ACOUSTIC BASS GUITAR
A fitting project for a special board.
SHOP OWNER: Dan Donaldson
LOCATION: Canton, MI
I was at a local lumberyard looking through their exotic wood and saw one board of koa that was perfectly quartersawn. I didn't know what I would do with it, but I bought it anyway.
I had wanted an acoustic bass for some time, but the cost was prohibitive; so, I decided to build one myself. While looking for some wood to use, I found the piece of koa (which by this time had been in the shop for a couple of years) and decided to use that. The board was about 8 1/2 inches wide and 7 feet long, so I cut it up and resawed it to get the bookmatched back and sides. It was not wide enough to make the back, so I took some birdseye that I had, bookmatched that to make a four-piece back.
I don't have a lot of time to work in the shop, so the bass took about six months to complete, including making all of the jigs that I needed to assemble it.
All of the body binding is maple, the top is instrument grade spruce, and the fingerboard and peghead veneer are ebony. All of the inlays are pearl and abalone and hand cut. It was a fun and challenging project to make, and it gets a lot of looks when I play it.
. . . Dan Donaldson
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