StewMac tools

Violin style bass, new build

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.

Violin style bass, new build

Postby Chris Richards » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:03 am

Here's another of my "creations". I like to take classic vintage instruments and twist them around a bit, in this case I thought I'd use the Hofner Violin bass as a starting point... I've normally got a pretty fixed idea of what I'm going for before I start but this project was a bit of a departure from that. I knew some of the features that I wanted to incorporate in the design but some came along as I was building it, one such feature was the scroll headstock and what a job that turned out to be!!!

I did want the over hanging top and back before I started and no knobs on the top but apart from that most else evolved during the build. These pictures were taken before the final flatting and polishing so the finish is a bit suspect in parts but I really want to get a few "miles" under the belt before I do the final fettling.

It's semi hollow and pretty much has the same basic dimensions as a Jazz bass, string through body and lots of weird bits! I have quite a few build pictures which if people want I'll be more than happy to post.
Attachments
mimf5.jpg
mimf4.jpg
mimf3.jpg
mimf2.jpg
mimf1.jpg
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Jim Bonnell » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:29 am

Wow! Great job. More pictures please. I've been seeing some outstanding instruments here lately. My hat's off to all of you. It will be a long time till I get the nerve to post my work again. Keep them coming.
Jim Bonnell
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:32 pm
Location: Tampa Bay area Fl.

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Hans Bezemer » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:35 pm

That's a really beautiful bass. I really like it that the classical shape and "modern" electric bass blend so well.
And as Jim said, more pictures would be great.
I'm curious how you've build your body.
User avatar
Hans Bezemer
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:01 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Pete Halliday » Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:22 pm

Those controls are at least borderline genius! Nice idea there.
User avatar
Pete Halliday
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:50 am
Location: Canton, MI

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Claude Misukiewicz » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:33 pm

Very creative and inspiring! I'd love to know how you did the scroll headstock. Is it attached to the neck or are they all one piece? Thanks, in advance.
Claude Misukiewicz
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Jason Rodgers » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:19 am

That's funky! How's the balance? The scroll headstock fits the overall concept, but sure looks heavy. Agreed on the cleverness of the controls, though! So, those are just your typical pots with big wheels on the posts? I'm going to have to store that idea away for later use. Good stuff, Mr. Richards!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
Jason Rodgers
 
Posts: 1542
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:40 am

Very creative indeed Chris! I love the scroll headstock also. Did you do the carving?
The controls are a great idea. I'll be looking for a way to use that idea also.
I'll bet that the neck pickup will give some really mellow tones, being that far toward the neck.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 926
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Chris Richards » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:46 am

Hi, thanks for all your comments. I must say I'm quite proud of the headstock, it was a really late decision on the design, I'd already cut a guitar shaped headstock on the neck then had this crazy idea to do a violin style. Fortunately there's some pretty good youtube videos of violin makers carving these things, so at that point I innocently went ahead.. Ugh, I still have nightmares about it!

Carving spirals is quite a "head exploding" experience and it did take me an age... Also regarding the tuners, they're standard bass guitar units with lengthened barrels such that they don't extend through the opposite side of the headstock, wanting to keep the headstock light weight I wanted it as small as possible and therefore keeping the tuner bushes on the inside and not having them going all the way through allowed me to keep the whole thing quite small... As the body it's built from Poplar/Tulip wood so it's light weight and the balance is good.

The body has an arched back and front and is constructed a bit like a 335, I was going to cut "F" holes but things were getting a bit tight on the top so abandoned that idea. The controls are Blend, Volume, Tone and yes they are just standard pots with big wheels.

I was originally considering doing a relic finish for that old violin look but the whole job was taking an age, sanding around the over hanging edges was VERY time consuming and I needed to finish it as I had other jobs so the finish is not like new so to speak which I quite like anyway... I had considered doing a violin style tailpiece but then decided on a string through, again this was a late decision but it was beginning to look too "bent" towards a violin.

Anyhow I'm pretty pleased with it, some of the carpentry and design preparation could have been a bit better but it was fun to do (apart from the headstock!!!)
Attachments
mimf10.jpg
mimf9.jpg
mimf8.jpg
mimf7.jpg
mimf6.jpg
Last edited by Chris Richards on Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Chris Richards » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:48 am

Here's another of the headstock
Attachments
mimf11.jpg
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Hans Bezemer » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:58 am

Thanks for the extra pictures. A really cool project.
User avatar
Hans Bezemer
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:01 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby David King » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:19 pm

Very successful though I can't imaging spending the time it must have taken you to sand it, stain it, varnish it, level it and buff it. I'm glad to hear that the weight is reasonable.
I'm wondering where the strap buttons are and whether you thought about adding an end pin to it like an Ampeg babybass?
David King
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Douglas Martins » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:14 am

Truly master class work!
I also LOVE the shape, sort of a Firebird-violin and it just plain works!
Douglas Martins
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:37 pm

Re: Violin style bass, new build

Postby Chris Richards » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:09 pm

Thank you Douglas.. I was quite surprised to see this build pop up again so to speak...I still have nightmares about carving the headstock!... Yes it was intentional that it looks a little Firebird'ish, generally speaking most of my own design guitars are inspired by classic designs and I love the Firebird, I've built a few guitars around this shape. As business goes I wish someone would come along and buy a job lot of my guitars, I've got an "attic full" of the things!...All my paying jobs are Fender or Gibson stuff, restorations or vintage style paint jobs... British musicians are so narrow minded!
Chris Richards
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:24 am
Location: London, England


Return to Solid-Body and Chambered or Semi-Solid Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •