DIY Sunday – Washtub Bass

heading_diywashtub bass

A bass violin is something you’re not likely to have around the house. Yet the beat of such an instrument adds rhythm to any musical get-together. Here’s one to make that will produce deep, boomy tones comparing favorably with the real thing.

Install an eyebolt at the bottom center of a galvanized tub. Cut two 8-in. legs from electrical conduit and bolt them in place so that they raise the edge of the tub about 3-1/2 inches. Add rubber tips and tape on the edges of the tub to prevent scratches.

Cut a broomstick to about 46 inches in length, install an eyebolt about 5 inches from one end and notch the other end. Smooth the edges of the notch to prevent splitting when the stick is used on the bottom edge of the tub.

The string may be wire, twine or plastic-covered nylon clothesline. Tie it between the two eyebolts and you’re in business.

Take the position shown in the lead picture and strum with a pick or by grasping the string between the thumb and the knuckle of the index finger. A change in tone occurs when the body is moved to change string tension.

This plan was published in the 1955 November issue of Mechanix Illustrated and can be downloaded by clicking the icon below

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