God bless the writers of science magazines back in the 1960's.  Everyone wanted to be a rock star, so they found innovative ways to make the instruments!

We have archived these vintage 2x4 bass plans in a downloadable PDF file for you to print out and attempt. 

If you build one, post pictures below!

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You mean something like this........................................

Can you help me with the pickup?

You could use a under saddle rod piezo, regular disc piezo or you could use the P-Bass style magnetic pickups that C.B.Gitty sells.

https://www.cbgitty.com/cigar-box-guitar-parts/pair-of-black-enclos...

Just put 1 under the other, add a 250k volume and tone pots with a 1/4" jack.

This post is over a year and a half old, but... I'd like to point out that disc piezos depend on the vibrations of whatever it's mounted to, which is usually a soundboard. The 2X4 itself is not going to vibrate sufficiently. A rod piezo might work better, being under the saddle (mounted loosely?), but it's probably going to be a very quiet bass. The resonance of a structure like a washtub is needed for an acoustic bass, and piezos are generally used in instruments that already function acoustically. 

On the other hand, it would be a great instrument to give a rythmically challenged non-musician who wants (or for some reason needs) to be included in a performance. ;-)

That is not entirely correct Christopher, piezo discs will still work on solid objects, bearfoot Cajun made a git out of a brick with a piezo disc pup, [ Ted Crocker Tesla pup|, and it sounded damn good, for some reason the video is deleted on CBN, but the thread is still there

agree. in the 80's when i first tried a piezo disk on my 12 string it didnt seem to matter where the disk was it would pick up everything! i even blue tacked it to the headstock. and that gave me the best sound with the least string noise and microphonic pickup..  

Anything the neck or body is made of will pass vibrations through from one end to the other. Piezo's have been used on solid body electrics since the 60's and regular pickups will also pickup the body/neck vibrations through microphonics. This is why no 2 guitars will sound the exact same.

Another way to go with the pickup is to use an under saddle piezo designed for a bass.  These are available on eBay for about $6 and work great for either bowing or plucking.  Works well for instruments pitched a bit higher (cello range) as well.

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Love that.

On my list to do this summer.

That is sweet.,.,great job.,.,!!!!

That's real nice Rooster.

I love that this surfaced again.
A few interesting "sign of the times" items leap out.  the first is that reading the instructions, what leaps out is what is not written, some of the steps are kind of glossed over as though they are so routine to the magazine and its readers that details are not necessary.  Another is some of the parts lists.  When was the last time you were in the hardware store and could buy an aluminum heat shield for a 5 prong vacuum tube? or Bakelite to cut down for a jack plate? or 40 gauge magnet wire by the pound from a local brick and mortar store?

I have taken a few notes, some design elements from here will make it into a future CBB.

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