I got a large cookie tin from my mother in law(4" x 12" x 9") and decided to do a resonator bass without frets.
Thinking about using a Uke type strip Piezo, P Bass Pickups, 3-way switch, 250k volume and tone pots with a .047uf cap. Was thinking of using regular Bass strings for 4 string bass.
Using some square table legs(2 & 1/4" x 1 & 3/4" x 21") for the neck - bolted to a through the tin piece. The through the tin piece will have a hollowed out area at the end for side mounted tuners of some kind, may get actual tuners - may make something. The string ends will mount at the nut end of the neck like a Steinberger Bass.
Someone gave me 3 guitar humbuckers, 1 is a Duncan Distortion pup from a Ibanez guitar that'll use in another guitar build. The other 2 humbuckers are actually single coil pickups with 2 magnets. They flip one magnets polarity to cut out hum, then put the assembly in a humbucker casing. Both pickups are low output, one reads 5.3k and the other reads 5.7k.
My plan is to take the 2 fake humbuckers and make one real humbucker. I was going to take them apart an put everything together in one housing, but one of the pickups was encased in epoxy and would destroy the pickup if I kept trying to take it apart. So I put everything back together.
New plan is to put the hotter pup that was apart ,in the middle and stack the other on top towards the neck. Then I disconnected the ground wire from the casing on the hot pup and connected it to the hot wire of the other. So now the two fake buckers are wired together in series like one big humbucker. Looks ugly, but it won't matter cause they are going to be under the top lid and unseen.
I'll drill the holes for the strings when I get the strings.
I tried to glue the fretboard on a couple weeks ago and the cheap clamps that I bought from Harbor Freight popped loose letting the ends ramp while the glue dried. Had to take the fretboard off and sand all the dried glue off the board and the neck. Got it all back together with good clamps this time, waiting for the glue to dry.
Installed the 250k volume pot into the top and the jack in the side. wired everything up and tested it. It works and the whole top becomes a pickup pole when the top is on the tin. Will need to check how that works when I get the strings.
Got the fretboard done and stained the board and neck. Will apply Truoil when the stain dries.
Painted the through piece Black with a couple coats of Clear.
So I strung this thing up and made a bridge for it.
Self made tuners from anchor bolts - these don't work that good unless you add a nut to tighten the bolt keeping it from moving. I'll never do it this way again, I broke 1 drill bit and 3 file tips. So regular tuners for me from now on.
The "Headless" bracket I made worked great.
The Pickups - This resulted into turning the entire box into a pickup that was actually worse than a piezo when it comes to handling noise.
So to fix this I'll be adding a nut to the tuners for tuning stability, removed the pickups and placing a piezo inside at the neck pocket on the through piece. After finding out the best wiring scheme and pot values for a bass, this will be done.
I ended up using a C.B.Gitty Ukulele Rod Piezo sandwiched between the through piece and tin top under the bridge. I wired it to a 500k volume and jack. It sounds awesome. I may never buy another disc piezo because the rod type sounds so good.
I used 52/46/36/26/17 gauge strings and drop tuned them to C/G/C/E/C. String height is too high for playing notes/chords with fingers or doing those fretless slides with fingers, but using a glass slide sounds great. I'm torn between lowering the strings or leaving it the way it is.
Glad to have finally finished this. The 2 pickups I took out will be going into other projects. Keep building and keep playing.
I lower the strings some to take advantage of the fretless finger board. Still high enough for slide.
I've tried different tunings: C, G, D, E and A. It sounds best in C, but it just isn't drawing me in. It's leaving me with a Meh attitude.
Guess I'll let it alone for a bit and come back to it. See if any ideas pop up.
I like the rod piezo, but this thing may need something more.