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Take 3.

August 8 2010 at 1:23 AM

Ben Sinclair  (Login duplox)
from IP address

Response to 5-string fretless bass build

In my long and proud tradition of getting mostly done with a project and then getting bored with it and never seeing it through to completion, I have started on a third 5 string fretless. This one is a bit different in several ways... For my senior design project, I am designing/building a device which detects the string frequency and adjusts the string tension to tune the string. The idea is it will do this continually as it is being played, for any note. So anyways, the tuner device is going to be incorporated into the bridge, so I needed a body with a precisely machined cavity to accept the large bridge/tuner assembly, and room for batteries and electronics, and somehow be reasonably light, even with the added equipment on board. Sounded like a job for carbon fiber to me! Added bonus, its sexy as hell.
I started with the usual sketch, CAD, cut and carve business of making the body. The body was made of hard maple, as the neck and through the center of the body will have the wood still inside, and the body wings will be hollow carbon. Enough talk, time for pictures!
Original sketch:
[linked image]

Very rough carve at this point, but it shows the tuner body and aluminum fingerboard and head/string holder:
[linked image]

The carved guitar and my supplies:
[linked image]

The back, all waxed up:
[linked image]

With the initial epoxy coat:
[linked image]

A pile of carbon fiber. This is 3K 2x2 twill, 5.7oz fabric. The epoxy I used is System 3 Clear Coat.
[linked image]

All the carbon laid on the back side:
[linked image]

The carbon didn't want to drape very nicely, and was peeling up off the form at the edges, so with a little plastic wrap, a bunch of clamps, 2x4's, and a brick, I secured it down:
[linked image]

That's all for now, I unwrap and break free the back tomorrow. Then I get to lay up all the front pieces!

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