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Mineral stained poplar anyone?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by budman, Dec 8, 2004.


  1. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
  2. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Beautiful. I think it's going to turn out well.
     
  3. This may sound odd, but can we see your bandsaw? Oh, & what's the back (of the pictured bass) going to be, & how does poplar, as a top, affect tone?
     
  4. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I bought one of these (not affilliatied).
    http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1148

    Here's the back of the bass. It's maple and padauk.
    http://www.budlecompte.com/pics/fiver/lec5-b.jpg

    Tone? The general concensus lately seems to be the tone is in the neck, which I tend to agree with. The neck I'm building for this bass is maple with contrasting rosewood and maple stripes down the center, a walnut fingerboard (eek!) and zebrawood dots. Should be a freaky bass.
     
  5. Thanks, mon. The body looks good. I, for one, will want to see the neck too. What made you consider Walnut as a fretboard? Not being critical- I'm a wannabe builder, myself- hence the tool question.
     
  6. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Thanks. I just glued the fingerboard on last night. It still needs trimming and the neck needs to be shaped. I'll post some more pics when I have something to show. I used walnut 'cause I just happened to have a piece that was 3" x 36" x 3/8". Perfect size for making a fingerboard.
     
  7. Don't believe all of that "tone in the neck" stuff. It's true to some extent but lets face it - every component works and works on the other parts of the instrument. There aren't any isolated components other than the player. ;)

    The poplar bass I built is an exceptional tone monster. Ask Superbassman2000 about it. I used the wood for it's ease of work but was totally blown away with what it sounded like. I WILL be building with poplar again.
     
  8. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Hambone;

    So what did sound like?
     
  9. Setup on the instrument - Passive Volume/Tone/Pan, Gibson small EB humbucker at the neck, MM humbucker at the bridge, TI Jazz Flats.

    Deep, round, but very articulate bass, smooth, buttery high end, anything you want for midrange.
     
  10. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    The body is just there to hold the neck in place. ;) But seriously, IMHO the neck has the most impact on the tone. The last bass I built was a fretless and has a one piece poplar body. It's also a tone monster. I can dial in an upright tone that electric upright players would die for. The body of the first bass I built is made from six different kinds of wood and it's also a tone monster. So I give up. In the end when they're finally all put together and working right, how they sound is how they sound.
     
  11. rusty

    rusty

    Mar 29, 2004
    Singapore
    Very nice - I like the racing stripes effect on it :D
     
  12. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    So would poplar make a good neck wood? I ask because I know it's light, fluffy, and reasonably easy to work with (and I need the ease for me first bass).

    Wait, did I just say "fluffy?" What is this, a meringue?
     
  13. No experience here (poplar neck), but I gotta imagine it would not make good neck material- too soft(weak). Think of the softest 'hard' wood commonly found in necks: mahogany, which is still pretty dense, compared to poplar. Just me thinking out loud, though.
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Regarding stiffness, poplar is 10-15% less stiff than the maple that is nornally used for necks. So unless you use some form of reinforcement, you would be taking some chance on having a too-flexible neck.

    Regarding hardness, it is softer than maple, and so would be more easily dented.
     
  15. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for. That means my neck is going to be constructed of either maple or cherry.
     
  16. I've never seen cherry used for a neck either, which may mean nothing, but probably does. I've built kitchen cabinets out of cherry, & it was similiar to alder (read- soft). Someone with stability/stiffness info (pilotjones?) can surely tell you more specifically why cherry's wrong (or right) for your neck. Again, I think out loud a lot.
     
  17. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  18. Well, there you go. tjclem, I'm no expert, neither am I disagreeing (although I can be disagreeable), but how thick front-to-back are your necks? I mean, do they have to be meatier than a typical maple job for strength, or am I thinking out my a*s? It's happened before...
     
  19. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I started to do some work on the body again this evening. I just started to cut the contour in the back and noticed a big crack down the middle of the padauk strip in center. :bawl: It must have split this week some time. I've had that blank glued up for well over a month, minus the top. I don't think there's anything rational I can do to save this body. That was a really nice piece of poplar too. :( I guess you loose some too.
     
  20. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    Sorry to hear that, man. I hope your next body turns out a lot better than this one, and I really liked this one.