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Basswood?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by basspraiser, Nov 25, 2018.


  1. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Exactly!
    That's what I've been doing for a long time. Same procedure for screw holes in outdoor woodwork. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Louisiana
    Basswood and Empress (paulownia) together would be an interesting and very light build.
     
  3. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    If a screw hole is screwed up :roflmao: the hole can be filled with polyurethane glue, before inserting the screw. Make sure the screw stays in place for the next 24 hours. Also, prevent the glue from spilling onto the instrument.
     
  4. KevinOn10

    KevinOn10

    Nov 26, 2018
    Levittwon, PA
    I work for Sam Ash Music
    I personally love basswood. I just came into the possession of a half finished build, 32.5" scale bass using basswood. Super light, and it'll definitely make a great fretless.
     
  5. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Guitar smashing really took off when Jeff Beck did it in the 1966 movie Blowup. Not the first time other people got credit for something he did first.

    As for Entwhistle "always" protecting his bass...not always.

    smashed-20warwick-20buzzard-20bass-.

    Smashed because it was cutting out on stage.
     
  6. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    In my opinion. I find it amazing for tone. Very deep and resonant. It is softer but with the fad of roadworn basses I wonder when people will want basses that pick up roadwear quicker so the bass can be theirs. In 85 I made a bass from one slab of a basswood marine beam. I was totally blown away by the tone.
     
    KevinOn10 likes this.
  7. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I've owned a few, maybe 6 or so basswood instruments. Dent too easily and won't hold screws (not really an issue unless you swap parts like me). I'll take ash or alder any day.
     
  8. TinIndian

    TinIndian

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Only issue I've ever had with it is it seems fairly soft and dings easily. Beyond that I think its just fine.
     
  9. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Lots of people strip screws in all kinds of wood...
    Basswood is very soft and has more issues with screws than Alder and Poplar which are both relatively cheap choices that are a bit harder and more practical in the long run.
    I would bet money that most folks cannot hear the difference between Poplar/Alder/Basswood basses in a blind test.
    But after three owners change pickguards or bridges or remove battery covers screwed into the Basswood body, it is by far the most likely to have thread problems and dents.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    lloganbracee likes this.
  10. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Penfield, NY
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
  11. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    Here's my basswood contribution. Light, resonant, and a dent magnet. In fact, another dent was added just mentioning it here. Well worth a few dings.
    8D192B4E-E7AF-4B84-BA19-FB72B1122878.
     
    mcgreivey, aldaa and ajkula66 like this.
  12. Like all woods there are variables in weight,density and hardness from tree to tree. Believe it or not you can get “hard” balsa wood that is noticeably harder than the other stuff you can easily squeeze dents into with your bare hands.
     
  13. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    I've got a couple of those myself
     
    JRA likes this.
  14. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I've had screws not hold in walnut nor maple, so yeah, I there are times when screws won't hold in basswood either.
    But as a woodworker, IMO basswood doesn't hold a small screw as well as other woods can. Use a threaded insert or harden the hole with something like CA glue.
     
    Rodger Bryan likes this.
  15. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Glad someone brought up paulownia, the "other" balsa. It's my favorite tonewood, sounds a good bit like swamp ash; very resonant. And about as soft as basswood.
    I'm about to work on a new build with a swamp ash core and paulownia wings. Very light, but with a SA tone block.
     
  16. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut
    As a solid body material, I think it is a good, workable choice. It is very easy to carve and is generally lightweight. I owned a basswood Ibanez SR800 in the early 1990's and I liked it. As stated by many others, its surface is relatively soft and will dent easily without a hard finish.
     
  17. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I'll throw in my .02.... My Spector Q4 is basswood body and sounds wonderful. As others have posted, fairly light, no stripped screws or any other issues.
     
  18. I'm sure a good piece of basswood is great, and a crap piece of basswood sure sucks! Most noticable to me in regards to grades of wood is various different maple necks, the variance in hardness and tone is shocking.
     
  19. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Basswood has a very consistent composition, you can see how it looks completely plain a lot of the time, no grain to it. I'd imagine this makes it really great for certain construction where you need that consistency. But people hear with their eyes and they think, no flame, can't put a natural finish on it, and must have no tone.

    A lot of boutique builders use a maple cap or veneer on basswood, then you get something that works visually, too.
     
    TrustRod likes this.
  20. BassBeginer64

    BassBeginer64 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    Riverside Ca
    Bass Wood ? bass__92072.1500409748.
     

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