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Bass carved out of one piece of wood

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by artistanbul, Oct 23, 2003.


  1. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    Like a bass carved out of one BIG slab of walnut. First of all I haven't seen any. Here are the questions:
    Is there any?
    Can it be done?
    What would be the ups and downs.
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I thought I heard of one being made out of paduak or ebony. I imagine it would be very unstable, as there would be a very small amount of adjustability, and a heck of a lot of tension would be put on a single piece of wood.
     
  3. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    Would the tension still be too great if it was 4 strings?
     
  4. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    i LOVE the carving on that last one
     
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Really, there is no reason why you can't carve a bass out of a single piece of wood, but it would be difficult and wasteful. Imagine the large amount of scrap wood as a result of the project. Also, imagine how large the original piece of wood would need to be.

    As for comments about stress. You could still install a truss rod (assuming that you would still have a fingerboard that is glued on). Also, I don't really see how the stress would be any worse than on a bass made of several pieces glued together.

    So, could you do it? Yes.
    But would you want to?
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    1. You would need a piece of wood that is about 2 x 14 x 40 inches, with no defects in any part of the wood that would not be carved away. Good luck.

    2. The board would have to be that big, and not warp during and after carving the various parts. Good luck.

    3. (opinion) What a waste of wood (when 2/3 of it will end up sawdust and scrap)!
     
  8. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I've seen it done here and there. Usually the main holdback is the expense and difficulty of finding and buying a single piece of wood of the type desired that is large enough to handle the task. For a 34" scale bass, you're looking at about a 48" x 18" x 2.5" - 3" piece of clear Walnut, with no checks, cracks, or other problems, that has been properly cured for instrument making.

    And yes, the other main holdback is that even if you were to find and purchase a piece of walnut like the above, the amount of waste generated would not sit well with most luthiers, myself included.

    If you could find the wood, the rest is just details and wood carving...

    :^)~
     
  9. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    I mean wood is no prob. for me. I just want to make a bass for myself... easily.
    So.. it can be done? And will be good?

    One more thing. Do you think that this will work?
    Preparing a 5-piece maple/walnut through neck.
    And the body wings roughly. After they get together carving it.

    Would it work?

    Umm.. Does this belong to luthiers forum now?
     
  10. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Can it be done? Yes.

    Will it be good? That depends on your abilities as a luthier / wood worker.

    :^)~
     
  11. Zillium

    Zillium

    May 27, 2003
    Michigan
    Check out this Ken Bebensee, Redwood Root Burl body.


    [​IMG]
     
  12. Zillium

    Zillium

    May 27, 2003
    Michigan
    Here's the finished bass.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Turkey-Istanbul
    I am definitely not a luthier or anything near. but I have access to an excellent CNC machine, and can design something good and make a 3D model to be used. Whatsmore I can have excellent old and resonant woods at amazingly low prices. In fact these things made me wonder "can I make my own bass?"
     
  14. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    Not a great picture, but my friend Robert from the Roberto-Venn school made this bass from a slab single slab of rosewood. I believe there's a separate fingerboard, but it probably came from the same chunk. Coolest feature, IMO: the magnetic pickups are routed in the back, less than 1/16" from the top of the bass. The strings sit low, and the pickups sense the strings through the top!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. william paul jaroski(who is my dads cousin)makes guitars out of 300 year old wood that was found at the bottom of lake superior, and the are one pioece of wood for each guitar
     
  16. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    the big strat style input jack kills it. Between that, and the brigdge selection, it kinda looks like a refined wishbass.
     
  17. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Woods are pretty, but that bass is fugly. Id son't care how pretty the grain is, I'd never use a piece with voids/holes/knots like that. Could've at least stuck the input jack somewhere in one of those holes :D