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8 string (paired) in butternut and cherry

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by orgmorg, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    This is another project I have going on.
    It's 33" scale 8 string bass.
    The body is butternut, one piece. Neck is figured cherry, with a persimmon fingerboard.
    The butternut and persimmon are from logs I milled myself a few years back, and the cherry came from a bundle of cull lumber I bought from a big hardwood mill nearby. Total lumber cost- less than $5 :D



    Closeup of ebony inlay, with black MOP dots:

    This will get a J neck pickup ( Fender MIM ), and a J humbucker ( Diesel ) in the bridge position, with a 4 pole 5 position switch for a variety of different combinations.

    It will also have a black plastic pickguard wich will cover the neck tenon, go around the neck pickup, and swoop down around the control cavity in a kinda ric meets silvertone sorta way.

    The bridge will be one I am making out of persimmon, similar to the one I am making for the 6 string I posted in another thread. Hopefully, I will have some pics of it soon, since it is kinda hard to describe.
  2. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    Wow! :eek: That's really, really nice. Great wood!
  3. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    May I be the first to say "Beautiful"! I am an 8 stringer and find very few aesthetically pleasing.
    I am curious how the cherry will hold up to all that tension with one truss rod. Please post again as you progress with this.
  4. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    Thanks! :)

    I used a pair of carbon fiber bars as well, so it should be fine.
    The octave strings don't have nearly as much tension as the fundamentals, and the slightly shorter scale will help a bit, too.
  5. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007

    Very cool. I cant wait to see the finished bass.
  6. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY

    I hear that cherry wood is subject to "gum spots", are you sure the neck will hold up?
  7. jonpopu


    Nov 3, 2006
    Very nice. I like the wood combonations, and the overall design of the bass.
  8. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    Thanks all!

    I'm not 100% sure about anything on this bass. ;)
    It's all a bit experimental, as far as the wood choices are concerned. I'm as interested as anyone else in how it will fare.

    The butternut will certainly take a bit of a beating as it is very soft. It will dent if you look at it too hard. And I'm using an oil finish, to boot. I'm gonna try the technique of rubbing danish oil in with steel wool, several applications, and then many coats of wipe on poly. Should be a good test of this method. Also, it could possibly be a real tone sink and sound mushy.
    The Persimmon is an unknown as well. Theoretically is ought to behave somewhat like ebony, but who knows? It will be interesting to see how well it resists getting grimy and gunky, too, and if the color changes at all.
    On the cherry, regarding the gum spots, this piece has a couple tiny ones. They won't affect anything. What you have to look out for are larger patches, especially where the tree lays down a layer of gum between growth rings. Those are usually quite visable, though. The plank this piece came from was riddles with ring shake, which is fairly common with figured cherry, and why it ended up in the cull pile. this was the only piece out of 3 big wide planks that was at all usable.

    So, yes I'm taking a few calculated risks in the interest of curiousity. If it all holds together and sounds good, Awesome! If not, I'm only out $5 of lumber, but the time spent will still be worthwhile in terms of practice and experience.:)
  9. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    That neck is outrageous!
  10. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I love Cherry gum spots and all......t Good luck!
  11. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    sounds tasty
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I made four cherry bodied basses back in the mid 90's, and they are all doing well. I never saw any gum spots at all. :)

    Figured cherry is really beautiful... the bass looks great. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

    Here's the back of two of mine. These are both from the same board, but look at the figure on the one bass.

  13. Yet another great looking project. I like the 'scoops' out of the upper and lower horns. Did you rout those with a cove bit, or by another method?
  14. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    I carved those portiond by hand with a gouge. All the rest of the shaping was done with a 50 grit disc on an angle grinder.

    Ya, that hadn't occured to me until I read that, but yes, Butternut, cherry, and persimmon all produce edible fruit. Persimmons taste awful until they are just about to fall off. After that, they are wonderful, but ya gotta get 'em before the possums do. Haven't had butternuts, but they are supposed to be real good. Kinda like walnuts, but sweeter and really oily.

    David- that is some pretty cherry!
  15. caragel


    Oct 26, 2007
    Looks fantastic, always love to see 8 and 12 strings!!
  16. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    So, here's the pickguard:

  17. that looks good!
  18. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    You have PM.....t
  19. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Looks great!
  20. orgmorg


    Jan 25, 2008
    Dismal, Tennessee
    Got some more work done on the bridge:

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