Why two and three piece bodies, vice one?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dr. PhunkyPants, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002

    I was looking at the mid-line body joint on my trans-finished MusicMan the other day, admiring the intricate zig-zig cut to the joint, and it hit me: "Does it really cost less to join two pieces of ash than to just buy a single piece that is the size of a full bass body?"

    How come single-piece bodies are so rare? Is there some construction advantage to a multi-piece body? How much more expensive is a single chunk of ash REALLY?
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Couple of main reasons.

    First, yes, it is harder (and therefore more expensive) to find large enough pieces to get bodies out of.

    Second, a one piece body can warp, making the face of the instrument either convex or concave. That's because all the grain is running in the same direction, like this:


    Notice that on joined bodies the grain running through the pieces is opposed, like this:


    That way, each piece is counteracting the other, so that neither will warp.
  3. This should help :


    It seems that the price difference isn't that huge (especially because of the extra work to join the different pieces together first), it's probably the availability of large pieces that's the problem. Large manufacturers require huge amounts.