my collection, but building a P might be my next bass and my first build. Good luck!


I’ve been thinking of building one from scratch out in my wood shop. I may have to buy one of those bodies to get the dimensions and learn where the cavities are etc. I have the woodworking tools and knowledge to do it. I think it would be a fun project.



I use the MUSIC MAN strap locks. There are FENDER ones that are the same, with the Fender “F” logo on a nice looking strap lock.

I like them very much, they have never failed, go on easy and come off easily.

I have never used another kind, so I can’t compare them to any of the others.


cool project, it could be here : Project Basses



The Schallers are on the way! I just receive and installed the Hipshot KickAss High Mass Bridge this evening. I’m getting excited about the P-Bass neck; I think it’s going to be good for my playing by encouraging me to get under the neck more since it is a bigger neck.

Bunches of parts are on the way, but unfortunately part that’s lagging is neck plate, so the neck install is going to have to wait for a bit.




All the parts are in, and the build began today. Here’s the recipe:

Warmoth P-Bass Body in Surf Green
Fender MIM P-Bass Standard (not Player) Neck
Hipshot HB7 Tuners
Hipshot High Mass KickAss Bridge
Fender String Tree
Fender White Pickguard
Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder PJ Set
(3) Fender Pots (CTS)
Switch Craft Signal Jack
Schaller Strap Buttons / Locks
Copper Tape (for shielding)
Fender Neck Plate ( with the big “F”)
4 string set of D’Addario NYXL .045 / .065 / .085 / .105

Interestingly enough, when I went to Guitar Center last winter to buy my first set of strings for the start of Beginner to Badass, they sold me the same strings, but for a 5 string-- I discovered that on the 5 string set that the E string is .040 instead of .045 with the 4 string set. Same string composition. I wondered, why the difference?

I am working on the body right now, being very deliberate and careful with it. Strap buttons and the bridge are installed. Warmoth has a good video on the strap button install (you have to drill your own holes for these).

Laying next to my Squier I was reminded that the Fender body is often thicker than the Squier. I also remembered that Nut on the factory Fender neck isn’t filed, so I’ll have to tackle that as well.

This has been very satisfying fun so far. The next steps are to install the 1/4" signal jack and shielding. I hope she sounds as good as she looks.


Really looking forward to the seeing the progress. Good to see you got all the pieces in.


Great choices. I have heard the Warmoth bodies and necks are sometimes better than the originals, depending on choices. Looking forward to hearing the end result :slight_smile:


Yeah, I guess I am going to have to record! The DAW is next!


Here’s some progress. At first when I started this project, I thought to myself that this was just a kit build and there’s really nothing to it. After all I am not manufacturing bodies like Dan Thompson does on his channel. But, in reality, although this is more or less a kit build, it’s becoming more and more like building models (cars, war planes, etc.). I thought I could slap this thing together in an afternoon if I bore down on it, but not really if I wanted it to come out right.

The Tele-Style Switchcraft jack is now in, and I spent a bit of time shielding the the pickup cavities. The P-pup area came out real good, but the J-pup was more challenging when I realized that there’s no pick guard, so I had pull some of the copper out and use narrower strips on the sides.

Got the J pickup installed. I haven’t much experience with pickups, but I really like that the Seymour Duncan lead wires are more beefy than than the DiMarzios I pulled out of my old Squier.

Next? I’m debating shielding the control cavity; I’m thinking I probably will. I’ve got the cutting process down for the shielding. Cutting board, small square and a single edge razor blade work nicely:

After that, the P-Pickups – the covers aren’t fitting the Fender pick guard (too small), so I’ll have to see what I do with that. Then to wiring…


Uh-oh. Can anyone recommend a quality pot with smaller body diameter? The CTS just clears the pick guard, but not the cavity. I’m not practiced enough with the router to attempt opening it up, especially since things are so close with the pick guard. Maybe if this were a cheap kit, but not here. I’m thinking a smaller pot (Tone) will be the way to go.


Seems to be coming along nicely. That’s a shame about the pot. I never would have guessed this would be a problem.

@terb @Jamietashi or @Korrigan should be able to help suggest a replacement pot.

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bourns makes a 250K small body audio taper pot. got mine on ebay


A slightly more expensive solution could be to get the Obsidian Wire harness (no soldering required!) - I put it in my P-bass copy and it just about fit!



@kwt7667: Search your favorite online retailer for “250k Mini Pot”.


@joergkutter Those are great! Looked into it, but I didn’t find any for a PJ configuration.


@nblucas @Korrigan

Thanks guys! Found one; and it’s on the way…