Introduction: Plywood Upright Bass Kontrabass
i am a 22 years old carpenter from Berlin and on the next pages i would like to show you how i made a upright bass out of plywood and beech.
I think it is not necessary to say, but i do it although: I do not know any facts about the art of building an upright bass so it is just the way i managed it and i know there are a few things you could do better. But i had chosen to do it that way and i am very confirm with the result.
So i hope you i can help someone with these instruction cause when i was looking for some help during my project their were nearly just people who said: let it. stop what you doing or do not even get startet, just buy a cheap one.
Thats just not my way.
If you like it you may vote for it in the plywood
Step 1: Building Frames for the Inner Construction
Plywood in about 12mm strength
A large piece of paper
grater or a file
The step i started with ,after spending hours in the internet to get some information about how it could work, was to create the form and to draw it on to the plywood.
So i printed an image of an upright bass and did draw a grid on it. Than i did the same with a large piece of paper and pointed the lines of the upright bass. i connected the lines and i had a good form in original size.
i did cut it out with a knife and used it as a template for the plywood.
Now i used the Jigsaw to cut the first part of my inner frames. My Plan was to take the first and than work with a milling machine to copy it, but i worked in my living room and this would have been ways to much dirt.
So i did cut them all out and used the file to get them the exact same shape. Was kind of much work but it was a lot of fun, too.
Step 2: Building the Inner Construction
Now i needed to get a hard construction in the area of the neck and where the pin would be later on.
So i took plywood and did cut it with the jigsaw in the nearly perfect shape. I glued a few of them together to get the correct distance.
I needed the pine to support the corners. i just did cut them in the right lenght and then i glued it all together.
Step 3: Shaping the Sides
hand circular saw
For the sides i took a large sheet of flexyply. It is very easy to work with but the surface is not the best.
I made a few stripes with the circular saw an then i glued it around my inner construction peace by peace.
Beacause i had not that much clapms i needed to do about 30cm wait for half an our and than make the next 30cm.
I used normal glue for wood which is not correct if you are building instruments but i did it anyway.
Normally you would use glue by bones or fish.
Afterwards i needed to remove the parts which were sticking abouve the inner frames. i made this with a normal slicer.
Step 4: Fullfilling the Body
Pine Plywood (8mm)
For the blacket and the grounding i used 8mm strong plywood by pine. i did just lay the inner construction on it and drew lines around then i did cut them out with the jigsaw.
For the F holes i needed my drwaing from the beginning again. I screw two holes and than i did cut them out with the jigsaw too.
Now i needed to glue it all together. In this i had the problem that i did not have enogh clamps and that the open time of the glue would not be enough to get it all together.
So i decided to put glue on it and then screw it together. Afterward i removed the screws and filled the holes.
Step 5: Neck, Scroll, Tailpiece, Saddle, Fretboard, Bridge
To create the missing parts of my bass i needed would. I did chose maple for the fretboard and beech for the other parts, because it is strong and much cheaper than maple.
I did cut the parts with the band and jig saw and than it took my loot of time to finish the shape by slicing, sanding and filing.
For the scroll i needed to work with a japanese saw, a chisel and a rotary tool. For the hole i used the forstner drill and chisels, too.
Then i needed to get a whole in the body where i could glue in the neck. So i made a few holes with a fornster drill and then remved the rest with the chisel. While i was working with the fornster drills i was doing the hole for the pin at the buttom, too.
Step 6: Surface
Before i could glue the neck and the body together i got all parts a primer.
Than i glued it together with a PU glue cause this will stay flexible and is strong enough.
Normally you could use fish or bone glue here, too.
For the glue process i just needed a strap.
After the glue dried (needs about a day) i looked all over the body an d filled holes or lacks and sanded it well. The more time you take for this step the better your result will be.
To be honest i am not good in taking time for this.
Afterwards i painted it with a roll.
I tried to spray it but this did not worked out really well in my cellar so i used the roll.
Step 7: Getting It All Together
The last step was to get all the parts together.
I ordered the mechanics the pin and the strings weeks ago.
I just needed something to get the tailpiece together with the pin, but there a wire worked out really well.
so i glued the fretboard on the neck. Stripped the tailpiece on and drilled four holes for the mechanics.
Then i fixed the mechanics and began to fix the strings and tune.
This was really exiting.
Step 8: The Result
Now One year after i began. I am finally ready and very happy about this.
It was really tough work in parts but it was quit fun and i am so glad i did it.
There are a few points i would do better next tim but i think the reslut stand for itself.
So i hope you can do anything with these instruction.
If you got any questions or ideas please write or leave a comment.