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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Hurricane Harvey victim

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by billiam5billion, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. I want to preface this by making clear two very important things-

    1. I was born and raised in Houston, the SE side to be precise. I still live here, 35 years later. I love this town and I have been heartbroken this past week watching the water rise and claim so much. I don't want to trivialize the toll that this storm has taken on so many of my friends' and families' lives. I also don't need to hear anyone trivialize the loss of what I'm gonna show in this thread. Positive thoughts only, please.

    2. If you have anything to say about what he "should've" done in this situation, or what you "would've" done to prevent it, save it. Stuff happens, floods are fast-moving, and safety comes before possessions.

    Anyhoo, my father-in-law was a bassist in a gigging country band for many years, throughout the 70's, 80's and into the beginning of the 90's. We actually connected pretty beautifully on the subject while I was courting his daughter a decade ago. We both rocked P basses, we both fed our families for a while playing 4-6 hour gigs, covering standards and whatnot, and we both had our very darling number 1 basses. Mine is my warmoth P, and his was his black '77 P. It was his baby. Since he'd quit gigging and his band had broken apart, he'd put music to the side and closeted the bass.

    Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc last weekend and in the chaos of getting his wife and pets out of his house, he left the bass in the closet. They wound up with about 4 ft. of water standing in the house for 3-4 days. We just got in and dug out his gear today. He is staying with a friend and he asked me to take the bass home and hang it up to dry to try and salvage anything I could.

    IMG_2278.JPG IMG_2277.JPG IMG_2281.JPG


    I guess I'm posting this for a couple of reasons. First, I'm just sad and he is too and we wanted to commiserate with bassists in this weird, horrible time. Second, I've taken on any restoration possible and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or experience with flooded instruments. I assume the electronics and hardware will need replacing, but what can be done with the body and neck? Thanks for your input and for indulging my long thread.
  2. Catbuster

    Catbuster Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    If you can dry the pickups off and knock off the corrosion they could be salvagable. The pots are probably shot, and the wiring may not be worth saving. The hardware should be fine once it's broken free. Probably hit it with some penetrating oil and polish it up. The small adjustment screws on the bridge would worry me, that piece may not be worth saving.

    The body will probably be fine. You'll be best off stripping the finish and sticking it in a kiln for a while, then refinishing. The neck is what would worry me, namely now much it will warp as it dries. But if you can control the rate at which it dries you can probably save it, too.

    Just my $.02.

    Now, I'm sorry for the loss. I was part of the FEMA Katrina task force. I know there are strong feelings regarding FEMA and the response to Katrina, but I think looking back there is probably one key cog that held us up there, but we did the best we could on the ground. I don't think many people here understand the magnitude of what happens when something like Harvey or Katrina occurs. Posessions are replaceable or repairable, human beings are not. You did the right thing by getting the hell out and taking care of yourself and your family. I feel your pain, brother. Working in New Orleans tore me up, I can't imagine losing everything. Things do look up from here though.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    Brad C, Westsailor, Tbone76 and 19 others like this.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Seconding @Catbuster
    It's sad to see that bass in that condition, but prioritizing family and animals was the right move.
    That bass can definitely be saved and restored. Good on you for doing it.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I'd take it apart asap, wipe it down, so everything can dry more evenly.

    Is that black mold?

    Thoughts and prayers to all Harvey victims.

    Good luck.
    J-Bassomatic, andruca and nixdad like this.
  5. Haha nope! The bass was factory black. The finish was pretty well kept up to this point, so that's all water damage.
  6. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    Catbuster's advice is great. Maybe keep the neck clamped as it dries. Good luck and so sorry for the unimaginable troubles of getting your world back together.
  7. this, I'd get everything pulled apart and allowed to air dry, screw holes and under the guard likely still have lots of moisture. I would See after that what's saveable, repaint it black and if the neck is good refinish it and have a logo and correct serial made for it, could make for a great Christmas gift. Best of luck.
    Hoyt, andruca and Stumbo like this.
  8. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Glad you and your family are safe.

    This reminds me of the instruments that went through the Nashville flood. I have a friend that had a few instruments underwater. The acoustics were a loss, but with some TLC, a solid body instrument ought to be salvageable. My friend saved a 70's Tele and his Les Paul's, as well as restoring several amps that were totaled in that flood.

