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engineering questions about multi-scale acoustic

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tdogg, Mar 23, 2009.


  1. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    ok, so i havent finished my first build yet... its going, but slowly. and now i have G.A.S.A.D.D. and have ideas for my second instrument (hears can of worms opening..). i was looking at an old busted up acoustic guitar and thought about converting it to a bass. then i though if i get an ABG i want a 5 or 6. i started looking at prices and realized that i should just try to build one. i know my first bass isnt finished, but now that ive invest a fortune in tools and become more comfortable with the processes involved, i dont think its too crazy of an idea. heres my other build in progress: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=427339
    then i started tossing around ideas on how to construct a monstrousity like this. i realized that a traditional acoustic body would be extra difficult to construct, and may not be strong enough to hold the tension of 6+ strings. what i have dreamed up is this:
    -large body semi hollow bass (similar construction method to a Kinal, where a shape is cut out of a solid peice of wood instead of forming the sides with thin flat peices and a steamer.)
    -7 strings BEADGCF
    -multi scale (34"-32") or maybe (32.5 - "31") or something like that
    -set neck or bolt on with threadded bolt inserts
    -possible ash body
    -top and back made from maple, walnut or bubinga (suggestions for others?)
    -black binding on top, or rounded over top edges with black accent line
    -24 frets
    -singlecut with top bout lining up with 12th fret
    -neck, fretboard wood suggestions?
    -home-wound simple humbucker or single coil at neck
    - soundhole? ( i sketched one lighly that is bass clefff shaped, not sure if i like it)
    -wood bridge with strings anchored in body

    i would like to know if you guys forsee any major structural problems with building an instrument like this. im aware that it may not be very loud acousticly, but i can use the single coil or maybe add a piezo. please feel free to suggest changes to my rough design, suggest wood choices, or even ashetic design ideas (im not married to this bodyshape),etc. heres a quick sketch i did yesterday.
    acousticbassdesign.
    im curious to hear what you guys think! :eyebrow:
     
  2. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    :evening bump:
     
  3. rdcalab

    rdcalab

    Jan 10, 2005
    San Diego
    looks cool from here. i'd be interested to see how it turns out. i'm thinking about something along the same lines-minus 2 strings and multi-scale. good luck
     
  4. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    are you going to have the center of the body solid? ( the area under the pickup and bridge, with hollow wings) or are you going to have a floating bridge? this is one thing i am trying to figure out.
     
  5. rdcalab

    rdcalab

    Jan 10, 2005
    San Diego
    Well, with no access to a steam bender, I figured I would either run neck through with heavily chambered sides. Or, a bolt on with mucho chambering. I was planning on a fixed metal bridge, but maybe the floating bridge ain't such a bad idea.
     
  6. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    im kind of leaning toward the floating wood bridge to add as much acoustic volume as i can without building a traditional acoustic. im really scared of not making it (the top) strong enough though.
     
  7. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

    Sep 8, 2008
    i made my own steam box for my uke that i made, i just took some pvc pipe, and attached it to another peice, at a 45 degrees, and it looked like a T with half of the top cut off, i drilled holes in the top part, and then i boiled water on a hot plate underneith the "stalk" part. i also sealed the end of the top, and the steam came out through the holes. before i did that i steamed the whole board in a steam box though. same idea only its a sealed box that you put the sides in. i dont have it anymore, but ill make a diagram if anybody wants it.
     
  8. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    i think ive decided to go the more " semi hollow " construction route. i found a local sawmill that can get me a 3" thick slab of ash to work with. does anybody know what kind of strings i could use on this? again... i want to tune it BEADGCF. thanks guys!
     
  9. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    so i made a trip to the sawmill today to pick up that peice of ash. i waas thinking that i would buy that, and maybe a nice peice of walnut for the neck, and then buy the exotic stuff online. boy was i surprised when i got there and they had all th exotic woods! so i kinda went crazy and bought all the lumber for this bass. heres the list so far:
    -ash body (3pc body, 2" thick. once i saw a 3" thick board i started having some reservations about how i was going to carve it out.)
    -zebra wood top ( 1 inch thick!!!!! i might even attempt a carved top)
    100_1902.
    -wenge neck (i picked the straighter grained peice of wenge since its going to be in the neck. but they had some beautifully figured peices)
    100_1904.
    -paduak neck lams (2 lams, 5 peice neck)
    100_1905.
    and i found an awesome peice of leopard wood for a fingerboard:
    100_1903.

    im not 100% sure about the leopardwood though. it s very beautiful, but it doesnt really contrast enough with the zebrawood for my taste. i couldnt pass it up, but i might hold onto it for something else and get a peice of figured ebony or another peice of wenge for the FB. i also want to use wenge or ebony for the bridge, nut, and pickup covers. let me know what you guys think.
     
  10. rdcalab

    rdcalab

    Jan 10, 2005
    San Diego
    nice lookin stuff man. i'm sure others will have different opinions, but, i had some lacewood (leopardwood) and found it difficult to work. maybe my power tools just suck:(
     
  11. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    yeah i heard its really hard. luckily i found the perfect sized peice in the pile. i had to cut the paduak, wenge, and zebrawood with a handsaw at the lumberyard though. that was the first and last time i use a handsaw on paduak!
     
  12. tdogg

    tdogg

    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    ok a coouple more questions:
    -would 1 truss rod be enough for this 7 string neck? maybe a truss rod and 2 carbon fiber supports? or should i use 2 truss rods?
    -can someone point out a good tutorial on making a wood bridge? (strings into the body)
     

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