Radical Chambering

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by therealting, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. I was just wondering... how well would chambering work on a headstock, neck and fingerboard?

    For example... on a headstock, mark out the tuning post holes, then route cavities around them and inside the outline of the headstock, then laminate a headstock facing.

    On a neck, construct the neck out of laminates (like a 5-piece neck). For the inner laminates, drill holes through the laminate parallel to the frets prior to gluing.

    On a fingerboard, once the fingerboard has been slotted, route out cavities between the fret positions (on the other side of course).

    I'm just wondering how well any of these would work for weight reduction... would they significantly compromise the structural integrity of the headstock / fingerboard, or have any tonal effects?
  2. I think Basslabs basses have done the hollow fingerboard thing, but they're made of some sort of composite. My guess is a hollowed-out headstock would be structurally weak; a neck wuld be more doable, but you'd need to make it thicker to account for 'missing' material. I have wondered about a hollow neck, though. Try it!
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You would succeed in both reducing the weight and compromising the structural properties of the neck and headstock. If all you're doing is drilling holes, my guess is you will not lose that much mass.

    I'm not sure if anyone here has pushed the idea to see how much material you could take away before the neck/headstock breaks. It'd be kind of an expensive experiment and there tends to be better places to take wood away than the neck and headstock (the body and hardware).
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Taking away material from the back of the neck would be taking away the basis for function.
    The neck would physicaly...fail!

    You could make a tubular neck, but then wood would be to weak. Wood stiffness is like 1/100 of aluminium, and 1/30 of carbon fibre (depending on speices and pieces).

    Tuning head could be removed, or cut out like Sweagle, to save, and more important, redistribute, weight.
  5. I am currently experimenting with removing some material from the headstock. I use a flat headstock style, and the size of the headstocks are such that there is a good amount of wood at the tops, above the tuning pegs.
    I hollowed out an area of the main headstock wood, and covered it with mahogany facings. I don't think it will pose any problems. I decided to do it in the interest of balance, to see if it will make any sort of difference.