Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Home made Bass Fiddle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Madison Lake, Mn
    Posts
    38

    Home made Bass Fiddle

    I really wanted to try to learn how to play the Bass fiddle so I bought a commercial Bass fiddle. I found it not difficult to learn but the Bass was extremely fragile and I just wanted something I could throw (well, not really THROW) into the truck and be on my way. So I did a lot of research on the internet and designed my own home made Bass and here it is:



    I started with a frame made from common pine 2 x 2:



    Then I made the bottom and side panels from common 1/4" plywood. I added some supports with 1/2" plywood across the bottom and added a soundpost from 3/4" poplar dowel. I glued the sound post in place which is a definite no-no on a commercial Bass but I think I found the "sweet spot' for it and it seems to work just fine. Now I don't have to worry about it tipping over and paying somebody $600 to set it back up. So the bottom assembly looks like this:



    Then I made the neck support. I used three layers of 3/4" oak laminated together for maximum strength. I rounded off the inside corner with a router. The finished neck looks like this:



    Next we move on to the neck. I made the neck from two 1 x 4 pieces of oak glued together to form a 1 1/2" neck with a 10" overhang on each end. Then I used my band saw to narrow the neck down to 1 1/2" and form the tuner section. At this point it looked like this:



    This was followed by the use of a router to make the bottom of the neck as round and SMOOTH as possible. This is the most difficult part of the Bass. I had to buy a larger router to accomodate a 3/4" roundover bit. I do want to add at this point that using a router freehand with a 3/4" roundover bit requires your absolute 100% attention. On my first attempt I ran beyond the overlap part of the neck so there was only a 3/4" base and the guide bearing on the roundover bit lost its footing. That bit just about ate its way all the way through the neck before I could take lift it off! This is what it SHOULD look like:




    After the routing is complete on the neck there is a lot of sanding. I used a 10" hand sander although a much longer one would really be better.

    Now we can set up the tuner section to accomodate the metal tuning pegs. The hole size, depth, and placement are dependent on the tuners used. My tuners were only 5/8" deep so I had to burrow a little larger hole on the top to mount them properly as shown here:



    The bridge is made from oak and wasn't a big deal nor was the tail piece to hold the base of the strings. The Tail pin is made from a table leg mounted on a pipe flange.

    I sold my commercial Bass and when the guy came to pick it up he saw my home made and played it and said he wanted that one instead! The only way I could get rid of my commercial Bass was to sell both the commercial Bass and my home made one to him. Well then I had to make another one. I think you could make one in one week-end so its not a major project.

    So, I now have an instrument that I can almost "throw" in my truck, drag it out to the camper with me, or whatever and never have to worry about paying someone to fix it if damaged. If something does happen to it I'll just turn it into firewood and make another one. If you or someone you know is interested in trying out the Bass fiddle, this may be the solution. This video shows much more detail:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wmvPjLj3SI
    Ken
    Wood worker wannabee
    W0CSC
    Semper FI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Looks like a very fine project, well done.
    But I'm confused. "bass fiddle"??????
    It looks and sounds more like it should be called a "country cello".
    A fiddle is a violin played the right way, country style. Held up at the neck or on the chest and with a bow thingy.
    I'm not a musician but I have seen Charlie Daniels on TV and he don't play no cello.
    Oh, well. Very nice work whatever ye call it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Very cool. Complete with handle ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,260
    Ken you are amazing. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and creative ideas. You prove that you can enjoy woodworking in many forms. Who would have thought that an instrument could be made like that and sound so good. Kudus to you. Thanks for posting and sharing that adventure.

    Did it work first time? or did you have several goes before getting it right?
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Madison Lake, Mn
    Posts
    38

    It did work

    Rob - thanks for the kind words. Yes, this is one of those rare projects that worked the first time. As you probably already know, most of my projects DO something so when it DOES it the first time its pretty satisfying.
    Ken
    Wood worker wannabee
    W0CSC
    Semper FI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Posts
    3,134
    A-mazing Ken simply A-mazing!!!


    I remember they used to home build what they called a gut bucket... a wash tub turned up-side-down with an eye-bolt in the center a piece of drape cord & a broom handle. The cord tied into the eye-bolt & to the top end of the broom handle a groove in the bottom end of the broom handle to set over the bottom edge of the tub & you tension the drape cord with the broom stick & strum away on the cord.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Very cool, Ken. Sounds a lot better that I thought it would. I'll bet it was fun to build and it's a gas to play.

    Frank, in some parts of the country the term "bass fiddle" is more common that string bass, standup bass, upright bass, bass violin or contrabass, which are all names for them big ol' honkin' fiddles that are tuned to that particular set of low notes. But you probably already knew that.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Very cool, Ken. Sounds a lot better that I thought it would. I'll bet it was fun to build and it's a gas to play.

    Frank, in some parts of the country the term "bass fiddle" is more common that string bass, standup bass, upright bass, bass violin or contrabass, which are all names for them big ol' honkin' fiddles that are tuned to that particular set of low notes. But you probably already knew that.
    Nope. Didn't know. I'm about as musikal wise as I am elektrikal wise. And that ain't much.
    But, around these parts, where down home music was invented 'fiddle' means a viloin played the right way.
    I believe it would be called a standup bass around here.
    It is still, IMHO, a fine piece of craftsmanship. I just never pass an opportunity to start a good debate.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Posts
    3,134
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Nope. Didn't know. I'm about as musikal wise as I am elektrikal wise. And that ain't much.
    But, around these parts, where down home music was invented 'fiddle' means a viloin played the right way.
    I believe it would be called a standup bass around here.
    It is still, IMHO, a fine piece of craftsmanship. I just never pass an opportunity to start a good debate.

    Frank

    You should have misspelled that word too d-bait cause you threw out d-bait & Vaughn jumped all over it.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    Faith, Hope & Charity

Similar Threads

  1. Home made I-socket?
    By Ninh Shepherd in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-06-2014, 03:48 PM
  2. My First Home Made Tool
    By Pete Jordan in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-28-2008, 12:09 AM
  3. Home made scraper
    By Terry Quiram in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-13-2008, 10:53 AM
  4. Home made Bedan
    By Terry Quiram in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-12-2008, 01:37 PM
  5. Home Made Kiln???
    By Travis Johnson in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-31-2008, 12:30 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •