Have neck, building body. Some questions.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by HaMMerHeD, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Hello folks. I have a nice flamed maple neck from an old fretted 6er than I am going to be building a new body for. The old body was badly damaged in a recent move, but the neck remains in great shape. I've drawn out my design, including the neck joint cavity. According to my calculations, the drawing is about 50% to scale. The drawing looks good, and is very balanced, but when I did my calculations on the overall dimensions, I noticed that the entire instrument is only about 10" wide, while being about 16.5" long. The neck is 3 3/8" wide at the heel, and about 3 1/4" at the 24th fret. This puts the entire instrument only about 3 times as wide as just the neck; or each wing only about as wide as the neck. Is this OK? Obviously it is mostly a question of aesthetics (I prefer basses with smaller bodies), but I am worried that the instrument will be off-balance, as far as weight is concerned. I don't want it to be "head" heavy.

    Could I overcome this problem by using some heavier wood in the body? I was planning on a 5 piece laminate design consisting of (measurements are approximate):

    3 1/2" mahogany wing
    1/2" purpleheart accent
    2" hard maple
    1/2" purpleheart accent
    3 1/2" mahogany wing

    If I replaced the mahogany with cocobolo or walnut, would I be able to compensate for the small size? Would it be better to "re-scale" the body to be slightly larger?

    I'm only going to have one pickup (EMG 40HZ) and one knob (stacked concentric vol/tone), so there will not be much weight added by the electronics, and the cavity will be pretty small.

    If my scanner was working, I'd post a scan of my design.


  2. Sounds like you're going to have a real problem with neck dive. Greg Curbow makes a very petit body and he uses blocks of brass as ballast under the bridge to counter this. I don't think you could gain much with only a species swap. It's probably going to take a review of the body design itself.