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Refurbishing an old bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by boofis, Dec 25, 2003.


  1. Hey.
    RIght now I'm doing up an old P-bass and I have just a few questions because I'm pretty new to this.

    How do you get a flame in the bass body?

    Can you stain the flame a certain colour?

    How do you stain and how do you get it even?

    What difference does a rubbed oil finish give apposed to a spray?

    What oil do you use for a rubbed finish?

    What kind of ?glue? do you use to connect a neck through?

    Can you sand down a 4 strng neck to make the profile flatter and thinner?

    Thanks to everyone.
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  2. How do you get a flame in the bass body?

    "Flame" or figuring comes from a natural twisting of the fibers of the wood. The visuals result from light hitting these twisted fibers at different angles and reflecting differently. Unless it's in the wood now, it won't be there after finishing.

    Can you stain the flame a certain colour?

    Sure, figured woods can benefit from all sorts of staining and coating techniques. There are as many approaches to this as there are guitars to do it to.

    How do you stain and how do you get it even?

    Volumes has been written on this subject. It's usually a fairly easy thing to do unless there's a certain "look" that you want - then it becomes a matter of great attention to detail and careful application to achieve the results you see in your minds eye.

    What difference does a rubbed oil finish give apposed to a spray?

    Spraying oil probably should be left to the final stages of a finish. Rubbing the oil into the body in the beginning stages will push more oil into the pores and grain for greater visual depth. Spraying sets the oil on top and is good for a final high gloss finish with polymerized oils

    What oil do you use for a rubbed finish?

    Any of the polymerized oils will work fine. Personal tastes in application and finish will guide the rest of the selection and application processes.

    What kind of ?glue? do you use to connect a neck through?

    Again, volumes of information have been gathered on the subject. Lots of things work - resin glues, epoxies, polyurethanes, etc. Personal preference and application details guide the choice. Why is this an issue with refurbishing a P bass?

    Can you sand down a 4 strng neck to make the profile flatter and thinner?

    Yes you can - if you want to take several weeks to get it down to the contour you wanted. There are better ways to re-profile a neck using draw knives, rasps, surforms and other specialty tools.


    Troy, I hope the short answers will be enough to convince you that there is more to all of these questions than can be answered in 10 pages of posts. Just the scatter shot nature of your questions indicates that this is a new idea to you and that you have a large amount of studying to do to begin getting a handle on the processes. No doubt, there are terms I've used that you don't know - I would start my education there and begin to become well versed in the lingo of guitar building so that you'll recognize helpful info when you see it. This forum is more of a general discussion place where single issues are dissected but it isn't the best place to get ALL of your education. Fortunately, there are some other web sites that are specifically geared towards instrument construction like the Musical Instrument Makers Forum at www.mimf.com Do as I did when I first became interested and do about 3 months of reading and gathering notes and info while asking questions here and elsewhere to get your education. By the time that 90 days is over, you should be pretty comfortable with most of the subjects you would need to master to do an acceptable refurb that would make you happy.

    Also - fill out your TB profile so that we can better understand who is asking for and receiving the info. You might get a better response.