Musical Instrument Makers Forum

The Contributors

Mark Swanson
      of Mark Swanson Music somehow created time between building and gigging and courageously stepped up to the task of managing this worldwide collection of volunteers. He also donated the Gator case for the bass.

Mark, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been a musician most of his life and has played music professionally since he graduated from high school. In the 1980s he started repairing instruments and moved up to building them in 1990s. He is now widely known for his acoustic guitars and mandolins. Mark has been a long-time staff member on the MIMF.

Larry Davis
      of Gallery Hardwoods personally selected and donated the woods for this project.

Larry, from Eugene, Oregon, supplies woods of the finest quality to luthiers and other woods-craftspeople and is an expert on all things wood. Besides a wide range of domestic and exotic woods, Larry is also a promoter of acrylic and monomer stabilized woods.

David King
      of David King Bass Guitars in Portland, Oregon, used his handy Bridgeport mill to mill the body and gluing surfaces flat, shape the body, route the control cavity, and hollow the body to reduce weight. Just for grins, he also turned the custom ebony knobs.

David has been playing bass since 1983. While spending a couple years at an exchange music school in Denmark and lugging his 11 lb/5 kg bass all across Europe, he though long and hard about a way to build a compact, aesthetically pleasing bass. The result was his popular A design bass, which he has built professionally since his return from Denmark.

Kurt Veltman
      custom bass guitar builder from Grand Rapids, Michigan, glued the wings to body, shaped the edge contours and heel, finished the pickup pockets before turning it over for final assembly and setup.

Kurt has a background in mold making and tool and die, and has been making basses in his spare time since 2001. He's got a few nice neck-through-body bass guitars under his belt, and when he's not doing the luthier work he's working his job, going to school and raising his family which includes two children and a supportive wife.

Barry Daniels
      laminated and hand carved the neck.

Barry, from Texas, started building guitars in 1975 after finding a copy of an Irving Sloane book. After building several acoustics, he honed his skills repairing and restoring older instruments. A stint at a home town lutherie supply company gave him the opportunity to become intimately familiar with the woods and tools of the trade. After earning an engineering degree and going to work in that field, Barry continues to pursue instrument building as a passionate hobby that occupies most of his spare time and he sells many of his instruments professionally. He is also a long time staff member on the MIMF.

Dan Sharp
      conceived and superbly executed the unique, out-of-this-world inlay.

Dan, an artist and freelance illustrator, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has also been an amateur guitar builder since 1986 and a part of MIMF since 2000. His aim in designing the inaly for this bass was to make a cool, unique piece of art that really set this instrument apart. We all think he succeeded royally!

Jairo Eduardo Suarez Gallardo
      of MM Basses custom milled the bridge and tailpiece.

Jairo, of Bogotá D.C, Columbia, South America, builds custom basses and guitars. He prides himself on using sustainable local woods and uses minimally wasteful construction techniques. The local woods give his instruments a unique looks, while at the same time minimizing abuse of increasingly rare natural resources.

Clint Searcy
      of Searcy String Works wound and potted the custom pickups, and made the pickup covers.

Clint, of Nashville, Tennesse, has been a bass and guitar player just about forever. He builds basses, but is better known for his custom-wound pickups, which are some of the best obtainable anywhere.

Stephen Ziegenfuss
      of Ziegenfuss Guitars did the final shaping, finishing, assembly, and setup.

Steve, of Jackson, Michigan, started building instruments in the closet of the spare bedroom in his first apartment, but has since progressed to a full blown home shop. Even though he works full time as a systems engineers, he finds great joy in designing and building guitars, and making guitars that provide the same joy to the players. He and his talented wife also make beautiful music together.

      MIMF sponsor and purveyor of all things lutherie donated the tuning machines, strings, and electronic parts.

Stew-Mac, as they are affectionately known, have been supplying the lutherie community with woods, parts, tools, finishing supplies, and just about anything a luthier could ever want or need for over 40 years. And they do it with a smile! Their customer service is top-notch.

Steve Damstra
      of Artsmad Photography took the gorgeous photos of the final instrument.

Steve, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a photographer and photo retoucher who was trained in commercial art, illustration, and advertising. Despite his visual leanings, a chance viewing of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 set him on a lifelong musical track as well, and he spends his nights and weekends playing with The Trace, a 3-piece class rock band.

Jim McConkey
      designed this web site.

Jim, who despite living on a farm in Maryland's northern wilderness, is a certified übergeek and biomedical engineer who designs computer-guided surgery systems, explores caves, designs web sites, and builds electronic and folk instruments when time permits. He is the longest-serving staff member on the MIMF.

Learn more about the story behind this bass and its construction.

Read the original MIMForum discussion about building the bass.

Visit the MIMF homepage.

Visit the MIMF Forum top page.

©Musical Instrument Makers Forum, 2011, all rights reserved.