Sunday, 25 July 2010

Mahogany sides for the T-beam

Almost a year ago I mentioned the mahogany sides that I was going to make for the two string T-beam bass. They're coming along slowly, but they're far enough to be shown here.

The main thing is the added mahogany sides. But another thing I've done is rounding off the corners and edges of the T-beam and tuner plate. It makes it look a bit more friendly and playable without the sharp edges.

The lower bottom of the beam is curved in order to follow the shape of the acrylic body. I plan to make another body from a thicker (5 mm) piece of acrylic. It will look a lot like the current one but it is going to have two thigh rests like the Strandberg guitars, which gives a wider variety of playing positions.

I used a surform rasp, belt sander and sand paper. Plus a table router for the inside cavities for tuners, saddles, etc. On the bottom image, you can see burns and tearoffs from the routing, but luckily they're hidden when the bass is assembled. I also bought a spokeshave, but found it difficult to use. I'm slowly getting better at using the tools, but there's a long way to go before I'm going to be really satisfied with my craftsmanship.

Next steps are routing a channel in each side for the sliding pickup bracket, sanding a bit more, and oiling the wood. I'd like to give the pickup bracket a more elegant shape than it has now, so I might do some cutting and filing here, too. Then there's the acrylic body. Knowing myself and the speed at which I work, the body probably won't be finished this summer.


Bertram said...

hi Alex, I'm considering an alu neck for my Melobar project, and I've been re-reading your whole blog on have inforamtion and inspiration - it works!

maybe at some point I'll have some questions (but I'm even slower than you are so it might take months!)

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

Putting a T-beam on the Melobar sounds like a very good idea. Since you don't grab the neck, you don't have to think about adding wooden sides for comfort. Plus, since you play with a steel, not holding the neck with your hand will let the neck vibrate freely and undampened.

Sounds like an exciting project. Shoot the questions when you have them!

bertram said...

I've been thinking about what you wrote this afternoon while looking for an alu T-beam, then I thought that it doesn't even have to look like a guitar neck since I don't use a fretboard either, but could be just an alu tube à la Gittler...

Alexander Gorm Øst said...

I guess you're right. You sure have a lot of structural freedom with a steel guitar.