Ever wonder what 17 basses look like still in the plank? Here you go! Lots of walnut & some choice mahogany ready to start the process. I listed what I need to get going on, took my body templates and laid out & marked all of the body halves with serial numbers. In here is a good sized run of Shortbasses, a couple of prototypes, and the whole run of 13th Anniversary specials for July. The smaller pieces next to the planks? Read on...
Next we see what about 25 of them look like after the first cut into easier handling pieces, some two or three body halves, others halves by themselves, and a few are separate pieces to glue up into bodies made of more than 2 pieces. I added in the Wimberley flood cypress builds and pieced together a few Shortbasses from leftover strips & pieces. Leftover strips and pieces, when at all possible, should get to sing too! Regardless of how they get to this point, they all get planed to certain thicknesses in preparation for glue-up. Check out what's new on the inventory page, you can see a few of these body blanks. (Some of this batch has begun to filter onto the builds page, too.)
Then the halves are rough cut, leaving flat areas for the clamps to grip; what will be the center is trimmed closely on each half and then flattened & squared precisely; then the halves or pieces are joined via glue and trusty orange Bessey clamps. From here the bodies will be final cut to shape, edged smooth, and take their place by the routing bench. They will be grouped and regrouped by task until they leave the green workshop with their neck on them all carved, contoured, sanded & finished, to hang over the bench in the assembly room and speak their first notes.
There are much easier and more efficient ways of all of this, but that’s manufacturing not craft, and I am a craftsman. So this is the way we do it here. When the day is over there is a list with checkmarks all over it, a sweaty man body with woodchips and sawdust all over it, and a group of musical tools a couple of steps further along their path. It’s a fair trade, a transfer of energy through change in its form, a passing along of life force - from tree to me, from me to thee.
Listening to: Eric Clapton Rainbow Concert, all week. My favorite Clapton. Townsend, Winwood, those guys help. It's live, it's raw, and it's great rock and roll. Eric plays his ass off and the music has a vibe to it I just don't get from his studio albums or more produced later live stuff. LOVE this.