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Body blank weight Vs. Finished weight

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BaileyMan, Jan 21, 2021.


  1. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    A search didn't turn up any threads...

    I'm wanting to take the next step up in building a bass. I want to make the body from a blank. I'm wondering what an approximate final body weight will be based on the weight of the blank.

    I know the answer will depend on a variety of factors, but is there a ball park figure? 70%, 80%, 90% of the weight of the blank?

    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Impossible question.

    What are the dimensions of your blank (billet)?

    What style of bass are you planning?
     
    John_Nicholas and Slidlow like this.
  3. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I have kind of a sense of what it will be based on different body designs I've used, but there are so many other factors, depending on how you build.

    If you're talking about just a simple solid body Fender style design, then from a "pruning away" standpoint, you may lose about 20-30% of the weight with the body shape, cutaways, roundovers, pocket and routs. You could lose more with a smaller, thinner body, deeper roundovers and a larger control cavity as well, or less with a larger, thicker slab style body.
     
    BaileyMan likes this.
  4. FiftyOne

    FiftyOne

    Jan 5, 2021
    Hmm. The trick is to always cut a same-sized piece from the blank (say 1.75x1.75”) to use as a comparator then you’ll know what the next body will weigh.

    This is from my bench last night. 1pc swamp ash 51 P-Bass (no arm or tummy carves).
    Not seen one on Warmoth as light as this. Would be under 4 pounds if I added the carves and round over of a ‘55.
    4A3CD836-615F-4C36-B649-F49B41FD1FF9.jpeg
     
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    A 4 lb. non-loaded Jazz or Precision body will yield about an 8 lb. bass, give or take. That's with lightweight tuners.
     
    BaileyMan likes this.
  6. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Thanks all. Yeah, I know it's not possible to provide a 100% accurate answer because, as has been said, it depends on a variety of factors. It's helpful to know that one might lose 20-30% of the weight for a typical fender type bass though.
     
  7. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    To me, a more important factor would be somehow predicting balance, though from asking previously, this might involve the term "centroids", at which point im probably out in the Math-yness department. 1.75" body always seemed unnecessarily thick to me. It seems like thats one place you can shave some weight right from the getgo. I have a one piece mahogany body a built years ago, thinking of shaving it down to 1-1/2" and re-countouring it a little.
     
    TerribleTim68 and BaileyMan like this.
  8. I built Lucifer at 1-1/2" thick, mostly because I didn't know any better (and a thinner body sounded better, I like the look). And now I'm seeing some issues that have popped up. Originally I was gonna run 3 pups with a 5-weay rotating switch. But I can't find a rotating switch that will fit in a cavity I can rout, that extra 1/4" made a difference there. So I guess just know your hardware first. :cautious:
     
    TrustRod and Gilmourisgod like this.
  9. Capy

    Capy

    Jul 15, 2017
    If unloaded body weighs 4 lbs @13/4” thickness. Theoretically 4/1.75x1.5 =3.43lbs or .57 lbs /1/4” unloaded body weight sustain would most likely suffer and Watch balance as you could wind up with a neck heavy useless bass
     
  10. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Speaking of thickness and considering why people thin bodies out (save weight, ergonomics etc) I personally have always found instruments with thin bodies very "toy" like. I would prefer chambering, coring or otherwise hollowing to reduce weight. And then there's the hardware issue you just found. If I went thin then I couldn't have as easily done this side mounted control panel (there is a belly cut at the back as well). For me about 1 5/8" is about as thin as I go before it starts to fall into the "toy" area from my perspective. DSCF3045.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    BaileyMan, aproud1, Giraffe and 2 others like this.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    ~ 6 lb body will be ~ 10lb bass

    Adjust from there depending on body weight.

    So, body + 4 lbs

    Neck is ~ 2lbs
    Hardware is ~ 2lbs
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  12. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Really light bodies do show up on Warmoth, but ya gotta be quick - they go pretty fast. I have a couple of P's (yes, they have cutouts) that both weighed 3 punds, 4 ounces (actually, a bit less once the pickup routes were carved) - one is a 4 string body, the other a 5. I have bought about 10 bodies from them (for myself and others that I've built basses for) - all but one were under 4 pounds.

    The Warmoth showcase (bodies they have made on spec that are for sale) is a decent place to go to get some idea of the weight of a body you're making - if you know the wood and body style, you can go there and see what theirs weigh.
     
  13. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Aluminum hardware will get you less weight - my 6.6 pound P has a 3.25 pound body, so hardware, neck, pots, knobs and strings (yes they do weight something) all total are about 3 and a third pounds.
     
    BaileyMan likes this.
  14. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    Exactly what I said. Body + (~ 4lbs) = Total
     
  15. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    That's a beauty!
     
  16. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 4, 2021

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