NBD: Bronco, soon to be Mustang

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ronaldpdbrandt, Apr 1, 2014.


  1. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Mar 3, 2011
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    Suffolk County, NY
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    I've been in the market for a short scale to tinker with, so I finally came across this 1997 Squier Bronco on Craigslist:

    [​IMG]

    I already love playing the shorter neck, and I have to admit that it doesn't sound half bad as it is. It even has the larger, vintage-style tuners already, which is a nice bonus. However, I prefer look of the 1970s-era Fenders (think "natural wood colors"). So I've got some plans for this thing to get me there.

    My dad has an old dilapidated shed on his property that has some nice, wide planks on it (he thinks it's cypress, but not sure). When I go down to Arkansas in July, I'm going to salvage enough of that wood to make a Mustang body from it.

    Here's an inspiration photo for the project:

    [​IMG]

    I've already ordered the Mustang pickups, bridge, and knobs from Angela's, and the rest (pickguard, vintage-style wiring harness, and control plate), I'll be getting from Bass Parts Resource. Then it'll be off to Luthier's Corner!
  2. PClark99

    PClark99 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Sounds like a cool project

    I have a 78 mustang that looks similar to what you are planning except it has a rosewood board.
  3. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Supporting Member

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    Feb 19, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester NY USA
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    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Sounds like a fun project but it might just be more cost effective to buy a Squire Mustang.
  4. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Maybe so, godofthunder59, but where's the fun in that? ;)

    Actually, since I got the Bronco for $90 with good tuners already, I'm going to end up at just over $200 when all is said and done. Also, I'm able to spread the part-buying out, instead of plunking down $280 all at once for a VM Mustang. I'd also still need to replace pots and wiring to get the VM up to snuff.

    Plus, I see it as more of a challenge this way, and I'll end up with exactly what I want in the end.
  5. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada

    Spot on, dude. Have fun with the project! I'm keen to see how it turns out
  6. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    It will be a cool project, but you're going to need to add a tiny bit of wood under where one of the mustang control plate screws will be. It's routed too wide under the bronco guard to seat all 3 screws. 2 will be fine, but the 3rd will need a small piece added to screw into. Shouldn't be hard to glue a piece in & drill a hole. :)
  7. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tip, but the Bronco body won't be an issue, as I'm making a totally new body out of some salvaged barn wood.
  8. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Here's a Photoshop mockup of what I'll be trying to accomplish:

    [​IMG]
  9. superHEAVYfunk

    superHEAVYfunk

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto
    The mockup looks good! I've got a bronco just sitting around... I'd been thinking about doing something with it but just haven't yet got around to it. I'm looking forward to seeing what yours looks like under that red poly finish!
  10. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    It sounds like you will have the whole bronco body left over then? sounds like you need to then build or buy a neck for that ;)
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Gotta yank that p'up ASAP - I own one of these things (okay, my GF's 12 year old boy "owns" it) and it is noisy as all get out. I dont' know who makes a good aftermarket mustang type p'up, though.

    Oh - and don't be shocked if the wood isn't what you hope it is. Poplar/basswood are not very pretty.
  12. Din Of Win

    Din Of Win

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    I 100% prefered my old Squire Bronco's nec, to the CiJ or vintage MiA Mustang's i've owned.

    If you end up keeping/playing the Bronco, for a while; grab a Seymore Duncan HotRailz pickup... That $70 investment resulted in one of the best sounding short scales i've ever owned!

    Have fun with the project!
  13. UK Philip

    UK Philip

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Yorkshire, England.
    the bass isn't my thing but i'm digging your decorating style.

    and nice pedal rack.
  14. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Want to sell me your bronco body, then? :p I want to make a 34" scale mustang. :D
    nataku333 likes this.
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    There's a looong thread here on TB with numerous variations of Bronco mods. Might be some nice ideas in there for you.

    The body sounds like an ambitious project - with used planks, you'll need to join two together...you'll need a planer to true up one side of each plank, then a nice glue job, and then a bandsaw and router plus some careful measurement to make a real body. Are you planning to leave the planks unfinished front and back, or sand them down and see how the wood looks?
  16. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    IIRC the Bronco has a narrower string spacing than the Mustang. It's probably just a function of the different bridges the two basses use and may be a necessity for the Bronco strat style pickup to work properly. However, it may be worth a check to confirm the neck width is the same on the two basses before you actually install the bridge or route the neck pocket.
    Regardless, neat plan, can't wait to see it finished.
  17. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    I've built a body from scratch before, so no worries there. I've got access to all the tools I need, as my brother-in-law builds sets for furniture catalogs, so he's got a whole woodworking shop.

    As for the finish, I'll have to wait and see what the wood looks like. I just talked to my dad yesterday about it, and he's going to try to have the wood cut and ready for me when I go down to Arkansas in July. Right now, I'm thinking about sanding down the front and leaving the back "rustic".
  18. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    It'll be a while, but I'll try to remember that once I've replaced the body this summer!
  19. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    It's fine the way it is, just for noodling around for a few months while I wait for the new body wood.
  20. reddog

    reddog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    Philly burbs
    Why not save your bronco?.. a bronco neck will be posted within a week

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