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Italian plywood

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jeff Bollbach, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    One of the things I love about my line of work is that just when you think you've seen it all you get surprized. A client brought this in with plenty of cracks and wanted me to restore it. Many of the cracks were so wide open that it was easy to see how thick the ribs were-and boy were they ever thick. 7mm! The upper and lower ribs were not that acutely bent but the c-bouts were pretty normal in their curve-how the hell did the maker bend them? Turns out that after popping the top I saw that the c's were plywood. Not so unusual 'ceptin this bass was made by Giovanni Pistucci in Naples, 1909. Not exactly Home Depot plywood, but made in the guys shop. Why? Cause this guy was stupid. The whole bass is stupid, but it is Italian so I guess it's worth fixing.
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    One of the top.
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Weird huh?

    I'm not much a DB know it all. But i'm guessing, that just like EB, plywood is generaly a retarded idea.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Actually, plywood is very common and definitely has its advantages in certain situations. The remark was not aimed at the fact of the plywood, but rather at the thickness of it. My guess is that the bass was made for someone playing in a mafia-controlled speakeasy somewhere, as it appears to be relatively bulletproof, and big enough to easily hide behind.


    How's it float?
  5. Don P

    Don P

    Jun 2, 2001
    "Plywood" is an invention of the mid 20th century. Veneer is the word used for multiple (and often crossgrained) layers of wood glued together in panels or strips.It has been used in luthiery, and architecture and furniture building since hyde glue was invented. It's probably just an inexpensive student instrument of it's time (and probably more stable than the cheap Czech's of that era too). Was Kay stupid? I don't think so.
  6. Some times people need to read slower.
    I typed this slow so it would be easier to read.
  7. While checking out the David Gage website I noticed he had a plywood bass for $25,000.00, I kid you not. Anyone played it?? Maybe he's kidding us, or maybe he's serious. Must be one heck of a bass.
  8. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Those ribs are thick, baby.

    For homemade plywood, it's not bad huh? I don't think my plys would be that nice and even...

    Who knows what the guy was thinking. I'll bet he was thinking something though. Maybe he thought he could use cheaper wood. Maybe he could put the shop boy to work gluing up c-bouts while he took longer lunches.
  9. Don P

    Don P

    Jun 2, 2001
    EDD FUUKWAD-Thank you for your enlightenmrnt!The method has been around for centuries. Pianos and harps had been made that way why not a bass? I laud his innovation.

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