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backyard bass...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bryan2112, May 1, 2003.


  1. there is a maple tree in my grandmothers back yard. i used to climb it all the time when i was growing up. i thought how cool would it be to have a bass built out of the wood. (she's having it cut down) kinda like the wonder bat from the movie the natural! ;)

    has anyone done something like this? is it even possible. i'm sure it depends on how big the tree is and there is probably a year or so drying time with the wood.

    anyway... just thought it would be wild to have a bass like that. :D

    p.s. if this is in the wrong forum, please move it. :)
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    People use backyard trees for lumber all the time. Rule of thumb is 1 year per inch of thickness. Be sure to do some research so you dry it properly. There is another thread on this forum in which Ken Smith weighs in on the same question for backyard walnut.
     
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    My understanding is that some sawmills won't cut urban wood because of the possibility of hitting nails. I've also heard that some might x-ray the tree first. Anyone able to comment on this?
     
  4. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    I cut down an elm tree in my yard and thought I would try the same thing. Make sure you get the wood far enough away from the center of the tree. Cut the wood bigger than you want. Make sure as soon as you get your blank, paint the ends so it doesn't dry too fast. If the wood dries too fast it will crack. I don't have any more trees to experiment on and I made the above mistakes. All the luck in the world to you.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    BS1

    What was the issue with the wood close to the center of the tree? I'm especially interested since, when slabsawing, this is the one slice that comes out quartersawn.

    BTW sorry it didn't work out for you.
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The pith is structurally unsound and may have heart rot in some trees. Do not use any boards with pith in your bass. Look up the thread where Ken Smith talks about milling and drying walnut lumber.