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Bubinga and purpleheart body?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by clindo, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. clindo


    Mar 15, 2015
    Hey everyone! Pretty new around here, but have gotten very excited about the prospect of building a new instrument for myself!

    I have drawn up some plans, and thought i would start jotting down some ideas for this build while i walked around a local woodworking shop. As i was flipping through some planks of exotics, I happened to find two different pieces that i was hoping would be there. whats more, they were both part of a limited stock sale... I decided to buy both. (1) 3/4" x 3" x 48" piece of curly purpleheart and (1) 1" x 6" x 48" piece of figured bubinga! I love how both of these look, and from what i have heard they are pretty good for bass building (difficult to work with though? kinda intimidated by that...)

    I am going to be building a 6 string neckthru, but as of yet have not finalized my exact plans. To be honest, these two pieces that i bought were totally impulse buys. I walked out of the store thinking about using these pieces for the neck, but the more I look at them (i really like the grain patterns on them:D) the more i want to show them off by using them for the body.

    My question is: Would bubinga with purpleheart top wings, with a maple neck, end up being excessively heavy? These are definitely heavy woods, but im not looking to break my back while holding it :dead: I am currently thinking about doing a semi hollow body if the people believe it is too heavy.

    tldr; Would making body wings out of solid bubinga with a purpleheart top on a 6-string maple-neckthru be too heavy? (i understand that "too heavy" is subjective, but im really just looking for others opinions on the idea)

    thanks for any help you guys can give me! ill probably be creating a build thread in a little while after i solid up the plans. In the meantime im attaching two photos, one has the 1st body mock-up i have come up with (feel free to add suggestions for body design as well!!)


  2. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    Purple heart and bubinga are both incredibly dense and heavy woods - that would be pretty heavy...but as you said it's subjective. What I would do it go with the current plan and weigh the pieces after they were cut out. If they were too heavy add some weight relief through some chambering, but make sure to plan ahead for this possibility (e.g. the possibility of adding a top if it's not already in the plan). Chambering could be as simple as some "constellation" holes, or as excessive as a full on semi-hollow design.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
    Means2nEnd likes this.

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