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FrankenFender (It's Alive!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowendgenerator, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Sorry about the cheeseball title, but I'm really excited about my new monster. It's a MIM P-bass neck mated to an Essex P-body. I was going to try to do a tasteful 'relic' on it, but I have adult ADD so it quickly turned into a hackfest. I spent a few weeks working the clear off the body with a chisel and straightedge. Between chipping sessions I alternated between the hot July sun and the cold confines of my freezer. I guess I was trying to 'distress' the body. I'm not sure if I accomplished anything by that, but it was fun to torture the poor thing. The neck I got for free from a friend whom I've built and repaired several guitars and basses. So if you're wondering why the body looks like hell and the neck looks ok, that's why.

    It was no easy task fitting the neck to the body, even though everything measured out to be right. The neck pocket was too shallow, so I had to dremmel some wood out. I did this with the new Allparts pickguard in place, it acted as a template and actually lined up right where I needed it. The sides of the pocket had to be sanded just a touch, there was some paint and misc. debris roughing it up in there. When it came time to mount the neck to the body, I hit a huge snag. The huge action I was getting from the SX neck was actually coming from a bad neck route. The pocket was not level, it was aiming the neck up like a ramp. No amount of truss rod tweaking was going to cure that, so it had to get shimmed. I played with some steel shim stock that I 'borrowed' from work, but it was not cooperating. I have no wood thinner than a half inch, so I had to get creative. I ended up using 2 picks glued into the bottom of the neck. Talk all the smack you want about how that's not 'the right way' but it worked. The neck lines up perfectly now, and the tone has not been affected IMO.

    The theme of this project has been 'Keep it cheap!', and I think I met that goal. I bought the bass for $62 on eBay, got the neck for free, spent $20 on a pickguard, and $25 on tuners. $107 invested so far, I'd say that's cheap!

    Here's a before shot:


    and here's the aftermath:



    No close ups yet, I'll get those in some natural light. I never really finished the 'relic', I sorta just ran out of steam and said ****it. There's no clearcoat, so what paint is left will wear quickly and naturally.

    It sounds huge and beautiful, like Monique! (lol). It's louder than both my Ibanez and my MIM Deluxe Jazz.

    To those of you who took the time to read this whole she-bang, thank you.
  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I dig it!
    Any shots of the back?
  3. Thunderwood


    Mar 20, 2007
    Delafield, WI
    Get a MIJ 62 P Neck and you could fool me into thinking it's vintage.
  4. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Thats really cool man - i like it a lot.
  5. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    thats a pretty sweet bass
  6. Mmmm, you've got flats on that? Looks real nice.
  7. somebody left the chestnuts in the oven for too long.loving the burnt look.
  8. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
  9. Whoa :O
    That looks amazing :D
    Are there any tips on relicing an instrument? I've been dying to give it a shot :)
  10. giglawyer

    giglawyer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    Play it so much that you sweat and bleed on it for about 15 to 20 years. Use it to whack a few unruly bar patrons about the head and shoulders. Spill a few dozen beers on it. That should get you started.


    (I guess I just don't get this relicing thing.)
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Why do people who don't like relicing find it to be their duty to share completely unwanted comments? I think it looks cool, very nice work! I think the pickguard kind of throws it off a little, maybe get a tortoise shell guard or discolored white one?
  12. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Agreed. Personally, I don't like the relicing thing, but it's HIS bass, he can do whatever he wants to it. Back in my Punk days in the late 70s/early 80s I destroyed several Fender P-basses that would be worth a small fortune now, but hey, they were mine and I felt like smashing 'em up.
  13. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    maybe too good of a job, maybe a little too relic'd IMHO. I have definately been a convert, at first i thought it was stupid now im more into the look. I still do think its stupid that fender charges and arm and a leg for them to do it, but if you want to do it yourself, awesome.
  14. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Why do folks who love relicing whine and complain whenever someone says that they are not a fan of the practice?
  15. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    When someone says "I'm not a fan of it, but cool!" Then that's fine.

    it's the people who chime into the threads who think they have the voice of God. Saying "I think it's gay, just play your regular bass blah blah"
    People who CRITICIZE other people's relic jobs are out of line. They have no right.
    Simply stating that you aren't a fan is fine.
  16. That's a Great bass. . . . love the look.
  17. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    I like it :)

    Looks good Lowend..

    But we need more pics :)
  18. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    It's just opinion, and who are you to say which and whose opinions are "out of line"? Some might say that you are the one claiming to be the "voice of God" when you attempt to stand in arbitration over who has a right to say what they think and who doesn't.
  19. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    Here we go again another relic thread about to turn bad

    You dont like it we understand, thats fine its your opinion, move on.. No need to post stuff in this thread is there.:rollno:
  20. Relax, it's a forum!:)

    Comments around here fly fast and furious, whether you agree with them or not, and they have every right to express their opinion.

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