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CRANKY YANKEE article re instruments made from junk (34) RE: article re instruments made from junk 13 Nov 03

I call it a "Base Foodle"
It was originally named, "Didgeree Don't". But, when I thought about it, I remembered that the Didgeree Do has very serious religious and philosophical connotations for the Australian Aboriginees, so, Inot wanting to make light of anyone's path tsso the infinite, I changed the name.

It is a very playable Bass instrument. It sounds like, and it is played like a real Double Bass. (Bess fiddle) It can either be plucked or bowed, depeding on how you make the bridge. It doesn't , necessrilly have a bridges. mine does.

It started out to be a sculpture entitled, "Modfern Jazz". But, I realized that it was really playable, It took on new possibilities, and some new refinements.

It is an inverted trash can (steel dust bin) with an old guitar neck attached. It has four strings. I removed the fretts so the neck length wouldn't have to be precise.

SThere is a mount, made of wood, bolted to the side of the trash can upon which the neck is mounted. This mount puts the neck at the proper angle for the strings to propely anchor at the center of the trash can's bottom which has now become the top of the instrument's body.

Aftr I decided to use it as an instrument, I made a sound board out of a spruce disc. This is mounted underneath the top (bottom??) of the trash can, It is mounted 1/8" from the top (bottom) by putting a i/8" thick "bridge plate" between the trash can bottom and the sound board. This is backwards fom how a bridge plate is usually mounted. There are four holes in the trash can's bottom spaced as far apart as you want the strings to be spaced. The holes can be put in a slight curve if you want it.

I used electric bass strings because they are one hell of a lot cheaper than the accoustic strings.. .

There ar4e four tuning keys on the neck in the place where you'd expect them to be. Yhe strings are anchored under the sound board, go through the bridge plate and trash can bottom then lead along the fingerboard over the nut and to the tuning keys. Though it has a bvridge plate, it doesn't, necessarily, have a bridge.

There are four rubber fucet washers inserted where the strings go through the metal trash can bottom so the strings don't chafe. It also takes some of the resonance out of the strings so they sound like a bass fiddle.

The open top of the trash can (bottom of the base foodle)(It is spelled "bsse Foodle" to suggest the previous function of the dust bin) is mounted on four pieces of "2 by 4" that hold it off the floor. I cut two "F holes" in the front of the instrument. I'm not sure if this is necessary.

Use an old guitar neck. you can also just shape one out of Honduras mahogany.

This is just the basics. Honestly, it has real tone. You can also mount a microphone inside.

If anyone is interested in making one, E mail me at " I'll send more detailed instructions.

If any money changes hands, please donate ten percent of the selling price to the Salvation Army.

I'll attach a drawing of the Base Foodle to a regular E-mail. I don't know how to attach a drawing to this site. If someone who knows how will kindly E-Mail me, I'll send the drawing right back and. "Thank you very much"

Jody Gibson
36 Charles St.
Newport, Rhode Island USA 02840

It is strung, tuned and played exactly like a regular stnd up bass.

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