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!  

First attempt at a refinish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by skeptikal, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008
    What's kinda funny is you could of gotten a natural BB404 without doing all this because Yamaha made them in natural, too.
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If that is the case, so would I. It'll turn out much better if you do. If not, carry on.
  3. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    At the time I wanted a black bass and when I got my warwick I fell in love with natural woods. So the next bass I was "going to buy" would have been a natural wood. Long story short instead of buying one, I gave this a refinish.

    Thank you. See like the back there, I wasn't quite sure what the unfinished wood was supposed to look like. I thought it was kind of a cool texture and I had high hopes when it darkens. Lol call it a "unique bass"

    Since I'm already where I'm at I want to see how it ends up. It almost looks worn up close.

    I'll put a few coats before I take more pictures. I keep whole build logs of everything I do. On a car stereo forum I used to post we documented everything and head a thread just for builds and **** so I got picture crazy lol.

    You guys are great thanks for all the help!
  4. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    5th coat on yesterday, #6 should be going on later tonight. Sorry for the darkness. Crappy weather the last couple days here.


  5. ironrat


    Sep 24, 2008
    looks nice!
  6. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    thanks, the weather has been really crappy up here lately. and on the days it wasn't I played golf lol!

    I have this qualm about putting a coat of oil on when it's raining or wet in fear that it won't dry. Soon as we get some nice weather I'll be finishing this thing up!
  7. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    6 total coats of oil now. Rain started again and in the forecast for the next few days.

    Does the humidity really make that much of a difference if it's in a garage? I'm getting sick of only being able to do it like once a week now.

    Also i'm thinking all black hardware :)
  8. BryanSwift


    Jun 21, 2008
    SE MI
    Looking good man, I would say thumbs up on the black hardware... :)

    Oh and as far as the oil finish... Im a big fan of some deep dark walnut tones myself...

    Keep up the good work... :cool:
  9. aquamentus


    Apr 15, 2005
    Keokuk, IA
    Damn, now I want a project bass.
  10. The humidity in your garage is almost as hight as it is outside. The oil would trap some moisture under the finish. Wait until the humidity is below 50% or you may have to dry it in a oven. Looks nice. Does it have a veneer top?
  11. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN

    See I originally was going to stain it a deep cherry wood color with black hardware, but I wanted to try the natural oil first.

    Nah it doesn't have a veneer top. Just a solid alder body. The way I sanded it gave it this kind of 'worn' look on the front I'm really interested to see how it turns out.

    The indiana weeks right now are like SUNNY, RAIN, SUNNY, SUNNY, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN so I've basically been doing it every 3rd Sunny day lol. It's giving me time to figure out what kind of hardware I want in it.

    Definitely going with the black stuff :)
  12. Kenbuntu


    Jun 6, 2005
    Well since its raining, I'd go back a few steps and re-sand. Then back and the front around the bottom horn doesn't look blended. And by blended I mean, that you haven't gotten to the wood completely. I don't know if thats the wood itself but it definitely looks like the grain matches. You'll get something that looks warmer and more natural. Trust me and 62bass on this one. I don't crap about finishes but (62Bass does btw hes like a finish God) my dad had an old table he wanted to refinish. We did so, and it turned out like crap. Want to know why? That's right, it needed some more sanding. That and the varnish job was off. :p

    any way, goodluck!
  13. Stain usually is applied before the oil because the stain needs to penetrate the wood. Any oil applied whould prevent the stain from soaking in.
  14. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I meant first as in I wanted to see what it looked like.

    4 more coats of oil and this thing is going to be going back together!
  15. SKEPTIKAL, that is some AWESOME stuff you got there!

    Kudos for making it work! I have a BB-605 and I love it to bits. Matter of fact, I love it so much, that after 7 years of owning it, I gave up on finding a replacement. I actually sold a Warwick Thumb 5 bolt on, because it wasn't that different, and the MEC pickups were a sheer disappointment. Especially for a $1500 bass.

    Mine's really beat up (I calculated that I've done more than 100 gigs with it) but it holds up perfectly! Only some fret polishing a year back. So, in the near future I'm gonna order some Bartolini pickups from the US and coat it with some laquer. I ain't sellin it or trading it. It's my friend now)

    Here's my question do you have a stamp on the foot of the neck? When I first took the neck of to file the joint, it had a stamp that confused me. It said BB-5 (a long discontinued model with similar neck), then October 1991. And my bass was made in August 2001 according to the serial number. Do you have such stamp?

    Which electronics are you goin to put in? If you're gonna put some Bartolinis in there I would be so friggin grateful for a soundclip)

    Cheers from Russia!


    Attached Files:

    • 2.jpg
      File size:
      20.9 KB
    • 3.jpg
      File size:
      15.6 KB
  16. Looks like you are doing to a great job.

    Personally I would have left it alone, I think it looked good as it was, but that is just what I think and I'm sure you don't give a Shi$ what I think so I will say it looks great to be nice:smug:
  17. bobunit

    bobunit I'm here. Now what? Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Of course, if you are happy with the results that's all that matters. :)
  18. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I'll have to check. I thought the bottom of the neck said both BB404 and BB604 on it like it was an interchangeable neck or something. And funny you said that because I've been GAS'ing for a Thumb BO since I bought my 'vette. Maybe I'll rethink my options or save up some $$$ for one of them there streamers

    Well when I redid my squier I used the dimarzio ultra-jazz's and absolutely loved them. I've heard bartolini's are quite nice. I think I'm going to continue to leave this bass passive, so I'll need some good passive pickups. Anyone have any ideas?

    And thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions! I probably should have continued to sand the body down but I kind of like the way the 'worn' look is turning out and I just can't start over now! This isn't the last of my project basses :) . I like things to be unique. If I had the ka-honés I would do something like this to my warwick but that thing just plays and feels and looks too great. Maybe when I'm sure of my skills I'll go at it ;)3

    p.s.... nice rig bassilo
  19. skeptikal


    Jan 24, 2008
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I would have because about an hour into sanding i realized i wasn't getting anywhere and I about just put it back together like that lol.

    It was boring though... and I still blame it on guitar center and the stupid f*ckin salesmen.
  20. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Actually, it looks like there may be a veneer on the front and on the back. I have an old Yamaha RBX that came from the factory in a bumblebee yellow color. I did the same thing you're doing - I sanded all of the factory finish off, and applied multiple coats of Formby's Tung Oil. When I got down to the bare wood, I discovered that the core of the body was several pieces of semi-crappy looking wood (poplar?) sandwiched between two very thin layers of some sort of veneer. The veneer is most apparent in the transition to the tummy and forearm contours. I think I can see the same thing in your photos.

    Regardless, the Formby's did a good job of making the body look a lot more "boutiquey", if that's a word. It really enhanced the grain, and it darkened quite a bit over the years. I think this is a worthwhile project, since it costs next to nothing (except your labor). Keep it up!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.