Introduction: Acoustic Guitar to Acoustic Bass Conversion
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What Can You Do with a Dremel Tool?
You may be asking yourself why anybody would ever want to turn an acoustic guitar into an acoustic bass. Well I can’t answer for anybody else but for me it was because I had an old acoustic guitar lying around. So why not turn a guitar into a bass.
Step 1: What You Need
This is a fairly simple conversion and you do not need many tools. What you will need however is:
Grinder or dremal
These tools may vary depending on your guitar
You will also need:
Guitar (of course)
For me I had an old guitar that was given to my dad a many years ago. It looked like a cheap guitar and had been sitting in storage with the strings on so the top was peeling away from the body. If you are lucky you may find an old guitar lying around or i am sure you can find an inexpensive one on eBay. I have seen them go for very little. But if you are going to go through that to buy one, you might as well just buy a bass.
Step 2: Take the Guitar Apart
You will now need to take your guitar apart. First, take the strings off. Then you will have to take the tuners off. Then the guitar strap holder .Depends on what type of tuners you have but hopefully you can take two of them off. For me I unscrewed a screw and it pulled right out. The Tuner peg you use for your low E string will also probably need to be drilled out, mine did.
Step 3: Nut
The string spacing on a guitar and bass are completely different. You can buy a new nut if you want but all i did was file a new slot for the two middle strings A and D. I also used the same groove for the Low E string and the G string, the low E string may have to be filed a bit bigger but it should not have to move.
Step 4: The Tailpeice Part 1
The hardest part of this build is definitely the tailpeice. I recommend that you start with a template. I used a piece of construction paper to sketch it on.
To find the correct place to put the holes place a straight edged yardstick from the E string groove on the nut to the place where the old E string hit the saddle there should be a slight mark. Place a piece of paper on the guitar where you want your tail piece to be. Then follow your edge to the paper and mark it. Do the same for the D string.
Now with your two marks you are going to measure between the marks and divide by three. Then you found the places for the string holes. I then measured 3/8" from the edge and thats where the holes need to be.
The Holes to hold the strings were made by drilling a 1/4" hole and the connecting it with an 1/8" hole. the hole on the side is 1/8" also.
Step 5: The Tailpeice Part 2
The tailpeice I made is of 2 pieces of eighth inch stainless steel and a steel hinge. I used a grinder to cut the shapes out for these, you could also use a dremal tool, then use a MIG welder to secure them together.
I drilled a hole in the hinge and then welded on top of it together.
Step 6: Put It Together
Now that you have made all of the pieces it is time to put it all together. First,put the tailpeice on. I recommend that you place a piece of cloth or other soft piece in between to protect the guitar. Then tighten it up. Four of the six tuners will need to be put on. You can put all of them on if you want, but for mine I put the top two and bottom two tuners on. This will mean that there will be two holes in the middle. I did not do anything with these holes but it you really wanted to you could fill them in with wood filler or whatever else.
Step 7: Stringing
Now simple put the strings on. It's pretty straight forward.
The strings need to be tightened up all at the same time to keep the tail piece from pulling too hard on one side.
Step 8: Adjusting
I had to do a lot of adjusting to make this bass work well enough to be called a bass. The first thing i had to do was raise the bridge up about an eighth of an inch. This was done by placing 3 zip ties cut to the right size and placed in the slot for saddle. I also had to file a groove for each on the strings to sit in on the saddle. This kept the strings from buzzing.
Step 9: Future Improvements
Make the tailpeice go closer to the saddle
Put nylon string on
Pull the frets
close up the two empty hole on the headstock
put something over the six holes on the bridge
If you have any improvements that you can think of add it in the comment, please.
That would be great.
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