    Best of luck! If you can make it playable again, it will mean more to him than it ever has.
  9. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Take it apart, dry it out, clean the electronics, put it back together, change strings, and rock it! Major mojo now...!!!

    Best of luck.
  10. I think floods are the worse because of how they damage stuff. Yuck.
    Sorry to see that old bass in such dispair. Hope it might be rescued.
    But your family is OK and that's what really matters.
    All the best going forward, to you and everyone who is suffering through this one.
    Tbone76, J-Bassomatic and Hoyt like this.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As mentioned, I'd disassemble all components and dry thoroughly. Place the pieces parts in a confined enclosure...maybe a couple of appliance cartons taped together...and add a conventional dehumidifier. If not practical, place in a room with the AC cranked. Do not blast it with a hair dryer or hot air gun.

    Edit: I was wondering when we'd see the first thread on this matter. Suggestion: before anyone drops a dime on strings & accessories, send the funds to the organization of your choosing (Red Cross, etc). Make it count.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
    Tbone76 and wvbass like this.
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Cool, a real "road worn" and well weathered bass! :thumbsup: The FCS couldn't have done such a great relic-ing job as Harvey did. :cool:
  13. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I believe the slower the better for the drying time....
    G-Dog likes this.
  14. I am sorry this happened, but relieved that all the people and pets are safe. Seems like some good advice here and I wish you and your father-in-law good luck recovering that bass.

    I will say it is shocking how much damage 4 days of immersion did.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm glad you were alive and able to post the pics...
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    My thoughts would be to take it apart and make sure there is no moisture, and let it dry completely. I would not use a kiln or anything to try and speed up the drying.

    I would post this in the luthier section, where there are people who spent more time dealing with drying wood. As others have said, the biggest worry is the neck. I would contact Fender and other instrument companies, such ass Lull, and see if they have any suggestions.

    Finally, I would save any original pieces that can't be used, if the bass is all original. Not that a '77 is a major collector model, but if there is any plan to sell the bass down the road, it could help with price/provinance.
    ezra1, Spidey2112 and Hoyt like this.
  17. Firstly, I'm glad that he and his family are all safe. I have several friends also affected by Harvey, and really feel for everyone going through this ordeal.

    Secondly, I would take all of the string tension off the neck to avoid warping and clamp the neck so it dries straight. As it's drying, I would periodically adjust the truss rod to ensure that it doesn't seize up. I wouldn't remove the neck from the pocket though. Next, I'd pull the pick guard and all the electronics and hardware and clean them as much as possible. Remove the pickup covers and inspect the windings and pole pieces, etc. the pots and wiring will most likely need to be replaced, but save the old ones to make sure you have the proper gauges and potentiometer values for the replacements.

    Lastly, unless he wants it back to original, I'd say to give it a light touch up with some fine sandpaper, steel wool, and emery cloth and give the bare wood a nice oil finish. Mojo like that is a great reminder of where it's been. Sometimes the story behind a particular instrument is better than the instrument itself.

    Good luck to you and your family moving forward.
    Will_White and G-Dog like this.
  18. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    First off, sorry to hear about all your going through. I saw this video from sweetwater the other day on Facebook. They apparently have some very talented guitar restoration specialists there. I also was at gearfest this year and I can tell you they are a really nice group of people. I might try contacting them and explain the situation, let them know its your father in law's bass. You never know, restoring some storm damaged guitars seems like it could be right up Sweetwater's ally.

    metermech, speyer, mbasile and 5 others like this.
  19. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    Fortunately all are alive and well to tell the tale, and thats the most important thing. I can't even imagine going through a disaster like this and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Bass wise, you still actually have it in possession. Even salvaging just the body alone and rebuilding the rest to its former glory as a playable instrument will preserve the memories and add more mojo. Even a catastrophic flood can't take that away from your father-in-law.
    Hoyt likes this.
  20. Cvdunk

    Cvdunk Monkey Hands......

    Nov 28, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Man, this brings on the feels... So glad your family and fur family are safe. Best of luck to you saving the P... Sounds like there is some great advise in the posts above.

Share This Page