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Pimped my bass (loads of pics)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Labi, May 16, 2011.


  1. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    I'll start with a warning.
    This is my experience and in no way should it be used as a tutorial since during the proces no standard methods nor tools were used but since I like the results of my effort I thought it would be nice to share.

    Here's the story. I bought a cheap bass with an idea to mod it and gain experience towards future mods with more expensive basses. So if anything went wrong I wouldn't worry much. This is what the bass looked like when I got it.
    001.

    Creepy isn't it?
    Originally it was painted red then sprayed over black. So the first step was to strip those layers of paint which so far was the hardest thing to do. his is what it looked like after I stripped the paint.
    002.

    I am not sure if it is visible but I've downsized the upper horn a bit. I was hoping for a nicer looking wood underneath the paint and just put a few coats of lacquer on it. Since it was quite plain with lamination on top and back I thought of painting it over with a solid color. Then I changed my mind and decided to laminate it over the existing lamination which I was gonna remove originally but it seemed like a lot of work so I just sanded the top and back and bought some really nice wood veneers.
    003.

    The body with the roughly cut veneer on top looked like this:

    004.

    So I glued it on and cut it nicely around the edges. And it began to look promising:

    006.

    009.

    Since it was nicely glued on both sides (a two day procedure) it was time for sanding down. Enter little helper:

    010.

    After my assistant got tired I took over and cut the cavities for the pickups and knobs and just dropped in the pickups, a new bridge and the knobs to see what it will look like. Well, it looked like this:

    011.

    Now I can't decide about the paint and the lacquer. The edges of the veneer need to be hidden with paint cause they are a bit rough but the top and the back need to show so I might do some sort of sunburst with black on the sides and transparent on the top. In the mean time I'll start work on the neck and keep you updated with process.
    Comments criticism and suggestions are more then welcome.
     
  2. Senator

    Senator

    Nov 11, 2008
    Nice job!

    What if you masked off the sides to make them natural binding, like the PRS guitars? :p

    A burst sounds promising.
     
  3. Looking good so far!
     
  4. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    It's a good suggestion but I kinda hate the bindings. Plus it would take a lot of precision work which I lack :(

    Anyway I did some more sanding on the edges today and must say that it actually looks OK and I might leave it as it is with just a couple of coats of lacquer. Maybe darken the sides a bit.
    Here's a fresh pic.

    13.
     
  5. Stealth

    Stealth

    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Looks very intriguing. I know you said this isn't a tutorial, but the way you're applying veneer makes plenty sense. Subbed.
     
  6. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT
    Hmm...not bad.
    I wasn't sure where we were goin with this at first.;)
     
  7. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    WOW its looking great! keep us posted:hyper:
     
  8. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    Thanks.

    Well I didn't discover many details of my method which I know are wrong that's why I didn't want anyone else to follow those steps. For example after gluing, veneer should be clamped and left overnight to dry. I on the other hand put the body on the floor, put some pillows on top of it and my combo amp on top of them and left them overnight :rollno:
    But at the end of the day, it's the result that counts.
     
  9. JTFormula

    JTFormula

    Jan 20, 2011
    Brick, NJ
    Wow, what an improvement so far. With the first picture, I thought this was going to be a stickered up punk bass, not expecting you to sand it down and do some justice to this thing.

    Just wondering, what brand of Bass is it?
     
  10. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    Thanks.
    Please throw in some suggestions if you have any. I kinda need some :help:
     
  11. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Finland
    I like the burst idea. Instead of just clear transparent in the center, make it a bit tinted to make it look more amber/yellow, and do a tobacco burst. It should look very good that way. Thumbs up!
     
  12. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    Back in the 90's where I live they used to sell instruments made in DDR (You know the ex socialist part of Germany). It said "Action Bass" on the headstock. I bought this new then sold it a few years latter only to buy it back few months ago from the same guy. Now that's what I call recycling :)
    Before starting to work on it, I put a new bridge and electronics just to see how it plays and if it's worth working on, and I was surprised. It played and felt perfectly. The frets were all worn out so I removed them. I am also waiting for a brand new SX J neck which hopefully will fit. If not then this will be a fretless bass.
     
  13. Looking good. I'm doing my own redo of a Squier VM jazz neck (wanted the darker vintage look). Kind of made up my own rules as to getting that vintagey tint. As unorthodox as my methods have been so far, I am liking the results. In the end it's about the results and yours is looking nice. Reminds me of the Schecter Stiletto Custom in natural.
     
  14. I'd go with the burst as well. Love the facelift on this thing. Great work.
     
  15. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    I like your suggestion. Here's a photoshoped version. Is this what you had in mind?
    011b.
     
  16. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    I found this pic from Aug. '92. The red bass in front is the bass I am currently facelifting.

    photo.
     
  17. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya

    Dec 28, 2007
    that's really light!

    Replacement-Guitar-Body-Strat-Quilt-tobacco-burst-med.
     
  18. Legattabass

    Legattabass

    Oct 21, 2010
    Maryland
    I say go with one beautiful dark wood color, maybe something dark walnut or walnut/burgundy, maybe a slightly lighter color than the SR500 series from Ibanez. So what if the sides look a little different and take the stain/finish differently: Schecter offers those wood-sandwich instruments which I can't stand, and they get lapped up pretty quickly ;)
     
  19. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    Whoa! That's really heavy burst. Maybe something in between :)
     
  20. Labi

    Labi

    Jun 14, 2006
    This is another great suggestion. Will definately consider this one too. Thnx.
     

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