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Squire P Bass gets a new lease on life

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassgod76, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    I recently acquired a Squire P Bass for $30 from a dude on Craigslist. I wasn't really holding out that much hope for this low cost addition, but I thought it would be a fun mod platform.

    [​IMG]

    I took it to Kevin Kaufman to have him check it out. I really didn't want to dump a bunch of parts into something with a structural crack or tweaked neck.

    I don't know what Kevin did, but this bass played and sounded like a dream. It's old and beat up, but it has a ton of character. Plus it bumps.

    With a few mods, this thing will rock.

    First, tear down.
    I was told that the bass was from the Early 1990's, but the stamp says December 2000. What surprised me was the amount of crud and debris in the neck pocket.

    [​IMG]
  2. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Upon further inspection I noticed the signs that this bass was an inexpensive import.

    First, many of the screws for the pick guard were drilled twice, like the manufacturer screwed up.

    [​IMG]

    Filling the voids with toothpicks.

    [​IMG]

    So I broke out wood glue and toothpicks and went to work. I decided to fill all the holes and start fresh. I took a power sander and leveled out the glued toothpicks.

    [​IMG]
  3. blendermassacre

    blendermassacre

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    gotta love mod platform for 30 bucks. I wouldn't be surprised if the pickguard holes were from someone putting a different pickguard on it that was for MIM or mia or something else.
  4. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    I hate those cheap, small diameter Squire tuners. They usually break, and their small stems on that big Fender headstock make it look disproportionate. I will be adding some Hipshots I had laying around. The difference between the Squire and Hipshot tuners is like night and day.

    [​IMG]

    Another example of cheap hardware on Squire instruments. Notice the fake screws that don't actually go into the wood.

    [​IMG]
  5. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    The small holes in the headstock will require me to plug them and re-drill Fender sized holes. Besides, I love having an excuse to use a drill press. To get the dowel rods to fit, I had to drill the headstock holes slightly larger. :hyper:

    [​IMG]

    The dowel rods go in with some coaxing.

    [​IMG]
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Gravity Picks
    Man, this shows the new Squiers are like Foderas against this old stuff.. Wow!
  7. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    After sanding the rods down, the neck is put away to dry.

    [​IMG]

    Turning my attention back to the body; I've always wanted to try installing thru-body stringing on a bass. I have an American Fender Deluxe bridge on hand, I realize I will have to fill some holes to accommodate a three-hole deluxe bridge.

    [​IMG]
  8. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Just a BassGuy! Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool Project!
  9. GerManson

    GerManson Supporting Member

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    suscribed!!
  10. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    After many measurements and two practice runs with scraps, I fire up the drill press again. I did the top string-thru holes, and filled two of the original mounting holes.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the last of the holes on the back to fit the ferrules. The idea of the tape was to minimize chipping.

    [​IMG]
  11. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    After some dremel usage, the holes are ready for their ferrules. There's a little chipping around the hole, but I think the lip on the ferrule will cover it.
    Not too bad for a ******. ;)

    [​IMG]

    I haven't drilled the other two screw holes for the bridge as I am waiting for the toothpick/glue filled hole to dry.

    The ferrules fit nicely.

    [​IMG]
  12. speedkills

    speedkills

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    No wonder so many people have an anti-Squier attitude!! What junk hardware and those fake screws?!?!?! ***??

    My Squier P (2006) is NOTHING like that!!
  13. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    When I started playing, Squire was such a crap instrument. The quality is so much better nowadays. Hopefully with some TLC, this bass will match her newer counterparts.
  14. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    I just bought my electronics today! I hope to have her shielded by Sunday. Combined with the SD 1/4 Pounders I bought, this should sound and feel nice.
  15. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    This weekend was very productive for my Squire project. I Sanded down the body, because the finish looks so thick, bright, and cheap looking. I also decided to try some relicing. She doesn't look so "importish" anymore.

    [​IMG]

    The rear

    [​IMG]


    I also finished mounting the bridge. Looks pretty nice to me.

    [​IMG]
  16. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Also, I filled and re-drilled new holes for the pickguard. Next, I cleaned up that dirty-ass neck pocket. It seems that the factory left the old tape residue used to mask the neck pocket during paint.

    [​IMG]

    After I did that, I prepped the cavity for shielding. I got rid of some of the rough paint and wood patches that would hamper the shielding from sticking to the cavity.

    [​IMG]
  17. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Lastly, I shielded the cavity and pickguard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I went to install the pickups, but the mounting holes were drilled so badly that the screws were stressing the mounting ears on the pickup covers.

    I will fill and redrill holes, later this week.
  18. THand

    THand Supporting Member

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    subscribed!
  19. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers

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    Man this is awesome,and you're one of the few people who would spend this much time into a pos bass like that.I couldn't believe their were fake screws. But hey if it turns it into a killer bass? Why not? You've spent probably what 60-70 bucks so far? mostly electronics.
  20. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    I had a lot of the parts on hand, so I only had to buy ferrules and pickups. The pickus were $80, but I had a $50 GC. Including the parts I had on hand, and setup labor, this will cost me $300. Not bad for a bass which I know ruled, before.

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