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EUB car wheel build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by christw, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    When doing a favor for a friend with some bad wheels and tires, I acquired a bent rim. I also happen to have a couple of parts lying around for a build. I figure I might as well just do it. Maybe I'll learn something! ;)

    Here's the concept:

    I'm shooting for 34" scale. I'd like to have just one (slideable?) electric pickup. I'll probably use one of my existing squier/hondo p pickups in a reverse configuration. I'm considering using a cheapie piezo and running stereo output. Simple volume and tone controls. I'd like to make a stand to match but I haven't decided what it'll be as of yet. I'll get dimensions start prototyping soon.

    If anyone's got any ideas or insight I'd greatly appreciate it. This is going to be a fun (and possibly frustrating) improvisational journey. :hyper:

    Here's the parts I'm starting with... a Gibson bridge and some unknown fretless neck. I may mount a block of wood through the wheel and bolt it in to use as a body/mount.

    [​IMG]
  2. randyripoff

    randyripoff

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  3. elgecko

    elgecko

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    A car wheel? Wouldn't that be heavy as heck?
  4. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

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    EUB = Electric upright bass. It's not like it'll be hanging over someone's shoulder on a strap. :cool:

    A pic of the wheel?
  5. TimmyBoomBoom

    TimmyBoomBoom

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    Unless you contour the neck, you won't be able to bow more than two strings. Other than that, I'll bet it will work just fine. Heavy and .....heavy.
  6. Beej

    Beej

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    You crazy christw. Now break out those chisels, show us that hair and get to work... :D
  7. IvanMunoz

    IvanMunoz

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    Subscribed.
  8. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Honestly, bowing is not a huge concern as I'll be using an electric neck. Heavy? That's why it'll have a stand! ;)

    It's just a 15" steelie off of a Honda Accord.

    I plan to make a plywood ring with a 2x4 running parallel to the neck as a backing. I'll probably angle the neck like a more traditional URB/EUB and cut some F holes to make it pretty. I'd like to use the Gibson as a tailpiece and a somewhat traditional URB bridge space permitting. Otherwise... well, we'll see. The plan is to paint it all black but that's tentative too.

    [​IMG]

    If all that works, I'll try to play with changing the rim's tuning by blocking off holes on the back or sneaking in a drum diaphragm somehow. I can't put a head over the back because of the bent lip though.

    [​IMG]

    Extra inspiration: a buddy heard about this idea and told me about the gas tank bass the guy from Split Lip Rayfield uses:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how I'll work a chisel into this one. I might need more destructive tools! :D

    My hair is anything but ready this time. (Ps-don't smoke!)

    [​IMG]
  9. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Took some measurements, looks like I'll be using a traditional bridge setup. From nut to end of usable territory will put me at 34 1/2" when I address mounting space vs useless space. I may still elevate the bridge and angle the neck a little... or not at all!

    Crazy ideas... What do you guys thing about putting a passive radiator on the semi-closed side to "seal" the body up while still allowing transference of what will no doubt be negligible amounts of bass? :p
  10. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Had the tire dismounted and cut the top for the bass.

    [​IMG]

    I've got at least 2 hours sanding ahead of me to get an exact fit. If only I had a belt sander!

    [​IMG]

    I nicked my finger pretty good with a screwdriver removing the wheel weight too! (No pics. That was ugly!)
  11. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    No pics but I finished "rounding" the top and almost finished up the inside support block. Next up will be gluing when my arms feel up to sanding again. I can't wait to get on to the finer details.

    Update: My truck died at the gas station. Full electrical failure when I turn the key. I left it there. No more parts runs today! Ouch!
  12. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Finished sanding the backing plate. I'm not sure if two layers of 3/4 play will hold up to string tension. If not, it won't be hard to make again. Good news is that they've got just a little give and an interference fit with the rim. I'm hoping I'll actually get decent acoustic projection.

    [​IMG]

    Started gluing the tops! I'll work on test fits later today. Electronics will be the last thing I do.

    [​IMG]
  13. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Glued up well enough for a mock-up! I'm ready to start drilling and test fit the neck and bridge. I have it measured to 34" scale at the middle of the bridge's adjustment range. That sound right?

    [​IMG]
  14. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Test fit time! It actually puts a surprising amount of sound out of the top and out the back of the rim. With some tuning, this will actually move some air. It could fill in for an acoustic jam about as well as an ABG but with some actual thump behind it.

    Plan is for me to do electronics after I file the nut. Then I'm gonna bolt the top to the rim in 4-8 spots and seal the edges with wood filler. I think I'll sand all the crap off the top and do a blackburst to natural or stain. All in all, this is gonna turn out really cool for an <$50 build.

    [​IMG]

    This sold me on this build:

    [​IMG]
  15. randyripoff

    randyripoff

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    Looking quite nice. What kind of tone are you getting? I'd assume something fairly bright with the steel behind it.
  16. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    So I have this J Worrell P prototype that was too thick for my P bass that I'd always wanted to use for upright...

    Checking out fitment:

    [​IMG]

    Installed:

    [​IMG]
  17. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    Thanks! There's a lot of midrange (300-800 Hz) with this deep, much quieter resonance below it. If I press it into the rim the right way it really has some butt to it. I'll be bolting those together and tuning the holes in the back of the bass to get maximum punchitude.

    Spoiler alert: I have a P and a J neck in the closet. :bag:

    Ahead of me for functionality:

    Install electronics
    Bolt top to rim
    Tune back of rim
    Make a friggin' stand so I can play it!

    Ahead of me cosmetically (lower priority):

    Route edges of top
    Smooth rim/top with wood filler
    Stain top
    Blackburst around the edges
  18. IvanMunoz

    IvanMunoz

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    When you{re finished, I{d love to hear a sound clip!
  19. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    I'll try to do a mic and a pickup recording of it when all is said and done. I realized the sound of my drill is akin to a dog whistle in my dog's eyes so I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow to get back on it.
  20. christw

    christw Always searching for the right Ric... Supporting Member

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    So there's some good news in what I'm about to say... this thing flops around like a fish out of water when it's played outside the rim! Darn pine ply! There's a silver lining though. I really think it'll get a sweet, warm tone with decent projection once I bolt it down and add some rigidity to the "body." I'll probably switch to traditional flatwounds on the E & A to get more tension once all the rest is done.

    If I decide to spend more money I'll probably stick a big bolt through the bottom of the rim and use a socket and a series of extensions to make the stand.

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