Making an Italian style Cornerless Bass
By Ken McKay
The sides are bent over a form using a silicone blanket. I clamped the side to the mold
Below is the silicone blanket. It is about 1000 wats and 6 inchs by 32. I will put it across and do a scection at a time.
Then I begin bending by placing the silicone blanket over the mold, under the wood and bend it by hand.
See the blanket under the wood? It will start to heat the wood and I can start to bend.
Progress...the waist is a little under bent as you can see. I will touch this up later.
Help from my son Quinn.
Done! About an hour's work.
Below is the "mold" I am using. It is not really a mold, but a false
back type clamping station. It is very simple and is hinged at the site
where the back will bend up towards the block. You can see the hinge on
the left side. It is hard to tell but the angle is significant. I
didn't measure it but if anyone is interested I can.
I will clamp the sides in and glue the blocks to the sides. That is
going to be interesting, watch how I do it. Hint, I use the silicone
After that I will put the linings on and remove the side clamps. Then
it is ready for the top to get glued on. I haven't decided how yet.
Then It is taken off the mold and the back can go on. The false back is
MDF and is scooped out so the back plates can be placed over it and the
braces will be either sprung into its shape or I will fit the braces to
the shape and then press them in. I will use a vacuum bag for this. It
is simple, no big deal once you see me do it. It is done with guitars
all the time. My vacuum bag is big enough fo the operation. Of course
the back will be lying flat, so I need to remove the blocks under the
ramped portion of the false back and lie it flat. After pressing braces
into the back I can bend the back with the silicone blanket to meet the
sides. Get It? I will take some photos.
Below is my Engelmann spruce top wood. It is quartersawn and cut by
Gardner for Fred Lyman. I bought a bunch from Fred about 10 years ago.
It is good bass wood and makes a great sounding bass.
Below is the rib pattern on the top wood. this gives an Idea of the lower bout. I will get some measurements up soon.
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