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Why Don't People Build Basses With One Piece Body Blank?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by anon65884001, Apr 1, 2009.


  1. anon65884001

    anon65884001 Guest

    Feb 1, 2009
    Hi all
    I've done some searching but i can't find anything about why people don't use one piece body blank
    For example, my fender jazz 24 is 2 piece alder for body with bookmatched quilt maple top
    Bookmatched top, i understand why
    But why don't most luthiers or companies use one pice wood as a body
    I have no experience in building any instruments, so i am a complete noob
    Help me here

    EDIT:
    So is it worth it?
    In terms of tonewise only (so not considering price)
    And thanks all for great responses =]
     
  2. Well, The reason I use two piece bodies is because I rarely find a piece of suitable wood that is big enough to do a one piece. But that's just me.
     
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Go to a lumber yard and try to find a piece of wood, with no defects, 2" thick and 13-14" wide. Then you'll know the answer to your question. :)
     
  4. JC Basses

    JC Basses

    Mar 12, 2009
    Rocklin, CA
    Exactly, I think it all comes down to cost. Sure you could find a 1 piece body, but a 2 or 3 piece body is much cheaper. So they go with that. I would always go with a 1 piece if I could find it at a reasonable price.
     
  5. My first bass, I bought new, a 1964 Tiesco solid body Jazz. It has a one piece Mahogany body and has a wonderful, warm tone.
     
  6. I really doubt that a 1 piece body has a significant (or even noticeable) effect on tone.
     
    joseplluissans and pudge like this.
  7. heck, why stop there - let's go with an all 1 piece neck & body! Yeah, I'm thinking that tree doesn't exist. ;)
     
  8. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I faintly recall that Roger Sadowsky mentioning somewhere that some one piece bodies had a tendency to "cup" and warp over time, losing their normally flat profile. That's the reason he doesn't offer them on the basses he builds.
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    depending on the wood species, suitable 1-piece body blanks can indeed be quite difficult to come by. when I can find one at a 'reasonable' price I usually snag it for future use

    I have a small stash of such blanks, but most clients haven't found the added cost worth it for what little it brings to the palette

    all the best,

    R
     
  10. Actually, it could certainly be done, just VERY expensive.
     
  11. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    90% of my basses are made that way. :)
    I find the 1 piece body better looking and since I keep my instruments pretty simple (without laminations... less glue more wood) it's the way to go.
     
  12. Guys get all geeked up about 1-piece bodies - especially guitar players - but think about it a minute. What's the actual glue/wood ratio in a well-joined 2-piece or 3-piece body?

    There are several species that you could make a 1-piece body out of, but except for swamp ash and mahogany they are all fairly heavy.
     
  13. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

    Sep 8, 2008
    haha, yeah. my first build was a one peice mahogany body, no chambering, and no top. that thing was heavy
     
  14. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    If you sum up all the glue needed for a 3 pieces body with a 5 pieces neck...

    Anyway it's mainly a look thing as a well made joint in a 2 pieces body isn't an issue. :D
    I have no problems finding 1 pieces body blanks. Another solution I like is 2 pieces quarter-sawn.
     
  15. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    My first build is going to be out of one-piece aspen. Just planed it today.
     
  16. I used to wonder why Fender charged more for a natural finish on their guitars - then I had my Sunburst P Bass refinshed and found out why - the body is made of 5 pieces with quite a few blemishes!!
     
  17. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Big wood needs big old trees. There are not that many around anymore and because of that, cost skyrockets, (the bigger the wood). Most builders cant find or afford single peices of suitable wood.
     
  18. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

    Sep 8, 2008
    man, my wood supplyer, hanging on the warehouse wall, a peice of waterfall bubinga, 30 feet long, 5 inches thick, and 4 feet wide. that, would make alot of one peice bodys
     
  19. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    OMG! :eek:

    I would so love to see a photo, if possible!
     
  20. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    i know a guitar player with a 1 piece guitar, neck & everything is the same continious piece. it was custom & outragously expensive.
     

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