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about to cut and reshape a P-bass body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wade10987, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Hello fellow Bassists,

    I have a Squier Affinity P-Bass from '01 that I really would like to customize. I have been posting questions on here this week about electronics and hardware. Thanks for all your input so far.
    I decided on a Badass II bridge (Thanks Jarrod Cunningham!) and DiMarzio DP 127s.

    It has also been defretted. Neck is varnished and looking classy.

    Now I have really wanted to enter the woodshop and do some subtle cutting and sculpting of the body. I am thinking a Jazz Bass lower body contour on the left side. Then thin the horns a LITTLE so they are more curvey and graceful and have a sanded, curved edge instead of the P Bass slab style. I was also thinking of shaping the bottom horn to point "off" a little like a Schecter Stiletto.

    I already have a Cherry Mahogany stain and it will look great on Alder.
    I plan to do this soon. I will definitely be measuring twice and cutting once. Also I plan to cut minimally at first so I don't take it too far or make it look to weird or radical.

    What kinda advice do you have to offer on sculpting a cheap old P bass body? Anybody been here before?

  2. Is the body already stripped? If not, don't count on it being a nicely matched 2 or 3 piece slab. It might be ok underneath that paint...or it might be ugly.

    Also, are you sure the '01 Affinity Ps are alder and not agathis?
  3. 68camaro


    May 31, 2010
    West Central MN
    Can't wait to see some pics. I have an uncle who works miracles with wood and I always thought about having him make something for me. I'll have to dig on here to see what the possiblities are. Good luck!
  4. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Check out my items for sale in the classifieds! Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
  5. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Ghostdog93: I had thought of that. If this is a nasty piece of wood then I plan to just do a solid paint job (since I already had the stain that won't be an economic waste).

    Thanks for the nods camaro and Gord oh.
  6. By all means try to sculpture that body a little.

    I took a tracing of a VM-Jaguar and rounded it more like an Ibanez SR500 body and got the following:::


    Here's the whole online album if you like. I know it has too many pixs of routers and Dremels, but it might be interesting.

  7. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    If you havent done so allready. Make a full size drawing of the intended body. Make 2 copies. One to be colored, the other as a spare. If you can find onion skin paper or other thin see thru paper. Also trace the full size body on it. This sheet is most useful for seeing exactly where youd be cutting etc on the body to make the mods.

    Seeing the lifesize drawing helps one to make little tweaks to it if desired and to reaffirm the idea will look good etc outside fantasy.
  8. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL

    After researching I am quickly realizing how optimistic I was while predicting the wood underneath. It likely is Agathis. I had it in my mind that it would be alder. So that red mahogany wood stain might go unused for now. I DID find some awesome colors from reranch.com. Their Inca Silver looks unique. The dark red is nice too. Leaning towards the Inca Silver.
  9. That's a real cool looking bass. Nice work.
  10. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I have started to sand away and I already found a joint between two slabs. The wood is a little blondish/tan. How will I know if it is agathis vs alder? I don't have a camera so I can't show you.
  11. More than likely it's agathis, if it's an Affinity series made from 2000-to the present.
  12. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Do you happen to know how agathis stains?

  13. I HEAR that agathis takes stains in a very poor and unpredictable way. It might color in one area and resist any colorization in another.

    @ Wade10987:::


    It was a treat to build and I really think anyone worried about woods and the differences in it in a finished product, take a look at the first few pixs in that folder I posted.

    That's all scrap 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s in either Douglas Fir or Hemlock from a house remodel I worked on a year ago or so.
  14. That depends on the cut and the grain, and it could take the stain well. However, agathis usually requires a good amount of grain filler and/or sealer, so if the body does take the stain, be prepared for multiple coats of clear finish.

    Or, if you decide to paint, you might need to apply a few different coats of grain filler and sealer before the primer and color coats.
  15. Wade10987


    Sep 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    So I spent about an hour in the wood shop today. I am really happy about the shape I made the bass body into. It looks pretty sweet!
    This is going to take a while to sand. A while....

    I had a hard time utilizing the belt sander. The sanding strips were too thin on the vertical running one. There was a horizontal sanding belt or two, but it was hard to angle the horns (the main part I cut on the bass). Since the horns are curved, it was hard to provide a smooth sanding because the belts are straight.

    So I guess I am sanding the horns down by hand.
  16. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    Work in progress pics!
  17. JonahTheAmazing


    Dec 19, 2010
    I really like the picture posted above. That's really something, makes a fender style look crazy neat, even though the change is quite minimal. Totally looking forward to the finished project, sir!
  18. +1 That really does look cool. I like the controls.
  19. Thanks - I had one of my 2AM epiphanies and that's what happened.

    Somebody told me it was a NACA scoop from a car of some sort - and I guess it was - but I didn't know it until it was pointed out to me that was what I had designed.
  20. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    That came out very nice for shape