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Yamaha trb 6 refinishing project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by amadeusex, Sep 27, 2012.


  1. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    Hi

    For almost 17 years this bass was my main instrument.
    Thousands of gigs went by and this summer I decided to refinish it.

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    Countless dings and dongs, even some dents caused by famous people like a dent in the fretboard when the late Dave Carpenter dropped it.

    Step 1.

    Disassembly

    Not much to say/show here. A screwdriver is your friend. Lucky me the pickups and jack battery cables were all fitted with plugs like the ones used for fans on a computer mainboard. For someone like me who sucks big time when it comes to soldering that was a relief :)

    Step 2

    Stripping the old paint.

    Attempt 1 with a heat gun ...

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    Now that doesn't look good ...

    Attempt 2

    Using paint stripper i've had lying around from when i repainted my pool walls.

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    Now that looks better.

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    As you can see there is still some primer left on the wood, which some sanding and elbow grease took care of as you can see below

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    Same procedure for the neck

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    Now i decided in my noobness that it would be a good idea to use acrylic wood putty to make an even surface. Straight out of the box. Yeah i know NOW that this is not a good idea. Again some sanding did the job, below is a picture taken while sanding it away.

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    Step 3

    Make the grain pop out.

    Attempt 1

    I wanted to use wood stain but due to limited supplies here i turned to a stained varnish. Is was a black colored varnish, which i forgot to shake well (turns out you have to). Read the f.... manual. Iknow i'm a noob :)

    Here's what i got.

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    Now that i discovered that shaking the can will make that stuff really black i ended up with this (of course sanding down to the wood again, i'm a sanding master by now:)

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    Sanding down a bit

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    And off topic

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    Staining the neck (actually just the exposed part which shows below the fretboard and the headstock)

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    As you can see i used some tape to make everything right, but guess what ? I left out the holes for the tuning machines and some of that stuff went through. Nothing though what some SANDING couldn't take care of :)

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  2. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    Step 4

    Finish

    When I decided to refinish my beloved Yamaha I was aiming for a white see through finish. Back in the 90's while studying in LA I went downtown Pasadena, when I stumbled upon a band playing a coffeehouse gig.

    The bass player had a sadowsky with a very nice see through finish almost looking like some sort of marble (mainly because you could just see the grain beneath)

    After some www research I came across a video on the tube where a luthier demonstrated a technique using a mixture of artistic oil paint (linseed oil and pigments) and tru oil.

    Being totally inexperienced (noob) regarding any kind of spraying and the lack of a dustfree environment i went for that.

    I have to admit here that the whole procedure of caressing my old lady with my fingers had some sensual vibe to it. Wood porn at its best :)

    I should also mention that the first coating with the mixture didn't turn out the way it should. Mainly because i was using too much of that stuff.

    Some SANDING later ... down to the sealing (same brand as tru oil) fixed that :)

    Here are some pictures from the first cuple of coats (done the right way)

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    Even more coats later

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    This went on and on for maybe 2 days and a total of 10+ coats

    Here are some pictures after wet sanding pure tru oil and some more plain tru oil coats

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    I also sanded and finished the neck, but didn't take any pictures. Pure tru oil applied with the fingers - actually wearing rubber gloves (the kind physicians use) because i got tired of the hand cleaning procedure.

    Step 5

    Assembly. Screwdriver and some wrenches that's all.

    And here she is

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    As you can tell the neck is not done yet. The bass is with a luthier now to get some new frets and I'm out of tru oil. I'll finish her up as soon as she returns.

    Thanks for watching !
     
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  4. EmmanuelArroyo

    EmmanuelArroyo

    Mar 30, 2012
    WOW that looks very nice! :hyper:

    NOW GO AND :bassist: YOUR ASS OFF!
     
  5. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    Thanks ! You bet I will :)
     
  6. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Man that looks pretty.
     
  7. I love white basses, and this one is really nice
     
  8. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Thou shall not F*** up the groove Supporting Member

    Total respect for you mister! :hyper: Man, it was fantastic to read all your steps and see those pictures! I don't think it could have been better! :hyper:
     
  9. knarleybass

    knarleybass

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Disclosures:
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I would like to see that article
     
  10. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
  11. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    Thanks man ! Glad You liked it ;-))
     
  12. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Thou shall not F*** up the groove Supporting Member

    Your welcome :D Besides a different finish, is there anything else that you wanna change on the bass?
     
  13. amadeusex

    amadeusex

    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    Actually, I was about to swap the fretboard. I changed my mind the moment I played her. She's with a luthier now to get a fret job. ;-))
     
  14. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Thou shall not F*** up the groove Supporting Member

    Fret job is key!! Maybe different preamp or pickups?
     
  15. MattS

    MattS

    Jan 17, 2011
    Milford, CT
    seriously awesome dude. looks great!!!!
     
  16. Hahaha! This war really funny with your description of the events and the OT-picture! You are a brave man!
     
  17. I know it's an old thread but... what kind of stuff did you use for as a sealing.
    Do you put this on after the 'grain-popping' treatment en before de coloured or clear finish?
    I'm having ideas about sanding the old colour off my TRB5 and clearcoat the bass. But that white see-through :cool:
     
  18. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Wow, nice job for a NOOB. Can you refinish my 1991 Pedulla ? Haha
    TRB basses are really nice. Everything they make is really
    a quality product.
     



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