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Let the bass building commence!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by teej, Jan 13, 2005.


  1. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Just contacted Larry at Gallery -- I'll have the materials and start building by the end of the month.
    *****

    BODY: Claro walnut core with a AAA flamed maple top. It'll be a hollowbody and string-through. I'm debating whether I want to do binding or not. If I do, I think it will be black, to match the ebony. I really like the look of binding on certain body shapes, but it may be beyond my ability.
    HARDWARE: Ebony bridge and knobs, gold string-through ferrules, tuning keys, neck ferrules and bolts.
    ELECTRONICS: Fishman Piezo (I read it gives a near upright sound) and Fishman VTB.
    NECK: Flamed maple / claro walnut / flamed maple -- ebony lined fretless fingerboard.

    And that's pretty much it. Any opinions/suggestions???
     
  2. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    What kind of 'ebony' bridge are you using?? Just curious.
    Sounds like a good project, is this your first or have you built in the past?
    You gonna put maple veneer in the fretlines on the ebony board?
     
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I'm going to carve the bridge myself. StewMac sells wood bridge blanks origianally intended for acoustic guitars and basses, but with a set of low-tension Labella strings, there shouldn't be a problem. I haven't found a supplier yet, but I will put maple on the fingerboard. I'll check back with Larry to see if he knows where I can get some veneer.

    Oh, yes, this is my first build, but I've got ample experience making wood furniture and other stuff of that assortment.

    At first, I was going to order a pre-made walnut body and maple neck from Warmoth, but you just can't get custom results that way.
     
  4. adolganov

    adolganov

    Jan 15, 2004
    Anyway, bass strings have less tension than guitar strings :)
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You mean for the lines? It's kind of a pain to get veneer in small quantities (you really only need a tiny bit for lines) unless you find it locally at a Woodcraft. You'll need like a dollar worth.

    certainlywood.com has a nice selection and good prices. You can also get veneer on Ebay. But you'll have to buy at least a sheet and pay shipping. Your other alternative would be to get some white plastic (styrene?) at a hobby shop.
     

  6. I was just wondering - have you attempted a hollowbody before? The bracing alone has been the subject of many a discussion on the MIMF. There's always some contradiction as to what layout and type of bracing is best to get the most volume. I was wondering which way you were leaning towards going with your build?

    Is your top plate going to be a matched pair of solid wood pieces or are you going with a laminated top with a veneer? Those seem to be used a lot with good success in hollowbodies and they don't seem to be any different than the carved plates.

    If you can build a hollow body, you can do binding.

    Fill us in!
     
  7. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    It's not totally hollow. I think I should have said "chambered." And really, I don't know what kind of top it is (bookmatched or one-piece). I e-mailed Larry asking about a AAA flamed maple top and he gave me a price, but I would assume that it's not a one-piece.
     
  8. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    The styrene would be the easier, more convenient alternative (there's a Hobby Lobby within walking distance). I wonder if they make it in colors - cream, ivory, etc.?
     
  9. Oh, I misunderstood. Don't worry about that second question. It only meant something if it was a hollowbody. :)
     
  10. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Makes sense. If it weren't a solid piece, there would have to be some support to keep the joint from caving in.
     
  11. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Debating... again.

    I know design is purely objective, but I'd like some personal opinions. What looks better? Maple on walnut or vice versa? Post some pictures if you have them. Thanks!!
     
  12. arcobigj

    arcobigj

    Sep 14, 2004
    Easley, SC
    Hambone, in reference to your question of bracing, have you or do you know of anyone who has built a hollow body electric bass using constuction tecniques found in upright basses? i.e. using a heel and neck block and a sound post under the bridge.

    TJ, good luck on your project, I am looking forward following your progress.

    abj
     
  13. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I've thought long and hard about how I could make an upright that was played like an electric (held with a strap, etc.). Uprights are bigger, have longer and fatter strings, and are hollow-bodied, so if I somehow implimeneted these features......... What if I scaled down everything??
     
  14. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    The Old Folk Singer on Captain Kangaroo used to play his upright positioned like a guitar while he was sitting on a stool.
     
  15. arcobigj

    arcobigj

    Sep 14, 2004
    Easley, SC
    .teej, I think it would be possible to do this. Using an archtop,and neck and heel and blocks with a scaled down upright tailpiece, maybe a tune-o-matic style or wooden floating bridge. Using a normal electric scale, fretted or fretless, I think it would make for an interesting project. The only problem that I can think of at the moment is how would the tailpiece be attached. Is there such a thing as a floating pick-up for a bass? Just food for thought.

    abj
     
  16. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I wonder if we could get piezos (made for an upright) to work with this.

    BTW, I'm adding jet black ebony to my neck. So now, it's maple/ebony/claro wal./ebony/maple.
     
  17. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
  18. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Traditionally, what wood is used for uprights? Looks like mahogany...
     
  19. arcobigj

    arcobigj

    Sep 14, 2004
    Easley, SC
    Ebony is used on the high-end models for the fingerboard, Rosewood is usually the wood of choice for student/mid-range models. The nut is also ebony or rosewood, the bridge is maple. The body is usually spruce, as for the neck, I am not sure. It very well could be mahogany. Check with the pros on the db forums.
    abj