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Where can I get some good wood to practice with?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by hateater, Jan 3, 2004.


  1. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    My buddy and I have decided to build a bass. I read somewhere in here that it is best to practice on some wood from Home Depot ( I think it said that ). I went there and they said that they don't have the dimensions I wanted!

    Where can I get some decent wood to practice on?
     
  2. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    Home Depot. You can get some 2x2 lengths of oak or poplar, sometimes even maple, that are somewhat straight. Glue them together and you've got yourself a practice body blank for about $10-20. The glue joints won't likely be perfect and the thickness will be a little shy of what you'd do for a real body, but it's a starting point.

    You really don't need to practice with full blanks, though. Shaping the body isn't difficult at all. It's just pretty basic shaping and smoothing. You can practice that skill on any piece of wood. Ditto with accurate routing, sanding and finishing. So I'd just grab any hardwood, and practice the skills. Once you've got those down, you'll approach the real blank with a lot more confidence.
     
  3. hateater

    hateater snatch canadian cream

    May 4, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    If I did glue 2 pieces of wood together, would I use wood glue? It may sound stupid, but I am not 100% sure. How long would I clamp it for? Thanks!
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You should buy and read Make Your Own Electric Guitar by Melvyn Hiscock. Very helpful resource.
     
  5. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    Agreed on Hiscock! And look for the book by Martin Koch and the one by Dennis Waring. I think all three are available from Amazon, and each offers its own perspective on the building process.

    Still sounds like you have a way to go in your woodworking journey. Building a practice body or neck strikes me as kinda silly, since you'll put so much work into it, just to toss it away cuz you made it with inferior wood. But learning the basic techniques can be done on any practice wood. I'd build a birdhouse or five before I even thought about making a bass. Hope I'm not dampening your enthusiasm, but developing your skills first will make your bass building a much more satisfying (and less expensive) experience.