Modding a P into a P-Tractor

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ronaldpdbrandt, Feb 9, 2013.


  1. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Suffolk County, NY
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    I have a no-name P-Bass that I got from a pawn shop for $47 a couple of years ago. It's a great bass as it is, but I've always had a notion to tinker with it in some way. I picked up a bunch of J and P pickups last year for future projects, so I thought of just adding a J at the bridge, but then I got this:

    [​IMG]

    So, with Dark Star in hand, I decided to go from this:

    [​IMG]

    To this:

    [​IMG]

    What?! It's a P-bass version of Berry Oakley's Tractor Bass!

    And besides the obvious difference between mine and his, I'd also like it to be mono, so I got some help from TBers Stealth and Cadfael to work out the wiring plan:

    [​IMG]

    And here's where we're at right now:

    [​IMG]

    The tort pickguard from Warmoth will have to go back, unfortunately. It was a little too narrow at the end of the control cavity, so I'll have to order a blank and cut it myself. I was hoping to avoid that, but I don't seem to have any other option.

    More to come later!
  2. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Got the DS routed out pretty good, and I just need to get a little more around the edges of the Js. Getting psyched!

    [​IMG]
  3. T-34

    T-34

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    France, Paris region
    Good stuff, subscribed :)
  4. Splods

    Splods

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Looking cool man, I'm not the biggest fan of the headstock though.

    Good luck.
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  6. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I wasn't either at first, but it's grown on me.;)
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I think I would have cut the mounting ears off of one side of each pickup cover and glued them together making a bucker, and just cut one cavity.
  8. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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  10. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Got the Js routed, mostly:

    [​IMG]

    They're a little shallow, but I'm almost there!
  11. Splods

    Splods

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Looking cool!
  12. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    I got the pickguard blank from Warmoth on Friday:

    [​IMG]

    Traced out my not-exactly-Fender-shaped pickguard on the back of the blank:

    [​IMG]

    And rough-cut it with the Dremel:

    [​IMG]

    I also lowered the cavities for the Js, as you can see in the last picture.
  13. T-34

    T-34

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    This thing will be thunderous :)
  14. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    That's the plan!:bassist:
  15. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    I am preparing somewhat similar project right now, involving Precision bass and huge humbucker replacing the P pickup :D
  16. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    And I'm mulling this over for the headstock, now that Splods has gotten in my head;):

    [​IMG]
  17. Splods

    Splods

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    *Insert evil laugh.
  18. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Well, here you go, Splods:

    [​IMG]

    I also got the pickguard shaped a little closer:

    [​IMG]

    It's starting to get Tractor-y in here!
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

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    Apr 18, 2008
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    MS Gulf Coast
    Nice work!
  20. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

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    That looks great! You'll have to post some clips once you get her all together. Very nice!
  21. Splods

    Splods

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    I have claimed my first victim.

    Looking cool, that monster is going to have some serious output.

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