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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by timmus, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. timmus

    timmus Supporting Member


    I am a new (sort of) upright owner, having had one in pieces for about 5 years. It was given to me by a guy that saw that the previous owner was about to toss it in the dumpster. This friend knew I'd been looking for one for quite sometime (I've been playing electric bass for about 20 years) so he stopped the guy from tossing it and called me...It was in very poor shape, neck snapped off, fingerboard all but held on by the top 4" or so, top and bottom separating (plytop), no nut, bridge, tail was there believe it or not as was the sound post rattling around inside and the peg was still on it. I bought the stuff it needed from Bob Gulliher (a great guy) a few years back and then it languished as the repair was over my head. I repair most of the stuff on my 8 electric basses but this repair was way outside my expertise.

    I have a friend that is a great luthier that felt sorry enough for me to glue the neck back on, repair the finger board and glued the scroll / peg box back on the neck where it had snapped off and cut very roughly the nut and bridge just to hold everything together enough for me to get it home in one piece. Now I have to do the finish work...dress up the nut so it's cut to the right depth, sand the feet on the bridge to fit the top of the bass better, maybe lower the top of the bridge a bit and cut better string slots on the bridge ..but all this to say that another old bass has been rescued.

    I'm not sure what kind it is. The luthier thinks it's either an old Kay or a Juzek...no sticker or identifier anywhere but the bass is held together with hide glue so it must be a decent bass...it sounds pretty good so far...I'm sure it'll sound better once it's setup better.

    I came here mostly to learn...I will spend most of my time for a while reading as there is a ton of info here to glean. As I said, I've been playing electric bass for years (fretted and fretless) and played in many bands over the years but I always wanted to learn to play the URB. I don't think 52 years old is too old to start. I know it's a whole different animal.

    Looking forward to meeting some of you in the future...

  2. Tim,

    You are right, 52 is not too old to start. I was 51 when I started two years ago.

    Post some pictures of your project when you can.

    And welcome to the fray.
  3. 400$Bass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Central Indiana
    Shucks you guys are just kids. I started playing at 56 and will be 57 in June 1st. (drurb send me a gift, no meds. please).

    This site is a treasure trove of help in everyway.

    Now with all you said about the condition of your Bass when it was rescued from the dumpster. For the life of me (of course I'm a rookie) how does an instrument get so trashed as that one was...could it have been just plain vandalized. Surely with the worst of treatment it wouldn't have been in such bad shape.

    When I was a wee lad I remember seeing a DB or two tied on top of cars...I'm sure there have been basses which separated from the top of the car and went bouncing down the road.

    Did you ever meet the guy who was going to put it in the dumpster? Thanks for the post enjoyed reading it.
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
  5. 400$Bass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Central Indiana
    :crying::bawl::crying::bawl::crying::bawl::crying::bawl::crying::bawl::crying::bawl::crying::rollno:I'm not worthy! Pass the pills...Mamma....
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    It's ok, just do better next year.
  7. welcome to the wonderful world of double bass Tim. 52 sound just bout right to me. I have been messing around on bass for quite a few years but only bit the bullet at 51 and went to a teacher to learn to use the bow. I am taking grade exams! I can't get enough of it. I am presently trying to form a community orchestra so that I can get to play classical stuff as well as jazz. Enjoy!:hyper:
  8. timmus

    timmus Supporting Member

    Thanks guys,

    Here's a few pictures of the bass. I don't know the original owner but the current rumor goes that it fell down a flight of stairs and this is what it looked like at the foot of those stairs. I should also note that the front and back were separated from the sides from the neck joint (both sides) to about halfway to the bout.

    I glued the split scroll with carpenter's glue, probably a no-no and probably should've used marine epoxy but I didn't have any around. That's where I stopped. The luthier friend of mine did the rest correctly.

    no pix of the bass back together here with me but I'll post some later on...

    meanwhile; to the slide show...

    Pic #1 the bass as I received it...

    Pic #2 the neck joint. the dovetail shims were so clean that the luthier was able to reuse one of them and the other he was able to use as a pattern to make another.
  9. timmus

    timmus Supporting Member

    ...and a couple more.

    Gluing the scroll / peg box back together. I probably should've used marine epoxy...

    You can see where the fingerboard has separated. That separation actually went about 3/4 of the way up the FB. The luthier actually removed the complete FB and reglued it in place.
  10. timmus

    timmus Supporting Member

    and still a few more...

    you can see that the neck came off fairly cleanly. The piece from the front of the bass that sits across the wide part of the front of the neck pocket broke off, fairly cleanly. I will clean up the break and glue in a piece and stain/varnish it so bare wood doesn't show.

    Also, less clear is the scroll / peg box (it's a bit blurry) but you can see the lengthwise crack.
  11. timmus

    timmus Supporting Member

    ...and my gaggle of other basses, etc in my music room.Since this picture was taken, I've acquired an Ibanez ASB-140 semi-hollow body. Not a bad bass for the money.

    You can see the URB languishing on the floor sans neck...it was there for about 3-4 years until I got tired of tripping over it.

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