It’s alive! My handbuilt “Remnants” accused-stic upright bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by Hogslapper, Nov 12, 2021.


  1. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    My everyday, real, paying, construction job requires weekly road trips and motel stays. I wanted a smaller bodied, acoustic travel tool, something I could tuck under one arm. Yet everything needs to be of 3/4 scale as I’m still new to the upright, still working on the intonation, muscle memory thing.
    Strings hung yesterday, most parts still in the “white”, I present my creation for your scrutiny and reading pleasure.
    EF517A86-923E-4A0C-9665-EE6D56F13A80.jpeg
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Cool! :)
     
  3. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    I started it last summer with an idea to use up leftover pieces of wood from previous projects. I had some black walnut, cherry, rock maple, and Osage Orange. My son-in-law was rebuilding a deck, so there was some 50 year old redwood to be repurposed.
    Some measuring and ciphering convinced me there was just enough to do the neck , fingerboard, and the belly and back.
    I hadn’t bent any wood before and some reading revealed the usefulness of American sycamore in this regard. It was always considered as a utility wood when I grew up . I scrounged around and found some quartersawn pieces, discovering an attractive grain.
    Here, 5 woods converge
    F9275C2D-500F-4742-A159-BF937AAA5CDD.jpeg
     
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  4. stefaniw80401

    stefaniw80401 Supporting Member

    May 18, 2004
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Love it! Can you post a sound/vid sample?
     
  5. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
  6. mikeGJ

    mikeGJ Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Grand Junction, CO
    OP is a BG player, who says he also owns and plays upright.
    His first post is seeking "An electric bass that can be "worn" with a strap and played horizontally" Shows what looks like a Cello with a fender P neck.

    His true interest seems to be expensive, exotic, unobtainable BGs.

    This hits the exotic and unobtainable notes, but is not a BG, so it is probably not of interest to him.
     
  7. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    Thank you friends, for the nice responses.
    It’s a little premature to be posting audio clips. I put the strings on just see if it would withstand the load, or would it implode!
    Also I wasn’t sure what kind of sound it would make at all.
    It actually produces a decent volume, at this point I am pleasantly surprised. I think It may be an actual musical instrument!
    Much work remains, fingerboard planing, final shaping of the neck, it’s still quite robust, and a proper bridge. Also, the only aperture in the body is the small hole made to insert the soundpost. I’m fairly certain additional ventilation will be beneficial to the sound. I don’t suppose anyone here has a suggestion regarding its respiratory limits/locations?
    Here’s a pic next to my AS, the Remnants weighs 3 lbs less:
    C7547EEB-B1EB-4262-8487-3F3B84CB8DEF.jpeg
     
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  8. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Hmmm. I have no ax to grind here, but the OP of the other (linked above) thread did in fact show interest later in his thread for a lighter, smaller DB, and after reaching that point, showed further interest in other similar options. Along those lines, this thread may interest him. If not, that's fine.

    Carrion...
     
  9. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    Nice and innovative work!

    Sycamore can look quite nice when it has figure in it (as yours does).

    One comment about the back: It's looking to be in the 7-8 mm range of thickness. For a typical flatback, 5.5-6 mm is usually adequate. That is, assuming you used some bracing on the inside?

    Cheers,

    Paul
     
  10. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    I appreciate the comment @eh_train as well as your scaling skills!
    The back is actually nearly 9mm, the top is even thicker. The task of decision, to compromise strength with suppleness, is quite subjective? Both plates were made what was thought, probably more than necessarily thick, because I knew i could regraduate from the exterior surfaces.
     
  11. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    Except for the string length and neck shape nothing else is very “typical”.
    The body dimensions were the outcome of the material on hand, a totally experimental effort.
    A simple load bearing testing apparatus:
    5DA695BE-CC9D-4241-9076-B0ECD7E63676.jpeg
     
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  12. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    @Hogslapper, are you considering amplifying this? If so, any thoughts about hardware details yet?
     
  13. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    @dhergert , when someone mentions amplification, a dark, scary void appears in my brain! I genuinely have zero experience.
    I would entertain simple suggestions, at this time I have no real need, just curiosity.
     
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  14. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Not that I prefer amp'ed over acoustic, but as in the case with a uBass, amplification can open up worlds of tone, and of course lots of volume, with some instruments.

    It is a rabbit hole though. Suffice it to say, if and when you decide you want to amplify your very portable DB creation, there will be lots of us here that can make recommendations.

    How is tone and volume as it sits, acoustically?
     
  15. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    Volume is entirely sufficient to hang with the grandkid’s fiddles, guitars and mandolin! Compared to my cavernous AS, The tone is somewhat thin,on the G and D especially. Some string change may be in the near future, as it’s wearing Zyex mediums. I have Eurosonics on everything else, and love them. Currently too much sustain on the high side. Speaks very clearly, the redwood top may contribute there.
    I’ve been working on the finish today
    4A99DDE7-761B-40F3-9CFD-80C61E8D86B1.jpeg 55A0DCF2-6227-46C4-A6C9-CA69990C2311.jpeg
     
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  16. A sound post was mentioned earlier, but there’s no bass bar, I presume?
     
  17. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    It does have a bassbar @arto alho .
    It’s made of the same redwood as the top, in retrospect it could have been reduced.
    885245C8-C387-4F14-A4F3-B7D335FB3D47.jpeg
     
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  18. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri
    I realize now, it’s overbuilt, but I didn’t know if it would withstand the load of the strings. Those are the risks of experimentation!
     
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  19. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've played bass (badly) for nearly 60 years and I still haven't the foggiest idea how the magic goes from the lumber to the strings to the air. I think this is just terrific. Whether it's home-made or high-end, my hat's off to you guys (included women like Hannah Mayne) who make this happen.
     
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  20. Hogslapper

    Hogslapper

    Apr 16, 2020
    Mid Missouri


    I was able to find a player to demonstrate for me, very appreciative of his help>
     
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