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My king bass has had a facelift

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by Custard cat, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    Gone are the flames and sparkle,now i have a more plain looking bass.Took two months from start to finish,but very happy with the out come.Sounds better unplugged too.

    Attached Files:

    strigidae, geoffbassist, Hoyt and 9 others like this.
  2. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Looks great. Congrats.
    Custard cat and Keith Rawlings like this.
  3. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    Very nice! Did you do it yourself? The work looks amazing! I’ve thought about stripping my custom painted Kay and re-doing it in the original blonde.
    Custard cat likes this.
  4. Ed S

    Ed S

    Nov 14, 2019
    Really nice! The white f-holes is a neat touch.
  5. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    I looked at the pics before i read the post. I was going to be mad if you went from the blond to the flames.
    It looks fantastic
    Custard cat likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Looks very nice! But I like the flames as well.
    DukeCC and Custard cat like this.
  7. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    was the process just sandpaper and oil?
    Custard cat likes this.
  8. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    But pic 5 is a nightmare waiting to happen.

    Custard cat likes this.
  9. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    yes I did the job my self,there was many a time I wish I had not.It was a nightmare every part of the job.First was should I do it myself because I had paid 3 grand for it second hand.When I bought the bass I thought wow,but after 6 months the finish was just to flash for me seeing flames every day.It started to look more like a stage prop then a instrument,so the flames had to.Then was the time it took to get the paint off,king bass spend over eighty hours on the finishes per bass.I used nitromors paint stripper,the paint must have been 2 mil thick I kid you not.Then there was the seeler under the paint,nitromors did not work.Hand sanding for weeks,it was a bastard to get off.my hands where in a right state.Any way I finally got down to the wood,then the finish starts.I used danish oil to bring the grain out and lightly stain the wood because the ply was so white.Then I used polyurethane applied with a cloth and built the coats up slowly sanding between,the last coat was not sanded.I wanted the old Kay bass look and I think I got in the the ball park with it.Would I do it again Never!!! ,But I’m glad I did,because I love the bass .

    Attached Files:

    Oddly, Hoyt, marcox and 2 others like this.
  10. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    I love the raw wood look. I'm almost inspired to do it myself. Of course I wouldn't on my main instrument, but if I acquired a cheap basses in the future, it might be receiving this treatment
    Custard cat likes this.
  11. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    That’s beautiful work! I like the metal button you have on it.
    Custard cat likes this.
  12. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    I have only the one bass,so I did as much work as I could while still being able to play it.Then I went about 4 weeks where the strings where off,and that was hell.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  13. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    The metal button is the king logo on the back
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  14. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    The flames were real nice but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with them either. It took a lot of willpower to even kick the project off, I’d guess.

    I just (months) stripped a very old radio cabinet (in family many years) due to many dog scratches. It was not fun. I stopped over the heat of the summer and started finishing recently. It’s going to be a bit nicer than it was but no dramatic improvements like you made, although it was fun thinking about options. I am totally impressed with the results you made and think it looks absolutely great. Congratulations! Nice work!! Thank you for sharing.
    Custard cat likes this.
  15. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
  16. DukeCC


    Nov 4, 2016
    Not any more. :whistle:

    '2 mil thick'

    No wonder it sounds better unplugged:)! Does it feed back more now when amped? Or just differently?

    Yours is the situation where such drastic measures make sense. Otherwise I might be more in the 'sell that one and buy what you want' camp. Nice work, and thanks for sharing--very informative!! :thumbsup:
    Custard cat likes this.
  17. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Nice job!

    And also, I know your pain. I removed a multi-multi-multi layer paint job from my first bass (pictured). At the time I was afraid that a chemical stripper would make the bass fall apart so I sanded it all off by hand.... .... .... ugh... Weeks and nasty paint grime in every orifice and losing fingerprints... not again :D
    Don't know if it would have helped with your flames, but I stripped another painted bass with Citristrip and it was marvelous, took like two hours total and the bass did not fall apart.

    0601111437 - Copy (2).jpg
    Custard cat, Keith Rawlings and rknea like this.
  18. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    no more feedback then before,but i do not play too loud anyway.
  19. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    I’m working on cleaning up the neck on my painted Kay right now. Not a complete refinish, but a clean up of the area “where the magic happens” between the scroll end and the heel. I’m not digging my paint job anymore either but I have some shows possibly coming up and I can’t really be without the bass for as long as it will take to strip it and finish it. I do plan on doing it sometime in the future as I love that bare wood look - my Kay was blonde before the paint job. Unfortunately in the nineties I was a little obsessed with flames. We put them on everything — even my old SVT cabinet has flames airbrushed onto it.

    You used Nitromors Paint Stripper. Any further tips that you might add that could aid someone trying to do this themselves? I’m hoping to be able to do this later this year.

    Custard cat likes this.
  20. Custard cat

    Custard cat

    Apr 1, 2018
    If I was you,and you are committed to doing it,I would go the whole way.what I mean by this ls leave the scroll and the front of the body.start on the back first and remove all the paint with Nitromors and a plastic scraper.Then wipe the back clean with white spirit,then lightly sand till you are down to wood.then apply a wood sealer. All this can be done while the strings are still on.Have a few days off and play your bass to give your sanding hand fingers a chance to heal from the sand paper,use and old sock or gloves when sanding.Next do the same thing a gain with one side of your bass then the other,all the time leaving your strings on.So you can play between working on the bass.As for the neck, I would just sand the paint off.as it is not a big job and yet again you can leave the strings on.So now you removed most of the paint off the bass without removing the strings and played in between.All that’s next is the scroll and the front of the bass,strings off for that.All the best with it.
    Hoyt and Keith Rawlings like this.
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