My new Frankenbass…

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hoyt, Jul 2, 2022.

  1. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Some pics from beginning to end of my new-like-used beater bass.

    I should probably explain a little why I recently 7C2FE8C8-F462-45B4-B6B1-8419AC9B11EE.jpeg D304850E-F46B-4081-898B-6A7EF37D97A0.jpeg 3A1F875E-5DC4-47FC-9CCB-1AF1FEB481A4.jpeg 06BD774A-2D98-45B5-9A05-479A60B0F8BE.jpeg 90AF1C2D-54AA-432B-942A-350266600890.jpeg 5EE4E9B4-5DDC-4817-A3F7-5D38E52A9055.jpeg D3706F5C-C4E5-4F25-AD39-2BF317C51CEB.jpeg 8E6882AA-FE6F-4D3B-9C93-EAC28A208DAE.jpeg 4D8DA7CF-7170-461B-83A3-66D753BB1B7B.jpeg 5F897FE3-0D0F-494A-9A59-370A64A7B036.jpeg 69489788-080A-47EA-AA71-28B7F8AB5A2A.jpeg 17371B9C-D12C-4463-97F0-382E2AD58C86.jpeg 28F075AA-7C69-4649-9816-C8365A35DFB9.jpeg 8C0ED0DC-4183-4936-8CEF-3A9AE96D9FB3.jpeg BB3F2FE7-A203-40A2-A94A-5451CF05C039.jpeg 49644AD9-2516-4E6B-8A18-B7379616B047.jpeg E9CF7AAF-3124-4CEB-A1FD-651BADAF29FA.jpeg 1403CF7D-A443-4265-9256-AEB5D15542A0.jpeg 70F179A2-657B-48E8-86B3-94EA840D5920.jpeg 1D0F5C57-94B0-4C66-B42A-4AA833E26082.jpeg D68395C0-2DE4-4A26-A408-9F4150022C7A.jpeg 0734FE22-47B0-4F96-86E7-89CB8706014F.jpeg D2C118AC-F058-4CA3-AB91-35F182017CEE.jpeg A5FD5AA4-16EE-4A3C-9DA0-A4C0984E812C.jpeg became infatuated with the idea of putting this thing together.

    When I was a teenager circa ‘92 or ‘93, my cousin Joe borrowed and broke my Dad’s roller blades. His Dad, my Uncle Karl then gifted me this bass guitar. Atonement? Penance? I have no idea

    Anyway, I never really took playing bass seriously then. A few years later after I had joined the Marine Corps, I decided to take that bass with me to my first duty station with FAST Company at Camp Allen in Norfolk, VA.

    There were a couple Marines who would get together and jam some old Metallica and other heavy metal tunes while we would all stand around listening and drinking beer.

    One night after a jam session, the guitar player said something to the effect of “I wish we had a bass player”, to which I offered up my bass to anyone who knew how to play. He suggested instead that I learn how to play, and then showed me a video called “Cliff ‘Em All” featuring this crazy dude in bell bottom jeans with a Misfits tattoo just tearing it up. I was more into punk than metal, but Cliff Burton peaked my interest and I started to actually try and play bass.

    I took that bass everywhere. I took it apart at the neck and brought it in my sea bag wherever I went. Later, I asked my uncle to build me what was my dream bass at the time and I ended up with one of the coolest basses ever. This bass ended up getting ”retired” but I held on to it for sentimental reasons. I thought at the very least it might make some great wall art someday.

    I took it with me when I got out of the service to my first apartment, when I moved to Chicagoland in ‘99, to the first house my band rented, the first apartment I lived in with my now wife, our first house, and finally to the house we’re in now. There it sat collecting dust and grime in the basement for over a decade. The body had cracked at some point and I had destroyed the neck in a failed experiment years before.

    A couple weeks ago I realized that I could possibly make an entire bass guitar out of spare parts I had lying around from other projects.

    I had an old Yamaha loaded bass neck from a diesel oil pan bass I tried and failed at making.

    I had the stock bridge and pickups from when I built my FrankenSquier Jazz bass.

    And I had that old cracked and gunked up chambered body from my first bass ever.

