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P-Bass Refinish + Diet

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jbd5015, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    New to this area of the forum! It was brought to my attention that you all might be interested in a project that one of my basses is going under.

    I am not a luthier, but my good friend is a quite the luthier. He builds his own basses, as well as for friends, but not on any scale other than that. Ive had him working on my basses for about 4 or 5 years now. A couple custom builds including this refinish build. The neck is the first one he built from scratch. Brazillian cherry with a Brazilian rosewood top. The body is a slimmed down Squire donor P/J. He routed it for a preamp, but its empty as im a passive fan, and made it string through.



    The bass in question, is this one:


    My first Precision bass! Its a mess. 05 body, 09 neck, nothing fits right. It weighs close to 10lbs. Ive got almost no money in this bass. The neck is fantastic to play, and straight as an arrow. Ive had it for 6 years now, and i cant let it go. Unfortunately, it just isnt very nice compared to the custom jobs ive received.

    I tore it down, and sent it in pieces to Pete. He is going to give it the same treatment he gave the white bass above. Trim the body down to a slimmer profile. Reshape the neck pocket/joint to be a bit more streamlined. He also plans on drilling larger diameter holes in the body, and perhaps chamber a few sections to save some weight. Itll be repainted black.

    We are going to get some before and after weight measurements on the body, and I hope to get some good progress photos. Im interested to see what avenue he takes in the weight reduction department. He plans to just run it through a planer to get the finish off, then start sanding and see what he has to work with. Normally he takes everything off the top, then routes the pickup, control, and neck pocket down to match.

    The body weighs in at 5lbs 11oz with no hardware and no neck. the neck weighs about 2.75lbs with the tuners on it.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  2. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Any progress to report on this? Looks like a cool project.
  3. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA

    ill get some photos from the luthier when he is finished. I have to retrieve them from his camera!

    He has photos of the paint removal, planing of the body, weight removal, new top, etc etc. I saw the body with a few coats of shellac on it today. His work is fantastic!

    Before paint, the body weighs in at 3lbs 7oz. Pretty great weight savings Id say. We were hoping for 4lb 8oz. Id say after paint it might jump up an ounce or so.

    Photos to come soon! Just dropped off the EMG Geezers for the build with some strings. He lets paint dry for a while, so it might not be till end of May by the time its ready to go!
    Will_White and JayVek-72 like this.
  4. earlysecond

    earlysecond In Memoriam

    Jan 26, 2016
    Jbd- Altoona guy here . . .waiting for the pics!
  5. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    Got it back this weekend! What a bass!! Weighs in at 8lbs 4oz!!

    Clearly im diggin the bass. I usually dont smile or even look up when im playing live!


    Ill get more photos of the interesting parts of the construction later. The luthier dropped it off on friday unexpected! All the progress photos are still in his camera.

    Heres a shot of the re-shaped neck joint. SUPER tight.


    And an odd shot of the 'slim' body treatment. The green bass is more or less a standard P-bass.


    And next to the white P/J.


    Tbone76 and Will_White like this.
  6. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    Finally got the photos of all the work!
















    Lots of good shots through the progress stages of the refinish. I particularly like what he did with the tubing for the pickup wiring! I cant remember if he said its brake tubing or something similar.

    No neck dive to speak of, but im leaning towards some ultra light tuners in the future to see if i can shave it down closer to 8 lbs even!

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  7. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    Just put some Hipshot Ultralite Lollipop machines on the bass. That shaved off 4oz to get her down to 8lbs on the nose! On my scale it seems to fluctuate between 7lbs 14oz - 8lbs.

    Wasnt a believer in saving the weight on the head stock, but i think my shoulder is going to be happy with it!! The balance is even better than before.
    UNICORN BASS likes this.

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