Wooden binding.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TribalisticBass, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Can you use wood as binding after you put on the top? Like on an explorer body type (or LP). Was kinda wanting to build an explorer with slightly smaller body than most. Another question, I was wanting to know some of the bassier/mellow tone woods. I want to hollow out some of the body to make it semi hollow, so the woods would also have to be pretty sturdy. I haven't decided on a top, and will probably buy a fretless neck from warmoth. Not sure how long it will take for me to work this bass out, it will be my first. Never built a bass but figure it will cost more than buying.
  2. Also is there a templet for a semi-hollow explorer? If not how much wood should be taken out for the chambers that will be created? Sorry for so many questions, this is my first attempt.
  3. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Yes, actually, the binding always goes on after the top. There are special router bits for doing binding that are available from places like StewMac and are used in a dremel style tool.

    As far as body chambers, there is no real hard and fast rule that I have seen for a semi-hollow electric bass (or guitar). I would recommend keeping it solid through the center where the neck, pickups, and bridge all need to be anchored, and would only apply hollow chambers to the wings. Also consider things like where the strap anchors will go, hardware, electronics, etc.
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
  5. Wow that's not quite what I was thinking. I guess I should do that. Thanks for the link Rodent. I was thinking 4-6 med sized chambers, maybe even 8, an explorer does have a large body. I was definatly going to leave the ceter solid. I have also been thinking of having someone build me a set neck, instead of the warmoth bolt on, I just like set better.
    So any suggestions as to what tonewood I should use? as I stated before I'm looking for a deep, bassy, dark, resonant sound. I guess I should also say it needs to be relatively cheap, I will probably buy two body blanks just incase I make a mistake. Thanks for the help guys.
  6. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I have found that I get way too caught up in the woods. Esp. not really knowing how to build a finely crafted instrument.....yet. You might want a semi-fancy top, but if this is your first, don't go wasting lots of money on really fancy wood. I did my first bass out of solid mahogany and a one piece neck. I didn't go the extravagant route with crazy chambers and neck laminates, etc. Of course, I have limited wood working experience.
    I guess my advice would be to keep it simple for your first. From then on you can get fancier.
    Use well-known/proven woods such as mahogany, maple, walnut that can be found relatively cheap.
    I also encourage you to build 2 at the same time. Maybe you can use cheaper wood on the first body/neck and practice/learn from that, and then once you feel confident, move on to the next body/neck with some fancier wood.
  7. if you're looking for a softer mellower tone, I'd suggest walnut. It's an incredible wood as it manages to cut through a mix without having an aggressive tone. That said, pick up choice and position will also have a lot to do with getting a softer mellow tone.
  8. thanks everyone, I will use this thread for any question regarding my build, and also for pics, if and when I get them.
  9. I found someone to build a neck for me, woods will be wenge and maple lam. The fretboard original choice was bubinga, but the builder said that it wasn't an option. So, He said he could use Rosewood, Ebony, or Cocobola. I like the look of cocobola, but isn't it hard to glue, and deadly to work with? Anybody see that as a problem? I guess, he's familiar working with the wood or he wouldn't have offered it as a choice. Just asking if there are many great objections to the use of cocobola.
  10. well I guess you could say I'm at the begining point of my first project. I have my Hiscock, bought, cut and put in sheet protectors, and put in a binder. I also have my walnut core, and purpleheart accent pieces. I have my pups, but no pre-amp yet. I'm might still be awhile getting my top and back, though. I got arrested, and up to my armpits in legal fees. I've been thinking of adding some other light wood, to act as an accent between the bubinga back and walnut instead of trying to do wooden binding. I thought about it and I want to round over the sides of the body, thought it may look better.
    Any ideas on what would look good?
    I thought maple at first, but then thought it might contrast too much.
    So lay 'em on me.