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Canotto Bass Build.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CoffeeBass, May 6, 2010.

  1. Hey all,

    Well here I am back from the dead with another project. I started a couple of electric bass awhile ago but had to set them aside for a bit. When I had some time again I got so excited about this project that I decided the others could sit on the shelf for awhile longer.

    The project is a Canotto Bass ala Liutaio Mottola Luthiery


    You can read about the details on the website. On to the photos!

    Building the ribs around the form.

    Finished with the ribs.

    Top wood (cedar) fingerboard and neck.

    Top all glued up.

    Standing up on it's own.

    Mug shot.

    Ebony board, maple neck and blocks, birch plywood back and ribs, cedar top.

    I bought the plans from Guild of American Luthiers. The plans are for a 34" scale pizzacato only instrument, but I made some modifications.

    This will 1/2 size (38.75" scale) and will be able to be played arco. It just required using a board with an appropriate radius. I bought the neck too and that required some fussing around with to fit right. I am carving the top as we speak. The top is flat inside in keeping with a Savart style instrument (see website for info) The top is carved from 5/8" in the center to 1/4" at the edges.

    Anyway, I am enjoying the heck out of the project and would suggest it for anyone who wants to start building acoustic intruments. It is really simple and straightforward and there is very little bracing.

    More later. Any comments are welcome.

  2. Nomad98


    Dec 13, 2005
    Can't believe I am the first to comment?... Looks like a very cool project.

    So does the back of the bass have holes or is that only the form I see?

  3. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    Sweet! That looks like a real interesting instrument.

    I saw the second pic and was like, "He could play the bass and fish for bass at the same time!"
  4. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Thanks for posting photos of your build!! They provide a much better sense of scale than the one's on Mottola's website. It's bigger than I originally thought.
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Hey, that's very cool. It has kind of a Nordic look to it, I can imagine a Viking bassist sailing to the gig in that, and then playing a duet with a Hardanger fiddle.
  6. Yeah canotto means rowboat, go figure huh.

    That is just the form with the holes in it. I am waiting to make the back until I get the top glued on.

    Abarson, as far as the size goes, remember that I am making a 1/2 size with a longer scale. The one on his website is a 34" scale and the scroll is smaller scale by a good margin too.

    I hope to finish the top tonight.

  7. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Just to be clear, you resized the entire instrument from the plans to make it 1/2 scale instead fo 1/4?
  8. Abarson,

    No, I just resized the neck. The bridge will be in the same place on the instrument and the size of the body did not change. The neck I bought is 4.75" longer than the one in the plans for a 34" scale. If you look at the pictures on website you can see that the neck seems relatively small. His original idea was to make an upright bass that was easy for electric players to use. His neck is sized in all ways like an electric bass; Width, thickness, scale length, fingerboard radius, trussrod etc. I am looking to have a double bass style neck although I may make the neck a bit thinner than it is now.



  9. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Bump to see the final results of your work?
  10. rgarcia26


    Jun 9, 2008
    Miami Florida

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