Build Kit Documentation (Harley-Benton P-Bass)

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I finished the kit and have written a summary at the end of this thread: Build Kit Documentation (Harley-Benton P-Bass)

Original Post:

As I was asked to thoroughly document the build process of the build kit here we are at Step 1: The package arrived:

(Flocke: “Stop paying attention to this thing! I am more important, human! Pet me, now!”)

(Flocke: “What? It opens?.. mhhh”)


Body and Neck instructions:

Neck connection and pickup instructions:

So the instructions say the body is already sealed and prepared for laquer coating but my first step is to take the body to a DIY/home improvement shop and ask what exactly I should do with it to paint it and finish.

The instructions were also available in German and of course I did not make pictures of every page. Just the ToC to have an overview, the neck & body page for you guys to give feedback and just a random page with pictures to show how the detailed instructions look like.


Grats @juli0r, have fun!


Have you got a colour in mind?


I’m playing around with ideas but so far I tend to a clear finish.

Also… where are my $"#+"ing keys. I wanted to go an hour ago but I can’t find them I’m losing my mind right now. Probably right in front of me or in my pocket… something like that. I checked both.


Retrace your steps. What were you doing when you last used them? Shopping, you say? Did you check the fridge?


I did that. Yesterday but I can’t remember what I did after accepting the package of the DAI. I took my keys, went down the stairwell and came back up with the package and put the package down on my bed no recollection of what I did with the keys. No keys on the bed and around. I also checked the empty packages I have not yet thrown away.

Got it
Forgot that I took the keys to accept the package of the bass build but as soon as I was ready (was still in bed when the doorbell rang) he already was up - which is unusual as I live on the 4th floor without an elevator. Usually I meet them halfway to be kind to the delivery guys and to get some movement for myself :slight_smile:
So I opened the package and placed cardboard over my keys and I even checked behind and next to the box but didn’t notice something was under it. Thanks @peterhuppertz. Always helps to just calm down in those almost panicky “where is it?” moments.


Did you check downstairs?


Outside of the door? :thinking:


On my way back now. I was worried that more customers would be there since it’s Friday noon/afternoon already but the clerk to customer ratio was about 2:1 so when I asked about my build project someone took time for me. I got the clerk who already helped someone else with instrument builds as he claims.

When I asked what to do with the body he told me he would just oil it. He explained the possibilities of fake veneer but since I said from the start that I don’t have experience he said he would keep to sanding with 240 grain and oiling. The other instrument building guy supposedly used an oil for kitchen worktops because it creates a more resistant finish than most. He also mentioned that I could lick the bass when it’s finished as it is food safe.

I… I did not want to ask him about paint because he’s a wood guy and was all like “nah. I would not do anything to that” and since I tended to a clear finish anyway I did not want to break his heart a little.

So now that I have the tools needed the next step would be the headstock shape. But inspiration hasn’t struck. I am thinking of just some standard manufacturer shape to copy but then again why not an individual touch?


Okay… sounds like the wood guy liked the wood. :blush:
But… where were your keys?


Are you planning to upgrade any of the components or sticking to the kit? I’m looking forward to this thread as the idea of putting a bass together has always appealed to me and I’ve looked at the kits a few times instead of getting all the parts together


I edited in right around the time you and Krescht answered to that post so it probably didn’t give you a notification.

Right now my idea is just to get some experience under my belt regarding builds. I don’t want to skip essential steps but only do as much as is necessary to get it to a good looking instrument that hopefully plays nicely so I’m sticking to the kit.

I think equipment changes would still be possible after the fact like different pickups or stuff like that.


So since it seems to me my caped bassist premiere was generally well received I had this idea:

I tried it without the head of the logo but that just doesn’t look right. I think I’ll try my best and still have a failsave of just removing the batman logo alltogether and just have a headstock with a rounded end.


I feel like this is spamming but if someone asks me to document something I’ll thoroughly document it:


Execution Part 1

Execution Part 2

Since I sand an recoat it anyway maybe I should have used something more permanent. It’s hot and I’m sweating and as soon as I touch it it gets smeared.
Well… after the 3rd shower today I’m gonna leave it at that for now as all “noisy” work is done. The rest I’m gonna do by hand with files and sandpaper and so on.

Just not sure about the head thing. I think I’ll cut out an ellipse for the head so just the wings are connected to the headstock and not the head itself. Got enough space to work with so why don’t use it.


always start your holes on the front side, to avoid wood wrenching on the most visible side


yes! I think it’s not bad because I think I will still cut the splinters out but yes. I noticed.


just a little advice because I was here :joy:


I feel a little stupid for not thinking about this while starting and it is good advice. I would have given it in the next post :wink:


the very good way if you use only hand tools (from what I see on your pictures) :

  • start to drill slowly a very small hole, let’s say 2mm (diameter), with a metal drill ; this won’t wrench or just very very little
  • use this hole as a pilot hole for your real-size hole : only drill half (roughly) the width from one side …
  • … then drill from the other side to the other half to make a full hole

no wrenching at all, with no heavy machine or tool :sunglasses:


I don’t have a hand drill. But I’ll try a small hole and drill from both ends. Seems like a good approach.

Any tips for filing/sanding the shape I want?
That I planned to do by hand anyway.