Homemade contrabassoon

Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Pablo Fraile » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:42 pm

I have made a polyester contrabassoon.

I´m an amateur bassonist, and I wanted to try with the contrabassoon. This instrument sounds one octave lower than the bassoon. Commercial contras are very expensive, and I decided to build one.

The materials used (polyester resin, PVC, brass...) were easily found in local stores, and costed less than 300 €. It took me two years to finish.

You can see of the summarized process in this video (the sounding music is being played with this contra):

http://youtu.be/CZYagAJDE3g
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Charlie Schultz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:53 pm

Hi Pablo and welcome to the forum! Please note that we require the use of first & last names on this board, please PM me with your last name and I'll fix up your registration for you.

But a very ingenious build- thanks for sharing the construction details!
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Steve Senseney » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:45 pm

Nice project!!

Looks complicated.

What are you building next?
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Pablo Fraile » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:09 am

Hi, Steve

I have not any project in mind. Probably, I will try to improve the pitch of some notes of my contra, in order to play it decorously with my friends.
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Jason Rodgers » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:35 pm

Pablo, that's amazing! It plays surprisingly well in tune. And did you really make and solder all of the brass mechanisms yourself? That's crazy! For what it is, it sounds great. I especially like the Paganini!
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Pablo Fraile » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:22 pm

Thank you, Jason

Yes, I did the full mechanism. For that, I used silver soldering; it was laborious, but no too difficult. I think the worst part was buiding the conical tubes for the different joints. It is a dirty, sticky and smelly job; polyester is a good and cheap resin, but not very pleasant (nor healthy) to work with. It was necessary working outdoors keeping safety precautions.
I had too some difficulties to bend the bocal to its S shape without collapsing the walls ot the tube.

Now, I´m learning to play my contra. Although the mechanism and fingerings are similar to those of the bassoon, the distances are larger; it mades it clumsier than the bassoon. I have some doubts about being able to play the full Paganini´s capriccio...
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Re: Homemade contrabassoon

Postby Simon Chadwick » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:32 am

This is really good.
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