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My new Spalted Fretless Project

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 88tuner, Nov 21, 2003.


  1. This is my 3rd bass. I'll keep posting pictures as I go. It's made from two 3/4 X 4 pieces of spalted maple. I also have some spalted sycamore pieces for the fingerboard that will be mirrored.

    Check out my shop cam at www.pianodesk.com

    Steve

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  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Wow. Two comments.

    1. Are you really going to use fungus-attacked wood for a neck? Sounds very risky.

    2. From the pictures it appears that you will have a treble side horn (which is good, to allow seated playing), but no bass side horn. Where are you putting the strap lugs? Most people put a lug on the horn up by the 12th fret in order to have the bass balance properly, and not neck dive.
     
  3. Sorry about that. Here's a better picture. I had the wings reversed. They're also carved now.

    The spalted part is mainly on the body. The neck, especially on the back, is all solid maple. For the most part. The spalted sections are quite hard. I've considered impregnating the wood with resin but I'm not sure how this might affect the tone. I'll have to pose that question somewhere on the forum.

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  4. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I have a question... With no treble side horn, and a basically rounded side, how is the bass going to balance on your leg without sliding off?
     
  5. I had considered that, but I guess it really comes down to who's playing it. I'm making the bass for myself and I normally keep it high on the strap, even when sitting.
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    You might want to check out page 2 of this thread concerning wood hardener. I would consider it seriously - even if, for appearance reasons, you only use it on the front of the neck blank, where it will be covered by the fretboard anyway.

    Also, after rereading your first post-

    Is this a fretless bass? Fingerboards on a fretless need to be hard. The spalted sycamore sounds soft, and prone to wear-through in the spalted parts. So unless you're relaying on an epoxy finish, I would think that hardening the wood would be the only way to go.

    Brubaker and perhaps others have done spalted fretboards, but they were resin impregnated.
     
  7. I had wondered about sycamore as a fingerboard. It's listed with the same density as walnut so it has to be pretty hard. The spalting is very light so I don't think it will be a problem. I'll have to test it I guess. The one think I liked about it is the mirroring I'll be able to do. It's got a female quality I like. Here's a picture of it.

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