Making an Italian style Cornerless Bass
By Ken McKay

...planing the bottom of the topwood flat. Notice the dowel sticking out on the left lower corner of the photo. It is placed under the slope to stabalize from rocking, a very simple solution to a complex holding problem. There is another closet dowel under the right side.  The rough top is only clamped by a Veritas brand bench screw from end to end.  The plane is a Japanese smoother and is very good at removing heavy shavings and light ones by adjusting the depth of the iron. The mouth of this plane is fairly generous and it has a hefty blade.  You can see the angle is 45 deg. Most of the planing is from side to side across the grain. When flat I will finish with some long light passes along the grain. 

Lots of interruptions but well worth it! Tonight my son Quinn played at "festival" this is a statewide test for the students who perform for the school judges. They got all #1's ...Great Job Mrs. Ellen Boyer and the Traverse City East Junior High School String Orchestra!
Quinn is playing the bass I built for him and I must say it had a huge sound and filled the auditorium especially compared to the usual school Factory basses of the other groups I heard. His playing was full and round.

measuring and thinking
I have been doing a lot of measuring and thinking.  I have had some important suggestions that will help to make the bass play better, I hope. First I am narrowing the waste area as suggested by Brian Gencarelli, on Kens's corner. I am just bringing in the mid bout curve just a half inch above the current narrowest point by removing the lining in that area and bending it in just a bit. It is going to make quite a difference in proportions, I think. I don't mind the backtracking if it leads to a good result. Another thing is I am making the ribs less deep. This was suggested by Ken Smith and after looking around a bit I think it is a suggestion that makes sense. So I had to plane the top down, and then replace the linings... but again the work will seem insignificant after carving the top, back and neck...varnish, set up and all that.


A mock up of the bow clearance. This seems plenty good for any player. Am I missing something... or is this good?


Building an Italian cornerless style double bass

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