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bodies with lots of glue and the effects on tone

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassinflux, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. bassinflux


    Sep 14, 2004
    alright, so i see all these boutique basses that seem like they would have more glue mass than wood mass.. how does this effect tone?

    i want to make a body with a layer of a figured wood on top, and swamp ash or something for the body, so that when i round the edges down i get a little contrast poking around on those edges

    i know this isnt a big deal, lots of basses do it, but what about those other basses with like 8 different strips of wood smashed together and slathered in glue?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Jaco's bass that he chased his girlfriend around with and busted into 20 something pieces was glued and filled back together and reportedly still had great tone.
  3. And you've seen a bass slathered in glue? Hmmm,

    I've been around the instrument for 30 years, been building for the last 5 and interact with every builder and player I can when possible. I've never seen a bass "slathered" in glue.

    Here's something to consider - If you were to use a multilam instrument like one of Mark Eshenbaugh's creations or even my own chambered Walnut Jazz as an example, you would find that there was probably less than 3 or 4 ounces of raw glue used for the build. That would be raw glue BEFORE curing. I'm not talking of about what drips out of the joints, I'm referring to what stays between the boards. Curing eliminates the single heaviest component of the glue - water - and leaves the hardened glue behind. If you were to be able to pull apart the boards and retrieve all of the dried glue in a finished instrument, my guess is that it would amount to less than a single ounce in weight. If a high quality glue is used (as most builders do) that single ounce would be of a material that is often more dense and harder than some of the woods it is called on to stick together. Though I have no empirical evidence to support my opinion, I rather doubt that an ounce of hardened glue, integrated into the body of an instrument, could have much affect on tone. The only thing I can offer as an example to qualify my opinion is the fact that acoustic guitars have a far higher percentage of glue weight to wood weight than a solid body guitar. I don't believe the builders of these instruments have many problems with the weight of their glue affecting the tone of their instruments.

    Hell, I've left several ounces of sweat on my bass on more than occasion! :)
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Preach on brother!
  5. bassinflux


    Sep 14, 2004
    thanks guys

    yeah i was being a bit sarcastic :)

    just what i wanted to know, i thought that might be the case, thanks for info