Build with NO finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rip Topaz, Apr 14, 2014.


  1. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Found an old (1968-72) wooden crate at a flea market over the weekend, and of course the first thing that went through my head was "a P-bass!!"

    My plan is to use the crate wood for a top and back, with a pine core. Gonna make a slab body P body out of it.

    Here's the coolest part. It has a date and address stamp, that will fit perfectly right where my forearm will hit when I'm playing it.

    [​IMG]

    I want it to be as rustic looking as humanly possible. The plan is to use the vinegar and steel wool trick on the pine core, but I want to skip as much finish as possible. I'm talking leaving a drink ring on it somewhere, that raw.

    Has anyone built any like this? Where you just slapped a couple boards together and rocked?

    Looking for inspiration here. Aside from the drink ring, I'll probably throw an old bottle opener on it somewhere.

    Anyone got a beater of that caliber? Let's see it, please.

    I found this one online last night, and it's beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone else?
  2. skwee

    skwee

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    Minneapolis
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid

    Totally. This will be the bass I can leave out at a cookout this summer, and not have to worry about it getting scratched.

    I'll probably throw a Mighty Mite neck on it, or maybe a GFS if they ever get them back in stock.
  4. blindsagacity

    blindsagacity

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    you're gonna want to at least put a coat or two of oil on it, just to seal it from humidity changes, otherwise, it won't be a playable bass for very long
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  6. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Willow Street, PA
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    Beta tester for Positive Grid

    I do plan on at least sealing it, but want to do it in the simplest form possible. This isn't a high dollar piece, just a beater to amuse me for a few hours.
  7. josiah goldfish

    josiah goldfish

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    E.Sussex UK
    In that case how about polyurethane? No, not the spray type. The stuff you get in a tin. Use a rag to avoid brush marks, should only take a couple of coats.

    I did a build once with a wiped-on polyurethane sealer (one coat) then just rubbed some wax on top (briwax). Worked great!

    Joe
  8. M0ses

    M0ses

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Wisconsin
    A few coats of oil will do the trick. It won't shine much from that and you can scuff it right back to crap.
  9. rebelscum

    rebelscum

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    [​IMG]
    JIO likes this.
  10. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Willow Street, PA
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    Hmm. Brush marks.

    I used the wipe-on poly on my last build and loved the look. This one definitely has to be a matte finish, though.
  11. josiah goldfish

    josiah goldfish

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    E.Sussex UK
    Making it matt is easy! Just sand it right back so that it just seals it. The wax is matt too, just adds some extra protection.
  12. josiah goldfish

    josiah goldfish

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    E.Sussex UK
    It'll look like the bass in the OP
  13. k31bassman

    k31bassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I made this from a Winchester shotgun shell crate and some fired cartridges.
    Tru-oil wipe-on finish, two or three coats. It's "rustic", but protected.
    The back is yellow pine from an old church pew. 7.5 pounds, too!

    Do it, you'll have fun.

    Oh, and my avatar is one I made for my son from a military crate.

    Attached Files:

  14. k31bassman

    k31bassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Military crate bass.

    Attached Files:

  15. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    Aug 12, 2005
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  16. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    You could try and seal it using the good ole egg white method.
  17. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    good focus for a thread! Show yer' rustic-bodied basses!

    [​IMG]
  18. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    Willow Street, PA
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    I'm betting this would cause my dogs to chew it up. ;)
  19. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
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    Here's the top all laid together. You can kinda make out the shape in pencil.

    [​IMG]

    Now that I'm looking at it, I think that center stripe is an eyesore. Tomorrow I'll remove it and replace it with a better matched stripe.

    The back is gonna look cool, too. This crate had all kinds of scars and knots and markings. It must've been dragged at some point. Lol.

    This is a section of what I'm using for the back. Had to glue up a section that fell apart as soon as I removed the nails.

    [​IMG]
  20. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

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    Aug 12, 2005
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    I like the way the boards are laid out on this one. Very cool.
  21. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    If this were true, all those basses with the finish worn through would also be unplayable. It will however get extremely dirty, and ugly.
    Stealth Fighter likes this.

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