My first woodworking project? Planning a ZO-3 bass build!

ZO-3 is so cute~

ZO-3 is also cost prohibitive to import from Japan >:(

I have been wanting to build my own stringed instrument for a long time. Traditional body shapes don’t appeal to me because I would not be able to build something comparable to commercially available models. Building something common and hence held to a high standard is not exactly my idea of a fun stress free first foray into woodworking. Unfortunately, my efforts to create a custom body shape yielded truly ugly and baffling designs.

these hands. they create abominations.

Unable to think up a decent body shape, I decided to create a fretless 34″ scale version of the ZO-3 bass (pronounced zo-san). It isn’t sold locally and not common at all, so building it would actually be the more cost efficient way of getting my grubby paws on one of them. Scaling up to 34″ necks, I believe neck dive will be an issue. I’m planning to route a cavity and fill it with a stainless steel puck as needed.


Reason for choosing the ZO-3?
The ZO-sans are so sooo cute! I want mine with the largest googly eyes money can buy, maybe with a bit of laminate to create sleepy eyelids over the eye.
I plan to buy a pre-made neck, neck building looks much more intimidating than the body.

planning router templates for a router I don’t own yet

Off the bat, I have to acquire a piece of hardwood 350 by 450 by 50 thick, and also a router.
I already have plenty of the necessary tools, table saw, drills, clamps, chisels, planers and handsaws.
The wood seems to be an issue, no one sells 50mm thick boards and I might have to mess around with glue and jointing up smaller boards to get to the size needed.

The game plan is to buy a router, then 3D print the templates (in pieces). Transfer template onto plywood (test run for router as well). Then if all goes well. Explore creating the body board and ordering in the hardware.

Router wise, the traditional wisdom seems to be to get a good quality 1/2″ router and a cheap set of bits. I’m just going to get a cheap Dong Cheng 1/4″ trimmer and cheap bits. Cheap tools aren’t built shoddily like toys anymore, especially from Dong Cheng. No sense in spending more than I need to.

Hopefully there will be time between work and life to embark on this new project.

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