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Making a Batman-Themed Bass Guitar

Updated on September 9, 2018
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Jin is a professional engineer, designer, entrepreneur, and graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

For this guitar, I used a generic guitar kit and customized it. You can find a similar kit in the link below.

I started out by drawing and cutting out the shapes I wanted using a bandsaw

I then spray painted the headstock black

I also drilled a number of holes on the body (not pictured here) before spray painting that part black.

Here’s the work in progress (WIP) bass guitar next to two other instruments I built.

Next, I cut out Batman shapes to be used as a stencil for the fretboard inlay

I realized at this point that because I had used a primer+paint instead of layers of primer, the paint job was pretty rough and had to be re-done. So, under the guidance of Andy and Matt (my instructors here at MIT), I used a heat gun and a scraper burnisher to remove most of the paint

Then sanded most it down back to wood

At this point, I applied a couple of coats of sanding sealer and resanded it to smoothen out the rough spots

And sprayed it with 5 layers of primers

With LOTS of sanding inbetween each layer

Then I repainted the neck and body black. This time, it looked a lot smoother.

This is how much primer and paint I ended up using. Level: n00b+1.

I also painted the pickguard yellow to go along with the Batman color theme

Next, I vinyl cut Batman stickers for the fretboard makers

The paint took forever. It was still not even (notice the rough spots in the photos below), so I sanded off more parts and spray painted some more

When I was finally semi-satisfied with the paint job, I installed the guitar pegs

What to do when the pegs don’t go in and a hammer/mallet doesn’t do the job

Next, it was soldering time! Connecting and testing the potentiometers and pick ups. I must admit, I look more like a mad scientist here than when I’m actually in the lab doing research.

Because I was impatient and soldered while the paint was still somewhat drying, some of the paint jobs had to be touched up.

After the paint touchup and assembly, the guitar was finally finished.

I also got a miniature version to go along with it

Here’s the bass guitar next to a number of my other projects in the recent months. I wrote about the skull shaped skateboard I made below in a separate post.

Left to right, top to bottom: projects I did in 2017–2018: Avengers Acrylic Painting Mar 2018, Eagle Acrylic Painting Jan 2018, SpiderMan Dec 2018, Batman P-Bass Guitar Sep 2017, Gibson Les Paul Aug 2017, Ukulele Jul 2017, Skull Skateboard Jan 2018
Left to right, top to bottom: projects I did in 2017–2018: Avengers Acrylic Painting Mar 2018, Eagle Acrylic Painting Jan 2018, SpiderMan Dec 2018, Batman P-Bass Guitar Sep 2017, Gibson Les Paul Aug 2017, Ukulele Jul 2017, Skull Skateboard Jan 2018

Here’s a video of the build:

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