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Ask The Luthiers

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by wellspal, Sep 3, 2002.


  1. Recycled Lumber

    I'm currently doing some remodeling on an old house. About 1920. Everytime I do this I can't help but wonder if the old pine boards being ripped out aren't the ideal thing for the first double bass that I'm going to make "someday". My question is what is the maximum number of boards acceptable for a top?(table) For a back? At what point does it become a "lateral plywood" (butcher block, if you will) bass. Many boards I come across are straight-grain, quarter-sawn. (by chance, I'm sure.) Thoughts on spruce, pine or fir would also be appreciated. I know spruce is preferred but aren't alot of older basses pine and fir also? Was oak ever used for the back and ribs? Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    There are plenty of old, way expensive Itie's that are 6 to 8 pieced. It can work and calling it a lateral plywood is prolly not appropriate. But, I think you are better off using the wood as bass bars. I could accurately join a 6 piece top but the time it took to do this would definately offset the money saved in wood. When I built my shop I razed the 90 year old garage that came with our house and the beams were some nice vertical grained fir. I saved them all for special occasions and they've made some right nice bass bars.
     
  3. Thanks Jeff.
    I never think of it as a time or money saving thing, since I PROLLY won't be constructing DBs for a living. I am just so attracted to that 100 year old lumber. It just seems to have the VIBE for an instrument. I know, I know, just do it.. I would never want to go through all that work though and not come up with a well respected instrument. Especially after a few years education on this forum. (You go forum.) I'm surprised expensive basses can have so many side by side pieces.
     
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I believe "prolly" is a Fuqua'd up word. Anyone know? I know I started using it after seeing Ed use it[he's such a trendsetter].
     
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Guys, my client has a J.B. Allen bass, made in Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. Allen was PROLLY nuts, 'cause the top of this bass is made of 12 pieces. Yes, an even dozen, no lie! I looked at the grain pattern really closely, and I think it's possible that he bent some of the pieces before gluing them up. I wonder if the intention was to avoid end grain...? Anyway, the bass is a masterpiece of Yankee workmanship, though its size and weight make it not so practical...As far as the old woodpile, I say go for it. Don't listen to Jeff--he sees a barn door, he thinks "Nice bass bars".
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Only a luthier would resort to tongue in groove humor.
     
  7. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Yeah, well I break for dervish whores Ray!
     
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    As long as you stay away from those Dervish pilots!
     
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Only if dey wurl'n.
     
  10. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    You hit the nail on the head. This week 10000 crazed Alabamians came to Oklahoma to watch the game against OU and I heard lotsa that accent. I personally love it. I got to meet Kenny "The Snake" Stabler at my gig Friday night and he had that accent. The women sound like warm honey...:D


    Monte
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    And if you think they SOUND like warm honey, then........



    ...and you'd be right. :)