*BPP cautiously pokes his head into the forum*
So some of you may recall this thread:
It's taken the better part of two years. Turns out, when you want to build something really big, you have to have really big tools to build it, like spool clamps, custom long-reach cam clamps, huge forms, large bending irons, etc. So more than half my time in the interim has been taken up by building to tools that I need to build the bass.
This is a crappy picture of the end result.
Cosmetically, it has a long way to go because I consider this one a prototype. It was made to troubleshoot certain areas (and there were a LOT of trouble spots). I have not bound it, done final sanding, or finished it. I'm considering adding in a side port on the upper bout.
It largely sticks to the design of the original Earthwood: bolt-on neck, 6" body depth, 34" scale, mahogany/spruce, maple neck. I've added in corner bevels on the soundboard side of the lower bout to make the armrest area more comfortable, and a similar bevel to the back side of the lower bout and waist so that it sits more comfortably against your chest (cause that's how big this thing is). I also added in a "cutaway" bevel to make upper fret access a bit easier.
The bracing pattern was originally identical to a 1974 'wood, but there was so much dip in the top that I had to disassemble it and add in some new braces behind the bridge. Overall, the bracing pattern is surprisingly light.
I think it sounds good. Very good.
Right now, it's in a phase of construction I like to call "sitting". That's where I let it sit in one place, play it a couple times every day, check neck relief, top deflection and dip, and in general wait for it to explode. You may laugh - I almost called the cops one night when the previous bridge design popped off the top. I thought someone had fired a gunshot and I wasn't even in the shop.
Better pictures and maybe some sound clips will be forthcoming if everything continues to hold together.
I'm feeling pretty good about the thing overall. I currently have two more sets of sides (padauk) that are already bent and waiting to be joined up. However, I've made the decision that for future iterations of this, I am going to start making laminated sides out of veneer. I would like everyone's input on that particular decision.