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Local materials challenge bass finally done

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Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Peter Wilcox » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:13 pm

Started here, back in April: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=729

I didn't get far, but intermittent procrastinating perseverance has finally paid off. I played it at a jam last weekend, and everybody thought it sounded good, close to an URB. I have flat wound strings on it until the FB finish hardens up for a couple of months.

Scale 34"
Soundboard - 4 piece hemlock
Sides and back - myrtlewood
Dark wood - Peruvian walnut (not local anymore)
Braces - spruce
Bolt on mortise and tenon alder neck
Body width - 20"
Body length 30"
Side width 5" to 10"
Total length 63"
Finish KTM-9

I initially made maple tuning pegs to use with weed eater strings, and used an unglued pin bridge (without pins), but the strings didn't have the needed mass, so I had to use store-bought tuners and a glued in pin bridge for the higher tension steel core strings.

I learned a lot making this: most importantly, that the most enjoyable part - design and construction - is about 25% of the process, and the least enjoyable - sanding and finish - is 75%. Arrrgh! If I were to do it over (or build another) I would use less robust top bracing, and more side braces. Also, I haven't yet figured out where to put strap buttons for playing it standing (I can hold it like a cello seated.) I should have made the tail block more robust so I could install an endpin.

Thanks to those in the forum who answered questions, and to the great library here. Any criticism, constructive or otherwise, appreciated.
Attachments
bass2.jpg
bass4.jpg
bass1.jpg
Last edited by Peter Wilcox on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Peter Wilcox » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:18 pm

More pics.
Attachments
bass6.jpg
bass3.jpg
bass8.jpg
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Josh Humphrey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:13 am

I like it! I remember being a bit skeptical of the design during the challenge, but the finished product is intriguing. It looks very nice, and the simplicity of the design works! Congratulations
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Nick Dingle » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:53 pm

Cool. Reminds me of those Mexican "Guitarron" basses.

The TIKI head?
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:16 pm

It's somewhat larger than a guitarron, especially the 34" vs 26" scale length. However, the guitarron's body is a little deeper.
bass-and-guitarron.jpg


The head is my poor attempt to copy this African figure. I didn't make the block I carved wide enough.
I figured a headstock should have a head on it.
head-model.jpg


The inlay is a cross section through a small animal vertebral body - probably a cat. My first inlay attempt, so it didn't come out that great.
inlay-bass.jpg
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Doug Shaker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:44 pm

I deeply like the idea of a head stock with a head on it.
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Bob Francis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:40 pm

Any sound clips?
As a bass player I really like the scale and would like to hear it.
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Peter Wilcox » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:16 pm

Here's a short clip of my bass - from low E up the 4 strings to E on the G string.

mybass.mp3 [ 143.41 KiB | Viewed 2651 times ]


And here's the same of an URB.

urb.mp3 [ 113.25 KiB | Viewed 2651 times ]

Recorded with a little Tascam DR-03. Not a bad sound for a $60 instrument.
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Bob Francis » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:39 pm

Flats on the newbie?
Either way when they die a little you nailed it!
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Re: Local materials challenge bass finally done

Postby Andrew Porter » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:13 pm

The head looks good to me. I like the inlay too. I might steal that idea. Sound clip is the proof in pudding.
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