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An Ordinary Trip to the Wood Store ...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CH Design, Aug 20, 2012.


  1. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    So I went wood shipping to find something fairly specific. I’'be always like the look of a Walnut back with a Flame Maple tone block (a la Fodera) so I wanted to get some wood together to try my hand at this combination some day.

    [​IMG]

    Finding the Flame Maple locally was easier than I though. Only one place near me carries it, and I was able to find a reasonably good piece for what I wanted to do without too much trouble.

    [​IMG]

    I had a look around the same store for some nice dark Walnut, but didn'’t see anything that was wide enough, clear enough, thick enough and short enough. I only needed about 3 feet so I didn'’t really want anything much longer than that.

    So, then I headed out to my other local wood store. They had a decent selection, but it took a while to pick through everything to find something suitable. In the end I had to buy more than I needed (just over 5 feet).

    So, here is what I’'llbe using for a future neck through build using a Walnut back and Flame Maple tone block. I think it will do just fine ... :D

    [​IMG]

    So, now what do I do with the remaining Walnut that I didn’t really want in the first place? I mean, look at it. Who in their right mind would want to do something with the cut off?

    Front
    [​IMG]

    Back
    [​IMG]

    Wetted with mineral spirits
    [​IMG]

    :hyper: Yeah, it’'s pretty ain’t it? It was a good find considering I got the whole board for $40. The scribbles are me trying to figure out what I could do with it.

    At just over 1.5 inches thick and 6-1/8 inches wide, it’s just a little too narrow for my Single Cut body design. I thought about using it as a back with a tone block down the middle, but thought that it was just too pretty to not have it book matched and displayed front and center. So after much deliberating the path forward was clear. It's time for a new body design!

    Here is what I came up with. It’s based off of a specific picture of a Fodera Emperor II. The pic was taken at an angle and makes the body look much shorter than it really is. The bass in question is also a 6-string (i.e. has a wide neck in relation to the body) which combine with the squatness of the body is a look that I’'ve always liked.

    [​IMG]

    Here’'s my take on it. I think it looks pretty similar, but mine is much smaller than the original. At only 11-3/4 inches wide I shouldn’'t have any problems fitting the walnut tops to this shape. Oh yeah, the off cut is big enough for 2 thick tops!

    [​IMG]

    And compared to my first SC5 design

    [​IMG]

    I have a pile of work to do before I can even start thinking about these builds, but it’s fun to imagine what the finished basses will look like! I may even sneak in some time getting them ready from time to time ... :bag:

    Has anyone else found a piece of wood that helped inspired a new design? You know, you find a great piece of wood that’'s just too narrow or too short for what you want, but you find a way to make it work?
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Location:
    US-NY-NYC
    The walnut looks nice. If you want the flaming to make a V about the center seam though, rather than just parallel diagonal slashes on both sides, you'll have to lay out the body differently and flip one piece.


    The squished fodera looks kind of nice. Be aware that it will negatively affect the balance, compared to the original.
     
  3. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Thanks pilot. I'm actually going resaw the entire walnut cut off so I can get two bookmatched tops out of it instead of using it as marked in the pictures.
    Agreed about the possibly balance issue due to the shorter top horn. I tried drawing it with a longer top horn and it just didn't look right. I'll probably make this one headless too so that should help.

    Edit: I just re-read your comment. I'm good with parallel slashes. I'm not sure that I have enough width in the board to turn the pattern and get the centers to come together in a V. That would have been cool though.
     
  4. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    This should pair up nicely with the walnut tops.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Got some of the walnut and flame maple cut into workable sized pieces. Which orientation for the flame maple looks best?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Néal Zheimer

    Néal Zheimer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Paris, France
    I like the second one better.
     
  8. MrArose13

    MrArose13 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta Georgia
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Luthier:RoseBud basses & Guitars LLC
    I like the 1st one.
     
  9. LightGroove

    LightGroove

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Happy Bottom, VA
    2nd stood out to me at 1st glance
     
  10. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Thanks for the opinions guys. Each orientation looks different, but I don't think any look bad. I'll have to mock it up once I figure out exactly how long the tone block is going to be before I make a decision.

    On another note, I got a chance to resaw the nice piece of walnut today. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned.

    [​IMG]

    Both halves are thickness sanded and I ended up with 0.710" thick pieces. That's perfect for the maple backs I bought.

    Now, there were some small end checks in one end that were 0.5 to 1.0" long. I made sure to give myself a few inches extra when I cut the board to length so that they would fall outside of what I needed for two tops. When I cut through it, this is what I found ...

    [​IMG]

    I had no idea that's what was in there. I'm 99% sure I'm only going to get one top out of this piece now. It sucks, but I'm glad I found out before I had it glued up.
     
  11. LightGroove

    LightGroove

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Happy Bottom, VA
    Sorry to see your issues... walnut is notorious for this. The stuff can be fairly unstable until properly dry. Id do my best to cut what you can out and seal the ends up if possible. Not sure how dry the wood is/was but cutting it down will surely assist in it drying/ acclimating. ..hopefully it will dry a little more evenly..
     
  12. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    What about using a filler mixed with the dust from the same dust of walnut so it fills in natural looking?
     
  13. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I'd consider trying to fix something smaller if I already had a lot of time invested in it. I don't like the idea of having to fix/hide flaws right at the start when it's easier to just use something else.
     
  14. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Thanks. I'm sure it was like that when I bought it. The place where I bought it sells off cuts from projects they have in a small store front. I've only ever bought from the store, not their lumber yard. Since everything in the store has already been milled, it's a pretty safe bet it's dry enough. I really should pick up a moisture meter so I can check for sure though.

    The boards are stickered with weights right now. Once I get my template I'll cut the pieces to length and see where I'm at.
     
  15. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Paper template is finished. I thought this would be a good way to pick the orientation and location for the top. I already have my preference, but I'll wait a few days and reevaluate before making any cuts.

    No. 1
    [​IMG]

    No. 2
    [​IMG]

    No. 3
    [​IMG]

    No. 4
    [​IMG]

    And the maple back...

    No. 1
    [​IMG]

    No. 2
    [​IMG]

    This is the first time I've photographed the different options. I'm finding it very helpful in looking at the difference so in the end I'll end up with the best looking bass (IMO of course) given the wood that I'm using.
     
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Location:
    US-NY-NYC
    For the walnut, I'd pick #4, no contest.
     
  17. LightGroove

    LightGroove

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Happy Bottom, VA
    2nd round I like walnut 3 n maple 1
     
  18. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I should have mentioned that what appear to look like light spots are areas where the mineral spirits dried before the picture was taken.

    I'm with you on 1 for the maple. I'm undecided between 3 or 4 for the walnut. I think I'll have to mock it up with fake hardware and neck to decide.
     
  19. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    Everyone knows there is no such thing as an ordinary trip to the wood store.
     
  20. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Not true. My wife thinks there is... ;)
     
  21. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    Yeah, well...if I had a dollar for every time my wife was actually right about something, I'd have a dollar. But if I had a dollar for every time she was wrong but I didn't feel like arguing with a person who didn't fight fair, I'd be Bill Gates.
     

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