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Check out my 1960 Fender Precision - bass at a crossroads

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by squarewave, Oct 15, 2013.


  1. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    Hi,

    This bass had the most horrible house paint refinish done to it about 15 years ago. I was able to strip it back to wood without doing any sanding.

    I believe it to be entirely original, other than one bridge screw (missing), a few pick guard screws (too shiny), and the grounding wire (purple).

    It has the slab fingerboard and clay dots. Penciled marks date it to 1960. The dates on the potentiometers are early 1960.

    The only thing that bothers me about the bass is a little bit of residual red color evident on the back of the neck. I haven't sanded it at all yet, so I'm hoping a [DEL]light sanding [/DEL]bleaching will take the residual color away.

    I believe the original color was some sort of red, due to some color found in the control cavity. It could also be Burgundy Mist Metallic, which is one of my favorites from the era.

    I think the next step will be to send it to RS guitars, John K, Mark Jenny, or some other pro refinisher that specializes in vintage Fenders. It plays and sounds great, and is very lightweight.

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  2. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    BEAUTY!!!
     
  3. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    A few more photos...

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  4. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    What a beauty!
     
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    nice bass! it's hard to say what color it was originally since there isn't much evidence of the orig paint. i'd have to see it up close and personal to try and determine what color it might have been.
     
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    oh, and rather than sanding any wood away (since the previous refinish may have removed some already), I use wood bleach to remove any stains that are embedded in the wood, then I sand them with 320 grit to get is smooth and ready for paint.
     
  7. Oh, man. I'd have to go with Fender's Coral Pink(?). Although Burgundy Mist is quite fetching, also. Those remnants of some kind of red-ish color in the pics reminds me of the old Coral finishes from Fender.

    Come to think of it, did Fender ACTUALLY offer Coral Pink/Red(?) as a color? Well, I know they did, but, as for knowing the official name they called it, I haven't the slightest. Beautiful bass. Don't ever sell it.
     
  8. Can't wait to see how it ends up for you..(it's beautiful already!)
     
  9. Nothing tops sunburst, I tell you that much :)

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  10. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    Yes, I had heard of this technique. I didn't do any sanding, figuring I'd leave it to a pro.

    .
     
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 I like it, grats!
     
  12. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just going to bring up the point that unless the guard is not original, then it was most likely sunburst, or possibly white. It's my understanding that during the 1960s, Tortoise Shell was used on Sunburst and White, while any custom colour received a parchment/white guard (except for 1960, the white guard wasn't introduced until '61). So that casts doubt on whether it was Burgundy Mist or Coral Pink, though there's no reason you couldn't have it redone in that (I'd go with Burgundy Mist, it's my favorite custom colour).
     
  13. pbass888

    pbass888 Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    New York, NY
    see my post of johns work on my 64 which was varnished sparyed with 'stick um' apparently and in dire shape...his work is tops. Your bass looks great though...love the board!
     
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yessir: johnk_10 is a guy you should certainly talk to about doing your resto work.
     
  15. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    +1. 80-90% of them were 3TSB in 1960, and I personally think that this one was 3TSB. I think that that I can see tiny traces of the yellow in some of the pics. and if the previous refinisher used acetone to remove it, the red could have 'bleeded' into the wood.

    that said, when I had my shop, I did have a customer that was the original owner of very unique an all original, stock 1960 P that looked really strange to me. it was 2TSB and had a stock parchment guard on it so I guess fender actually did have the white/parchment guard available in 1960 but rarely would you see one.

    i also have a 1960 p that i'm in the process of restoring right now (it was stained walnut like so many of them were). it's owner wants it refinned back to it's original 3TSB color.
     
  16. Are you going for a relic finish or not?

    My vote is Sonic Blue!

    Davo
     
  17. The "2TS" is a 3TS, but with the red band faded. Many Fenders from '59 and '60 had that issue, that the red dye faded very fast.

    http://home.provide.net/~cfh/59strat.html
     
  18. bh2

    bh2

    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    heh... sonic bue is my fave colour but it wont go with the tort... I'd go burst.

    Super bass... lovely.
     
  19. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I basically did the same thing to my 64 jazz bass. Someone had given it the most godawful poly finish (is there another kind of poly finish?). Had it stripped and opted for a tung oil finish. If were my p bass that's what I'd do.
     
  20. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    I end up selling almost everything. This one will likely find a new home at some point. I'm well into my midlife crisis, and need a sports car.
     

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