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Guitar Fetish Pbass Kit/Pauwlonia

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JoeVictim, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. So I decided to put together this kit mainly because I don't have a ton of money to get a lightweight bass and this looks to be a cheap, under 7lb solution.

    Here's the kit:
    Super LIghtweight Vintage Cut P-Bass kit COMPLETE!

    First off, anyone have experience with finishing this type of wood? I know certain finishes are better suited to different wood types. I thought that I could use some walnut transtint I had laying around and maybe a wipe on poly. Any objections?

    Secondly, Anyone have bridge placement measurements? Looks like the bridge holes are not predrilled.

    Also, can anyone shed any light as to the width at nut on these kits. I am guessing it's going to be standard P width, so how about thickness? Baseball bat?

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on these kits. I'll be ordering tomorrow. All input is welcomed.
  2. Well I just read thier contact page and it says E-mail only as they have no sales people. Since they are based on the right coast you need to em them in the next hr. my time, I guess you have a couple of hrs where you live. Good luck!

    peace Kirk
  3. Just thinking out loud here ...where I am I see basses on Craigslist all the time around a hundred dollars. So you could find a bass that requires NO work for that price.

    just sayin...
  4. Thanks man, I have tried emailing them. It's been over a week and still no response. Regardless of this, they still meet the price point I need to be at so, hopefully someone here knows.
  5. It's not price alone, it's weight related as well and I don't have $3k to drop on a Rob Allen bass.
  6. Consider looking around for a used Fender Precision Lyte. You'll get the (lack of) weight that you are looking for, and probably not that much different in price by the time everything is said and done. Also, they play and sound great - I miss the one I had years ago.

    All that said, I'll follow this thread as I'm developing more of an itch to assemble either a kit or some sort of frankenbass, but just for the fun of it and the learning as opposed to any need to do so. I've eyeballed all the different ebay kits and wondered myself if any of them are any good, versus something like pulling together parts on my own through Warmoth, Allparts, StewMac, etc etc etc.

    As a side note, there is a Vegetarian Club?!? How do I sign up? :)
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The neck isn't two thick and its about 1 5/8 at the nut if I remember right. It may or may not require a fret level and recrown. The one I used did, but other than that it was pretty straight and its pretty stable. Its narrower at the heal than your standard Fender so if you wanted to go with a different pick guard you will have to make your own or have one made.

    I have no experience with their bodies, but I'm sure anything wrong with them could be corrected with some 80 grit and some elbow grease. I have heard nothing but good things about their pickups. The bridge and tuners can be replaced later if they are sub par. I think you can get a pretty decent bass for the money if you put the work into it.
  8. Yeah, I'm in it for the experience too. First kit, third thing that's needed finishing work. I also hope to achieve an instrument that sounds good and is also light in weight. I think this Pauwlonia stuff may fit both needs.

    Go to bassists and search for vegetarian and get yourself a number. Then, post it in your sig.
  9. I built one of them first. But I cherry picked the hardware and electrical parts from their other pages.

    OK - the body may look like a piece of junk - but it really is quite nice - although there are certain conditions to watch out for when you build it.

    Let me post a few pixs of the bass as I put it together::


    I decided on a wood-y finish and just used a polyurethane sanding/sealer by MinWax. I put on about ten coats with sanding every third coat I think. I finally 600# wet-dry sanded it and started waxing it:::


    Their PGs are cut for a Fender profile, not their OWN dimensions! Watch out so you don't get a gap here - it can be fixed - but it needs a little 'luthierie'


    I bought CTS pots and a Radio Shack .100uF cap - the Orange Caps are a joke! Don't get hung up on the hype - a cap is a cap.


    I also used their gold hardware and their Vintage standard-wound p'ups:::



    After many coats of pure carnauba wax (not CARNUBA - watch the spelling!) - it took on a nice patina and clarity.

    OK - a few pointers ---

    The routing is a little too big for the PG screws to have anything to grab, so I made some small hardwood pads that I epoxied into the places where the screws just fell into the routing. If you predrill the holes for the PG screws, all is good.

    How's it sound? Really great!

    The Antiquities Standard Wound p'ups growl very nicely and the tuners, although not Schallers, are just fine.

    The bridge has had a small amount of the gold plating (whatever it is - maybe spent nuclear fuel rods), but it's OK.

    It weighs so little since the wood is one step below balsa for hardness and weight - but that's fine too.

    FYI: since the wood is so soft, unless you put a hard shell clear coat on it (I might this Spring) - it can dent or your fingernails can catch the wood and make a gouge in it. Be ye careful!

    All-in-all - the bass is a good'un, and it plays like magic.

    I put some (let's make believe here and say they are really Fender, but they ain't) 7250 NPS strings on it. It sings very nicely with a pronounced 'burp' and lots of thump like a Precision should.

    You'll love the low weight too.

    PS: if anyone wants tips, help or pointers, let me know and see if we can keep this on the post here and not a PM, so everyone can get the same info and I don't have to type for nights on end. OK?
  10. SwagAttack


    Sep 14, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    If you are interested in a full DIY kit, look at the Saga bass kits. No drilling or even soldering if I remember correctly. The pickups sound really good as well. Definitely worth it. The pickguard is a little bit bigger than a standard fender pickguard, so changing that wouldn't be a big deal.
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Thats a nice looking bass Joe.

    I wonder if the pick guard that comes with the kit is cut narrower than the one that you upgraded to. I'm thinking that you upgraded to is cut for a Fender neck pocket. The one that is included with the kit (at least in the picture) looks to fit pretty tight. By the way, you made the right choice going with the tort guard.
  12. Wish I had made that mistake - but the PG was a GF PG and I thought it should fit. It wasn't in their 'kit' though and I picked it from other pages on their site.

    No biggie - but it is cut a little [DEL]larger[/DEL] wider than the neck and neck pocket itself.
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Yeah not a big deal at all, It looks alot better on your bass than the w/b/w would have.
  14. Thanks SurferJoe. That's exactly why I titled this thread that way, so others could find it. I will also be documenting my build progress in this thread. I plan on just ordering the kit and upgrading after I assess the things that need to be upgraded. My initial guess is jack, pots, and tuners. But, we will see.
  15. I'm not. I am looking for a lightweight bass on the cheap. I decided to build one instead of searching pawnshops and craigslist.

    I appreciate all the tips about buying this bass or that bass instead, but I have already done all the research and this is the cheapest, lightweight option bar none. Plus there are practically no threads here covering these basses. What a prime opportunity to take care of both.

    Stay tuned. Should have the kit in about a week or so.
  16. Ordered. Let's see how long shipping takes. Stay tuned.
  17. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Pauwlonia is a very lightweight wood, but alas it is soft as it is light (swamp ash or basswood soft). Hope it works out for you though.
  18. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    Best thing, IMO, is to use a walnut dowel to make plugs for areas where critical screws will be.... bridge screws, strap buttons, etc. That way you get a much more stable wood for those areas without adding any real weight.
  19. Just use longer screws, although I've not had the stock Dunlop Dual screws come loose at all on the GFS body.
  20. Lighter weight also equals less stress at the strap buttons. I could see using longer srews for the bridge though, thanks for the tip.

    What about bridge placement? Any tips for that?

    ***Found this online: "On a 34" scale bass, position the rear mounting holes 35" (889.00mm) from the fretboard side of the string nut." Does that sound right?

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