I created a knurled knob for use with the bass bridge last night. The intent was again to ensure that the proportions work out and look good. The knob also serves the purpose of covering the ball end of the string from sight, so it can’t be too short.
Here are a couple of pictures, including how it relates to the size of the guitar tuner. I am anticipating more than a few users that will build instruments that feature both types of tuners.
As covered in a previous post, I have a client that wants to build (among other things) a nylon stringed headless guitar. His name is Tobias Neumann, and I travelled to Ystad in the south of Sweden to meet with him last week. We had a “fika” (pronounced ~fee-kah), which is a unique Swedish word for having something to drink, e.g. coffee, and something to nibble on, e.g. a cinnamon roll, until we were kicked out because the establishment closed. We continued brainstorming in the shopping street, pictured below with Tobias on the left.
Tobias, who is more of a musician than a luthier, started to develop the ultimate guitar for his personal needs. In the process, however, he realized that there should be more musicians out there with similar requirements. What they are, we will hopefully come back to in a later post! Meanwhile, I am looking forward to working with Tobias in developing the hardware for this line of instruments.
I created a prototype bass bridge/tuner today. The primary reason was ensuring that the range of the tuner was sufficient and then of course to just hold it and feel it since a 3D CAD drawing is pretty abstract. Here are a few pictures:
As you can see, I have not bothered making a knurled knob. The plunger that pulls the string is made from an M10 bolt. In production, it would be an M10x0.5 fine thread. The saddle is threaded M6x0.5 and is made from raw material from my guitar tuner plungers and will obviously look better in production and be made from stainless steel for durability.
I am grateful for receiving some comments over at Project Guitar. One is a request for being able to carry out intonation without slacking the string. I don’t have a good solution for this at the moment and am not sure if it is worth sacrificing the simplicity of the current design. I find that intonation is only necessary when changing brands of string and possibly at big changes in climate/temperature. Having said that: maybe a lot of you do experience this and need to intonate frequently? Please let me know the requirements so that I can come up with the best possible design.
I am receiving a lot of requests for a bass bridge. It’s no secret I am working on a new tremolo, but here is a sneak peak of the simplest possible scale-up to a bass bridge.
The diameter of the housings have been scaled up to 18mm from 10 and the string rests have been scaled up to 6 mm from 4. The knobs are 16 (was 10) and the base plates for mounting are 14 (was 8).
There are now two mounting holes for easier alignment if you don’t want to mount them in recesses. You can also see that the housings have been shaved off 3 mm, so that the top of the housing sits 15 mm off the surface rather than the full 18 that would otherwise have been the case.
I have created a recess in the tuner housing itself to allow the saddle to sit below the surface of the housing.
This image shows the housing semi-transparent. I have drawn in strings on the outer tuners to ensure that the angle over the saddle is good enough throughout the tuning range and that it doesn’t catch on the housing.
Please let me know any comments you may have. I am sketching on solutions for being able to insert the string from the top rather than the rear and being able to use the ball end on the head and lock the string at the bridge instead, but am not sure that these will be robust enough.
In picturesque Idyllwild, CA, Alex Watson and his wife and partner Tere craft amazing basses and guitars. I have had the privilege of providing the tremolo for the current headless Tele-style build featured on their site. I am following the build progress with anticipation and am looking forward to paying them a visit when I am in the neighborhood over Christmas this year.
The contact with Watson Guitars came through Terje Dilkestad at http://www.bassplayersproshop.com/ an acquaintance I made at the FUZZ guitar show earlier this year. Thanks Terje!
After a 15 year hiatus, I got back into building guitars around Christmas a year and a half ago. When I got into gear, I wasn’t sure what direction I was heading, but it didn’t take me very long to find the true spark that got me going in buildingtheergonomicguitar.com (BTEG). One of the features caught my interest immediately…
Rick Toone and I have been communicating on various luthier’s matters since then. He has been a source of inspiration to me and someone I have turned to for advice and ideas for that time. Along with Rob Irizzary of BTEG, and all its contributors and collaborators he has helped keep the momentum going.
Back in February this year, I got an e-mail from Rick saying that he and Rob had joined forces and started eLutherie.org, which immediately sounded like an excellent idea. The Design and Technology Exchange portion of elutherie.org is founded on the idea of collaborating with other luthiers in an as private/public/open/closed way as you choose. Rick calls this micro partnerships, which is a fitting term. We have since been sharing ideas and collaborating on bridge designs, patenting issues and more.
We have become good enough virtual friends that I have decided to spend my hard earned Continental frequent flyer miles to cross the Atlantic and pay Rick a visit! (BTW – the service I got from Continental in organizing this trip was amazing.)
Look forward to more posts from our respective camps in the early August time-frame.