"The poor guy's bass" Fakembic half-building.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Finnigan's wake, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. I'm in love with the Alembic bodies. Also the Kramers.
    I'm a poor italian bass player and a compulsive Ebayer.
    I love Shorties.

    So when i saw this neck on Ebay i thought: "Why not? A nice 30.5" EB0 neck and a homemade body?" (65 Eu shipped).
    manico 1.JPG
    I asked for a help here and a nice person (THANKS Gilmourisgod) gave me part of his time and some WONDERFUL drawings, custom made for me:

    ALEMBIC 3-2-17 METRIC-Model-page small.jpg

    A good start. More, a good friend of mine (a professional luthier ) Will cut & route the body for few bucks. (50 euros)

    The bridge will be a cheap-but-nice chinese Warwick-style one (29 Eu):


    And the pickups (naturally...) a Schaller PBX-JBX set NOS from the 80's... (from my experiment's drawer)


    Well, the korean made preamp in my Schecter sounds amazing, so why not? (15 USD)


    Last, i have a lovely italian olivetree board (free:it was a floor tile) that will be the central stripe of the body.

    Last: my two assistants.
    Pollo (Chicken) will supervise from the top (he has wings, indeed)
    while Stella (Star) that is a small goddess, instructs me about the idea of beauty. She's a beautiful old lady, no doubt.
    IMG-20170104-WA0000.jpg IMG-20170227-WA0009.jpg

    Coming soon: Ep.2 "wood choice".

    The body should be light in color (Ash... poplar? alder? basswood?) the top wings around the olivewood stripe, darker (oak? wenge?ovangkol?)
    I'm looking for something cheap! But the result should be close to this

    Glunkus, mikewalker, ICM and 4 others like this.
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Sub'd! I love Alembics, a Balance K style in my future. I'm wondering if you could find some 1/4" walnut veneer or something similar for cheap for the top. Any old furniture kicking around? :D
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  3. Well, here in Rome there are a LOT of old furniture restorers. I'll look around. A rinascimental or baroque wood will be really amazing.

    The drawings are really well made, Gilmourisgod gave me PDF and DWG files. If someone wants the files, just ask.
    herndonbassist likes this.
  4. Tomer.N.T


    Dec 6, 2010
    where did you find this bridge? im looking for a 5 string one for a future project
  5. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I love the idea, and your supervision looks first rate. Have fun and good luck!
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  6. pm sent
  7. unfortunately the only update i can add is that Stella, The Beautiful Cat Lady has passed away.
    We found her peacefully curled up on my pillow. She's gone on tiptoe, while sleeping, quiet in death as she was in life.
    I know it's stupid and childish but i cannot stop crying.
    Skillet, Glunkus, ICM and 5 others like this.
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Sorry about your cat brother, they are family, no shame in mourning them.
  9. Thanks, Gil. Really.
    ColdEye likes this.
  10. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    Sorry to hear about Stella. Its hard to lose a friend like that.
    On a completely selfish note, I am stoked to see where this goes. Color me sub'd
    Finnigan's wake, tbrannon and JCooper like this.
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Yes, sorry for your loss. I lost my cat Sheba to cancer maybe 15 years ago. I still mourn her passing. I never got a new cat - I become very close to them, and I don't know that I could handle losing another. They are truly like a family member.
    ColdEye and Finnigan's wake like this.
  12. Thanks Five String, thanks Mapleglo.
    I'm close to EVERY pet i adopt, i know Pollo since he was a small white egg, when he was a samall chock i carried him in a special bag and fed him more than 5 times a day by a syringe, hahahahahah. Then i taught hom how to fly and now is a smart dive bomber. His small turds are lethal weapons! Anyway, is time to put the sadness in a private, precious place and going on...

    Well i ordered the bridge (important!) from China, i'm still waiting for the neck and the preamp so i have time to choose the correct woods for the body.

    The body should be a laminate top-accent-body style, like this (for example) .


    Please suggest me which woods will be the best option in your opinion.
    I thought: ash body, something dark for the top (or amaranto) and i-don't-know for the thin light veneer between body and top...
    But where i can find a so thin wood foil?
    And what about a plastic sheet?
    catcauphonic and Axstar like this.
  13. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    You can get thin sheets of dyed poplar veneer from various sources, including these Amazon listings:
    Amazon.com: dyed veneer
    These ones all look too small for your purposes, but if you google "dyed poplar veneer" you should be able to find something big enough. If anybody else has bought this stuff in larger sheets, please post a link! I'd be interested in finding a good source for this also.
    I was surprised to see they have what looks like a white veneer too. My all time favorite veneer wood on an Alembic is Cocobolo, but it's expensive and very oily by reputation, never worked with it myself. I'd be a little worried about wood glue sticking to plastic sheet as a veneer, maybe epoxy would work. I've seen a lot of laminated tops with a black line of dyed poplar exposed.

    This one is my Dream Bass, minus about half the knobs! Hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like they used alternating layers of dark and light veneer under the Cocobolo, over a mahogany base.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  14. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Man, I am sorry to hear about Stella's passing. May they fatten up the mice in the summerlands to welcome her.
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  15. You can not imagine how your words comfort me, TB is full of sweethearts and i'm really happy to be here, in such warm fellowship.

    THANK YOU! May Stella and her big heart bless you from the Cat Paradise (is a wonderful place). This is for you: 2014-12-03 21.49.34.png
    pudge, Frederiek, mikewalker and 3 others like this.
  16. Well, let me dry these XXing tears.

    @Gilmourisgod what do you think about gluing some sheets of these veneers to have a large one?
    Sure if i'll use something plastic i'll use a strong epoxy stuff. Your dream-bass is simply gorgeous...

    Anyway i found here, in Italy, some tonewood suppliers for body and top.: the prices are fair and the wood is nice, here the links (if permitted)

    Rivolta snc - Tonewood
    Solidbody Liuteria

    Last question of the day: which is the best way to round the body's edges like THIS?
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    family is family. :thumbsup:

    looking forward to your instrument!
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I suppose you could glue a couple dyed veneer sheets together, but I'm sure somebody sells bigger sheets, I'll keep looking too. I used a 3/4" roundover bit in my router to do the edges, but there is always some risk of tearout. You could do it by hand if you gave the patience.
    Finnigan's wake likes this.
  19. i'll keep looking & searching too
  20. well, with 100Eu (+shipping) i will have ash body & wengè top: i'll buy asap.
    The neck is just arrived, is really nice, and also the color is less ugly than in the pictures.
    A wonderful set of Licensed Schaller tuners complete the stuff, i'm really happy
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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