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Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by AA eron, Jul 18, 2013.
So to summarize the photos, the body is in rough shape. It has extra holes all over and some deep scratches in the top. It has been sprayed with a thin clear coat that is chipping off all over. The remaining blonde paint in the cavities looks VERY close in color in the pics to the way it looks in real life. Def more on the blonde side than the butterscotch side. The pots are from '75. I have all 16 tuner screws, but only six pickguard screws. I also need a screw for the string tree, and screws and springs for mounting the pickup. I have everything for the micro tilt. You'll see in the pic of all the screws that there are some extra shiny screws and one black screw. I am sure these are not original and they will not be used.
Does anyone know the size screws needed for the mounting the pickup? Will the screws for the new WR humbuckers work?
I started making the nut tonight. I don't have a good blank so I started with a bone guitar nut. I'm definitely no luthier, but I do get a little picky about nuts and they're fitment so I pretty much end up making my own nuts for all my guitars.
The slot was super clean. I made a nice cut on the bottom of the nut to the correct radius. Then I thicknessed it for the slot. It fits nice and tight. You can see that the nut is still too long, and you can see the starter slots for the 6 string guitar spacing. Naturally, it will get cut down significantly and have the proper slots cut for the bass strings.
Cell phone only lets me do one pic at a time.
Very nice project bass, congrats.
Great project. I used to own one exactly like this one (4 or 5 years ago). Sold it in one piece. The more I look at it, I wonder if it's the same one or not. Quite often the pickguard has a crack in it from one corner of the pickup (mine didn't). I think this one didn't come with a PG? I never took mine apart. A previous owner had swapped out the nut with a brass nut - a common mod in the 70s I'm told.
I can envision what the final product will look like. Have fun!!
Hey Gunny, it could be the same one. Did you sell it to a hot rodder in the Detroit area?
AA eron you can see more color variations here:
take care. bob
Bob, I'm started to think I might just leave the body as is. To me, it doesn't look bad, just worn. But on the other hand I think I would have fun refinishing it. But it could also be tough to get it to come out nice, being that there is a decent amount of wear. If I do go the refinish route, it will be a light blonde, to match the old paint in the cavities.
Over the weekend I finished working on the neck. My goal is to be ready to bolt everything together when the pickguard shows up (today).
I backed the trussrod off, got the neck flat, and leveled the frets.
Then I continued making the nut.
I need to do some final shaping of the nut once I have strings on. I'll probably end up dropping the slots a few more thou and then straightening out the top.
AA eron i think you`re right. restoration can ruin if over done. no hurry to refinish beyond what is needed to blend into the best of what you have. you`re doing a great job so far in working with what is there. keep it up & be sure to continue posting your progress. take care. bob
AA eron: it took a lot of viewing but it's not my old Tele bass. The wear of the finish on the body is different and that single hole at the bottom of the body doesn't look at all familiar. Mine came with a Badass bridge fitted and I replaced it with the period-correct 2 barrel bridge assembly - same as your pictures.
Please post pictures when you're done!
Alright, so I've got this monster together and playing!
I didn't take any further pics of the rest of the setup as I was just super pumped to get it together.
When I left off last I was mostly cleaning parts and working on the neck. Since then I finished the nut and assembled the neck and tuners. The tuners were in good shape but full of light corrosion and really didn't turn freely. I had them dissassembled so I cleaned all the parts including between all the gear teeth, poilished the pegs and the holes in the plates, assembled them and lubed them, and now they work almost like new. After that I mounted the pickup and controls to the pickguard. I had to thoroughly clean the jack. I used 1500 grit sand paper to break up the corrosion in it and then 91% isopropyl alcohol to clean it. I mounted the pickguard to the body and was completely unimpressed with it. Non of the screw holes in the guard match the body, the pick didn't fit through the guard, and the guard didn't fit around the neck. I did a little "massaging" to it and got it on, but the fitment is really poor. I think I'll look for another. After all that, I strung it up and plugged it in. Here are a few pics.
My initial impression is that this thing really kicks. This pickup has BALLS! I was expecting it to be a lot muddier. I wouldnt call it muddy at all. Thick and creamy, yes, but muddy? No. I have only played it through a small practice amp on low volume so I don't know what it will do yet through a real bass rig. It plays nice too. The neck feels good and I like the old low frets a lot. Also, it has a great sound unplugged. It is resonant and the notes even have a nice tone. It's the kind of tone where it starts punchy and thick and then sort of changes to harmonically to a sweet thin sound. Kind of like an upright bass. It's like it's alive. I still am undecided about reifinishing it. I just don't know. It looks cool as is all beat up, but it sure would look sweet as a blondie. For now I'm going to play it and maybe it will tell me what it wants.
I'm still gonna blow it all aprt again to do some tweaking and make some final adjustments and after that I'll get some good pics with my nice camera and I'll see about getting some sound clips. My buddy just picked a 71 Traynor YBA-3 and I'm pumped to try it out.
Please don't refinish that bass. You can't buy a finish that tells a story like that one. Unless it drives you crazy as is I would say leave it.
And who knows, that "alive" quality may disappear once you take a paint sprayer to it best leave well enough alone.
Normally, I would agree with you 100%. But this bass was originally blonde, and there is still original finish in the cavities. The blonde has not been worn off, someone actually stripped it and then sprayed it a thin clear. If it haden't been purposefully stripped, and instead all the finish wore off from honest playing or even abuse, I would leave it as is. Right now it's a worn in refin. I might like to see a correct refin that can then be worn in again, as it was intedned from the factory. And if I refinished it, I could fill the extra holes, and they wouldn't be so noticeable.
I would love to hear everyone's opinion on this (not that it would change my mind much, if at all). What would you guys like to see if it was your bass, and why?
I`m with you 100%. On one hand i hate to see a glossed over relic & on the other I think that road worn has to be authentic to mean anything. Returning it to an original state might work if not overdone. Using lots of steel wool & less sandpaper might help to obtain a satin finish without that wet sticky looking gloss dominating the finished product. it`s a tough call. Personaly I am big on Tru-Oil beacuse it is rubbed on with fingertips, is cut back with steel wool & in time ages with a pleasant warm yellowish hue
No need to rush to judgement. Its a player now. I congratulate you on doing a great job with a basket of parts. Your dilligence has paid off & rewarded you with a special kind of instrument. Beats buying a kit & assembling it doesn`t it. Take care. Bob
Bob, Those are my thoughts exactly. I have also been considering a tru oil or similar finish.
For example, the guild bass in the first pic is a true road worn, and even abused, instrument. I have owned it for a long time and before that it has been owned by two of my best friends. The set neck has been snapped off and glued back on (shattering the top of the pickguard when it snapped), the input jack has been ripped out (shattering the bottom of the pickguard), and it has been banged and bumped and dropped and thrown around in plenty of smoky clubs, dingy basement parties, studios, and even churches. It is a real true battle ax and I would never think about refinishing, restoring, or otherwise "fixing" it.
The tele bass on the other hand, well, I just don't know. But, like you said, there is no reason to decide right now.
Well, I did it. It's repainted. I couldn't help it. It's a vrey thin nitro blonde finish, so hopefully it will age quickly. I didn't totally buff it out all the way either, but instead left a little dull and slightly "scratchy". There is a bit of light orange peel that is real hard to make out in the pics but overall I'm satisfied with it. Here are some pics. I dig it hard.