Adding Body to SR506 Ibanez

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CosmoJr, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    I have an SR506. I want to add more body to the existing body. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this? Don't be afraid to get creative.

    Specifics:
    - Adding material to the top cutaway to make it appears as a single cutaway.
    - Adding material to the bottom/back of the bass to help reduce neck dive.
    - I am open to any materials and techniques.
     
  2. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    New body!
     
  3. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    I keep leaning towards this; either that or a new bass. My hope is there is something fun and exciting that can be done, but yeah, I kind of agree with you.
     
  4. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, I'd have to.agree with @Slidlow, easier to make a new body than grafting onto the old one. All the edges are rounded over, so it would be hard to get any good glue joints between old and new wood, unless you cut the body edges off to get 90 degree edges....at which point you might as well make a new body. If you have the tools to do that drastic a mod, you have the tools to make a body. Bass bodies aren't that hard, nowhere near a neck build, for instance. The only real difficult part is accurately routing the neck pocket, plenty of tutorials on YT for that.
     
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  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    What about cutting the "wings" off of the body and grafting new blocks of wood on to be shaped to your liking? You could keep the difficult bits (neck pocket, pickup routes, bridge, math they all need to be correct in order to function) and reshape the body. In order to get your single cut look you'd have to cut right along the edge of the neck pocket (you'd keep the screw holes that hold the neck on), which would mean losing the ends of the soapbar pickup routes, but you could re-carve them into the new material. That or you could do something like a scroll bass, or some other upper bout shape. Those are mahogany bodies right? You could conceivably just cut the bass string side off and graft new on, preserving the control cavity route, with electronics. The mahogany would be easier to match than other woods. I'm pretty sure this would work, and other then making sure you had good, clean surface at the glue joint, and maybe used some pins to insure it was sturdy, it wouldn't be all that difficult.

    Like this:

    Polish_20200921_223946612.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  6. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    Oh wow, this has potential to look really cool and it doesn't seem to difficult. Thanks for suggesting this. I sure gives me some new ideas.
     
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  7. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    Dave Gilmour is one of my favorite guitar players of all time. I am with you on this. It would need something drastic. I was struggling to carve out wood to fit nice on the curved edges of this bass. I think chopping off a chunk is the best way to go, then like you said, why not just make a whole new body.
     
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  8. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I'm puzzled by the neck dive. I've had two of these, and three SR505s, they had some limitations, but neck dive was not a thing with any of them. :bag:
     
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  9. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    I am not sure how much of a difference in neck weight there is. Does the sr505 have a single truss rod? The sr506 has two truss rods and the neck is wider. It maybe adding a lot of extra weight to the neck but they didn't make the body any bigger to compensate. I calculated and tested that I need about 2 pounds added towards the bridge to counter balance it. For right now I have a 2lb ankle weight on my strap. I am tired of strapping up very time I want to play. Sometimes I just want to rest the bass on my leg and have it floating there.
     
  10. songofthewind

    songofthewind

    Aug 1, 2013
    2lb is not a lot to add. How about routing a cavity aft of the bridge area and adding some sheet steel pieces or similar, until it balances ok? Then make and fit a cover for the cavity.
    Stenback basses have a system for adding brass weights in a body cavity. Out of most folks’ price range tho.
     
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  11. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Truly a workable idea but still with the effort involved I would consider a new body. Then at least you could always put it back to original if it didn't work out to your liking or if you ever wanted to sell the bass. Also the original body could be sold to someone with a beat up one to refurbish theirs. Just saying. I'm not personally apt to hack up a good body.
     
  12. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    All fair points, I suppose it depends on what your goals are. If its eliminating neck dive then I wouldn't chop it up. Lightweight tuners, lead in the control cavity, or both is probably best. If you want a woodworking project this body isn't a bad candidate. Its a common wood and by no means a rare or valuable bass. It would be a lot of work, you'd have to blend the new wood into the shape if the existing where they would meet, refinish the whole thing, and creating new shapes that both look good and function is not an easy design task.
     
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  13. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    You usually get a lot more bang/buck lightening the headstock than weighting the body, it’s a 30” lever, so you have to add a lot of weight at the body. I have yet to find a reliable way to predict balance beforehand. If you do make a new body, I’d suggest mashing a rough mockup out if 2 layers of 3/4” plywood or MDF. It’s cheap, and will allow you to practice tool work, and give you at least a rough approximation if final balance. You can get 2’x4’ plywood or MDF panels at HD.
     
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  14. I am not sure how much work it would require, but you might look at the body design of a Carl Thompson bass.
    These are known to balance perfectly. You can find pictures of the man himself resting the bass on his lap, and it stays in place without holding it.
    https://ctbasses.com/images/6/5-19-20/5-19-20_006.png

    These basses usually do have lightweight tuners, so that might still be required.
     
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  15. lucas303

    lucas303

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    Convert to headless? (Though you will need to keep a bit of a "nub" at the end of the neck for the truss rod access.) That will both remove weight from the headstock and add it to the body.
     
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  16. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    That is doable, I'm in process as we speak (or type, or whatever :D)

    Off with its head! 6-string headless conversion/parts build
     
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  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Add a beefier/heavier bridge. Possibly insert counter weights in the body to counter the neck dive. Change the location of the strap pin. Just a few suggestions.
     
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  18. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    This is a great suggestion. This would keep the aesthetics of the bass too. I will check it out. Thanks!
     
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  19. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    My bass teacher played a Carl Thompson. It was indeed perfectly balanced. He let me place it on my lap to see. It was incredible. They go for quiet a price and are truly awesome basses.

    I wish there was a way to add to the current body to get a cool look like those basses.
     
  20. CosmoJr

    CosmoJr

    Apr 19, 2016
    I will take a look into this today. Taking a pound off the top and moving it to the bottom should help achieve in balancing the bass. Thanks!