Hey everyone. A few months ago I began ordering parts to build myself a bass for fun. I picked up parts here and there, and eventually I had everything l needed and put it all together. I wanted a single coil P bass with the 72 style telecaster bass pickguard.
I found a pretty much new neck from a VM Squire P bass with the tele style headstock on Ebay for $80 and snatched it up. Now I had every intention of bolting it up to a Warmoth body, but after I bought the neck I found out Fender makes their tele style necks with a square heel and Warmoth does not offer bodies with square neck heels, so I needed to find an alternative body supplier. I stumbled upon B. Hefner Co online and found they could make me the body I wanted at a great price ($150 unfinished delivered.). The company has bad reviews online from several sources, but I decided to give them a try anyway. I ordered a swamp ash T Bass body with forearm and tummy contours and they estimated 6 to 8 weeks. They had it done in 6 and I had it a few days later, the body was flawless and the swamp ash has beautiful figuring. It's a 2 piece body and it came sanded and ready for finishing.
I wanted a butterscotch blonde look, I found Sherwin Williams stain called Galley Gold that is a good match. I stained the body then hit it with 7 coats of Minwax polyurethane. I hung the body from my basement rafters with a rope attached to some screws in the neck pocket, so I got some drip marks. I wet sanded from 320 grit all way down to 2000 grit, then used automotive polishing compound on a buffer, followed by carnauba wax. This gave me a pretty good shine, however 7 coats was not enough as I wore down through the poly on some of the edges during my finishing process, but it actually looks kind of cool so I left it that way.
The neck did not slot right into the neck pocket as it was a little too wide, turns out Squire does not follow exact Fender specs which is what the body and pickguard were made to. I used calipers and some 180 grit sandpaper to sand identical amounts off the sides of the neck until it fit snugly in the neck pocket. I also had to drill new holes in the neck which meant filling in the old ones with a dowel rod and wood glue.
Next up was the pickguard. I ordered a 72 style black pickguard from WD Music and requested they omit the pickup route. They did this for about $35 and I had it in about 2 weeks. I used a Dremel tool on very low speed to shave off enough plastic for my SCPB pickup. This took a long time because I constantly had to let the plastic cool off or it would start melting, but the end result was really good. I also had to trim a little around the neck pocket to fit the wider Squire neck.
As for the rest, I ordered all black hardware including Schaller BML tuners and a Gotoh 201 bridge, a Duncan quarter pound pickup, and copper shielding tape from Warmoth. I had never soldered before, but a YouTube video solved that problem. I shielded all of the cavities and dropped my freshly soldered electronics in. Drilled for all my hardware, strung it up with Chrome flats and plugged it in... Worked on the first try!
I did need to drop it off at my tech to have the neck shimmer and setup as I had the bridge saddles bottomed out and he action was still too high. But other than that, I did it all myself. This thing plays beautifully and the tone is amazing. My Lakland 44-02 hasn't seen any action in a month since I've had this thing working. Now, for the pics...