Hey guys, I am wanting to build a 2-string cigar box bass. I'll find a suitable box in my stash or on my next box hunt likely. My intentions are building it to a 30" scale. Would you recommend a truss rod in the neck or maybe a laminated neck or are either really necessary? I will probably be using Maple for the neck. Leaning towards a rod-type piezo but the box I use may have some influence on that too. Any tips or experience on the type of pickup to use? Thanks for any wisdom you can share on building one of these.

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I have one with a 28" scale. I built it a couple of years ago. the neck is the usually 1x2 oak. I noticed the other day the neck is starting to bow. It is a fretless design with a high action, so it doesnt really affect it playability, but it is something to think about.

Thanks for the info, I'll probably do a fretless too.

Hi Bruce,

Lots of string tension, even with only 2 strings. So without a truss rod, laminating a pair of 1x2's vertically with a good hard wood fingerboard should keep it from bowing.

Best bet is to make it a "thru-box" style, so the strings are running through the tail, over the bridge (which is supported by neck inside box) and up to the head/tuners.

Here is a pic of a walking stick bass I made for my dad. It will give you a visual idea of what I mean about strings running thru tail...it has dual piezos under the bridge...just add a cigar box for looks.

Scott, thanks the photo and your suggestions are a big help. That's a cool bass, looks like a stand-up right? What's the scale length on that.

Thanks,

Bruce

Thanks Bruce,

It's full scale, 34", strings are the ADG from set of Fender Tapewounds, good for fretted or fretless basses. It has a threaded insert in tail end, and two different length dowels with threaded pin to go into the tail insert, one for standing, one for sitting.

Scott,

Thanks for the tip on the strings.

Bruce

Hi Bruce,

This is the info on a 2 string Bass I recently built, no truss rod but a thru neck, and have had no trouble with bowing problems, and sounds great!!, there's a picture of it on my page.

AGP #67
“Fretless B”
(2 String Bass CBG)
Scale: 762mm / 30 inches
Strings: Standard D & G Light Bass
Tuning: D G
COSTS
Cigar Box: Patagas 25 D4           $16.53
Sound Hole & Hang Grommets :  $0.64
Tas Oak Neck Timber :                $4.85
Hardwood Fretboard Timber :      $0.00
Chrome Machine Heads:             $3.60
Nut Bolt :                                      $1.00
Bridge Bolt :                                  $1.00
Strings :                                        $3.60
Potentiometers : (2 x B500k)        $0.56
Capacitor :                                    $1.79
Volume & Tone Knobs :                $1.90
Pickup : 4 String Humbucker :      $9.99
Output Jack :                                 $0.59
Maple Stain :                                 $0.50
Gilly’s Restoring Wax                    $0.50
TOTAL:                                        $47.05 (Australian)

Thanks for the input on the bass neck, plus the string and tuning information is very helpful. Not to bad on the cost to build either, good for me is the box cost here in the US is much less.

Thanks,

Bruce

I am also planning a 2 string bass, but using a tin, obviously with a through neck (oak). Like Bruce, above, using a piezo disc (never tried before) any thoughts or observations welcomed. Cheers

Hey John, I built a 2 string bass with a wheelbarrow handle for the neck, and weedwhacker strings. I put a disc in it, but had to replace it with a rod because it wasn't loud enough. I have pics and a short demo video on my page. 

Rick,

I'm going to have to check out your weedwhacker stringed bass, I have thought about trying that on one of my builds.

They are cool. I got a 2 string set for $20 on ebay. They are low tension, so my bass is overkill. 

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