DIY Headless Wine Box Bass…err, Wall Art

When I started this frenzied covid build project using leftover bass and ukulele parts, I figured the odds of it ending up a bass or a wall hanging were 50/50.

I was probably an optometrist, this never had a chance.

The mismatch between the low structural strength of a common pine wine crate and mighty electric bass strings was an obvious problem.

Paid $15 for a Rogue baritone uke ‘project’ with stick-on pickup and cute dog dish resonater and bird cover plate, fortuitously matching this charity shop 3-bottle wine storage and shipping crate’s bird logo.

So I braced the neck with wood blocks and hefty wood screws I found in the garage every place I could.

Hardest challenge, drilling neck end and firmly attaching Headpiece of Rah ball end holder. Needed a longer small drill but quarantine so I wrecked a usable nut. Not much meat left after hogging out the hole to save the truss rod nut (Dremmeled slot). This can work for a parts bin headless conversion.

But as you can see by the one inch tall action-wall art it is. Any further attempt at tuning it might have cracked the wine box so I gave up on sound. I’m convinced this could work with gusset bracing and much smaller strings.

Since is not tunable or functional I never bothered hooking up the piezo pickup I took from a $15USD charity shop uke project. I’ll save it for another covid make-work, stay busy project to pass my dull days here in Dystopiaville, USA.

This didn’t crack or bend, surprising me. The box itself was distorting.

On the plus side the modified ukulele headstock (tailstock?) actually seemed to work pretty well in tuning the beast.

Though I feared for the tiny machine heads with each turn of the miniature knobs, they stood up to the meaty bass strings very well.

So, successful wall art but not playable. Post-mortem analysis shows the idea to be workable but component choices questionable.

Good fit, pretty loud acoustically thanks to the dog dish resonater and thin, roundwound, salvage bass strings. Untuned though, with an action height of approx. one inch (25.4mm). Go Packers!, Niners being out of it. But just wait until last year, Super Bowl, baby!

Chopping off the Behringer neck’s headstock and neck base allowed me to re-slot the truss rod nut on the otherwise defunct neck. This could work if attached to a solid block instead of a weak, unbraced pine box.

Chrome bumper was from a door latch secured with self tapping sheet metal screws. Under the ugly Rogue Baritone Ukulele ‘Blood Burst’ finish was pretty maple or pine or whatever. Never paint unless you need to do it. Then go ahead and pollute, bios killer. Because ‘putty and paint make a carpenter what he (she) ain’t’.

Alternatively, installing a small guitar or ukulele headless neck on a beefed up wine crate would also work, I think. But not as a bass.

So, it looks cool in my unfinished new-old-stock batchelor bass-themed living room .

Plus it cost me next to nothing and I didn’t even need to break quarantine in these terrible days.

If you can’t make music then make art.

Unless noted, all text, images and content by todgermanica.com.

2 thoughts on “DIY Headless Wine Box Bass…err, Wall Art

    • As always Sis, thanks for the view and the comment. I’m opening that Geddy Lee Big Beautiful Bass Book you gave me on 20 January 2021, for reasons. But I think he was into headless bass as well. I can hardly wait.
      Corazon is here and soon Puerconut and Timoshenko are coming! We’re doing duets(Elizabeth Cotton-Freight Train), blues turnarounds, In The Pines. 1st time I’ve played bass, really, in my living room bass playing career I had to play the melody too. And she sings as well.
      Yea, this contraption looks weird {and doesn’t work}. And, every other headless bass has neat, compact little tuners behind the bridge. But covid. And tightwadism. And you know your brother Ruben Burwell Anderson (my secret Earthsea Name) would have to make a Rube device from a defunct ukulele headstock.

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