Bass of the Week: Lea Bass Guitars Dumpster Bass

Lea Bass Guitars Dumpster Bass

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s why luthier Scott Sterling of Lea Bass Guitars decided to create the Dumpster bass. Although the bass has a fine fit and finish, the components didn’t start out that way.

“This bass started out as an ‘upcycled’ experiment in tonality – all the wood is from dumpsters in my local area,” he wrote on the Lea Bass Guitars Facebook page. “The top is oriented strand board (OSB), the tone ‘wood’ is Masonite, and the body is made from a clear pine 2X10. The neck is oak from a discarded bannister, and the fretboard is maple from an old kitchen drawer.”

Even the headstock logo (made by Aulson Inlay) is cut from a corian countertop sample from Lowes. Sterling didn’t skimp on the bass’s fittings, opting for a pair of Norstrand Fat Stacks pickups, a Bartolini preamp, and a Hipshot A-Style bridge.

“The bass sounds great – way better than I ever expected,” Sterling adds. “Very clean and clear tone. I also expected the wood to move a lot and that the bass would have trouble staying in tune – turns out that’s not the case at all. What started out as an experiment has ended up as one of my two main gigging basses!”

For more information, check out the Lea Bass Guitars Facebook page.

Lea Bass Guitars Dumpster Bass Specs:

Body:Recovered Pine with Masonite Tone Wood
Top:Recovered Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Neck:Recovered Oak
Fretboard:Recovered Maple
Pickups:Nordstrand Fat Stacks
Electronics:Bartolini Preamp
Bridge:Hipshot A-Style

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Share your thoughts

  1. Mike Bercik

    That’s an incredibly cool idea for a bass. A mish-mosh of different woods, possibly from different generations and sources could mean such an incredibly wide possibility of tone…it looks killer too! This is an awesome share! I’d gladly rock a Dumpster bass, especially with a quirky backstory like this! Great find NoTreble!

  2. Mike Matthews

    Very curious to hear how it sounds… and $ ?

  3. Tonemannz

    Beautiful bass. Looks great and the workmanship looks awesome.

  4. Mark S B.

    This bass looks slick and well made, the natural wood finish is what I wanted but was forced to change. I need a second bass for whatever reason.

  5. Lim

    How much does it weigh? Generally particle board and oak are pretty heavy

    • Hi Lim-
      It’s actually pretty light. The pine (probably Douglas fir) in the body and neck is a fairly light wood which helps keep the overall weight down.

  6. The “tonewoods” faction has always been way off base IMO; even more so with electric bass than guitar. The body is a frame for holding the bridge and pickups as rigidly as possible. It’s the string movement and the musician’s fingers that adds the “tone” not the material of the body. All the body can do is attenuate some frequencies which is almost exactly what you do not want to have happen. Layering the pine with Masonite and OSB will give you a very rigid structure for the body if done properly and the pine will help keep down the weight.

    But I would suggest that the unusual materials is less the story than Sterling’s great skills as a luthier. This is beautiful craftsmanship.