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First Bass Woods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Hookha, Jan 23, 2006.


  1. Hookha

    Hookha

    Nov 6, 2005
    Which Woods can you offer me for my first bass?
    (body,neck.fretboard)
    if play mainly Classic rock&Prog but also Jazz,blues&Funk!

    which good woods can you offer me that match to these styles?
     
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I know that a little searching here on the Luthier forum will yield much more than this, but this will be a good start point:

    Body: Alder (my preference), Ash, or Poplar
    Neck: Hard Maple
    Fretboard: Rosewood (my preference), Ebony, or Maple

    All the best,

    R
     
  3. I'd suggest you do not do ash for a first project. I'd suggest you do alder, poplar or basswood (not really a bass only wood) for your body and maple for your neck. Indian rosewood or pau ferro are good and economical woods for your fingerboard.
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I agree that Pau Ferro would also make a great fretboard choice ... dang! forgot that one. I received a gorgeous slab of Pau Ferro from Gallery Hardwoods late last year.

    in agreement with wilser - if this is also your first detailed and toleranced woodworking project, it would be best to skip the Ash and stick to Alder if you can find it. Alder is super easy to work with both power and hand tools. Another wood to add to the body material list would be Walnut. It's a little darker sounding than the more neutral toned Alder, but it works pretty well.

    All the best,

    R
     
  5. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Be careful with the neck wood.

    If you order "maple" you can end up with a good piece, or a weak, sloppy one. Maple has a wide range of varieties, and I would say that it is only Acer Nigrum that works for bass necks - at least ot my standards.

    You could also find Betula Pubecence, a birch, no, the birch with great properties, or US grown black walnut. Most European varieties of beech are good, and several African woods, primarily ovangkol.

    Maple, birch and walnut are nive to work with, I have no working experience with ovangkol.
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Ovangkol works a little strange I wouldn't suggest it as a first wood. I would also stay away from the figured maples due to potential tearout. Mahogany and Sapele work well.