Wood as a metal replacement

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassteban, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. What's a very hard wood or woods, suitable for replacing components normally, or at least commonly made of metal(bridge, nut, neck back plate)?
  2. Some hardwoods are commonly used as a material for making a nut. Not sure about the neck plate, someone with experience making bolt ons may chime in about that. It seems much more common to forego using a neck plate altogether and just countersink the bolts.
    Wood can also be used for several styles of bridges. I recently made one using graphite saddles, but a problem that I encountered was that the action adjustment screws dug into the wood. So I am looking into using a metal plate under them to prevent this.
  3. Thanks- I've noticed that my upright has what appears to be an ebony nut, & of course the usual maple bridge. As for the back plate, I recall seeing one on a Jazz Bass made of some species of wood- I believe it was on TB. What I'm wanting to try is hard to explain; I'll post pics if I ever really do it. Anyone else?
  4. I'd be afraid of moderate tension pressure eventually popping the grain apart on a wood neckplate...

    Yeah, countersink the bolts with ferrules...it'll look cleaner in the long run. Other than that, you can't go wrong with Ebony for birdge work... the iron of woods...unless you count ironwood. ;)
  5. On a bolt-on bass guitar, I would countersink, & I'll probably do the same on a pair of EUB's I'm (slowly) working on. This question deals more with an idea for attaching the neck (EUB or BG)to the body. Nothing revolutionary- maybe not even original, though I haven't seen it done before- just a bit different. I do appreciate all input.
  6. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Lignum Vitae
    Pink Ivory?

    Those are all pretty tough woods. I don't think I would consider any of them to be a replacement for metal though.
  7. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Ipe is tough as I've ever seen- the stuff requires carbide-tipped tools to work it successfully. It's so dense it doesn't float, which makes it the ideal candidate for making a raft for your ex-wife, or mother-in-law, etc... ;) I don't know for sure how it'd work for a bridge, but I bet it would be good for neckplate, nut, etc. It's not the prettiest wood, but dang, it's tough! My $.02 worth...