1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Blackhearted Sassafras on Victorian Ash

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Harry Cahyadi, Oct 6, 2013.


  1. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Guys,

    I started a new build for a client few weeks ago, so I have done some of the work already.

    This is a "budget" build so I'm not using an exotic wood combination. I might disappoint all wood lovers out there ;)

    There are many great luthiers on Talkbass already, so I won't bore you with to much process pictures.

    The point of the post is just want to give some reference to Australian wood, just in case there are some people out there are looking to build using Oz woods.

    I don't think Oz wood is getting much of love in TalkBass yet.:D

    Specs:

    Construction:
    - 5 string
    - Bolt-on
    - 35" scale
    - Rear route, with front jack input

    Contours:
    - Tummy
    - Forearm
    - Neck joint

    Body:
    - 2-piece Victorian Ash
    - Wood control cavity

    Top:
    - Blackhearted Sassafras (not bookmatched)
    - Wenge accent veneer under the top

    Neck:
    - 2 piece Victorian Ash
    - Matching headstock plate

    FB:
    - Poplar, 24 fret, 15" radius
    - Black side dot markers

    Frets: Mandolin frets

    Hardware:
    - Dual action truss rod
    - Tuners: black, 5 string tuner set
    - Bridge: black, hipshot type B
    - Nut: Buffallo horn nut (black colour)
    - Knobs: black, aluminum knobs
    - Straplock: black, Schaller style straplock
    - White C Basses logo

    Electronics:
    - Pickups:
    - Neck: Bartolini XXP25M-B
    - Bridge: Bartolini XXP25C-T

    - Preamp:
    - Tone monster (3 band, active/passive)
     
  2. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Some of the progress:

    The materials
    10127275185_c94f7ee2b7.

    The design
    10127328656_62b20605f6.

    Gluing the top
    10127344986_6686d49efb.

    Gluing the body
    10127401403_321d36bc95.

    Gluing and dressing the neck - those 2 pieces of wood came from the same board, I just want to make the end grain to be \\\/// , so it will be more stable
    10127170094_9fc6c6996d. 10127351063_ef5e1dcc2c. 10127339603_fab4b696a6. 9785879765_41d036f6d7.

    Prepping the body
    10127136074_d1eeec4839. 10127129024_3a7aa7fbdf. 10127312853_bd5648fa6a.

    Gluing the top and the headstock plate
    10127082804_ed83fd6514. 10127044254_256491e34c. 10127017494_26a26cb6fb.

    Routing cavities
    10126939364_436bd263cc. 10126929074_b75922b3ac. 10126828654_33c2c196ed.

    Shaping the top and overall look
    10126888764_94b4b9a8db. 10127074213_5c238d1eb6.

    Enjoy and thanks for looking...


    Harry
     
  3. TheJoshinator

    TheJoshinator

    Sep 23, 2012
    "Not using exotic woods?" Over there in Australia that's all there is! XD Nice work, looking forward to this one!
     
  4. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    I'm with you actually.:D

    However, exotic word is usually used for african or south american woods...

    Thanks for the support Joshinator
     
  5. Splods

    Splods

    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    How did you find Sassafras cheaply!
     
  6. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    From Distinctive Timbers. It was Ray, the guy I dealt with.

    They have got an eBay store as well.

    I bought 1 bookmatched boards (2 boards, total dimension was 1.7m x 20mm x 25mm). I got it resawn into 2 bookmatched boards (4 boards). All for $210 I think.

    Free shipping and if I'm not mistaken he didn't charge me for the resawing service.

    I can get at least 6 tops out of those and some off cuts (enough for pickup cover, cavity cover or trus rod cover). It comes to $35 even each top, which I think quite good/cheap deal.

    He has some rare oz burls as well, like tassy myrtle burl, tassie musk burl and sometimes tassie blackwood burl

    Great guy to deal with.


    Harry
     
  7. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

    Jun 25, 2012
    MI
    I've read that sassafras wood is a direct toxin, in case you didn't know.

