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Yamaha trb 6 refinishing project

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

  1. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

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    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 Supporting Member

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    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 !
  3. EmmanuelArroyo

    EmmanuelArroyo

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    WOW that looks very nice! :hyper:

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

    amadeusex Supporting Member

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    Thanks ! You bet I will :)
  5. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Man that looks pretty.
  6. Emibass

    Emibass

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    I love white basses, and this one is really nice
  7. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit

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    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:
  8. knarleybass

    knarleybass

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    Disclosures:
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I would like to see that article
  9. reverendrally

    reverendrally

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  10. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

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  11. amadeusex

    amadeusex Supporting Member

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    Thanks man ! Glad You liked it ;-))
  12. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit

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

    amadeusex Supporting Member

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    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

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

    MattS

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    seriously awesome dude. looks great!!!!
  16. Atalante

    Atalante

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    Hahaha! This war really funny with your description of the events and the OT-picture! You are a brave man!
  17. fendurt

    fendurt

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    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

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    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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