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Custom Top

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ptidwell, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. ptidwell

    ptidwell Commercial User

    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Owner LoPHAT Cabinets
    Forgive my ignorance about this.
    Can I put a custom top finish on my bass such as a Burl.
    My bass was shot with nitrocelleous and there is ware after a year especially on the pickups. Pat Wilkins can refinish the pickups with poly and match. But I was thinking about refinishing the whole bass with a burl top. Is it possible an affordable or am I wasting my time and money trying to have a beautiful finish along with great playability.

  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    A lot of things are possible, but it would not be a simple task, and it'd have a price tag to it, too.
    The following steps would be necessary:
    planing off the top
    precision-cutting a maple top
    gluing the pieces together
    refinishing the bass
    making new p-up covers.

    I think your bass looks great as it is. The 1/4" maple top would not add much to the tone, and even less to the wear-resistance.
    If you want to have less wear, be more careful with it and put a cloth over your belt buckle. Or maybe have someone refinish it with polyurethane, IMO/IME, it's more wear-resistant
  3. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Yeah, I'd be pretty weary to try to put a exotic top on it as hambone stated, it'd be EXTREMELY hard and labor intensive, and if you're looking to have a luthier (other than perhaps, yourself) do it, it'd probably cost more than getting a new custom designed and made w/an exotic top on it... IMO the look and finish that is currently on it is incredible, actually that translucent blue with the wood grain, I'd have to say its one of the best looking basses I've seen in a while...
  4. ptidwell

    ptidwell Commercial User

    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Owner LoPHAT Cabinets
    Thanks for the replies. This is good information, I see another F Bass in my future which will probably have a Burl Maple top.
    In the mean time I will have the pu refinished with poly.

    thanks again,