Wake Publishing

To Make a Double Bass - Book by H.S.Wake

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Harry Wake, a longtime professional cellist and engineer, originally self-published this book in 1982 -- and then revised it in 1995. Whenever someone on the online forums pipes up "where can I get detailed plans to build my own upright bass," this book usually gets a shout-out. While opinions can vary on whether this is "the best" methodology for building a bass, it's certainly a good reference with lots of detailed, fold-out drawings and (scaled) blueprints. It features complete plans and details for building a 43" scale flat-back bass.

Chock full of the author's own hand-drawn illustrations (and probably type-set on his typewriter) this is clearly a book that was published by a man who felt passionate about sharing these techniques; you can tell that Mr. Wake enjoyed sharing the wealth of his knowledge of stringed instruments, earned over years of both playing and working on them. The book is written in a fairly informal style and assumes that the builder may know little about the musical specifics, providing detailed guidance so that even a cabinet-maker with a tin ear can make a playable bass.

It covers the use of specialized tools, setup, strings, and more - so even if you're not building a bass yourself, there's sure to be some interesting and useful information inside.

This comb-bound paperback has over 70 pages of text, lots of illustrations, and 14 scale drawings (11x40 fold-outs)

Book Topics

  • The Patterns and Mold
  • The Sides and Lining
  • The Back
  • The Endpin Hole and Cutter
  • The Top
  • The Neck and Scroll
  • Fitting Up
  • Varnishing

Fold-Out Plans (all 11" x 40")

  1. Mold Front Plate, Half Pattern (half-scale).
  2. Mold Back Plate, Half Pattern (half-scale).
  3. Mold Inside Plate, Half Pattern with Details (half-scale).
  4. Mold Assembly, Half Pattern, Side View (half-scale).
  5. Mold Assembly, Front View with Back Outline (half-scale).
  6. Mold Assembly, Half Pattern, Side View (half-scale).
  7. Mold Back Plate, Half Pattern, Layout Pattern (half-scale)
  8. Front Plate, Half Pattern with Details (half-scale)
  9. Front Plate, Half Pattern Showing Thicknesses (half-scale)
  10. Back Plate, Half Pattern Showing Cross Braces (half-scale)
  11. Base of Neck, Details (full-scale)
  12. Scroll Patterns (various scales, as noted)
  13. Miscellaneous Details (various scales, as noted)
  14. Miscellaneous Details (various scales, as noted)

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