I built the shop in 1997, shortly after we bought our house in the East Skinner Butte Historic District of downtown Eugene, Oregon (partly so we would have somewhere to work on the house from). The windows, upstairs floor, the painted trim, and most importantly, the inspiration, are from a 1876 farmhouse, called The Key House, which we salvaged in conjuction with B.R.I.N.G. Recycling, from nearby Camp Creek Road, in Marcola, Oregon. The wood from that wonderful building also leant a unique character to the rehabilitation of our historic home. I had it insulated with spray in "Soysulation" (yup, insulation made out of soy beans) a few years later which helped keep it considerably warmer.
The shop is small, 14' by 18', a floor and a half. When I was a remodel contractor, it served as a cabinet shop and mill for many houses-worth of custom trim.
Making basses, thankfully, feels much less crowded. Most of the big machines roll and the walls are covered with hanging tools. The ceiling joists are full of short wood. Upstairs I store patterns, hardware, and, maybe, a bass or two. The bonus is that it is also the perfect place to host band practices for my two American roots based music projects: Dirty Spoon and Butterchuck.
In the fall of 2015, I bit the bullet, took some time off from making basses, moved everything out and applied the finishing touches. I put in even more insulation in the ceiling and floor, sheetrocked, painted, fixed the stairs to make them safer and installed a wooden car-decking floor downstairs. It was kind of a pain, but it was also kind of fun to use my contractor/carpenter skills again. And it was definitely worth it! I love working in the cleaner environment and the wood floor is much easier to stand on for hours than the concrete. Not to mention it is even easier to heat.
Come by for a visit!
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©Seth Kimmel 2015
©Seth Kimmel 2015
Click the video to experience making a bass in under 2 minutes.
Big wood is key.
Special thanks to my Oregon friends and compatriots:
Seth SanFilipo at Urban Lumber Company in Springfield, Oregon, for custom milling and supplying locally salvaged wood. We also get some gorgeous wood from Lewis and Sara Judy of Northwest Timber in Jefferson, Oregon and from MVS (previously MountainVoice SoundWoods) in Valemont, British Colombia, Canada.
Thanks also to Larry at Nova Woodworks, located in wine country just outside of Eugene, Oregon, for sanding with his giant awesome sander which is as big as half my shop.
I always enjoy meeting and speaking with folks interested in all things double bass, so contact me to set up a time to come by for a tour!
If you are really geeking out here and have made it this far in and still want to see even more fun bits of the bass building process click here to check out "The Chip of the Day."