    Knowing that I have zero woodworking skills, I set about to cobble together a new Frankenbass.

    I shimmed the neck with some wood from a paint stirring stick.
    I used bondo to fill in and seal any cracks.
    I drilled and sanded a truss rod access point horribly.
    I then spent $6 on an acoustic guitar pickguard and repurposed it to cover said truss rod access point.
    I primer’d it with an old can of engine enamel, primer’d it again with lacquer, and used an old can of Reranch “Inverness Metallic Green” I’ve had in the shop for at least 5 years.
    Then I added some decals I thought looked cool and some pin striping from some tape I also had lying around.
    Also drilled out the holes for the Audere JZ3 preamp.
    I then got the bright idea to finish it in epoxy. Both to give the cracks some extra strength and add some aqua colored glitter (I can’t help it; I like sparkly stuff ).
    Unfortunately I got water in my first coat of epoxy and didn’t realize it until after it had cured.
    After some light cussing, I sanded it best I could without ruining the paint and added 3 more coats.
    For the last coat I added some glow in the dark epoxy powder, because why not?
    Then, I coated it with about 6 thin layers of polyurethane to make it shine.

    After some consternation, more cussing, and breaking stuff that ought not to be broken, I finally was able to assemble it all.

    More cussing, some soldering, and 9 cups of coffee later, I plugged it in.

    Nobody is more surprised than me that not only does it actually work, but it sounds really fantastic!

    While everything in this photo album is probably a lesson in what NOT to do (seriously, don’t do this stuff), my very first bass EVER is now useable again almost 30 years later and I’m gonna play the hell out of it.
    dougjwray, bassplace, JRA and 41 others like this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It looks great and post audio if you can. I know you are proud of your work!:thumbsup:
    Hoyt likes this.
  3. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.

    I’ll probably record something a little later tonight.
    I’ll try to remember to post a link here.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  4. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Made up a bass line to play along with Lucinda Williams cover of “Straight to Hell” by The Clash.

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
    fretter, JRA, Crispus and 15 others like this.
  5. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Posted a link.
    Honestly, for the $40 I have in the bass, I’m fairly impressed lol :)
    JRA, Crispus, LowActionHero and 2 others like this.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Nice playing!:thumbsup:
    bassb66 and Hoyt like this.
  7. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I'll be honest, I hated the color until I saw the last pic and saw it glowing. Nice.
    crobasster, packhowitzer and Hoyt like this.
  8. pimp
    Hoyt likes this.
  9. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    It’s actually a really hard color to photograph accurately for some reason.

    You can get the non reverse Gibson Thunderbird in that same Inverness Green Metallic color and all the pics online look different :)
  10. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That’s friggin cool.
    Hoyt likes this.
  12. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Yeah - the glowing pic is what sold it for me.
    Hoyt likes this.
  13. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    Totally cool story!!! ENJOY the bass!!!
    Hoyt likes this.
  14. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Supporting Member

    Personally, I LOVE it.
    The story puts it over the top !
    srayb, Hoyt and Marc DLarosa like this.
  15. I wasn't too sure of of the colour scheme, but that glowing pic. makes it all worth while. Well done! enjoy your "new" toy!
    Hoyt likes this.
  16. prowla


    Aug 19, 2004
    I reckon you're more than that into it for paint alone!
    Hoyt likes this.
  17. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Sort of :)

    I got into making walking sticks after my wife broke her foot, so I already had that stuff lying around(even the set of D’Addario XL Chrome flats). I also made some Harry Potter style magic wands for my kids. The only stuff I’ve bought so far are the decals and the pickguard.

    The bass has a little bit of neck dive though, so I’m probably going to buy some sort of high mass bridge to see if that helps.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
    prowla likes this.
  18. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    Vids seem to capture the color better than pics, so here’s a screenshot of an IG post I made that more accurately represents the color 487EF47A-A22F-420D-8A6F-1464E7ECED83.jpeg
  19. crobasster


    Jun 16, 2009
    Sounds very good !
    Hoyt likes this.
  20. Koog

    Koog Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Central Iowa USA
    Great story and a great result with your "monster".

    Thanks very much for your service!

    Rafar and Hoyt like this.

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