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NBD - Free Bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Volker Kirstein, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    On Sunday, I saw an ad that someone was giving away a bass.

    Naturally, I jumped hard and fast. Ta da!

    The bridge looks solid, but feels like cheap metal. 4 screw mount, one at each corner.

    Love the string retainer!

    Looks like standard VVT wiring. When I plugged it in, the bridge pickup is weak Sausage, but the P side is fine.

    Tuners gotta go. They're wobbly, and the spacer for the A knob is gone.

    One of the screws for the truss rod cover has a stripped head. That's going to be fun.

    Leftover trash.

    I had originally thought to simply part it out, but the more I dink around with it, the more I want to make it go boom.
  2. bhendrix

    bhendrix Supporting Member

    May 2, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Free is good! Plus, you now have a project to keep you occupied for a while! :thumbsup:
    jamro217, Spidey2112, Vinny_G and 5 others like this.
  3. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Free is always good
    If you can turn it into a player you could always pay it forward to someone in need but either way a fun project during safer at home times
    Cool score
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Bah! The problem with something that is free is that you can't get a discount.
  5. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    The flip side of free is I just spent money (not much, but still!) to order a new nut.

    I have tuners left over from Blue Belle, so that'll hold it over until such time I can sink €50 into good tuners.

    I have strings at home, along with a Switch/V/T wiring harness from an aborted project (switch didn't fit in cavity) that may fit in here, the cavity looks large.

    I have a few bridges, too, but any replacement bridge will probably require drilling.
  6. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    First step: take off the neck. I see that there are 2 different sized screws, both big ol' honkers.

    Next step: clean up the DNA. I used grease cutting kitchen cleaner and a scrubby.

    I wasn't able to remove the screw with the stripped head, but I was able to slide it open and test the truss rod. It's functional.

    Judicious use of a Sharpie to hide dings somewhat.

    I have tuners, and they fit, but they're 4L and I need 2L+2R.

    Stripping down the body to do a thorough cleaning. You can see that I already have a lot of the sticker gradoo off.

    I'm thinking of refinishing the body in Forest Green.

    The bridge is heftier than I thought it would be, and is also scheduled to be disassembled and cleaned.
    J_Bass, pcake, Relayer71 and 13 others like this.
  7. EMG Geezers for the win!!!!!
  8. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    If you refin don’t strip the paint off, IMO just scuff sand it flat so paint will adhere and use that first coat as primer. That plywood sounds pretty decent but separates easy when you start peeling paint, and it’s worse for you to breathe the dust than just wood.

    I’d expect that bridge to be Zamak or some zinc alloy, but that’s ok it if works. I think Zamak sounds fine enough for most things, certainly good enough I wouldn’t personally spend the money to upgrade it.

    Great score! Can’t wait to see it what you do with it! Happy ‘free’ bass day
    Volker Kirstein likes this.
  9. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    In my experience, something free wasn't worth the price I paid. I've gotten free stuff before that required some combination of time, effort, and money just to make it functional, yet substandard.

    Not saying that's true in this case. If you're satisfied investing in this bass and think you'll be happy with the result, then you've made a good score.

    Good luck with the project.
    pcake and Volker Kirstein like this.
  10. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    This seems like a great opportunity to do something W E I R D :woot:
  11. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    That's the plan: use the black as primer, and just rattle can over it.

    I'll know more about the bridge after I take it apart, but at first glance it seems good to go other than cleaning.

    Yep. o_O I'm already out €2.99 for a new nut.

    Strings, I have a drawer full. Either used flats or NIB rounds. If I go rounds, that's another €20.

    I have various 2 pickup wiring harnesses laying around, varying from €3 "Chinese" to €50 quality/solderless.

    I've got split coils and single coils, as well. But not in a set that "goes together". The bridge pickup is weak sausage. I can't really afford Geezers. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a cheap Fender/Squier PJ set in the want ads from someone else's upgrade.

    I'm going to have to spring for tuners, tho.

    I put the neck back on and put it away for today. I left the bridge ground wire in, because they're a pain to rethread. It cleaned up nice; that white spot on the body is a reflection of the grate on left.
    B-Mac, J_Bass, pcake and 7 others like this.
  12. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    This is the perfect candidate for a rattle can refinish!!!!
  13. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    On to the bridge. I took it apart as far as I was able. :/ None of my hex keys fit the saddle screws.

    The base plate cleaned up nicely, and does not feel like a zinc alloy... it actually feels like steel.

    I swear we had some WD40 or similar here, but I can't find it. So the screws and saddles remain as they are until such time as I get some. And the proper hex key. The springs seem OK, but I'll wash them in WD40, as well.

    Or I can simply drill holes for a standard bent plate... but I don't wanna. I want to keep it the bridge original.
    J_Bass, pcake, TerribleTim68 and 6 others like this.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    congratulations on your new instrument, volker! :thumbsup:

    pretty cool 'rehab' you've got going. it's neat to see the progress on your "free" ax!
  15. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    Thanks! I'm kinda glad it's not worth parting out; it's turning out to be quite a fun project!

    I just ordered tuners, El Cheapos out of China, for €17.21.

    I'm not counting parts, strings, and paint that I already have laying around towards the cost of the project, so in my mind, I'm still under €25 invested.
    J_Bass, pcake, TerribleTim68 and 3 others like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think you're doing great! those tuning machines look more than capable. besides (on the investment), if it plays above the cost of your repairs/upgrades = you win!
  17. TinIndian


    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Soak the bridge screws, hardware and springs overnight in white vinegar with a squirt of WD40. That will clean that rust right off.
  18. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    the sliding truss rod cover is a nice feature
    Eli_Kyiv, J_Bass, Wisebass and 4 others like this.
  19. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    I know, right? I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave it like that.

    Anyway, hex keys hath arriven! I can now take the saddles apart and let everything soak in "WD40" overnight.

    Next time I go back to Frankfurt to feed the fish, I'll bring back some cans of green paint.
    Wisebass and Spidey2112 like this.
  20. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    Well! The parts cleaned up OK. I set them aside for the nonce.

    The plastic nut hath arriven. I have a brass nut underway from China, but this one will do until then.

    You can also see why I thought this was a shorty when I put it in the gig bag.

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