Wooden Washtub Bass

A few years ago I was in New York for the annual Book Expo America and one evening ran across the Baby Soda Jazz Band playing in the Washington Square park. Not only were they great, but the bass player, who turned out to be Peter Ford, had a homemade wooden bass with an amazing sound. (I played the washtub bass in high school and college.) I corresponded with Peter for a while and finally got him to sell me the parts for one of his basses. I just put it together a few weeks ago and is it fun! I’m not getting any work done! That’s a broomstick handle, a 1/8″ nylon string, and the black sound board is a piece of a Samsonite hard suitcase.

Photo yesterday by Lew Lewandowski

Here’s the Baby Soda Jazz band playing Muskrat Ramble, and you can see Peter playing the bass:

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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