Yamaha trb 6 refinishing project

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


  1. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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 ...

    [​IMG]

    Now that doesn't look good ...

    Attempt 2

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now that looks better.

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    Same procedure for the neck

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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:)

    [​IMG]

    Sanding down a bit

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And off topic

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    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)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even more coats later

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 !
  3. EmmanuelArroyo

    EmmanuelArroyo

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

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

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Athens Greece
    Thanks ! You bet I will :)
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Man that looks pretty.
  7. Emibass

    Emibass

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Media:
    4
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    I love white basses, and this one is really nice
  8. Thomas Kievit

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

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    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 Supporting Member

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

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
  11. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Athens Greece
  12. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Athens Greece
    Thanks man ! Glad You liked it ;-))
  13. Thomas Kievit

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

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Your welcome :D Besides a different finish, is there anything else that you wanna change on the bass?
  14. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    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. ;-))
  15. Thomas Kievit

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

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Fret job is key!! Maybe different preamp or pickups?
  16. MattS

    MattS

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Milford, CT
    seriously awesome dude. looks great!!!!
  17. Atalante

    Atalante

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hahaha! This war really funny with your description of the events and the OT-picture! You are a brave man!
  18. fendurt

    fendurt

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Location:
    Zwolle (The netherlands)
    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:
  19. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    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.

Share This Page