Friday, March 28, 2014

B33: All Systems Go! (but, pause)

The new template looks great at full scale. Can't wait to start building…

El Marinero

I'm gearing up for a new Redmoon project—a kind of Fleischer Studios/Dia de los Muertos vibe. Working on that style…

Sunday, March 23, 2014

B33: narrowing

Starting with the full scale drawing based on the flattop bass:

Scanned and used to create variations:

 the Top 3—pretty much all the same shape with slight variations to width or overall size:

 Top 2—mapped out where the finger positions would fall and realized I could skip the cutaway, keeping things symmetrical. This body size is a combination of the right 2 variations above.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

B33: dookie wheel

For about a week I sketched out designs fitting within the mahogany slab I glued together and when I finally thought I had it, I made a full-sized cutout. I stared dejectedly down at this, what I can only call, turdlike design. At full-size it just looked terrible. A few things struck me during this moment of defeat: 1. Luthiers tend to work on one design, making small adjustments each time; 2. there isn't much I don't like about the flattop bass (just some craftsmanship issues and options for electrics) and 3. (something I thought to myself when I started my new job last fall) before you reinvent the wheel, figure out what the wheel is.

So… this is my birthday bass and it's going to be very similar to my flattop bass, except I'm going to try a few things I thought about when building the flattop. Here is my new template with a lovely piece of cherry being mocked up:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tabula Reconceptual

There hasn't been much to say about the D-Bo since it went from initial research and concept to the mockup stage—which I'm calling the Karlov SB. (Mockups are a wonderful thing). I'm discovering some issues with my woodworking and some technical issue with my design: I can't make a playable bass with the cigar box shape and the proportions of an upright—your hand starts to run into the body at the 9th/10th position. Also at that size it just looks like you're playing a dresser drawer. So I'm finishing out the Karlov SB and starting to re-concept the D-Bo.

My birthday booty: a rough finished, pre-fab neck and a slab of mahogany, will be used for a new project. I've glued together the mahogany with a purpleheart stripe. It's actually pretty interesting how brown the purpleheart looks—a pretty subtle variation that will probably be a little richer with finishing oil… who knows. As a beginner woodworker and a novice luthier I'm not super sure what's going to happen, but we all need a hobby… and a blog.

Except for sketches 5 and 7 all these would be over 50" long, which seems way too long. The flattop bass is pretty big and that's 47 1/2" in total length.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ironing out the wrinkles

I've been staring at this wondering why it's not coming together and decided it's all about the fingerboard. I had planned to leave out a fingerboard since this is a slide bass and it would serve no purpose. However, it seems to be a crucial design element to unite the neck and body. I'll build it from some douglas fir/pine (not sure) plywood that was a closet shelf:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

shaving up a pleasant pine aroma

I was making some wood shavings yesterday and things are taking shape.  I'm wondering if I should see this through as initially planned… with the octave falling just below the base of the neck it seems like it will be really awkward to play—a cutaway will be necessary.

I figure I can: 1. press on; 2. create a cutaway with a bit of redesigning; 3. scrap and start new. I will think on that for a couple days while working on some projects I've got going for some friends…