Almost $100 Challenge Upright Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CRMayer, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    So apparently I joined this forum too late and missed the $100 bass challenge (my kind of challenge :) ) but coincidentally I was making a low budget acoustic upright bass around the same time so I thought Id share some of the build photos. I think it sounds very good all things considered and Ill get around to recording a bit for y'all's critique when I get some time.

    My bill of materials was as such
    60"x60" 1/8 birch plywood - $17 (top and back)
    30"x60" 1/8 birch plywood - $11 (sides)
    alder for neck block - $5
    2"x8"x~8' maple - $40(neck, fingerboard, bridge, tailpiece)
    Ebay UB tuners - $40
    Ebay Strings - $20
    endpin neck bolts and tailgut hardware - ~$20

    So I ended up around 150 but if I had gotten cheap electric bass tuners ($9) and scrounged some hardware maybe I could have made it under the $100 mark.

    First step was making a half body mold, I made it out of shipping crates I pulled from a dumpster 1.jpg 2.jpg
  2. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    Next up was bending the sides from the 1/8 plywood. I used some leftover 1x1 stickers for the corner blocks.
    3.jpg 4.jpg
  3. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    Then I cut out the neck block, joined the two halfs and made some temporary bracing to hold everything where its supposed to go 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg
    T_Bone_TL, randyripoff, hintz and 3 others like this.
  4. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    I trimmed the sides so that the top would have a parabolic shape approximately the same curvature as carved double bass. Then I roughed out the outline on top and strapped it down during the glue up. After that I fitted a large redwood X brace in the top so it would be able to hold the downforce from the strings. I forgot to include the redwood in the bill of materials, it was a $1.50 fence slat from home depot. 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg
  5. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    hintz likes this.
  6. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    Next was cutting the side taper for the back and roughing out the neck. Its bolt on with 2 1/4-20 bolts going into threaded dowels. 12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg 15.jpg
  7. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    I shaped the fingerboard, added some bits to fill out the base of the neck and glued the fingerboard on. 16.jpg 17.jpg 18.jpg 19.jpg 22.jpg
  8. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    I glued the back on except for the taper and then after that was cured I used some clamps to pull the tapered part in. I also added in a sound post. I made it slip onto the x bracing on the back and top (I also thinned it out after this image was taken to cut some weight). 20.jpg 21.jpg 23.jpg
  9. CRMayer


    Nov 25, 2015
    Richmond, VA
    Then I realized I was within spitting distance of having it strung up and playing so I rushed and forgot to document a number of things (peghead, scroll, tailpiece, bridge). But heres a picture of it strung and in the white and with the dark brown finish on it 24.jpg image (1).jpeg
  10. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Wow! I'm changing my vote to this one! Excellent work!
    Will_White, hintz and Need Gigs like this.
  11. Wow!! That is awesome!
    hintz likes this.
  12. T Bassman

    T Bassman

    Dec 13, 2010
    Really well done sir!
    hintz likes this.
  13. Jonny5bass


    May 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Very cool! That's quite a workshop too!
    hintz likes this.
  14. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    You sir have some serious skills!! Pure awesomeness:)
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  15. *slow astonished clap* bra-effing-vo

    You, sir, are the Harry "Gandalf" Picard-Skywalker of the DIY bass world. If I wore a fedora and trench coat I would roll a D&D character in your honor.

    That is a thing of beauty.
  16. Video/Audio of how it sounds??? would love to hear it..
    Roxbororob and chiggun like this.
  17. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    Very inspiring. Nice work.
  18. Great stuff. VERY interested to hear what it sounds like! :hyper:
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That is impressive
  20. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    This is so very cool

    OP, looks like you've done this before. How many have you made?
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