    That bass looks really great. :)
     
  8. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Thanks for the info and compliment. Your work with the buckeye is awesome too.

    I did a research about the species, and I found that the toxic part is the oil extracted from the roots and wood.

    I'm not sure whether blackhearted sassafras is in the same family as sassafras, but it is a common wood in here. It is used to create all sort of things. Table, cabinet, bowl, guitars, etc.

    Thankfully, I have always been working with respirator (with particulate and odour filter), eye protector and ear protector at all times.

    I hope you are doing the same thing, since burls can cause health issues as well.

    Apart from all of the scary facts, blackhearted sassafras is an awesome wood to work with. Reasonably hard for tops, I don't think sealer is necessary, plus the natural black streaks are adding some goodness to the look.

    I'm highly recommending it...:D


    Harry
     
  9. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

    Jun 25, 2012
    MI
    That's good to know, all I've seen is lists of "toxic woods" and they never seem to give any explanation of what exactly is toxic about it or how to avoid that part of it.

    The sassafras you're using is beautiful. I really like the look of it.

    I honestly didn't know that burls could cause issues. I've tried looking it up and haven't found anything, so I'm glad you let me know. I try to wear a dust mask and safety glasses (although, I'll admit I don't always) and I've been using skin shielding lotion too.
     
  10. Bassgeer

    Bassgeer Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    Canada
    Cool new build! The sassafras is a really interesting topwood. I've never head of it before. What is the ash like for the neck? I haven't seen alot of ash necks, but it seems like it would be a good wood to use.
     
  11. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    I think the burl wood itself might not be that bad, except of course if you inhale the dust constantly. However, some of them requires hardening using hardening agent. Generally, all hardening agent are very toxic.

    Thanks for the compliment, you should try blackhearted sassafras in the future...:D



    The sassafras that I'm using is the one which grows in tasmania, Australia.

    Like the sassafras, the ash is neither swamp nor northern ash. It is oz ash, which is quite different in my opinion. Not sure why the call it ash.

    The grain is tighter and more uniform. It is quite hard and reasonably light weight.
    All those opinion is based on my observation only, no real measuring activity done yet.
     
  12. LOVE Vic ash. It's the same wood species as Tasmanian Oak too. I've built all my necks from it and used it for fingerboards too. Like Harry said, its very hard, similar to rock maple maybe a little softer. The grain is more open and stringy than US maples, so you have to grain fill more, but it's very, very strong and stable. The only down sides I've found with it are that the end grain tears out easily with a router and that you tend to get scorch marks if you linger with the router or power sander.
     
  13. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    This is what I hate the most... Other than that it is very easy to work with.

    This is my first time using VIC ash. Actually, got the idea from your build... :D

    I normally use TAS myrtle for neck. You should try it some other time, I think it is stiffer for neck, but a little heavier.


    Harry
     
  14. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Blackheart is genus Atherosperma, american sassafras is Sassafras albidum. The american stuff is very coarse grained so very different.

    The discoloration of buckeye burl is caused by spalting, iirc. Spalt is fungus, not good to breathe in. The blackline coloration of blackheart sassafrass also seems to be a spalting process, so keep that respirator on. Can't be too safe.
     
  15. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Yeah. The black line comes from a spalting process.

    I'm not taking my respirator off...:D

    Thanks for the info
     
  16. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

    Jun 25, 2012
    MI
    This is all really good to know. Reminds me that I should get a better mask...
     
  17. cstar

    cstar

    Dec 21, 2011
    Victorian Ash? What is that? Is it of the same genus as American Ash trees (fraxinus)?

    Beautiful bass by the way. Love the top.
     
  18. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    No, Victorian Ash is a Eucalyptus.
     
  19. Splods

    Splods

    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    In Australia, a lot of Eucalyptus tress are named after European tress that look similair, but are completely different.
     
  20. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    Some updates,

    Neck shaped with additional Tasmanian blackwood heel cap and fretboard got radiused (15")
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Overall look
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It is still sanded with a very rough grit.

    Thank you for looking.


    Harry
     

Share This Page