Is this a cool looking relic or one to refinish?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Downsman, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Downsman


    Jan 30, 2016
    Feeling torn. I was given an old Squier Affinity P-bass by a friend who runs a studio and it's been kicking around there for about 15 years and taken a real beating.

    I've got a used faded Pearloid pickguard on the way. I've tracked down a replacement tuner for the one that's missing, and I'm probably going to need to replace the pickups.

    I've wanted to try refinishing a bass for a long time, ideally in a kind of surf green stain effect. The wood grain I can see through the burst finish looks okay to do that.

    But it's also got a certain something about it from wearing the marks of its life of having the crap played out of it. I know some people put a lot of effort into trying to get an authentic relic look.

    So what do you folks think? Strip and refinish or leave it as it is?
    IMG_20180315_113028523.jpg IMG_20180315_113050558.jpg IMG_20180315_113134607.jpg
    EatS1stBassist and basspraiser like this.
  2. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    What the heck, leave it. Missing tuner and all. Call it battle damage.
    JeffJ2112, slugger, REMBO and 4 others like this.
  3. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I would not hesitate to strip and refinish that.
  4. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I would address the tuner. But as for the finish? If you like it, leave it as it is.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Turn it into a P/J
    Sea foam green refin.
    Bill Lawrence Wilde pickups
    jmon, basted, jam.majors and 2 others like this.
  6. Downsman


    Jan 30, 2016
    If I did refinish it, do you happen to know if the wood (that you can already see exposed in places) would be possible to stain after just a light sanding, or is there something on there that would have soaked into the wood to prevent that? I want to be able to see the wood grain still rather than go solid colour.
  7. Downsman


    Jan 30, 2016
    Tempting, but I'm not up for any routing work. Don't have the skills or the gear to do it :)
  8. Downsman


    Jan 30, 2016
    This is the kind of finish I've wanted to achieve, but whether that's possible if I'm not starting with bare wood I don't know.
    LowNloud1 and Stumbo like this.
  9. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    What ShoeManiac said
  10. I'd just replace the missing tuner, fit a new (better looking!) pickguard, and swap out the pickups for something a bit better - you'd end up with a nice, legitimately reliced P-bass.
  11. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Put a non matched tuner on it, and a dummy knob with a skull. good to go. :D
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    It’s the real deal now. Leave it as is. Swap a few strings, tune it DAD for starters, and play it with a slide a la Mark Sandman. Mark manages with just two strings. Doesn’t get any cooler than that!

  13. I’d get a complete new set of tuners with same screw pattern if possible , if not no biggie. Tuners seem to be a problem area on less expensive instruments and with 1 missing , good time to upgrade. Replace pickguard, tort or black. Agree with the Wilde P-46 pickup (awesome value at $64) . For me flats or tapes and leave battle scars as is.

    Save the Green Manalishi project when you can budget a ground up Warmoth build. Possible pj then, again highly recommend the Wilde pickups as well.
    jamro217 and MobileHolmes like this.
  14. Replace the tuner. The legit battle scars look cool, leave it.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm too lazy/unskilled to think about refinishing, so: i'd get it playable...and then play it! congrats and good luck! :thumbsup:
    saabfender likes this.
  16. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    That’s real honest wear. I think it looks great. I’ve got a 24 year old P-Bass that the paint is starting to wear through on the corner and is starting to crack and fail in several spots. I can hardly wait.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    I enjoy working on basses, so I'd say go for it. It can be pretty satisfying to have a bass that did the work on.

    Long story, I ran across a black fender Bullet at a local store that looked like it had white scrollwork put on it with a white out brush. I Laughed at the store owner for taking it in. He vowed to sell it to me. At 50 bucks I had to buy it.

    I took it home, stripped it down, bought quality autobody rattle cans and clear coat and ended out with a bass that I would have been proud to keep.

    Unfortunately it's a bad idea to put multiple coats of clear coat on in your basement. It took a couple months for the smell to clear, and now every bass I buy my "boss" asks, "you're not going to refinish that one are you?" The bass... well. I sold it for $200 bucks 6 months later.

    It's fun... go for it!
  18. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Wonder if Fender will bring in a "Studio Worn" line?

    Update / upgrade it by all means, but leave the finish as is. Good refinishes are expensive.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  19. DanJM


    Jul 19, 2012
    Wudtone and any other wipe on stain is going to need clean bare wood, which means you'd have to get past the poly and all the grain fillers. I considered doing a refin on a MIM body that I have, but after reading up on what it takes to get the poly finish down to bare wood I decided to buy an unfinished Warmoth body and do my own finish on that instead. Probably not worth your effort doing a stain refin with no gaurantee of good results IMO. Love that color though, going for the same look on my PJ Warmoth body .
    DavC, Son of Wobble and Downsman like this.
  20. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    I know nothing about electric basses, but I do know wood. You will never get that translucent stain look unless you go down to bare wood.
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