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what to do

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ripper, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
    ok.. heres my current situation

    i've been thinking about building a bass for a while now, just for fun. My mom tells me today that she just scored a deal on a very large (i was told this by this by this, sounding like its 4" thick and plenty big enough for an entire bass or 2) piece of dried rosewood. The guy is apparently going to be bringing it over sometime.

    i'm thinking of building it as a 7 string. I've been wanting an ERB, and this may be the best way to do it, if indeed i do have a very large piece of wood.

    could i make the entire thing out of one piece of wood? I could also probably get some maple or black walnut or some other wood stringers from my uncle if need be. would the wood hold up to the tension or should i add a trussrod (or 2) or some reinforcing rods?

    any suggestions?
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Solid rosewood bass may be a heavy one.

    You can certainly make an entire bass from one piece of wood, but I would advise against making it all in one single piece, mostly because it would be difficult to work with. Actually, put a different way, making a bass in pieces that you assemble simplifies the work going into it. I strongly recommend a trussrod - even if its just to provide adjustability.

    Others will certainly chime in with other thoughts...
  3. Hi,

    I would second what beej said regarding a truss rod. Consider it a requirement. And making it from parts rather than 1 piece of wood is easier. But making it from one piece of wood would make it unique. On the other hand, if you mess it up...... It all goes away.

    This is a situation that will require a lot of planning & templates & stuff like that. You need to know EXACTLY what you are doing before you start, or it will likely all end up in the trash.

    Just my opinion.

  4. Before you start sawing it up, you might check into the value of the piece. Some wood dealears may pay you enough to buy some nice precut bass parts and you could assemble your first base from quality, lightweight, proper fitting wood.
  5. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
    ok... so i got the wood today... HEAVY is the word. heres a crappy pic of it:


    the piece is 44"x16"x2.5"

    I think i've figured out what I want to do if i can get the dimensions through my head. I'm gonna use part of this for the body and headstock, and use a maple neck (my uncle has some really good pieces of maple). I was going to do the whole thing out of one piece, as the chunk is plenty big enough, but there are a few cracks along the grain that im afraid might weaken the neck.

    i'm thinking 35" scale 7 string with an F#.

  6. Swever


    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Maybe fanned fret? Could make sense if it's to be a 7 stringer imo.
  7. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I'm with Rocky. How many basses have you completed?
  8. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005

    now whats the fun in that? :p

    basses none, but i have had some experience with woodworking. im no stranger to trying new things... but im looking for something that i can build and know that i built it completely...

    i'm also considering winding pups for it even:cool:
  9. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I am one of the first people to encourage everyone to build and I will encourage you as well.

    Let me also caution you that you may want to save this piece for a later build.
  10. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    bass building step #1: buy melvyn hiscock's book "make your own electric guitar" and read it 3 times through
  11. Try to find out what kind of rosewood it is - if you're in western NY you may not be far from West Penn Hardwoods in Olean, they would be able to tell you (prob after sanding some of the surface).

    It is unlikely to be Brazilian - but if by some odd twist of fate it is, then you would have at least $2500 worth of acoustic back & side sets in that billet, and you would be throwing money away to make a solid body anything out of it.

    Sand it yourself, get through the surface patina and into the underlying fresh wood - if it smells like bubble gum, and the West Penn guys want to buy it off you, don't settle for anything less than $2500.
  12. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005

    holy crap... umm... i may have some sanding to do... but then theres the ethical issue... because i get it for $100 and the guy i got it from is up at are place (golf course) at least 2x a week...:atoz:
  13. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    well, then keep it, i mean its a huge chunk o' rosewood. keep it, use it for a neck, a finger board, detail work. but +1 for saving it until you have some more experiance
  14. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
    I dont think its brazilian... but then again i didnt sand much... maybe this weekend i'll take some 80 grit to it to clean it up a little.

    does anyone have a guess what this blank or even half of it may be worth?
  15. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Depends entirely on the species. Brazilian being the most valuable and my guess is this is Honduran Rosewood and worth ~$200ish.
  16. +1 on Honduran RW

    Could also pass for Chechen (not a true RW, but sometimes called Caribbean RW), I've been resawing a bit of that this week.

    But there is a LOT of variability within species..

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