Hey everyone, I work for a professional remodeling company in MN. We have a finish and paint shop where one of my co-workers has refinished a few of his Strats... They're beautiful. So, I've decided to refinish my MIM Deluxe Active P Bass Special. It has a maple fretboard, with a gloss black body and a gold pickguard. I've always loved the look of a natural finish and I'd love to strip the black finish down to the bare alder and put a nice dark walnut-ish stain with a satin finish on it. I'm also planning on replacing the pickguard with one made out of an exotic (but not too crazy looking) wood and giving that a more medium colored stain (not as dark as the body but darker than the neck and fretboard). With that general plan in mind, I'd also like to replace the stock bridge with a beefier one for better, thicker sustain. I love the way my bass sounds now (through my vintage Bassman it sounds like a dream) but I know it doesn't have as long of a sustain as it could (as people who have upgraded bridges have said). I'm looking into the Schaller 3D or the LQ Badass II, so if you guys have any input on those (or any suggestions on non-obscenely expensive alternatives), it would be appreciated! I don't think I'm going to change the pickups at all (being a Special it has the PJ setup), but if you have some suggestions that are super awesome and you feel that I need to upgrade, then feel free to throw out those suggestions too. My Rig (in case anyone wants to know) Bass - 2010 MIM Fender Deluxe Active P Bass Special - D'Addario Chromes Flatwound strings (medium) Amp - 1979 Fender Bassman Ten Pedals - Sansamp Deluxe Bass Driver DI (for overdrive and extra pre-amp) - Visual Sound Volume Pedal - EHX POG 2 - Boss TU-3 tuner - Line 6 Echo Park delay (for volume swells) - MXR M87 compressor Genres I play: - Alternative rock - Ambient/Post rock - Indie rock Random things: - I like my bass to have a more mellow sound, not super punchy but definitely some boomy thump. - I usually have the pickups (both the P and J are on the bass) pretty balanced but more towards the P side. So basically, I'm looking for some general luthier/DIY advice on the best way to take my bass (and electronics) apart in a safe way to make sure that when I put it back together it will be as good as it is now. I'm a carpenter so I know my way around working with wood (cabinets and furniture) but have never messed with any of my instruments. Any other advice on good woods for pickguards, luthier training, electronics help or bridge opinions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!