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Thunderbird Output jack

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by skot71, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    First off, I'm not a bass player, but my son is. I'm his bass tech/roadie. He had been looking for a Thunderbird bass. Found one (2007 Goth Thunderbird) in a music store that had the output jack pushed through the body. Jack, wires, and back cover plate missing, along with some wood where the jack was. Otherwise, not a mark on it. Paid 70 dollars. Bought a jack and wired it up. Plays fine. For the time being, I had a large circular plastic piece that I drilled a hole for the jack, and used another underneath in the control cavity. He wants me to paint this bass. Now would be the time to repair the place where the jack pushed through. I wondered about 1/8" plywood, which would require routing, gluing, and sanding, which I could do. My question is should I or do I need to? Are there any Thunderbirds that do have a circular plate similar to a Flying V plate? Just looking for any thoughts here. The black plate I have on there will match the black hardware. Thanks!!!!
  2. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Pictures would help. If you go for the repair (and this would be the time to do it), I would try to match the body wood so that the finish would have the most chance of coming out the same.
  3. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    I don't have a pic of it yet. Bought it on friday, fixed it on saturday, and he played it at church on sunday. If I do fix it, should I be concerned about matching the wood? This will be painted. I figured on lightly sanding the flat black paint that's on there, painting on white primer, then the metallic blue he picked out.
  4. skot71

    skot71 Guest

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  6. if it were me and I paid $70 for that, I would plug the hole with a piece of maple (making sure I get a good bond) and fill, prime and paint. I can't tell how thick the body is there, but probably not very. Maybe making a scab as well as a plug if you have room in the cavity.
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I would build a router sled, and take about 1/4" off the body all the way to the edge leaving a straight line to butt your patch piece up to. Then use a 1/4" piece of maple for the patch piece. You can the use a pattern bit on your router to trim the patch to match the body. Re drill your hole, spray the finish and you are done.
  8. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    Yeah, he's not in it for much money. He mainly plays his Fender P-Bass, so if it takes a while, it's no big deal.

    The body isn't very thick at all. My other thought was to glue a thin piece underneath in the control cavity, then use body filler. I have an old Ibanez Destroyer bass that was BEAT on, that I used body filler on. Worked real well for it, but not sure how it would be around the jack hole. That would eliminate the routing. I don't own a router, only a dremel, but my father-in-law has a router. Haven't used one since high school though. Thoughts on the body filler route? Thanks for your input guys!
  9. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    Oh, and bobdabilder, can you tell me what the definitions of scab and plug are, as they relate to this fix?
  10. hopkins had a great idea as well. you're going to need to smooth out that hole and make it uniform so whatever you plug it with will bond well.
    a plug can be as simple as a dowel (gonna get flamed for that) and a scab would cover the plug and it would be bigger than the plug (dowel) and be glued to the body in the cavity. I'll try to demonstrate

    below is a scab with a plug protruding from it. the plug sticks through the rounded hole in the body and the scab portion and the plug are bonded to the bass with glue. (so you have to clean up the surfaces etc)
              |            |
              |            |
    if this isn't clear, i'll draw a picture and post it. lemme know.
  11. Arial Bender

    Arial Bender

    Oct 28, 2012
    Largo Fla.
    Just put a strat style jackplate on it.

    Attached Files:

  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If you go that route, I would skip the body filler and use an epoxy instead. I would use a barrel jack through the side of the body instead of trying to install it through the repair.
  13. ^^ +1. a large drill bit (forstner etc) may get you close on a dowel to fit that. epoxy is the way to go for strength.

    let me clarify: wood glue is the ticket if you have nice even surfaces. if you're plugging uneven, poorly fitting surfaces, fill it with epoxy.
  14. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    Thanks guys!! I'll look at it more to decide what to do. I'll try to take a better pic tonight. Never thought of putting a jack through the side of the body. Hmmmm.....
  15. skot71

    skot71 Guest


    Here's a pic of the damage. I think because the wood is so thin here, I'm going to do what Hopkins suggested and put a barrel jack through the side of the body. I'll glue a piece of wood inside the body, and fill the void with either body filler or epoxy. Thanks for all the advice!!
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That's a pretty common problem. Mahogany isn't the toughest wood out there, and they have to make the wood pretty thin at that point so the jack will fit.
  17. skot71

    skot71 Guest


    Glued in some 1/8" plywood. Did what bobdabilder suggested. Filed the hole somewhat smooth. Glued a large piece inside the control cavity, and shaped a piece to fit into the hole. The piece inside the hole does not come up flush, so I'll put some body filler in there, let it dry, and sand it smooth. That lets me know that the wood the jack pushed through was only 1/8" thick. Once everything is dry, I'll drill a hole for the barrel jack and proceed with painting. Thanks for the advice guys!!
  18. Looks good. Post the final pics so we can have a look.
  19. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    Will do! Scored some free pickguard material from the sign shop at the University I work at. I'd seen engraved signs outside the doors of the rooms in my building. Asked the lady that runs the sign shop if she had any scrap pieces she was throwing away. Got some black/white (kinda off white) and some bright white. Ought to be fun to play around with.
  20. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass skot71.

    Great score, and the repair patch is looking good.

    If You decide going on the barrel jack route, do buy Neutrik and do buy 2 or 3 while you're at it.

    Unless that's the only thing that I have, I'll never use a barrel jack though.
    Or if the location is such that it's the only feasible one to use.

    Even Neutrik will give You IME 2 years max on regular use.
    On irregular use thye may last a bit longer (have one in my DB tailpiece), but it's handy to have a spare ready in any case.

  21. skot71

    skot71 Guest

    Thanks for the info T-Bird! I ordered a jack online. May find a Neutrik to have on hand when the one I ordered fails. :) Can you tell me the reason you don't like them? I have not drilled the barrel jack hole yet, so it's not too late for this bass!

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