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Shell Pink P-Bass build thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kevin_lindsay, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. I've always loved the mid 50's style Fender P-Bass, the type with the single coil pickup, one piece maple neck, large white pickguard, single coil pickup and contoured body edges.

    I think it started when I saw Sting live in the mid 90's with his. I had s dew reissues, and actually got a genuine '56 later on. One thing that annoyed me about the non Custom Shop reissues was the use of smaller rear string ferrules rather than the period correct large style ones. A small point I know, but it always irked me.

    Anyhow........ I decided I'd like a Shell Pink version. In order to ensure I got everything the way I wanted, I thought, "why not do it yourself?".

    So, here's the journey:

    First step was to decide upon a body. I opted for a really lightweight swamp ash one


    The finishing stage was to apply a niitrocrellulose White primer sealer, then apply Shell Pink, then clear coat it. I rubbed back each application before applying the next layer. The overall thickness of lacquer is only about the thickness of a sheet of paper, do the natural woody tone really comes through.

  2. Looking good, did you make the body?
  3. The rear ferrule holes had to be lightly sanded before the ferrules could be fitted. After cleaning the holes, I inserted the ferroelectric using an old trick - heating them with a sauntering iron. The heat softens the nitro and the ferrules slip in place. When cooled down, the nitro acts as a gentle glue on them


    I also decided to apply pink lacquer to the maple finger rest:

  4. I took a raw wood, one piece maple back on the mid 50's profile, and applied clear nitro lacquer and a period correct decal - looks pretty cool if I say so myself!


    I bought a pre-wired control plate from Madison Music.

    However, one problem I always find with P-Basses, is the way that whenever you roll back the tone control, the sound hoes from open and grunty, to sounding like someone has thrown a duvet over the from of your speaker cab!

    So, I changed the 0.022uf capacitor for a 0.025uf paper in oil one. When I toll the tone back, the harsh high end is rolled off, but the sound retains the midrange definition I like.

  5. Next stage - assembly and setup.

    The finished instrument is fantastic. Really light weight, with on open, throaty roar. I used a Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickup and strung the instrument with DR High Beams

    I installed a milled output jack cup. I know they were only used on the really early Fender Tele and P-Basses, but I prefer them to the less expensive pressed steel types.


    When installing the tuning heads, there are little bent metal retaining clips on the underside. I had little divots made on the headstock face to accommodate these. This means the tuner baseplates sit totally flush with the headstock surface

  6. And here's the bass completed

  7. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
  8. Thanks mate!
  9. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Too bad you didn't just buy mine instead of going through all that work!

    Really Kevin, you did an awesome job on that one! :cool:
  10. Hey Caca, your bass was the inspiration for me making mine!
  11. And, I had no idea you were selling yours! Good luck with the sale, that's a fantastic looking instrument.
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Ok. That is a great looking bass.

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