1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

1939 Kay - New To Me

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by B. Graham, May 28, 2003.

  1. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Hey All,

    It has been years, but I have finally gotten back to the upright with my new bass. It's resurrection was finished yesterday. The pics are at the following link. One picture is attached.


    There are before, after, and finished pics.


    Bill Graham
  2. Beautiful job! I'm going to attempt an Englehardt facelift this summer and I hope it looks half as good.

    What kind of varnish did you use?

    Was the bass playable before the rehab? If so, did you notice a difference in tone before/after?
  3. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Thanks. I can't take credit for the restoration however. A luthier up in Asheville NC did it for me. I'm not sure of the varnish he used, but his site is:


    It was trashed (pic link on the original post) when I found it. The neck was seriously broken. It's got two carbon steel pins in it now. The tone has a lot of depth, and it pretty "woody". It's been a long time away from the big bass, but I think I've got a good one.
  4. I noticed in the before photos that the scroll on the headstock was missing. Did you have those glued on pieces or did they have to be recreated?
    My 1950 Kay M-1 is missing the scroll on the right side (looking at the bass from the front). Just wondering if I could replace mine too.
    I'm not far from you in Burlington, NC. Hi Neighbor! Bobby
  5. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Good to meet ya'. The scroll ears were knocked off. The luthier got the replacements from Englehart. He had to clean up the scroll, but they new ones went on great.

    I think there's a luthier in Greensboro:

  6. SleeperMan2000


    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    30 Hurts (40 Stings...)

    I'm in Cary NC and I have a 50's Kay Bass. Got it set up at High Strung on Ninth Street in Durham. Welcome to the board.
  7. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    That's prettier than any Kay I've ever seen. Gives me something to shoot for in my restoration project.
  8. Sorry! I guess the piles of fiddles and bows in the backgroud should've been my tip-off. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for posting the great pics.

  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Outstanding. Thanks for sharing. That's a very nice bass.

    I'd love to see closeups of the neck repair. I have seen tons of Kay/Engelhardt repairs and each seems to be unique. But since the repair was done before the refin, it may not be that visable.

    I noticed the new machines. Did you replace the fingerboard?

  10. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Glad you folks like it.

    The machines are new. I like these better than the Tyrolean models; the gear is bigger, etc.

    The fingerboard is pretty thin and needs to be replaced, but I am out of cash now. Other than that, I'll put a Realist pickup in it as soon as possible.

    I'm waiting on some more pictures from the luthier. He took a lot of "distinguishing marks" pics for insurance, and I believe he took one of the neck break repair.

    Thanks again. I'll post news of more pictures when I get them.

  11. SleeperMan2000


    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    I put a Bass Master Pro on my Kay and I really like the results. Let me know if you want a demonstration.
  12. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Bass Master Pro pickup? I've just started looking. My former teacher always used, and still does, Underwood's.

    Right now the bigger issue is the fingerboard I think. I've got a good quality large diaphram condensor mic to use until, and after, I get a pickup.

  13. 30hz,

    That a beautiful job you had done on your old Kay, congratulations!
    By the way, Bobby Bass, if you read this, I can endorse the work of the Bob Beerman at the Bass Violin Shop in Greensboro. He did a fingerboard dressing for me on my 1951 Kay last week and it's fantastic. Since you're right there in Burlington, you should definitely look him up. (I'm in Charlotte, but have a daughter who attends Elon.) Good luck
  14. I know Bob Beerman, I bought my bass from him when he was at Artley Violins in Gibsonville. My business is in Gibsonville 2 blocks away. Haven't gotten to his shop in Greensboro yet. But I have talked to him on the phone. Got to make a drive when I find a little time. Great Guy! I live just outside of Elon on the North Western side of Burlington. Glad to be a part of this great group of people on Talk Bass.
  15. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I'm sure I'll be visiting Bob again in Greensboro.

    I've found a few fingerboard options today. Most are round, which I've not played before. But since I'm just starting out again on upright I can learn just as easily on round as I can on beveled.

Share This Page