Short Scale Resonator Bass Build

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.

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  • 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.

    • I was wondering about the tuners, what was holding them from creeping out of tune. Do you have room to replace the eye bolts with tuners? The thumb screws could stand straight up. Love the crazy lay-out! Nice build, I was offered a tin about that size and turned it down, that was before the "bug" bite got me! LOL I already in the middle of three builds, my main one and two for the foster kids camp. I may expand that to include a couple canjoes and a 5gal bottle bass freebies. I've got to ask, what is that head/tail piece made from? Its wicked looking IMO!

    • It's been awhile since I've done anything to this one. To answer your question, the neck was a leg off of a broken table and the metal mounting bracket is what I used as the string mount and nut on the end of the neck.

      The tuners had screw inserts in the tail assembly, but they wouldn't hold the tuner bolts in place. I had to add some nuts on those bolts that I could tighten against the tail piece to hold the strings in tune. Tuning it is a lot of work and it very sensitive. It's 28" scale and I think I tuned it to open Drop C.

      I used a 500k pot for the rod piezo. I have a single coil pickup to put near the neck that I haven't installed yet. I need a 3-way switch.

      The 2 pickups that I originally put in under the tin's top turned the entire metal box into a pickup and it was just too much. So I took them out to use for other projects.

      My best "Canjo" type build was my 1 gallon Gas Can Guitar. It sounds awesome, I wish I had put a 6 string neck on it now. Metal gas cans or oil cans are hard to find these days, but you can find the same size cans of Mineral Spirits, Thinner or Paint Stripper at hardware stores.

    • I have a 1gal stainless steel safety can( the kind with a squeeze handle inside the carry handle that opens a flapper lid on the pour spout) and I can't quit figure out what I want to do with it; A.. make a slide steel out of it or B..mount an amp and speaker in it!

    • Maybe this will help.1079781658?profile=RESIZE_710xAmp's belong in boxes.Haha

  • 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.


  • So I strung this thing up and made a bridge for it.

    Results are:

    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.

  • Put the neck back on the body. When I get the strings I'll put the nut on, make a bridge and drill the anchor bolts. Then I'll be ready to try this out.306575490?profile=original306576579?profile=original

  • The link wouldn't let me upload the other 2 pics. I'll try again.306578568?profile=original306579478?profile=original

  • Got the neck finished. Stained the board with a light coat and a heavy coat on the neck with Minwax Providential Stain and Sealer and 2 coats of Truoil on top of that. I lightly drew fret lines and markers on the top of the board and the side for me to see, others might not notice.306578101?profile=original

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