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Purchasing wood.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassMan257, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Hello, I am a young beginer to the luthier scene... Ive allways wanted to build a guitar/bass, and im actually in the process of finishing one off right now...

    I was thinking that if this project ends up well, or even not so well, I would like to try another...

    Im extremely intrested in nice wood tops, (mostly burls and spalts) ive heard these are hard to work with, but i was just wondering...

    where can you pucrchase such items?

    I bought a cheap spalted top off ebay, sure, its not the best looking, but hey, when you can pick something like that up for 10.50 you might as well


    I know there has to be some places where i could get some really nice stuff (not planning on buying any right away or anything, just wanted to know where to look other than ebay when i need some or something)

    also, any tips for first projects? Im planning on buying necks for my bodys to begin with, cause they seem a bit hard to me with the truss rods and stuff.... I figure you guys wont suggest me doing something with a top, and i just want to know what you think...

    thanks for the help!
  2. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Nothing at all wrong with that chunk 'o wood!
  3. the big brown wormy part is a bit of a turn off for me, but hopefully i can hide it... ive got a couple single cut designs id like to try first... (might post later) there both a bit angular... an you guys might not like em, but i do... lol

    I have absolutely no clue what wood i should put it on... i want to do something cheap, but maybe ill do that for a different body...
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    depending on your template that piece you don't like could be hidden by the neck pocket. Give us the dimensions of your wood and make yourself a template of the body shape you want out of a piece of construction paper. Lay it overthewood and flip it around. There are 4 "tops" there depending on how you orient the wood and the template. Spalt is a pain but sometimes the challange pays off.

  5. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    Put it on some alder or whatever you can find for cheap. For my first, I just used a nice single piece of mahogany for the body, then moved on to more exciting stuff.
    You can find a lot of wood on ebay. Type in 'body blank' or 'guitar blank' into the search function.
    Also, e-mail Larry at Gallery Hardwoods (thru this site) or the Exotic woodbroker's guy and see what they have for body blanks. THey'll probably even plane (mill) it down for you to accomodate the thickness of that top.
  6. THAT would be sweet.... Id actually love that...

    Im not sure if i would want the blank to be darker or lighter... darker would be cool, but hard to get a neck to match...

    if i just did an all maple kinda thing it would be pretty simple, but prolly pretty boring...

    im going to try to put up designs tommorow...

    and i just need to make that template... ive photochoped a template using a scanned drawing, and then put both the pic and the template in the same scale...

    btw, it will be a four string...

    anyway... off to bed and homework now...

  7. I don't know why...but I love that "cheap" hunk of wood! that would make a PHENOMINAL top IMO

    Congrats on a beautiful Spalt design for 10 bucks!
  8. yeah.. there were a couple other boards kinda like this, not as good, but they didnt sell at all, and the starting bid was like 9.99... i couldnt help myself

    in a few minutes ill have some designs up... i made like three more lastnight... lol
  9. [​IMG]


    and something wierd just to be wierd

  10. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    The long version of your first one is the winner, hands down. Personally I wouldn't want a pointy bass hip working its way into my ribs all night long, but diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

  11. hmmm never really thought about that... ill prolly redraw it...

    for some reason i like angles... ill just dull them out a bit
  12. also, that design with the big "uncut" side seems to be a hard first project, would it be?

    as far as i understand it, you have to make the neck line up perfectly with the body and junk... any tips or help?
  13. [​IMG]

    by the way, its to scale... well, at least theoretically...

    1cm= 2 inches
  14. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    How wide is it? it looks a bit skinny to me. Nice design tho.
  15. the body is 12 inches wide and 19 long...

    no thanks to the upper horn... it really only added like 3 inches, but still...

    I dont know if i like that design yet, ive been trying to modify the one that was said to be "pointy" to have a bigger upper horn like this one... but its not working so well...

    plus everytime i sit down to try and fix it i end up drawing another design or to instead... lol...

    edit: I think on the design above, i didnt put the bridge far enough back in the drawings... i left like an inch or two after the bridge... which i decided is a no no... lol
  16. VaantCustom


    Feb 5, 2006
    It does look just a tad skinny, but if you extend the lower horn just a bit, like 1/2 a square there, I think it would help. That's a sweet top! You should send the guy who sold it to you for $10 a pic when it's done. He'll probably get a kick out of it.
  17. Nice top! Any chance you got that from Sandi1040? He's just up the road from me, I drop in on him every few months...he's a mad spalt guy.

    Be careful on the thickness of the top, you don't want it too thick because a lot of those spalted areas have the structural integrity of stale cornbread....and if you have the bridge or neck pocket in one of those areas, you'll have that much less solid wood to hold things down. Use extra-long screws (bridge) and make sure you have enough good wood in the neck pocket.

    I built a 12/6 double-neck Strat with a 3/8" spalt top a few years ago, and I had a bridge post that moved under string tension (near the left-most string-thru hole on the 12-side). I had to fill the hole with 24-hr epoxy and re-drill, fine now.


    The soft punky parts of spalted maple can also be a bear to level unless you stabilize it first. If you don't, they will erode much faster than the rest and leave big valleys. I used a lot of CA to do mine, worked great....just be sure to stand upwind to keep the fumes out of your eyes. :crying: And wear a respirator of course.