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Starting the plans to build a bass to match my surfboard guitar.  This one I'd like to be a hollow body.  Scale to be a 3/4 bass, but none of the info I find gives me the amount of free fingerboard over the body of the bass from the end of the neck.  Or should I go with a standard bass style neck?  No bow will be used.

Also I will be using ply wood of some sort, havent decided on just what yet but thinking of 1/4", too thin? for the sides I had planed on doubling the thickness for strength.  Soundboards on some pianos have ply style sounding boards but if I layer the body will it kill the sound.  Can I add ribes for strength without giving up sound?  It will be electric but don't want to kill the natural sound either.


Lots of questions I know but y'alls input is greatly appreciated


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This will answer your questions on scale length and give you an idea of free finger board. http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Fretting/Scale_Lengt...

As for ply, you can go as low as 1/8th" if you use good ply and brace it inside the body. Spruce works well for internal bracing and is not to difficult to work with. For ply, if you are going to look into the 1/8" I would recommend going to an R/C model supply store and look at the 1/8th" ply they use for building model aircraft. It is very strong and a much better quality than the stuff you can get at Home Depot. Instead of doubling the thickness of the sides consider using the ribs- they are lighter and can impart the strength required. Keeping the ribs small will reduce the acoustic effect internally. Using the smaller thickness of ply will help the resonance of the instrument.

Alan Davis

Thanks Alan,  my hope is to use 1/4" ply, but wasn't sure that would be strong enough on its own.  That was why the question on ribs and such.  I want to use a brace attached to the back and securing to blocks at both ends to support the neck and tail piece.  And vertical ribs to hold the shape of the body sides. ( Those are the black squares around the edge of the diagram I had attached to the original post.)    The tail piece will be housing an adjustable floor post.  I was thinking a body thickness of around 3", any thoughts? 

My neighbor and I made 2 bass ukuleles. The bodies were fibreglass, cutaway with an arch back.
The necks were hand shaped out of Canadian RockMaplewood. We used Black Hearted Saffaras tone wood for the tops, hipshot tuners with dreadlock strings, Shadow Sh064 pick up .
The design is similar to the KALA UBass.
Check out the KALA site , you can copy the dimension of the UBass.
Good Luck , Bruce.

Neat site Bruce, some really nice looking stuff, but I'm wanting to make an upright, or some call a double bass.  Total height should be about 71 1/2 " tall from bottom of body to top of head and a 41" scale, but having trouble finding the actual specks on the makeup of the neck.  Just about ready to go with a standard electric bass guitar neck.  thanks again, greg

t recall seeing one a bit like a electric violin.if I cand find it will post, God luck with your project
Try electricbass.com
Perhaps you could make something like the stick ukulele Gus Made for me.

All measurements
are in inches
4/4 3/4 3/4 Kay 1/2 1/4
A Full Height
bottom of body to scroll
74.8 71.6 71.6 65.7 61.4
B Body Height
bottom to shoulder
45.7 43.7 43.7 40.2 37.4
C Scale Length
nut to bridge
43.3 41.3 41.5 38 35.4
D Upper Bout Width 21.3 20.3 20.25 18.7 17.3
E Lower Bout Width 26.8 25.6 26.5 23.6 21.9
F Scroll to Shoulder 29.1 27.9 28 25.5 24.0
G Width at Nut 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.5

©copyright Gollihur Music

I would go with at least 4" in depth to get better resonance.

Thanks all, got the info on the neck I needed,  Might be changing plans a little, will know more this afternnon.  A friend gave me a person to contact about some solid cherry, so may use that instead of ply for the body if he has a piece large enough.  I'm keeping the fingers croosed that he does.


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