Liutaio Mottola Stringed Instrument Design

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Construction Details of the Libellula Electric Upright Bass - The Wing Subassembly

Most Electric Upright Basses (EUB) are mounted to a tripod or they have an end pin and are played balanced upon it in the same matter as an upright bass is played. The Libellula EUB is different in that it is worn on a strap, much as one would wear an electric bass. The body of the instrument is held away from the player's body by a curved wood wing which is attached to the back of the bass. This wing contacts the player's abdomen and makes playing the instrument quite comfortable. This page shows how the wing of the instrument is built.

Last updated: Saturday, August 15, 2015

The wing itself is cold laminated out of four 0.0625” think veneers for a finished thickness of 0.25”. The wing is laminated in between curved cauls so that it will have a curved final shape that fits to the player's body. The basic lamination technique is to spread glue on the laminations, wrap the whole thing tightly in waxed paper to keep things from slipping around in the cauls and to keep the wing from being glued to a caul, and then clamping the assembly in the cauls until dry. Here are the raw materials:

... and here is the wing glued up and clamped between the cauls.

After the wing blank is laminated it is cut out and shaped and sanded. The wing attachment block is cut out next. Here are two wings with their attachment blocks.

The surface of the block that will be glued to the back of the wing has to be shaped to fit the curve of the wing. Alternatively, the surface of the wing can be shaped flat where the block will contact it. The latter operation can be done with a flat rasp, while the latter requires some finicky shaping and final sanding with sandpaper taped down onto the curved surface of the back of the wing.

The block is glued to the wing using epoxy. The wing is held against the internal form while gluing so it will hold its shape.

After the wing assembly is glued up it is drilled to accept the wide head connector bolts that will be used to connect the wing to the body of the instrument.

Up to:                 Top of this page (Part 2: Constructing the Wing)
Continue with:  Part 3: Constructing the Piezo Bridge
Back to:              Part 1: Constructing the Body/Neck Assembly