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I'm think of building an upright

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by bassdude911, Sep 2, 2008.


  1. bassdude911

    bassdude911

    Apr 18, 2008
    I'm think of building an upright, and want some tips on what not to do, and what to do. I have no idea where to start. so if u have links to a blueprint, or anything I'd be glad to have anything. thanks
    :help:
     
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    With all due respect, building a double-bass requires some highly-specialized luthier skills. IMO, success requires far more than gathering some "tips." Some members here who, apparently, have superior woodworking skills have succeeded quite well (e.g., Matthew Tucker). Perhaps such folks can lead you to sources and threads that you can study. As a start, check out what Matthew has posted.
     
  3. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Bassdude;

    I do not have particularly good woodworking skills, but, when I built my first bass, I had built several smaller instruments first, and I think that was a big help.

    Matthew has been a spectacular success in his bass-building, and a big encouragement to me. He is unique in that the bass was his first instrument, as I understand him to say. Perhaps you can do it, too.

    My first took me 1000 hours, roughly, as I spent a good deal of time figuring things out, scratching my head, and doing things over. I'm pretty sure I can do the next one in half that time, and have bought materials to do so, but have been tied up with other things (built another three smaller instruments), and have not begun as yet.

    BTW, I spent $1,400 on materials for the first one, but I bought better wood for the second, and anticipate that the total for materials will run about $2,500.

    Both Matthew and I used Peter Chandler's book So you Want to Build a Double Bass as our starting point. I also used Chuck Traeger's book when it came to set-up.

    Good luck with it. If you have the patience, and persistence, I am sure you can do it, but there may be numerous occasions in which you question the wisdom of having begun the task. Those are the times that will test your resolve. Hang in there. It is doable. Just take it a step at a time.

    You should definitely peruse Matthew's site....

    Chet Bishop
     
  4. uprightben

    uprightben

    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    You can only expect to be successful if you post lots of pics on this forum every step of the way.:D Can't wait to see them.
     
  5. jimmyduded

    jimmyduded

    Jun 12, 2007
    cherry hill nj
    i agree with chet about the making smaller instruments, i too want to make a double bass, but im completing my first violin, and by the principal that if it doesnt work small scale how will it work large scale, i think you should try a violin, the book by peter chandler is a good idea as well, read it through and through before you even begin to bring out that lancelot or chainsaw haha
     
  6. bassdude911

    bassdude911

    Apr 18, 2008
    Well thanks for the help, but I still thing I'm going to start off big. I will just make a few youtube vids and put links, insted of posting a lot of pics. Well I might to go buy some stuff today. Btw I'm going to try to do this build for under 200. I would be willing to spend more but college is not cheap.
     
  7. jimmyduded

    jimmyduded

    Jun 12, 2007
    cherry hill nj
    you wont do it for under 200, unless you cut down all the wood yourself, and already have most of the tools
     
  8. I suggest you wait until you get out of college before starting a project like building a doublebass. Here's a list of suppliers so you can get an idea of the prices for wood, tuning machines, strings, etc. $200 doesn't buy much these days. I pay more than that for an average quality fingerboard.
     
  9. jimmyduded

    jimmyduded

    Jun 12, 2007
    cherry hill nj
    also if your going to college, how will you have the time or space?
     
  10. bassdude911

    bassdude911

    Apr 18, 2008
    Well I only go MWF and still live with parents. I'm only 16 so I can't really move out. Well I'll find some way to do it with only 200.
     
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Heh.... just go build yourself a cardboard bass. Instructions can be found on Youtube. Either that or PVC. I think that's about your only chance unless your parents want to fork over some serious cash.
     
  12. ArenW

    ArenW

    Jan 14, 2004
    Cocoa, FL
    $200!! Keep dreaming.:rolleyes:
    You would be hard pressed to build a bass guitar for that.

    If you are truly interested, your $200 would be better spent on books about instrument making.
     
  13. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    You blow almost your entire budget just buying strings, and something to hold the strings!
     
  14. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Check my pvc eub link in my sig, I'd start there. Hell, I haven't event graduated to wood yet, although I've done repairs and small furniture, still hitting the luthier books.
     
  15. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Well-- good luck. I have all the tools, have already built one, plus nine smaller instruments, and I think it would be a challenge to get my costs under $1000. Even using pretty crummy wood (but correct), and cheapest possible fittings, etc., I don't think it can be done. BTW, I made my first instrument, a small viola, for $60, so don't think that I don't know how to scrounge, cut corners, etc.

    You can use Ipé for fittings, which would save you quite a bit. Clear vertical grain spruce will be tough to fit into your budget, especially in the size you need. I paid $450 just for the spruce on my first bass. You could glue it up in sections, I suppose.

    The back, sides and neck will depend on what you choose to use. If you know someone who can re-saw the ribs for you, and have a cheap source of decent hardwood, I suppose it could be had for less than I paid. But I was really at the practical bottom of the proverbial barrel at $1,400.

    Tuners are all over the board, in terms of cost-- cheapest are about $65 if I remember right-- and they are cheap.

    If you can do it, it will be quite an accomplishment.
     
  16. jimmyduded

    jimmyduded

    Jun 12, 2007
    cherry hill nj
    well we are the same age, so i understand you think you can just buy this buy that, cut it out and bam, you got a bass, i highly reccomend trying to make a violin or two before ruining 4 or 500 dollars of wood(like i did haha)
     
  17. bassdude911

    bassdude911

    Apr 18, 2008
    Well I know about the cardboard bass and even thought about buying one, but never did. I'm thankful for everyones input, and now see that to try to build a upright bass for 200 is next to impossible, BUT I now want to do it just to prove it can be done. :D Well the weekend will be here soon and I should be able to start on this impossible build.
     
  18. jimmyduded

    jimmyduded

    Jun 12, 2007
    cherry hill nj
    how do you plan to buy the wood? if youve found a loophole in the system, i want in!

    a spruce top can start at 200 and go to several thousand
     
  19. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Go for it dude, but I think you've been forewarned.

    You could always try birch :bag:
     
  20. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Yeah, I think you could build a functional flatback bass from plywood and timber offcuts and second hand fittings, make your own nut & saddle & even bridge and fingerboard etc. You could even make a ply bass top!

    BUT ... you'd spend a huge amount of time re-inventing the wheel, and at the end of all those hundreds of hours of work, it won't look crash hot, it probably won't sound that great, and you will wish you'd started with better materials. Or you'd get frustrated and give up halfway through.

    I made an 8ft pram dinghy before I built my bass. I used construction grade plywood instead of marine grade, and sawdust/epoxy instead of commercial filler, housepaint instead of marine paint. After over a year of working on the project I have a functional little dinghy, but I spent AGES fairing and smoothing the plywood and filler to get a smooth hull (horrible work) that I wouldn't have need to do if I'd spent a little more, and the paint scratches easily. And the end result is so heavy I rarely want to drag it out and put it on car to take to water. Lesson learnt!
     

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